Beauty from ashes daughter

Words of hope from an abuse survivor

Waiting November 24, 2012

Filed under: Poetry — Beauty from ashes daughter @ 4:16 pm
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I’m trying to take one day at a time.

I want to trust that God will see me thru this.

I long to believe that the answer is around the corner.

So I keep waiting.

For Him to show me the next step.

 

I want to believe that beauty will come in the morning.

With each new day, I am disappointed.

No clear answer or direction.

So I keep waiting.

For Him to respond to my plea.

 

His word says not to worry.

That He will guide my path.

But I am groping in the dark, lost.

So I keep waiting.

For Him to shine a light so I can see.

 

He promises He is with me.

But I still feel all alone.

Afraid of what happens next.

So I keep waiting.

For Him to give me peace.

 

I can’t seem to find my way.

I have forgotten where I belong.

No longer sure of my purpose.

So I keep waiting.

For Him to remind me that I’m His.

 

Confused, lonely, lost, waiting, waiting, waiting…

 

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Rock Bottom October 31, 2012

Filed under: Abuse — Beauty from ashes daughter @ 11:44 pm
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I may have hit one of the deepest pits of despair that I have ever experienced. I haven’t felt this alone and hopeless since I was in high school and in the throws of my sexual abuse. It seems that God is teaching me lessons lately about the people in my life not being as trustworthy as I thought they were or as they should be. Here is the problem with this: I already know all about broken trust. I spent my entire childhood learning the lesson that those who should love and support us no matter what, don’t.  Why then, does God find it necessary to drive this point home? I mean, really, I get the picture!
In addition to this, I find myself in a position of being abused all over again by a person in seniority to me. I cannot escape it without sacrificing my livelihood. But, on the other hand, what does allowing it to continue say about me? After years of self-empowerment and personal growth, which included setting boundaries with my abusers, how can I possibly stand by and allow myself to be bullied without taking ten steps back in my healing? And why on earth does this person have this much power over me?

 

I’m listening to this song on repeat right now:

Nothing is Wasted, Jason Gray

The hurt that broke your heart
And left you trembling in the dark
Feeling lost and alone
Will tell you hope’s a lie
But what if every tear you cry
Will seed the ground where joy will grow

And nothing is wasted
Nothing is wasted
In the hands of our Redeemer
Nothing is wasted

It’s from the deepest wounds
That beauty finds a place to bloom
And you will see before the end
That every broken piece is
Gathered in the heart of Jesus
And what’s lost will be found again

Nothing is wasted
Nothing is wasted
In the hands of our Redeemer
Nothing is wasted

From the ruins
From the ashes
Beauty will rise
From the wreckage
From the darkness
Glory will shine
Glory will shine

Nothing is wasted
Nothing is wasted
In the hands of our Redeemer
Nothing is wasted
[x2]

From the ruins
From the ashes
Beauty will rise
From the wreckage
From the darkness
Glory will shine
Glory will shine

I just keep praying over and over again that the line I placed in bold happens really soon. I am not sure how much more I can take.

RKB

 

Poetry with a theme of hoplessness September 19, 2012

Filed under: Depression,Emotional Pain — Beauty from ashes daughter @ 12:40 am
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These are from several years ago. I have come so far since then.

Life On Earth

Life on earth seems so hopeless

I am sad and alone

Scared of the future here in this empty place

I’m so tired of it all

Endless days of endless work and endless sleepless nights

Can’t make the pain go away

No matter how hard I try

I give and others take

I love and others hurt

I get nothing in return

Just heartache

Trying to understand what I have done

To deserve this life

But I must play the cards I’ve been dealt

Day after day with no goals and no aim

I must trust that the Lord has a plan

And someday it will be fulfilled

And I will have a purpose

And people will respect me

Maybe even love me

And the pain will stop

And the heartache will fade

And everything will be great

I am wishing for that day

SOMEDAY

Someday things will get better

Someday all of the work will be done

Someday all of the bills will be paid

Someday everyone will have a home

Someday the sun will shine forever

Someday all people will be at peace

Someday love will never die

Someday no one will have to leave you

Someday broken hearts will heal

Someday I will have no regrets

Someday the tears will stop falling

Someday I will be happy

Someday my life will have meaning

Someday people will love me just the way I am

Someday my fears will subside

Someday music will never fade

Someday all of my dreams will come true

Someday I will be where I belong

Someday everything will be just the way we want it to be

This day that I speak of is one that I will look forward to for my entire life

It is the day that I will meet my Father in heaven

 

