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Family Responses

Response from annie's Mother

The other night as I was ministering in my gospel mission, I had an indian lady in her forties come in for the worship service. At the prayer request time she raised her hand and ask me to pray for her special needs. She said that her parents are both alcholics.And they make her life miserable.She said,"I believe in Jesus and I do not think he would want me to be around these people.I can't stand them.I told her it was her duty to minister to them.to tell them about the love of Jesus. And try everything in her power to bring them to the Lord. Then she said, I found out that I am adopted. I want to find my natural mother. These people who raised me are only my" adopted parents." I began to minister to her. The parents who loved you and chose you for their child. Supported you your whole life and still are. are the parents God wanted you with. Anyone can give birth. But it takes a mother to love and care and protect her child.It is the one who stays up at night rocking and singing to her child.The one who drys the tears.Ect. I tried to explain to her that maybe her mom was on drugs or an alcholic also.maybe a prostitute.Maybe someone who was mentally unable to care for a child. I told her to leave it alone.If God wants her to meet her birth mom he will let her mom start a search and she will find her. If this happens then you will know she wants you.Her reply was.I know God wants me with my birth mom.I am a Christian So he would want me to be with a Christian Mom. She has to be a christian.God would never "LET ME" be born to an unsaved woman. I am being abused by not knowing my real mom. We ended our talk in a few minutes.

But this got thoughts running through my mind. She is abused by not being able to know her real birth mom. When we mothers have children and do all we can for them to protect and love them.Then when they grow up the enemy puts it into their minds that they were abused.They did not get what they wanted from their parents. Money.New Cars .Ete.I also have an adopted girl. And Her birth Mom is just like my own child also.I love them both.I gave all my children great attention and my time and love.I never worked outside the home.Joyce used to tell me to go find a job.She did not want me home when she got here.I was a mom who believed my place was with my little ones. I never sent my daughter Joyce to church.I took her myself. I was probaly with her too much. But she was my life.

I want you who read this letter of responce. To know that I am a mother. Annie is My daughter. Her real name is Joyce. I loved and still do love her.I have never stopped loving her. I too am human and have feelngs.I have a heart.Yes,I spanked my child when she needed it. I would not let her run wild. Any Boy that touched my girl had to answer to me.I went with her on her dates.To make sure she was not raped or touched in a sexual way.I could not guard her twenty four hours a day but i sure tried.I raised her to be a Christian.When I hear or read these bad things she said happened to her.I can't believe it. She used to tell me everything.Why? Because I asked her.Some of the things she speaks of she had told me as a child. But the other things about my husband I did not know about; I always asked her,she always said,"No way Mother.He is not like that.I would have killed him.Even today when I think maybe he did. I want to dig him
up and drag him down the street. I would have beat the tar out of him then I would have turned him over to the courts.

Because I was shaken by all this and had a very ill man on my hands I found it all hard to cope with. I still can't sleep at night. I will never trust another man as long as I live. I have been hurt beyond repair. whether it is true or false. I do not know. But it has ruined me about ever getting married again. I want a man who is mine.Not my daughters. I ask,What about my healing? But there is none for me. My daughter legally changed her name.She got herself an adoped family. And that was the last I heard for 7 years. Someone is looking for their real birth mother . I laugh! I am a birth mother.I did not give my child up. She walked away from me. My heart is cold and grey.It is hardend like stone. I do not know what
to believe.

For all counselors who are reading this. Get your heart and head in the right place. You are destroying homes and familes. Is this why you all became counselors? I thought you were suppose to be healers of hearts and minds. I laugh at you all. I feel that through someone counseling my girl, caused our whole family to break apart. And my heart in broken. I cannot help or stop what my family member write or say. We are all wounded and bleeding. I ask "IS THERE NO END? NO WAY OUT! DIDI

Response from Uncle Ben

I guess that there is at least two kinds of ministers, those that try to help people, and those that try to hurt people. A minister that is trying to help people should be, and would be, very careful what he or she does, not to harm, or disgrace the people they are working with. They will use all means possible to help and not further harm them. A minister of good, cries when they have the slightest feeling that they may have hurt someone. There has been many many ministers that have given up their lives trying to help people, the greatest sacrifice of all. Does it take a rocket scientist to figure out what type of a minister it is that sets out to destroy an entire family?. What type of minister would go as far as using family members web pages which they had made for them to try and reach more people so they can further harm them? (By the way, the business page makes a direct link as to the identity of every one. OOPS)

