There are veins of human wisdom that teach we can “speak things into being,” and say that we can be “hung by our own tongues.” I don’t believe that, not the way they teach it. But, there is obviously power in words.
This blog began as a cathartic measure to cleanse my soul of the deep and dark emotions trapped for decades by familial and societal restrictions. I also hoped and prayed that I would open the eyes of those who may have a judgmental streak, those who adhere to a blatantly deist worldview.
I know many deists, though they would probably become angry if I voiced my thoughts regarding the natural play out of their religion. I see it though. I have witnessed modern day deism pointing its condemning finger, similar to the innocently questioning disciples in John 9:2: And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
There are assumptions made that victims are weak willed, ignorant, or full of sin. Otherwise, they would have made better choices, as the deists have, and spared themselves the obvious, natural consequences of their poor reasoning abilities.
I hoped that my “make good choices” friends would come to understanding by taking a look inside my world of pain and my tortuous family relationships and see that not all of us have the same opportunities nor are we given the support in which to make wise decisions. More often than not, our best attempts at sound decision making are thwarted by those in positions of authority over us.
This has been my attempt to remind the truly blind of Jesus’s answer to his disciples: Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents, but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
I know the argument will be made that the man could not help being born blind, and I had a choice to marry a monster. But, I will argue I could not help being born to a monster, a monster who systematically placed me with other abusers. A monster who, from my birth, worked hard to convince me that good was bad and bad was good.
And, I don’t want to get lost in an argument of details. The larger point is that God is at work in all things even today. We are not merely creating our own paths via good or bad decisions and acts of reasoning as my deists-in-denial friends would say.
There is power in their words though. Power to again make me doubt myself. Power to victim blame, causing me to question what I know to be true of my own experiences: experiences that almost always occurred behind closed doors, in private, so who would know better than I the reality of those moments and that evil?
The power of their words wounds whether it is meant to or not.
But, I am done.
I am not responsible for their misguided superiority complexes, and I cannot change their minds by baring my soul to them. I merely give them more ammunition to use against me. My words seem to have been powerless.
I have nothing left to hope but that some victim out there in cyberspace has read this blog and identified in some small way and realized that he or she is not alone in their mass confusion. The feelings, the fears I’ve expressed are maybe similar to their own, and they’ve found strength in that. I pray that is where the power of my words lies.
But, again, I am done.
I’m not certain if it was the overwhelming generosity my children and I experienced this Christmas. I’m not sure if I’ve turned a corner in my physical therapy. I don’t know; maybe it is just time.
Something happened though. It all started with my little accident. It was probably in part the verbal abuse I received by my own insurance company. It probably had something to do with my ex not paying child support during that same period of time. I was losing time from work and not receiving child support. I was in pain, broke, unable to pay my bills, and the holidays were fast approaching. And, then, he lavished the children with a grotesquely expensive Christmas unlike anything he has ever done in the twenty years I’ve known him.
Perhaps it had something to do with hearing his voice and his instructions to me that we should not fight over the kids because they are our children. As he spoke to me with his authoritative tone, insinuating to me that I should not fight him for the children, trying to convince me that he has not torn at them from the beginning, I bristled. Then, I relaxed.
I decided right then and there I would not allow his words to have power over me. He cannot elicit a reaction from me. His words cannot torment me. He can only fire them like arrows at me. But, their power, their ability to sear into my flesh, only comes when I allow them to. I have the power to stop them. They glance off of me as I turn slowly and gently from side to side. Lowering my body and twisting, I laugh to myself as his arrows fall dead on the ground around me.
I used the power of my written words to request an inquiry into my insurance company. The state investigator found nothing illegal, adding, “Unfortunately, poor customer service is not against the law.” However, they registered the complaint for all to see who care to check the state’s consumer complaint logs. And, I switched insurance companies. I initialed their medical request forms and wrote in that records before the date of the accident may not be released as they had wanted. I used the power of my words and my own signature to regain some sense of personal dignity.
And, like a well watered vine, it grew! My sense of personal dignity, that is. So when the Christmas gifts streamed in this year for the children and me, they fed this new sense of self worth. We no longer felt like the paupers on the hill receiving pity from the kind souls. We just ENJOYED the new clothes, food, outings, toys, and household goods as they were meant to be enjoyed. We embraced the intention of the givers to give us JOY. We embraced it like those who are worthy of receiving good things. There were no heads hung low with hands held out in desperation. There were smiles and squeals of delight!
So, you see, I am done. I am done hashing out my pain. I have taken it out, dissected it, and categorized it. I have accepted the horrendous experiences of my life as nothing more than occurrences that allow “the works of God to be made manifest in” me. Who else is responsible for my very survival? Who else is responsible for my healing and recovery from such devastating injuries, both emotional and physical? Who else is responsible for the orchestral arrangement of gifts that have provided us maintenance and pleasure? It is evidence of the works of God made manifest in my life!
And, now, I choose, as a child of God, dependent upon him, not my own reasoning ability to make good choices for my own life, to use my words and any power they may have to speak life and truth over myself.
Marilyn Braxton’s husband died. While he was gravely ill and death was imminent, there were many in the Christian community who wanted to pray for peace for her to accept her husband’s death and comfort for him as he passed over. She refused to allow these individuals to pray for them! She would not allow anyone to pray death over her husband. In her book, Marilyn instructs prayer warrior family members to only pray life over their loved ones. She believes in the power of prayer, in the power of the words we present to a Holy God who is active today in the lives of His people.
After one hour and forty five minutes, Dean’s life was restored. He is alive and well today.
After forty eight years, my life has been restored. I am alive and well today.