Tara – September 16th September 16, 2012

Filed under: Jesus — Beauty from ashes daughter @ 11:03 pm
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I cannot believe its been 15 years.

It was 15 years ago today that the world lost an incredibly beautiful soul, my friend, Tara. She died in a life flight helicopter after a car wreck in the early morning fog on her way to college classes. It was through this tragic loss that Christ brought me back to Him.

Just prior to Tara’s death, I found myself escaping the emotional pain of my sexual abuse by drinking, getting high, and fantasizing about ending my life. I had attempted to tell my mother about the abuse, but she did not believe me, so I recanted and found other ways to forget that it happened. However, I despised myself and the person I had become.  I knew I was sinning, but I had found a group of friends that encouraged my substance use and I was enjoying fitting in for once in my lifetime.  Every day I continued these behaviors while telling myself I would change tomorrow.

One day tomorrow almost didn’t come.  While driving to a friend’s house, I was in a terrible car accident.  I was told I only lived because I wore my seat belt.  My car was totaled but I suffered minor injuries and physically recovered quickly. Emotionally, though, I was a wreck.  When you’re an adolescent, the finality of death is hard to grasp until you experience it. For the first time, I began to realize I was not immortal.

Just two weeks later, Tara died.  She was young, smart, and talented.  Suddenly mortality was staring me in the face. I have to be honest and clarify that Tara was not a close friend of mine before her death. I mean, we hung in the same circles and had many of the same friends. We did high school theatre together and I shared a music folder with her in Varsity Choir. I knew her, but I did not know her well. Yet somehow, her death deeply impacted me. Unraveled me even. In fact, this tragedy changed the course of my life forever.

Those methods of drug and alcohol abuse were already a crumbling facade and Tara’s death unmasked me. Looking back, I can see how God used Tara’s death as a tool to reach me during an otherwise unreachable time. He succeeded. After her death, I knew that I had to get my life right with God. I began to understand that I would not be on this earth forever and I longed to be a better person. I knew I had to stop drinking and using drugs and trust that God could save me from the tragedy of my past. I slowly disentangled myself from my former friends and I broke my bad habits easily. I had new strength in Christ. I am so grateful to God for His redemption. He never stopped calling me to Him, but in  the wake of a tragic loss, I was finally listening.

I will carry Tara with me forever. She holds a piece of my heart and will never be forgotten. I’ve always wanted to thank her family. Here is a letter I wrote to Tara’s family but have never been able to send:

Dear Tara’s Family,

I’ve started this letter a dozen times.  Each time I do, I delete it before its finished.  Every year at this time, I think about your family.  And I think about Tara.  This year, I hear God telling me that its time.  So I will complete this letter and send it to you and know that God is giving me the courage to tell you my thoughts at the exact time that you need to hear them.

I didn’t know Tara well.  We had common friends and were at the same gatherings, but we rarely had conversations just between the two of us.  We were both in choir.  One year, we shared a music folder, which means we sat right next to each other during countless practices.  She had the voice of an angel.  I can still hear it sometimes.

It was the beginning of my senior year and I was at my lowest low.  I had been sexually molested by a church youth group leader for over two years.  When I told my mother, she didn’t believe me.  I was alone, vulnerable, and without a single trustworthy person in my life.  I was drinking and doing drugs to numb my pain.  I hated my life and I wanted to die.

