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You don’t believe in God?

Earlier this week, I read a post by a lady that broke my heart. I share my answer here for all who do not believe that God exists since He allows bad things to happen.

My dear Sister, it sounds as though you have been abused in horrible ways, and my heart goes out to you. I wish I could comfort you by putting my arms around you and taking you away from those who harmed you. But, I am not there in person. I can only share with you what I have learned in my 70 years of life.

Right now, you do not believe that God exists, however, that is only because you don’t know Him. Bless your heart. That is not your fault. All you have experienced is the pain of life, not the joy of knowing Him.

God will not stop anyone from using their own agency. At times, we must step back mentally and allow others to do what they do. We can warn and caution, but then we must let them make their own choices. God will make them pay for what they have done to you. Those who are kind to you, will be blessed for that kindness. If you make bad choices, He will not stop you, for the same reason.

At one time there was a major war regarding two options: our having the right to choose for ourselves or being compelled to do everything. Jesus Christ came to Earth in a body just like ours so that He could learn how we feel and why we do the things we do. He came to help us be able to get back home – where we are loved and cared for. He also had to suffer at the hands of evil people, just as we do. The only difference between Jesus Christ and us is that He was half God and half Mortal. The mortal part meant He could die a physical death. The God part meant he had the power within himself to overcome death and finish the plan God wanted for us who chose agency.

The fact that you have a body of flesh and bone with blood means that you chose agency. Which meant you would have to suffer, just as Jesus Christ suffered. Which also meant you would have to allow others their agency as well.

God is anxious to bless you, but you must trust Him. Do you know how tiny a mustard seed is? Go to a garden shop and ask to see one. A mustard seed amount of faith is all you need to ask for God’s help to understand. He will help you to find Him. He will do that for you, I promise. I was an abused as a baby, child and youth. When I was a young adult I was also abused in ways that would make your skin crawl. Yet, I came to know that God cares. He really does and He will show you if you will allow Him to.

Sorry to be so long winded, but I could not sleep until I bore my testimony to you. Gentle hugs from a sister who has been there, and come to really know God personally. You are one of His daughters, and He wants you to know that. Look at the sky in the morning and think about what there is to bless you. The very air you breathe, trees and flowers, animals, planets and stars, and YOU!

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To Donald Trump

It appears you may become our next president of the United States, and I have some concerns. As I saw you in a prayer circle of Christian men and women, I trust that you are a Christian man yourself. Nevertheless, from your recent comments, I am not sure you are aware of a few things, which I share with you here.

America is a land which has been dedicated and consecrated unto God, your Heavenly Father, and set apart by the lives of thousands of men and women. Many of our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, came to this continent and have given of their time and energy, and their very lives to protect America as a land of freedom for all of God’s children. This is God’s Country, even though many do not believe that any longer. God will not be mocked.

God gave us agency to choose for ourselves whom we would worship and serve. Some call it “free” agency, yet God and His beloved son, even Jesus Christ, suffered greatly to give us this gift. Jesus Christ became the Saviour of all of your Heavenly Father’s children by coming to earth to show us the way to return home. He not only lived, but suffered every form of temptation and anguish, pain, sorrow and loneliness,  so we could keep that gift of agency. In fact, Jesus Christ died to show the truth regarding the resurrection of man. He proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is in fact life after death.

The “Proclamation to the World” shares what God has to say about families and our relationships and also shares the calamities which are coming unless people repent. If you have not read it, I suggest you do.

Many of us have made wrong choices in our youth and growing up years. Some even continue as adults to make wrong choices, however, God has said that when a person repents we are to forgive them and fellowship them. Nonetheless, if they do not repent, then we need to stay apart from them, and pray for them.

If you become President of the United States, you have said you would build a wall around our nation and keep all others out. I wonder if you have forgotten that by building a wall, you also lock people in. You were born after Hitler took control of Europe, so probably know nothing about the horrors committed against millions of people, nor the shame and guilt Hitler caused many thousands who followed him to suffer after they came to their senses and realized what they had done.  When history is forgotten, it is repeated.