You reference yourself as to being a minister, maybe it is time that you ask yourself as to which kind of minister you are, it sure isn't hard for us to figure out. Uncle Ben

Response from Aunt Billlie

I'll call you Joyce, As that was the name your Mother gave you. Backward my dead sisters name. It won the prize of prettiest name of the year. Your mother got lots of gifts for it. And it belonged to a very beautiful girl. When a person changes their name to joanne or what ever, It says I no longer want to be apart of this family again. And Joyce every thing is not sexual abuse. If you will allow me to say this with out offending you. Some of your friends, who were my friends too, used to tell me you were always after them, Boys I'm speaking of. That you were no angel. Part of growing up and becoming an adult is through experiences. Most children are curious, and search out, by trying out. Abuse comes in many forms. And what you Tried to do to our family is also a form of abuse. Every one was not an abuser. I realize you were sheltered. And maybe too much. But when a parent loves their child. They try to keep bad things from happening to them. You were very protected. By all of us. We were all so proud of you. Loved to hear you sing. Told every body what a gifted little girl you were. Then you took all the junk your mom and Minnie told you. And took it literally for truth and started your witch hunt. At the time, they were being funny. They did not know it would take root and grow into a monstrous lie . So some of it was your Moms fault. Sexual abuse, No. We were just normal people. No sexual abuse. No incest. And you would not have had some man to suggest this to you. you would not had to ask anyone if it happened. no details would have to be given by family. as you would know beyond any shadow of doubt. no one would have to tell you.

I have a family living with me. The father is now serving 7 years in prison for sexual abuse to his daughter. She is now 19. it happened when she was 12. She went to counceling. Still loves her father. And even went to counseling with him. She's a beautiful young lady. Has her life on track and leading a normal life. Doesn't try to belittle her dad. Instead tries to help him. Does not tell every one she meets. as she feels ,it's part of her past. and needs to be laid to rest. So they all can be a functional family. Instead of a cripple. As a christ filled person, you do not cause misery. you heal it. If you continually dwell on it. Then something is not right. No one hates you. Most feel sorry for you. That you would do this in order to get fame for your self and build a ministry on false dreams. AS you destroyed a family that once was very close. I've heard your siblings all talk, And you hurt all of them with this. And look at what it's done to your own health. So basically. Is it worth it. It doesn't matter about the rest of us. We all know the truth. But what you did and are still doing Is not right. You are still hurting innocent people. Well I hope this doesn't make you mad. we all still love you. But the closer we get to the end of time here. Wouldn't it be better to go out in truth. To make amends, instead of still reaching out to hurt. And yes I believe you had some hurts as a child. I believe you had broken dreams. But we all do. well I'm not writing to be mean. I just want you to step back and take a hard look at what you are doing. And ask your self, is ripping up peoples lives worth maybe losing your heavenly spot for.

Bring in the new year with a clean heart. New start. new hopes. and new dreams. There's not much time left. Some of the mark of the beast is already beginning. 666 on all the upc codes. the computer chips, already being put in our pets and even children. The cashless society. All are taking shape. So it's only a matter of time, to see just how good christians we will be, when asked to take the mark. Take care, love as ever Billie

Another Response from Saucy's(annie) Mother

I was Saucy's Mom. To me Saucy was the most beautiful child alive. The miracle was--that she was mine! Everyone, and I mean everyone loved Saucy. With her golden hair, blue eyes and skin fair and soft, lovely as a rose petal.

No, Saucy was not ugly nor was she fat. She was my perfect little girl. So full of laughter and song. And she seemed to have a memory a thousand miles long. She loved to climb to the cupboards top Jump and spin around like the world.

Oh how she filled our lives with pleasure and joy. People just wanted to hug her wherever we would go. Yes, she was our prize...I think the one who held out his chest the farthest was her Uncle Joe. But Saucy grew up to fast as all children do. Still in all, Saucy, as Rosemary called her, was a beautiful little girl to know.

So love yourself Saucy! Learn to be you. Then and now.

A BROKEN HEART. A NAME CHANGE.
A MOTHER'S LOVE ALL IN VAIN.
ALL THE WORK, ALL THE CARING JUST WASHED DOWN THE DRAIN.
THIS MOTHER'S HEART WILL NEVER STOP FEELING THE DARKNESS AND LONELINESS OF PAIN.

