Lost & Found- I Didn’t Matter

This morning my mind was racing through a myriad of thoughts when I bounced to love.

Love is beautiful.

I watch it, I feel it, and I adore it.

Love is courage and sacrifice in the face of trials that life hands us. Humbled, I see people going to great lengths to show love and kindness to those who need it the most. This world would be a darker place but for the love of those who bring the light. Your unselfish open arms and heart for all is inspiring and contagious!

I have experienced love in great ways in my lifetime. The love of my grandfather until the day he died, when I was only four years old, remains in my heart. I recall the gentle love that flowed from his soft eyes. I remember the feeling of love and knowing I mattered to him. Experiencing this I learned love is beautiful.

I considered some times in my life where I doubted love. The first is obvious, the evil man who abused me. Tormenting me by preying on my body and my mind, he damaged me- a sweet, innocent little girl (and the other sweet, innocent little girls). I knew hate at a young age, because abuse is hate. He hated my presence with a passion that only evil can understand.

I came face to face with a sad memory in lost love. It hurts to say, but love abandoned me. I was not a priority. Repeatedly, I disclosed my shame of abuse, but no one did anything. In fact, people refused to believe me. There is no love in those actions. Given the option to go to the police one time but overcome with fear and guilt, I refused. The consequences would be having no home (my fault), and he would go to jail for a long time (and that would be my fault). I would have to tell the police what happened and share details regarding the abuse. Like that, the punishment became mine. I felt so guilty in putting him in jail, that I would live in my own prison for years to come.
There was no police report, or child protection for me, and no counseling; no one asked what was happening to me. The entire thing would lead me down a dark and dirty road of shame, guilt, abuse, and serious doubt in love.

I didn’t matter.

Years later, I met my husband in an unconventional way (at the time) online. This is the 90’s before it became normal to meet this way. He made me laugh and one conversation led to another, we met in person, he moved to Colorado, and we merged our two lives. I felt safe and he treated me like I mattered. It felt good.

Though we had many struggles relating to moving so fast, raising our kids, finances, and other normal life issues, one struggle near broke us. When it came to one person in his life, his mother, I took a backseat. What she wanted she got, or did, or decided, over me and over my wishes. With a final blow in 1999, I locked my heart, and closed my mind. We separated and neared divorce over lack of boundaries. My brokenness from the past resurrected thoughts that I did not matter.

Years later, we are still married, and we have moved on from the devastating times. They shook us to our foundation, but we grew and became stronger together through it all. He is intentional in making sure our marriage matters. Together we are a priority, and we refuse to allow anyone an opportunity to mangle what we built.

Still, one love exceeds them all.

Love is beautiful by the selflessness that must exist in it’s center. The deeper I fall in love with Jesus, the less appeal this world has for me. His love shaped my life and Christian walk. Pure love in death was the final sacrifice, though not the final say. He rose from the grave for all to see the rare beauty of love defeat death and gain eternity. Jesus on that cross ensured me that I matter. Jesus walking this world after what this world did to Him shows us we all matter! The depth of his love is fulfilling and glorious. I thought love would elude because I didn’t matter. I have found more, in the form of a Father, THE Father.

Love is Jesus, and it is beautiful.

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