Sir, you also spoke of torturing those who believe differently than you do. Again, that sounds very much as Stalin or Hitler and those who followed them. I know that many do not believe the holocaust happened, but I know it did. Since the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth that have been wars and rumors of wars; Earthquakes in divers places around the world; Famine and poverty in many nations, including our own. Would you have Americans become a nation of murders? Would you really want us to become such as those of the ISIS population? I pray not!

The way the Lord and the early day prophets described this is as “birth pains”. They started mild and now have grown more frequent and more severe. Our day has become very much worse since that time of the Civil War. I wonder sir, if you remember why that war was fought? Once again, it was about agency or by another name: freedom. Some wanted slaves, other wanted to free them. This thing regarding freedom has always caused much bloodshed.

Many people do not believe that God is alive. They feel that when Jesus died, that was it. Some believe the Christ has not yet come. Many do not believe in the resurrection, nor do they believe in work for their dead.

I personally know what it is liked to be raped and tortured by multiple people and find out you are with child. Yet, I also know that God is not the father of such unhappiness.  He does not want us to be unhappy, but rather to have real joy and happiness, not only after we die, but while we are upon this earth. This is part of the reason He gave us Commandments, so we could find happiness and joy while upon the earth. He is not the Father of cruelty to others of His children. Yet, He will allow evil to happen to His children, because He gave us all our agency. Only, those who do evil must and shall pay a horrific price if they do not repent.  Their pains will be worse than what the Lord, Jesus Christ went through Himself, unless they repent. He bled at every pore from the pain. It was not only on the cross that He suffered.

May God bless you to make the correct choices, that you may have a change of heart regarding our Nation as well as all other Nations. Sir, every person living and dead are children of your Heavenly Father. If you do not believe me, ask God and read your version of the Holy Bible if you have one.

I so pray you will repent before you get into office, for I know America has stopped being what God and our forefathers intended it to be. In my humble opinion, from what I have seen and heard, many no longer care about God and truth, nor doing what is right in the eyes of God. Please Sir, repent before our once great nation is destroyed.

 

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Steps On The Ladder

Faith and hope. I know this might sound like old hat to some, but when someone has never seen any in their own lives, how can they have hope that things will get better for them? How can they have faith in someone whom they do not really know?

Thus, for my ladder, the first step is Prayer. We all need to learn how to communicate with God. Even with just a tiny, itsy bitsy drop of trust that God is listening can open up an entire world. For me, this is “faith” and “hope”.

The second step is to read the scriptures. I know that most of those who have been abused have heard the words all mixed up. Unworthy men and women have pounded them with “parts” of the gospel, yet never really showed them the “real” gospel of Jesus Christ.

The third step is obedience. Let me give a couple of examples.
Honor thy Father and they Mother and Obey your husband.

Scriptures used by abusers include “spare the rod and spoil the child” or “Women need to be in subjection to their husbands.”  Many hear put downs and other things much worse. Who wants to be with an unworthy parent or spouse?

That type of teaching is totally out of context. Lies can take something sacred and twist it into something that causes pain and suffering.

1st) God is our Father. We need to honor God, because He loves us 100 percent. “Solomon’s saying, “spare the rod and spoil the child,” ought to be altered to “spare the rod” and “give good counsel to children and thus draw them to you.” Brigham Young once said that and I agree with him.

“Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him (or her) whom thou hast reproved, lest he (or she) esteem thee to be his (or her) enemy;

“That he (or she) may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.” (D&C 121:43-44)

Given to Joseph Smith Jr from God to share with others. I added the female gender because what God says to His sons He also says to His daughters.

Thus, it is much easier to be obedient to God than it is to any who begat children and had no clue what to do with us. As for mortal fathers, they tend to make mistakes just as children do, and we need to exercise patience and forgiveness with all.

2nd) I agree with the statement that when a man is our father or our husband, we need to follow his counsel. However, there is a qualifier: only as long as he is obedient to God’s laws. When he stops doing that, then he should not be followed. Any man or woman who abuses another is going to have to explain why to God, so I suggest you pray for them to repent before that day comes. The main thing is, you keep being obedient to God first, and all else will fall into place.

3rd) Women were not created to serve men. She was created for the express purpose to be a “helpmate” for him. Not to be beneath him in any way, nor was she his slave. Let us examine for a moment what a “helpmate” really is. A helpmate:

1) Walks beside her husband and lifts him when he tends to droop down.
2) Walks beside her husband and sustains him in his righteous desires.
3) Blesses him with offspring, and helps him to learn how to be a good father just like God is a good father.
4) Watches over and cares for him in sickness and in health.

Some feel a wife is someone:
1) To cook and clean the house
2) To have sex with
3) To raise children
4) To take frustrations out on.

I have news, ladies and gentlemen:

A. You are not a servant to each other, yet you do want to keep a clean home so the Holy Spirit can be there. Your spouse should desire this same thing. This is not just a “female” job. You do want to nourish and care for the bodies of those to whom God has allowed you to be with. And that includes yourself. This is not just a “female” job.

B. You do want intimacy with someone who will treasure and respect you for the precious daughter or son of God you are, and you do want to show your companion that you respect them as a precious child of God as well. This is not just a “female” job. This is a “male and female” job. This is a gift, if you will, from a loving Father and Mother who created you to be just like Them. (I am not speaking of your mortal parents)

C. You do desire to love and help your offspring to find truth and light and love. You do desire to want the best for them, and that is not just a “female” job, that is a “male and female” job.

D. Frustrations are felt by both male and female. Neither of us, male or female, need to be browbeaten by those whom we are joined with. That includes father, mother, spouse, and yes, that also includes children.

Okay, now some are in total disgust, because you know for you that has not been a reality. I hear you loud and clear. But before you knock it, try it. How kind are you to the person whom you thought was to be your eternal companion? Be truthful here. I’m not meaning to cause shame, I just want you to really look at yourself first, before you nag them or complain to others about them. Take those three steps up and breath some fresh air. You might like it.

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Kindness is contagious

A police officer was the first human to show me kindness. When he lifted me and covered my nakedness, he smiled at me in a kind way. He rescued me from certain death and took me to a hospital, while his partners arrested those whom should have been kind to me and the ambulance drivers took care of my big sister.

As a child, I was considered “retarded”, because of how I coped with situations over which I had no control. By the time I was 5 years old, I had been in and out of foster homes and hospitals. My mother died when I was 3 years 5 months old and from then until that officer rescued me, my sister and I had known only cruelty. The judge called me a “feral child” and those who should have taken care of me “animals”. Yet, real animals have always been kind to me.

For those who were trying to be kind (the doctors, nurses, therapists, and others): I was having to deal with things I did not understand, so I did not behave the way a “normal” child would. I did not speak, only because I had been trained to not speak, not because I did not know how (But they did not know that). I used my fingers to eat, only because I had been forced to live outside and did not have silverware, plates, cups etc. Animals had shown me how to drink and eat so I had survived in spite of the odds.

The staff at the hospital had to restrain me to a bed, only because up until then I had not been allowed to be on a bed and was afraid to be up that high. I had no idea what a bathroom was supposed to be used for, because the only time I was in one: someone was trying to kill me. I did what I needed to do on the floor as I had done outside on the ground behind the grape arbor. I did not know how to be clean as most people know clean, nor brushing of teeth, etc. To the world’s view, I was “retarded”. Not because God made me that way, but because men and women had made me that way.

There was one nurse in particular, and even though I don’t know her name, I shall never forget her and what she did for me. She was the first to help me understand goodness and patience. As a wee child, to be honest, people scared me. I kept expecting someone to do to me what had been done in the past, and thus I struggled when people tried to help me. For me, it was life or death, but they did not understand that. In the hospital, I slept under the bed when they did not restrain me. I could not stand up due to damage, until after doctors fixed my body. Pain was normal for me, but this pain was to relieve pain, and that was confusing to me. I was not used to “not” having pain.

The nurse of whom I speak was able to take me into the bathroom because of her kindness. While she kept me on the toilet, she did not force me, but rather she sat on the floor next to the toilet to keep me company. She talked to me as she waited for me to “use” it. I can not tell you how long it took, I just know when I finally did “use” it, that nurse clapped her hands and then gently lifted me down. Her touch was kindness, not cruelty; something I was not used to. The only other person who had shown me kindness was that police officer. As she showed me the rest of what I needed to learn, I was not afraid and I did learn. Normally when people touched me there was pain, but with her, there was no pain; when other people wanted me to do something, there was pain, but never from her.

As an adult, when I am under a lot of stress, I still cope in ways others may not understand. Yet, for me, I found ways to survive and I am a good member of society. I learned by remembering the kindness of certain strangers and trying to be like them.

As a religious person, I know where goodness comes from. I hope my life can help others to know when they are kind, they are appreciated more than they will ever know. When they are kind to those whom they do not understand, they are the hands and heart of God in teaching others that all humans are not cruel.

To those who asked me to share this part of my life: thank you for asking. I do hope others will think before they judge how people behave. There is always a reason we do what we do. God loves His children, but not all His children, love children. Thank you for being one who does love God’s children.

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Hope vs Despair

My beloved sisters, I wish to speak of hope today. I can think of many instances in my life where I learned firsthand the power of hope. I know that many of you have lost hope because of what has been done to you since you were little and for many of us, abuse continued into the later years of our lives. I hope you don’t mind, but I am going to include brothers here as well, for there are many who have suffered as we did.

I remember the days in my youth and early childhood encompassed by the horrors and despair of a family where I was not wanted and treated poorly. The lack of educational opportunities because I was a female child and had to work so I would not be sold to those whom I had been trained to please. Life-threatening health issues during my early youth because of those who did not want me to survive. As I grew older, each time I tried to get an education, my way was blocked by evil. It seemed each time I found happiness, there was evil to twist and turn my life into a nightmare. I was filled with despair.

After joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-saints, I learned that it is knowledge of who I really am, and that Jesus Christ died for me personally, that I began to have hope for something better. Until I learned who God really is, I had no hope.  Lucifer used the tools of “Despair” to discourage me. I know that many of you face this same type of despair.

As I read or listen to the prophets of God speak to us about truth, I have found hope. They say these truths much better than I do, so I share with you what prophets have said:

“Blessed is the man (or woman) that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.” (Jeremiah 17:7)

“The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.” (Joel 3:16)

“Press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men (and women). Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.” (2 Nephi 31:20)

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons (and daughters) of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

“Beloved, now are we the sons (and daughters) of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

“And every man (and woman) that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself (or herself), even as He is pure.” (1 John 3:1-3)

In more recent times (2008), we have these words, spoken by our dear living Apostle of Jesus Christ and Second Counselor of the First Presidency in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-saints, even Dieter F Uchtdorf:

“Hope sustains us through despair. Hope teaches that there is reason to rejoice even when all seems dark around us.”

“The Lord has given us a reassuring message of hope: “Fear not, little flock.” (D&C 6:34) God will wait with “open arms to receive” (See Mormon 6:17) those who give away their sins and continue in faith, hope, and charity.”

““And to all who suffer—to all who feel discouraged, worried, or lonely—I say with love and deep concern for you, never give in.”

“Never surrender.”

“Never allow despair to overcome your spirit.”

“Embrace and rely upon the Hope of Israel, for the love of the Son of God pierces all darkness, softens all sorrow, and gladdens every heart.”

We are all brothers and sister in the family of God. Yes, even those who abused you. God loves each and every one of us. Jesus Christ died for each of us individually. They want us to be happy. They want us to have all they have, and that is a truth that Lucifer does not want you to know. Satan wants you to believe that he is more powerful than he really is. He may win a few battles, but he is going to lose the war. In fact, he has already lost, and that is why he is running amuck in the world right now. He is a child having a temper tantrum. I wish a squirt of cold water could end his tantrum, don’t you? And yes, we all make mistakes.

When we listen to the words of those who came before us, and see how others pulled through and repented, and then look up towards God, we can know for ourselves that this life is only a short time (no matter how many years you live) and that eternity is much longer. This time of testing we are going through is not going to last forever. But eternity does last forever.

Hugs from a distance. Your sister with Jesus Christ.

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I pray for the Spirit of the Lord to be with me, as I share with you truths which I have heard and know to be true.

“This is an age of digital information. Our computers have become windows through which we can gaze upon a world that is virtually without horizons or boundaries. Literally at the click of a button, we can browse through the digitized libraries of universities, museums, government agencies, and research institutions located throughout the world. A worldwide web of electronic connections now moves data at ever-increasing speed and volume along what we call the information superhighway. Through the windows of personal computer monitors in homes and offices, we can access this network of interconnected data banks to see texts, art, photos, maps, and charts and to hear music and speech that are stored in widely dispersed locations.

