Psalms 25:8-10 ESV
“Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.”
When I was around the age of 7, I was at summer camp and we were having our time of Bible teaching, and I was listening intently to what the preacher said. My heart was heavy. So, I cried out to the Lord in my suffering and I repented of my sins and I trusted in him to be my Lord and Savior that day. And my heart’s desire was then to follow him in obedience wherever he led me.
My parents took us to church gatherings every Sunday morning and evening and every Wednesday evening, and for all special meetings, too. And my church fellowship taught on holiness, righteousness, obedience, submission to the Lord as God, and on sanctification and moral purity, etc. But my dad was an abuser to our mother and to all of us kids. And most, if not all of us were afraid of him and his wrath.
Yet, my parents were legalists who taught us that Sunday was the Lord’s day and that we had to stay dressed up all day and we could not play on that day, and that we could not go to movies or play with playing cards (the kinds with Aces, Diamonds, etc.), or dance, or smoke, or drink, etc. And if we put any object on top of a physical Bible, my dad yelled at us that we were somehow doing something evil, all the while he was doing the most evil.
So, when I trusted the Lord to be my Savior, I wanted to have a faith in Jesus that was real, that was genuine, that was consistent, and that was not legalistic and hypocritical. For I witnessed so much hypocrisy in my home. And so I began to read my Bible and to pray and to find out the ways of the Lord that I might walk in them, but it was definitely a process, for I had much going against me. But the Lord led me in the right way.
Psalms 25:16-18 ESV
“Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
The troubles of my heart are enlarged;
bring me out of my distresses.
Consider my affliction and my trouble,
and forgive all my sins.”
When I was 22 years old I left the home of my parents and I married my husband, who was the love of my life next to the Lord. But it was not a fairytale romance or marriage. He had his issues and I had mine, and I thought we were working them through, but there was a lot that I did not know about my husband that I did not learn until many years later. And so I went through a lot of heartache, and I cried out to the Lord much in my times when I was hurting deeply.
If you are interested in reading my testimony, I will include a link to it at the end of this, for I don’t want to focus on the details here but only to say that I went through much more suffering, and that I cried out to the Lord much in my loneliness and affliction, and he did indeed bring me out of my distress. And when I let my circumstances get to me, and when I caved to the flesh during a short period of time, he did consider my affliction and my trouble, and he did forgive all my sins when I repented of them in truth.
Psalms 25:19-21 ESV
“Consider how many are my foes,
and with what violent hatred they hate me.
Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me!
Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness preserve me,
for I wait for you.”
But it wasn’t just my upbringing, and it wasn’t just my marriage that caused me much trouble, heartache, loneliness, affliction and distress, but I also faced a lot of rejection and mistreatment by the church, by pastors and elders, and by others who professed faith in Jesus Christ who judged me unfairly.
Now if it was because of sin in my life that they opposed me or that they attacked me or came against me or rejected me, I would understand that, but it wasn’t. In fact, during those times when I was sinning against the Lord, because I was trying to escape all the pain I was suffering, which only then caused more pain, they left me alone.
It was mostly when I was walking closely with the Lord or when I was trying to get back on my feet to walk as I once walked that they came against me and that they accused me falsely of things that I did not do and they misjudged me and they attacked me without cause. And some of this is because so much of the church has gone the way of the world and they have altered the gospel to make it more acceptable to human flesh that they opposed me, because they were opposing the truth of the gospel.
Now, I will hear people say that the problem must be me. Why? Are all people who are abused treated thus because they are the problem? No! That is a horrible way to treat people who are suffering injustices at the hands of their opposition. Was Jesus the problem? Was Paul the problem? Was John the Baptist or the prophets before him or the other apostles or Christians in foreign nations where they are being persecuted, are they the problem?
Abuse is real! Persecution is real! And the Scriptures teach us that if we are following Jesus Christ with our lives, and if we are doing and saying the kinds of things that Jesus did and said that we will be treated as he was. And who were Jesus’ biggest opponents and persecutors? The equivalent of pastors and elders today. And they were the people of God, so equivalent to other Christians today. And they were his own people and people of his own family, so equivalent to our own people and to who our families are today.
So, if you are committed to following Jesus Christ with your life and to living in integrity, with honor, in obedience to your Lord, in honesty, and not in hypocrisy, and if you feel what God feels, and you are passionate about what he is passionate about, and if you are doing what the word teaches, and if you are fulfilling your God-given commission (assignment), then don’t be surprised if the very people who are supposed to love you turn against you.
But, if we are faithful to our Lord, and if are steadfast in love, and if we are walking in obedience to his commands, and we are doing the assignment he has given us to do, then we need to rest in him. We need to trust in his sovereignty over our lives, and we need to go to him for love and support, for help, and for healing, and not let other humans discourage and dishearten us, for that is what the enemy wants. He wants to defeat us!
Now, I hope that this encouraged someone here today who can perhaps identify with my life and some of the things that the Lord, in his sovereignty, allowed me to endure. I hope you will know that you are not alone, and that good can come out of your suffering. For God had a plan for my life and he has a plan for your life, too. For me he planned that I would be here writing what I am writing now for your encouragement. Let him heal you and let him show you what he has for you, too.
The following poem/song began as a poem, and then a friend who lives in another country from me felt led of the Lord to write music for part of the poem. So, she sent me what she had written, so we ended up collaborating on this song. She sang part and I sang part and we sang together in part. And this song is personal to me, for it does represent my testimony, and the Lord did give me encouragers, too, but not always. I went for long periods of time without human encouragement, so when I had it, I felt very grateful.
You Loved Me
An Original Work / December 3, 2019
A song based off the poem by the same name
When I was lonely and afflicted,
You were there to pick me up.
You took me in Your arms,
And You held me tenderly.
Your love embraced me.
Your grace sustained me.
When my heart cried out to You
In my fear and my despair,
You never turned away,
But You let me know You loved me.
Your grace forgave me.
You did not shame me.
Then, when I answered the call,
“Here, Lord, send me.”
You sent me to where I must be.
Your mercy held me, did not fail me.
All this, You had planned, to use me.
And, when all trials and scorn
Came to test me.
You gave me all that I would need.
You strengthened me so I’d not fail You.
Your kindness blessed me, it touched me.
And, when I needed the church
To lift up me,
To hearten me so I’d not fail,
You blessed me with folks who would love me.
Their presence with me, Your praise hailed!
And, when I walked through the valley
Of the shadow of the death,
And tears flowed from my eyes,
Still Your kindness was there for me.
Your touch, it healed me.
For I believed You.
When now I think about the ways,
Of the many, many ways
That You in Your great love
Show me that You’ll always care for me,
My heart, it thanks You,
And gladness fills me, fills me.
Oh, I promised that I would include a link to my testimony which the Lord gave me to write four years ago in the form of a book. My husband wrote the forward for the book, so he approved me writing that. You can download the whole book for free if you are interested: