A numbers of years ago I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. As far as I know, that’s still considered an incurable disease. It began in 1990 and lasted 19 years. During that time, I had a stranger come over and to speak to me while I clung onto an end cap in “Job Lot” attempting to Christmas shop one year. She gave me a message that God was going to heal me miraculously and it would be a tremendous testimony to all. In 2009, I indeed was healed from this horrible disease. It’s an amazing story that I will tell you about soon. During those years of inactivity, my back became compromised. Getting it realigned and strengthened is the next step I’m presently on in this process. That, too, is a great story!

I’ve thought many times about all that God has accomplished in me during the years of waiting for complete healing. It certainly afforded me time to process through many, many things that I am quite positive I would not have sat through, should I have had the choice. I’ve always been an active person just going and going. I thrive on productivity. I’m not sure my family has always been “real thankful” for that as I feel we should ALL be productive. This does not always allow for folks to be lying around like boneless chickens. Lol. I guess the thing that has often kept me from plowing forward full steam ahead is unmanageable pain. Fibromyalgia will do that to you….so will back pain. At times it is debilitating, which can bring great frustration and discouragement. But as I look back over the years and see all that God has done and is presently doing, even in times of great pain, my heart fills with joy and amazement at the perfect planning of God. I know He will finish the healing of my body as He has promised. I must say though, there are times that the process can be extremely difficult.
On one such occasion I found myself having to lie flat on my back, which happened too often for my liking. I began to talk to The Lord about it. “Lord, I know that there is so much purpose to my still being stuck here. That gives me the strength to go on and know that you are presently doing much needed things in and thru me.” I lay there thinking about that with no doubt in my heart whatsoever.
Suddenly, a memory from when I was 16 years old came forcefully back into my mind. It was so strong, it was like I was actually there. It was a painful memory, indeed. It involved my relationship with an abusive man who was a member of a motorcycle gang. I had been with him since I was 14 and he, 21. My family was very disturbed, needless to say, that I was dating such a man. But I had been on a downward spiral since my father left home when I was 11. My mother was struggling to care for my brother, sister and I so she worked many long hours as a nurse to make ends meet. With no enforcer to keep me under control, I went running, filled with anger, fear and deep pain. I fell in with a group of “Throw Aways” who welcome all of their own kind and began to learn the ways of the wild. Problem was, I didn’t WANT to be wild. I wanted to be loved and valued. I just didn’t know where to go to find that. But that strong need drives you on with unrelenting madness. You can’t stop.
At the age of 11 I began smoking cigarettes, which of course progressed quickly to pot. From there I started drinking and getting involved in petty crimes, resulting in being picked up by the cops at age 12 for theft. Suspensions at school started mounting and so did my dependency on anything that would keep me “out of my mind”. That always moves you onto harder drugs as time and need progresses. But the worse thing that happened by far was falling into the hands of predators; older men that prey on unkept and unprotected little girls. I was terrified when it started and destroyed as the process went on. Thus, I ended up over and over again with abusive older men. Relationships like these always seem to start with the feeling like maybe you will be loved with this one or perhaps this is all I will be able to have. Very quickly it spirals into a world of hellish fear and control. Then, you are owned. That requires staying numb as it is too much for a young girl to process repeatedly that she is worthless in value with the exception of her body. It becomes a loathsome object of shame. But, it’s all you have so it also becomes your only asset. My mother was extremely worried. She loved me deeply and worked tirelessly to get me some much needed help. So did a few scattered teachers but the problem was, I needed to be forcefully rescued. I needed a hero.
As the years went by, I went from problem to problem. My health suffered terribly and so did my family. We were a huge mess and each out of control in their own way. In the midst of it all, my mom cried out to God for a savior. And indeed, He heard her cries and began a plan of rescue. She, in turn, cried out for the lives of her children. I didn’t know it at the time but in hindsight, there were many, many dangerous situations that I should have lost my life in but miraculously escaped time and time again.
I believed in God. We had gone to church weekly as kids as many families did at that time. I prayed when I was in deep trouble….even carried a cross as a form of protection….but I ‘knew’ inside that God was sickened by me and deeply ashamed. It was a source of heavy leaded sorrow.
As God began to work in my mom’s life, we watched her change. We began to believe that she had a special “in” with God that enabled her to have her prayers answered. Many of my “throw away” friends found comfort, acceptance and love in my mother. Even the biker guys. She and her church friends were praying feverishly for us and I didn’t even know it. My mom would often come in to my room when I lay frightened, sick and unable to sleep. She would rub my back and in that pinned position she would tell me gently of my worth and the loving plan of God for my life. I would cry into my pillow as I thought, “If my mother ever knew the things that I was doing, she would know, I’m no longer a choir girl and I’ve ruined any chance of living for God.” To this day, there is much that my mother doesn’t know. That is a kindness to any mother’s heart! But in all honesty, I yearned and longed for such a beautiful plan. If only it were possible. Sadly, I concluded, it was not.
Thankfully, at the age of 16, I began to come to the end of what I could endure. But normally that manifests in wilder, more desperate behaviors. To me it felt like I was losing my grip and ability to survive. I was very sure that I would not live to see the end of my teenage years. I knew I would be found in a gutter as that’s where trash ends up. I lived in terror as I knew it would be at the hands of an abusive man that I would be powerless to escape or from a drug overdose. Running under the surface of my life was a continual raging river of unrelenting tears and grief. I lost hope of any escape and knew I would have to survive as long as I could on my own.
One of the things I did in this high stakes poker game of life, was keep numerous relationships ongoing with men in different towns and hang outs. They not only supplied my habits but if one relationship became out of my control, it was easy to insight one domineering man against another. I told myself that this was a form of protection and possibly a small sign of worth. But it was a very risky game of deceit and manipulation that required constant working. It was mentally and emotionally exhausting. Many times these games resulted in fights, arrests and break ins at all hours of the night in my windows and doors. I rarely slept. I lay in the silence listening for any sounds of danger. And indeed, they came. How relieved I was to get thru a night without incident! This around the clock vigil required substance to stay awake at night then another substance to make it thru the day. It was a never ending cycle of need and desperation.
The memory that flooded my mind recently on this particular day as I lay in pain talking to The Lord, revolved around one of these shuffling relationships where one guy was becoming too aware of another and things were getting tense. There’d be no love loss in breaking off the relationship I had with this biker as I knew he was running around on me as well. It was time to get out while I still had the chance.
I had gone over to his apartment to return his ring and get out of there as fast as possible. But much to my dismay, he had been drinking all day and was in a foul mood. My heart began to beat out of my chest as I realized that no one knew where I was and no one else was in the apartment. Jealousy mixed with alcohol began spewing out of his mouth as he pressed me up against the doorway pinning me to the wall. His face was beet red and he was in a tormenting mood. It was this memory of being pinned with venomous interrogation being spit on my face that exploded in my mind. It was like I was suddenly back in my thoughts and eyes in this flashback. As he pinched and twisted my skin, I was paralyzed with fear. And do you know what I said in that place?…… Nothing. I said nothing.
On this particular day, I lay remembering myself in this picture, looking at the thoughts that were swirling around in my head in that horrible place. I finally said out loud to The Lord, “Why did I say nothing, Lord?? Why didn’t I speak?!? Where was my voice?!?” Then, like a sinking weight, the truth of the matter came to me.

“I had no voice, Lord.”

To be continued……

(Photos at age 11 and 17)

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