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints declares boldly that through another type of window, the windows of heaven, we can access spiritual information from the Source of light and truth. “We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.” (Articles of Faith: 1:9) In this dispensation of the fullness of times, the revelation superhighway has been carrying heavy traffic of eternal truth ever since that day in the spring of 1820 when the Lord answered a farm boy’s fervent prayer in the Sacred Grove and ushered in the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

“Today, as in ancient times, God opens windows of gospel light and truth by revealing “his secret unto his servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7) Those who have eyes to see, and ears to hear can learn eternal principles; view majestic vistas of knowledge, foresight, and wisdom; and receive direction on how to live their lives.

“The windows of heaven are open wide to the faithful and righteous; nothing closes them faster than disobedience. The unworthy cannot access fully the network of revealed truth. “The powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.” (D&C 121:36) Obedience is the first law of heaven. That is why Alma exhorted us to “be humble, … submissive and … diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times.” (Alma 7:23)

“To open the windows of heaven, we must conform our will to God’s will. Diligent, enduring obedience to God’s laws is the key that opens the windows of heaven. Obedience enables us to be receptive to the mind and will of the Lord. “The Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient” (D&C 64:34) are those who receive the blessings of revelation through the open windows of heaven.”

“Members of the Lord’s church can joyfully echo these words of the prophet Mormon: “Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.”

“We are the Savior’s disciples who “shall go forth.” All of us are called of him to be missionaries to declare his word among his people.

“We should follow the counsel of President Spencer W. Kimball (another prophet of God) and “do it,” and he added, “Do it right now.”

“If we are to fulfill the Lord’s command to open the windows of heaven to all of our brothers and sisters, we must prepare to teach the gospel. With study of the scriptures, fasting, and prayer, we fortify our testimonies. We cultivate Christlike attributes of “faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, and diligence.” (D&C 4:6) Through exemplary obedience, we can let our light so shine before men (and women), that they may see our good works, and glorify our Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) By keeping the commandments, we can light our gospel candle and put it “on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.” (Matthew 5:15) (These were the words of Joseph B Wirthlin, another prophet of God in 1995. His talk was entitled: Windows of Light and Truth)

I am Maurica, being called after the name of my father, born in the land of America, which land God has set apart as a place where men and women can worship Him according to the dictates of their own hearts. My forefathers died that all of us might have this land of freedom. I live to help keep it free and introduce those who do not know God to Him and His beloved Son, even Jesus Christ.

Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, and while walking with Him and serving others, I have felt called to lift those who struggle as I did before I knew that He was my savior. I have been reaching out since long before I was blessed to hear the Good Word of God confirm to me that I am one of His. And since following the Lord’s will I have been blessed to be able to do even more than I had ever done before. I have felt more loved by being obedient to His commandments than I ever did by being obedient to others who claimed to love me.

As Moses said to the children of Israel as they went forth out of Egypt (Deuteronomy 29: 2-4) I say unto you who are living in Babylon; Nineveh; Sodom; Gomorrah or that which is just like they were:

“And Moses called unto all Israel, and said unto them, Ye have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt unto Pharaoh, and unto all his servants, and unto all his land;
“The great temptations which thine eyes have seen, the signs, and those great miracles:
“Yet the Lord hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day.”

I would that we all might listen to the prophets of God upon the earth in this day and age and follow the counsel of God’s chosen so we may return home to He who gave us life in the first place. And this is my prayer, in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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Stepping Stones

The drawing is one I did while I was being treated for major depression. In this article, I am sharing how I was helped, and pray you will understand how my experiences can help others.

When I was 3 years old my mother died. Doctors had told my mother she would die if she gave me life, yet she chose to allow me to live. Thus, my father believed I had murdered my mother, so I was treated poorly. He brought a woman home who ended up dying in prison for all she did to my sister and me. Over the years I have been in regular hospitals; mental hospitals; been drugged; lied to; tortured; and tied down. Before I was even 5 years old, I had been beaten to the point there was blood coming out of my ears. I had electro-shock-therapy treatments in the days before they had enough compassion to at least sedate you first. Back in the days of my youth they did not know how to treat a feral child who was born in America. They experimented on me and those who were like me. I know what life can be for many who are misunderstood.