Then Tara died.  Though we weren’t close friends, her death affected me profoundly.  I halted my sinful behavior, detached myself from negative influences, and clung to the Savior of my soul.  My relationship with Jesus grew deeper and deeper.  Tara’s death was a turning point in my life.  If it had never occurred, my life would be drastically different than it is today.

Over the last years, I have heard countless sermons, studied numerous passages, and had many discussions about how God can bring good from a bad situation – beauty from ashes.  In each of these situations, I always think about Tara’s death.  I’ve seen so many people struggle with this concept, yet I never have.

Tara’s death was for me.  My fear, and what has kept me from sharing this with you for years, is that I might sound pretentious.  However, my intentions in saying that is to give you hope.  I’m sure her death was not only for me, as others were surely also affected, but it was a tool God used in my life.  I can’t begin to understand what it is like to be in your shoes, but from talking with others who have experienced great loss, I think maybe you struggle with why God lets bad things happen.  Maybe you often wonder – Why did she have to die?  Or what beauty has come from these ashes?  For a Christian, those are tough issues to deal with.  And perhaps you think you’ll never understand any of it this side of heaven.  I hope to give you a speck of God’s purpose while you are still on earth.  What I want you to know is that Tara’s death was not in vain.  At least not to me.  You see, my life is part of the beauty that came from her ashes.  I pray that brings you comfort.

I often visit Tara’s grave – usually in September and December and a few other scattered times when I’m in the area.  Sometimes when I’m there I weep and sometimes I smile.  But most of all, I am filled with immense gratitude.  Because her life was taken, my eternal soul was saved.  I will live a lifetime in awe of God’s wondrous ways.  And Tara’s memory will be alive in me always.

God Bless You!

  • And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God… Romans 8:28
  • We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed.  We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.  We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God.  2 Corinthians 5:8
  • For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation.  There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow.  2 Corinthians 7:10
 

Suicidal September 11, 2012

Filed under: Abuse,Depression,Emotional Pain,Suicide — Beauty from ashes daughter @ 7:25 pm
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As is the case with most abuse survivors, I went through a time in my life when I wanted my life to end. During this time period, I was being sexually abused and felt very alone in the world. I was also using drugs and alcohol to numb my pain. I thought that there would never be an end to my suffering if I did not bring about an end myself. I wrote many poems about my feelings during that time. I would like to share some of them here. I was approximately 14-17 when I wrote these. PLEASE NOTE these were written over 15 years ago and in no way reflect my current frame of mind.

Roses

I can smell the roses

Waiting at heaven’ gate

So close to me now.

The palace that I’ve longed for.

They feel my pain

And show me the love that awaits.

A different world full of happiness.

I’m not far from where I want to be.

Closer with each breath I take.

Nearing a chance to escape.

Look back at the things I’ve known,

Kiss them goodbye,

Wipe the tear from my eye.

No regrets.

Moved on to where I belong.

The angels sing me a song.

I’ve passed on to a better place.

I pluck the roses at the door.

This is what I’ve been waiting for.

I’ve found the sweetness I deserve.

 

Falling

I’m falling down into a hole,

I can’t seem to escape.

The further down I fall,

The more I get afraid.

I’m reaching out

For you to catch me,

But you don’t seem to care.

Your face disappears

Into the darkness.

I can’t find you anywhere.

I can’t fight for my life anymore.

I’ll give up instead.

I’m falling down into a hole,

And now I’ve fallen dead.

 

Escape

A quiet girl in a lonely town.

No where to turn, no one around.

Afraid of the feelings she has deep inside.

Searching for a dark place to hide.

Maybe they’ll miss her, maybe they won’t.

They watched her disappear.

She didn’t fit in here.

Wanting to leave this awful place.

Trying to conceal her face.

Looking for a reason to stay.

There are none. Time to depart.

Time to end the pain in her heart.

Just one moment and she’ll be gone.

A smile appears upon her face.

A shot rings out in song.

She’s escaped to where she belongs.

 

When I read these poems and reflect back on this time in my life, I am haunted by two primary thoughts and feelings.

The first are of frustration and disappointment. The notebook these poems were written in went with me everywhere – school, church, work, home. I even submitted Roses for a poetry contest and won. I was, in this way, subtly screaming for someone to notice how desperate I was to die. But no one did. And I just cannot fathom how every adult in my life managed to fail me by ignoring all of the signs. Sometimes I hate them for it.

The second is an incredible sadness that this was my adolescence. What should have been a time of discovering myself, having fun with friends, and preparing for independence, was instead a time during which I was preoccupied with death. It was almost the only thing I ever thought about. I was robbed of the joys of being a teenager. And multiple people are to blame for the theft. And no matter how sorry they are (and not all of them are), I will never be able to relive or rewrite that chapter of my life. My adolescence is etched in stone forever – filled with abuse, pain, trauma, suffering, and a longing for my life to end.

But I’m still here and I thank Jesus for His redemption from that chapter. He knew it wasn’t the final one in my story and now so do I.

 

Grad School September 9, 2012

I am in graduate school while working full time. Its been three weeks since the start of Fall Semester and admittedly I am overwhelmed and exhausted and not sure how I can maintain this pace. This blog is very important to me because it is something that God has been nudging me to do for a while and it is a way for me to live out my life’s purpose of helping and supporting others. I remain committed to this call but I also think its important to share what a struggle it is for me to find the time and energy to share my story with others. At the end of the day, when work and homework have sapped every bit of attention I have, the last thing I want to do is revisit the memories that cause me so much pain. In those moments, I remind myself that someone may benefit from what I have to share and somehow Jesus provides the strength that I do not have within myself. I love to write and so I shall write for anyone who cares to read. I choose to be a survivor.

Perhaps one of the reasons I am really feeling emotionally drained today is because I watched a video and read a chapter for my social work class that covered the topic of sexual abuse. This issue is very personal to me so seeing others suffer from the affects of sexual abuse causes me feelings of sadness and maybe even despair. Why on earth do we as a society allow this pervasive issue to continue eroding our children generation after generation? It baffles me and infuriates me. I hope that someday I can play a small part in changing the way the world responds to sexual perpetrators. Maybe I already have… more on that later. Now its time to sleep.

For those who are feeling exhausted like me, know that God is with you.

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

 

Family Tree August 28, 2012

Filed under: Survivor — Beauty from ashes daughter @ 1:00 am
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Its always helpful for me to have reminders that I do not have to become like my parents and I can choose to stop the cycle of violence. I thank Jesus for giving me the freedom from my past in order to make that choice. Here is a song that illustrates that freedom in a beautiful way.

Family Tree
You didn’t ask for this
Nobody ever would
Caught in the middle of this dysfunction
It’s your sad reality
It’s your messed up family tree
And all your left with all these questions

Are you gonna be like your father was and his father was?
Do you have to carry what they’ve handed down?

No, this is not your legacy
This is not your destiny
Yesterday does not define you
No, this is not your legacy
This is not your meant to be
I can break the chains that bind you

I have a dream for you
It’s better than where you’ve been
It’s bigger than your imagination
You’re gonna find real love
And you’re gonna hold your kids
You’ll change the course of generations

No, this is not your legacy
This is not your destiny
Yesterday does not define you
No, this is not your legacy
This is not your meant to be
I can break the chains that bind you

Cause you’re my child
You’re my chosen
You are loved
You are loved

And I will restore
All that was broken
You are loved
You are loved

And just like the seasons change
Winter into spring
You’re bringing new life to your family tree now
Yes you are
You are

No, this will be your legacy
This will be your destiny
Yesterday did not define you
No, this will be your legacy
This will be your meant to be
I can break the chains that bind you

And just like the seasons change
Winter into spring
You’re bringing new life to your family tree now

~ Matthew West

 

 
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