I must share, for many years, not just in my youth, but also as an adult, I did not want to live. However, God did not want me to go home before I was able to find happiness, so He refused to allow me to die. Now, I can honestly say, I am grateful for my life. I have learned many things that work and many things that do not work. It is my wish to share some of the good things with you that have helped me when I get depressed.

First off, I want you to know that you need to talk about how you are feeling. If you are being abused by someone (and that includes yourself) you need to share why you have those black and blue marks or cuts. When someone hurts you in any way, you need to share that with someone you trust.

In my very early years, I spend a number of months living outside in my father’s back yard. Most people did not even know I was there. If my sister had not been clubbed in our front yard, and a neighbor saw it happen, I would have died in that backyard. The doctors said I had “protein malnutrition” and one judge called me a “feral child.” A rare condition for anyone in the United States at that time. Now, it is very common in most of our cities. There are many children without homes or who have been abandoned by parents. I know of children eating out of trash bins or digging through others leftovers. Many times, over the years, I have received telephone calls during the night to alert me that certain children were sleeping in Goodwill bins. I would go pick them up, bring them to my home; feed and nurture them, only to have to return them to those who did that to them in the first place. It breaks my heart to know that the courts place children back into such situations after the parent takes a few weeks of classes. When I was young, after I had been rescued that first time, I kept running away from those who abused me, only to be returned to abusive care. I did not then, nor now, ever want a child to be forced to return to that type of life. Yes, I know what mental illness looks like, both as one who has suffered and as a person who helps others heal from that type of suffering, no matter what age they might be.

I am here to tell you, there is hope. You can heal. You can move forward, but you have to put forth effort to do this. You can’t wait for others to heal you. No matter what drugs they give you, that will not heal you. Most drugs have side effects that are much worse than the illness. Drugs only block “feelings”, they never help you to “overcome” what you went through to make you feel this way in the first place.

In my humble opinion, when you are able to find truth, then you can really begin to heal. Truth can set you free from your past. Truth can assist you in living toward whom you really want to be. Who God meant you to be. And yes, I did say the “G” word. I believe in God. I mean, Look all around you. Do you see that Sun up in the sky? How do you think it got there? Why do you think it comes up each and every morning? Do you see that Moon at night? How do you think it got there? Can you find a flower (one that has not been sprayed with some kind of chemical) and really see it? Can you smell it? If you are blind, can you not feel that flower? Who do you think created that flower in the first place? Who do you think really created you? Sure, your mother may have given you the body, and your father may have created that body, but who do you think gives you breath each and everyday? End of lecture 1. Now back to what I started to share with you.

While I was living in our backyard, I learned a few things. A person can survive in nature even better than in society. Fresh air is good for a human, and since you are human, I suggest you get outside and breath every single day. Even when you don’t feel like going outside, at least open a window, if you are able to do that.

I also learned that food is very important. Back, when I was young, I only had the fruit that fell from the trees, or the wild things that the animals gave me. But you have other types of food. And I am not speaking of potato chips, hamburgers and french fries. I am speaking of fruits and vegetables. Clean water, when you can get it. Not anything with “additives”. God gave us food enough to last us a lifetime that is clean and pure and healthy for us. We need to be careful what we put into our bodies. When we put garbage in, we get garbage out. That is a fact.

Since I was 5 years old, I have been seen by “professional” people who tried to help. Some where able to put the body back together. Some gave me good advice. The others, I won’t discuss. One of the good ones told me to write things down, some said to use art and music to speak. I recommend those things to you.

For example: One time, they had me in a straightjacket in a padded cell. I had tried to kill myself when my children were kidnapped and that was the only way they could keep me alive. While I was in there, I began to remember what helped me growing up. The birds, from when I was little, used to come sit by me, and make music, and I learned that I could talk to them by making music. Mentally, while in that padded cell, I went back to that time out-of-doors and began to make music to calm myself. I closed my eyes and saw sunshine and flowers that God had given me when I was locked in a cold, dark closet when I was about 3 years old. I remembered my animal friends who have fed and nurtured me. I felt comforted, and once I was calm, they let me out of that room. But, I could never tell any of them what had calmed me down.

Over the years, I spent a lot of time locked up, until I finally learned how to talk to others. It had taken me until I was about 12 years old to learn how to speak words. Up until I left there, then, I went back to being afraid. I do hope and pray you were not treated as I was when I was young. But for those of us who were not allowed to speak, as adults we still struggle, when under a lot of stress, to find words that were not there growing up.

Thanks to good people, I have used Music and Art to help me talk many times. I drew pictures of many things. I drew that picture of my sister, whom I thought was dead. In that picture, you will see a tree, which represented my family, that egg, as she had been born early, the teddy bear, since it was the only toy she had from my mother. I drew it in black and white with only my hand in color, as I thought everything I loved was dead. I was told that it helped me to heal during a very rough time. I drew rain and animals. While in HollyGrove Home for Children, I used music to create rain and gave all my feelings in the music. One of my therapists spoke to me about my art, and he told me that it helped him to understand who I am. I liked and trusted him. He never tried to drug me, nor force me to do anything against my will. Now to my thinking, that is a good therapist. I am sorry to say, most places now treat mental illness with drugs only. I am grateful to find there are still places where a person can talk and be helped gently without drugs.

As I grew older, I began to keep what I call: my “positivity journal”. I recommend it highly and know it has helped many people. Each day, you open it and write down at least 3 things you are grateful for.

When I first started mine, the only thing I could think of was toilet paper. Now you may laugh, however, when I was young, I did not even know what that was. I know I was over 5 but under ten years old when I got to see and learn what toilet paper was for. A nurse showed me, and she even taught me how to use a toilet. Prior to that time, the only time I had used a toilet was when my head was being held into it by my step-mother.  There, at the hospital, when the nurse flushed that toilet, and I saw the water went down and took all my “stuff” with it, I smiled. She smiled too and I knew it was okay. I’m sure you can think of something in your life that you are grateful for, even if you might think it is silly, right?

A few times in my life, I have been blind. When I saw my sister laying in that pool of blood and my step-mother beating her, I lost my sight, and that was just temporary. As an adult, I had a hole in my right eye, and all the fluid drained out. Then I got a very bad infection and lost sight in both eyes. One of my grateful things now, is that I can see. I’m sure you will think of many things you are grateful for every day.

May I share a game with you that I learned from one of my therapists? I call it the 5-4-3-2-1 game.

When you are anxious, stressed or feeling out of it: Look around you and find 5 colors. Name them. Next, reach out and touch 4 things. Name them as you touch them. Was it cold, warm, rough, smooth? Next, open your ears and listen for 3 sounds. It might be a fan, or a bird, or music, whatever it is, try to find at least 3 sounds. Next, think of 2 things that you enjoy eating or drinking. Think about what they taste like. Next, I want you to smell something. Then name that smell.

What I did, was make a little box and put things in it that I like. For example: 5 pieces of cloth which were different colors and textures. 4 little things; a smooth stone, a paper clip, an eraser, and a small marble. I also included a small bag of cinnamon, and hand lotion (I like wild cherry). I also put pictures of the mountains and the ocean and flowers. I called that my “E-box” and kept it close bye for those times when I was stressed out.

I suffer from what is now called “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” (PTSD). I lived in a “war zone” in my own family. Due to sexual trauma at a very early age, and having to live in so many different homes over my growing up years, I learned how to survive in many ways. Thus, I had what some Doctors called “Multiple Personality Disorder” (MPD), which they now label as “Dissociative Identity Disorder” (DID). A small child must develop different facets of their personality to “survive” when living in so many different homes. Doctors have no clue how those types of labels stigmatize children. We should never put labels on our children. Never! That does not cure them. That does not help them to heal. One doctor thinks one thing, another thinks another and thus the child is tossed back and forth and that only makes the original trauma worse.

Yes, I do tend to speak with a different voice when I am under a lot of stress. The reason being, it is hard for me to find voice, even though I am trying with all my might to speak. That “child” within me was never allowed to use a voice, thus I never learned how to communicate properly. That does not mean I must be “weird”. Due to the abuse of my early youth, at times I have pain in places that have no current injury. That does not mean I am crazy. That means there is a problem that has not been resolved, yet. It does not mean I am faking. It is very real.

For many years, they took people who were “mentally ill” and chained them to floors and tossed food at them to keep them alive. They felt that was humane. Things did get better in some ways, but even in the 1960’s we were not treated much better.

During the 1980’s many of us fought to help change the rules for the mentally ill, so we could have the right to refuse drugs and abuse. We helped those who suffer to not be raped by those who should have been protecting us. To not be drugged into compliance. But rather to obtain real help to heal, and many are still in that same fight. I’m sorry to say that some abuse the system, and thus make things worse. Those who are not really what they claim to be just so they can get away with crimes. I believe that we all need to held accountable for what we do. They allow prisoners to have food and shelter and clothing, but what are they doing for the mentally ill? Many live on the streets, having to do things that would turn your stomach if you knew.

Some learned that beating a child never helped that child to learn anything but hatred. Yelling at a child does not help them learn love. But allowing them to get away with doing wrong things never helped them to learn either. Lifting a child helps them feel loved. Teaching them right from wrong by example is the way they learn best. But many never got an opportunity to see that in action. All we saw was the wrong type of “love” .

I learned about real love at HollyGrove Home for Children in Los Angeles California back in 1957. I was the first child to be placed there from the court system. I only got to stay for one year, but in that year I saw for the first time what real love felt like. I got my first clean hug from the headmistress, Miss Margaret Ingram. I learned how to laugh right out loud. I learned how play. I learned about music from an old upright piano. I learned I could talk to someone and that person believed me, even though others called me a liar. I learned that when I did something naughty, I was held accountable for what I had done. Yet, I was loved in spite of my mistake. I was not a bad person, I had done a naughty thing, and I learned how to correct that mistake. All humans do naughty things from time to time, but that does not make us bad. Those who deliberately harm others are doing something bad. But since we don’t know why they do what they do, we need to stay away from them, or let others know who can and will stop them. I learned we can do things we might not want to do, and when we are asked by those who really love us (in the correct way), we can learn and grow by doing those things. For example: I learned how to clean the pots and pans in the kitchen and how to keep a place clean enough to be healthy and allow it to be dirty enough to be lived in. I love what “clean love” taught me. That year has stayed with me over 69 years. I still draw on what I learned from those wonderful people.

Anyway, I just want you to know, there is hope. There is a life after abuse. There is a life after depression. There is a way to overcome all things. And that is because there is a God who loves you. There is a God who sent His Son, Jesus Christ to show you that God loves you. Jesus Christ who is a God, suffered so He could know how You feel, and thus He can and will comfort You when you turn to Him. He not only came for those who do bad things, He came for you and me. For those of us who have been damaged and abused and neglected and misunderstood. He came for those of us who make mistakes and then repent and strive not to hurt others. He came before and is coming again to bring us all back to His presence. When we cry, He and all the angels in heaven cry. When we mourn, He mourns. When we suffer, He understands, because He also suffered.

Please, do not give up. There are ways out of what you are feeling. There are ways to find peace and happiness. There are those who really do care and want to help. There really are those who can help, but you have to do your part. You can’t just sit by and feel sorry for yourself, because that never did help you nor anyone else. I know, because I have been where you are. I know you can be as happy as you allow yourself to be.

You want to know how I know that? I lived it. I am still living it. And I shall continue to live it, even though I can not always walk; even though I can not always use my eyes; even though I can not always leave my home; even when I am locked up or tied down; I know that I have a form of peace, because: I know that God is watching. He sees everything and His angels keep records over everything that happens to His children, of which you and I are one. I know that when this life is over (and everyone dies sooner or later) He will make things right. I know that with all my heart and mind and will continue to live, looking forward to that day.

Hugs, from an woman who was once a child. A woman who was once a mother. A woman who was once a wife. A woman who was once abused, neglected, tortured, abandoned, sick and felt lost. A woman to whom the good Lord sent help to teach me who I really am. You may ask, “Who do you think you are?” I am a daughter of God, who is telling you that you too are a child of God, and there is hope.

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