THIS MOTHER STOPPED LIVING NINE AND A HALF YEARS AGO.
WHEN THE LITTLE GIRL THAT SHE HAD RAISED AND LOVED SO VERY MUCH.
SAID, "YOU HAVE ALL ABUSED ME . NOW I MUST GO."

THE MOTHER WEPT AND CRIED BITTER TEARS THE DAY THE LETTER CAME.
CHUCKED FULL OF ACCUSATIONS & THINGS. SHE HAD NO MEMORY OF, BUT THE COUNSELOR HAD FILLED INTO HER MIND.

OH HE DID HIS JOB WELL.
IN DESTROYING A HOME. A FAMILY. A MOTHER.
THE TEARS HAVE NEVER STOPPED FLOWING. THE PAIN HAS NOT GONE AWAY.
NOW I AM OLD AND WILL SOON BE ON MY WAY.
WITH NEVER A SMILE NOR A HUG FROM THAT DAUGHTER I LOVED.
NEVER A DOOR SWINGING OPEN AND THE SOUND OF A SWEET VOICE SINGING OUT TO ME, SAYING, "MOTHER I AM HOME!"

OH I HAVE SEEN THAT PRECIOUS DAUGHTER A FEW TIMES HERE AND THERE.
BUT NEVER A SIGN THAT ABOUT ME SHE CARES.
SHE HAS GATHERED UNTO HERSELF A NEW FAMILY. NEW FRIENDS.
AND TIME MARCHES ON.
AND I DIE A LITTLE MORE EACH DAY.

I SOMEDAY WILL DIE AND GO TO MY GRAVE.
MAYBE SHE WILL COME THERE AND SHED A TEAR OR TWO.
MAYBE SHE WILL EVEN PLACE A ROSE.
BUT IT WILL BE TOO LATE.

WITH HER FINGERS SHE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO DRY MY TEARS.
THE WORDS SHE WILL SAY TO ME THEN,
THESE EARS WILL NOT HEAR.
THE WORDS WILL FALL UPON EMPTY SPACE.

I ALWAYS DREAMED OF HAVING A PERFECT FAMILY.
I TRIED OH SO HARD TO TEACH MY FAMILY TO LOVE EACH OTHER AND TO BE KIND.
TO NEVER CAUSE HURT TO ANYONE.
BUT A MOTHER CAN ONLY DO SO MUCH.

YES I GUARDED HER AND PROTECTED HER WITH EVERY WAY I COULD. SO DID MY MOTHER, MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS.
WE SOMETIMES OVER DID IT PERHAPS.
BUT WE NEVER WANTED HER TO BE HURT BY ANYONE.
BUT HURTS CAME, AS THEY DO TO EACH ONE OF US.

BUT TIME HAS CHANGED. SHE IS NO LONGER WITH OUR FAMILY.
AND ME? WELL I SIT AND CRY.
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?
HER LETTER ABOVE HURTS US ALL.
SHE SAID THAT SHE WOULD POST OUR RESPONSE.
MAYBE MINE WILL HELP.
SOMEONE OUT THERE.
PLEASE HELP ME BEFORE ITS TOO LATE!

I WANT MY FAMILY WHOLE. TOGETHER LIKE IT USE TO BE. WITH THE LAUGHTER. WITH HER SINGING A SONG TO ME. WITH HER NAME CHANGED BACK LEGALLY
TO THE ONE GOD TOLD ME TO GIVE HER.
THAT NAME WAS HAND PICKED BY HIM. I WAS NOT EVEN A CHRISTIAN. BUT HE CAME TO ME AND GAVE ME THAT BEAUTIFUL NAME. ONE OF BEAUTY AND SONG.

SIGNED BY A WEEPING MOTHER.

P.S. THIS POEM LETTER IS NOT MEANT TO HURT OR OPEN UP OLD WOUNDS. IT IS ONLY A CRY FROM ME SITTING HERE IN MY WORLD OF LONELINESS. MOTHER

My comments:

For those that would read this and think someone planted memories in my mind, let me assure you, it isn't so. I am not some weak-willed, weak-minded person who can be given suggestions and believe them. And for the record, the whole reason I entered therapy was at the suggestion of my pastor who knew of my past abuse. I was struggling with a number of problems, including severe depression, and I no longer had the emotional energy to keep it all stuffed inside anymore. So he recommended someone he knew and trusted, and after unsuccessfully working through it by myself, I finally began seeing him and after a time told him of my past. It is very common for families to blame the therapist. It is a way of denying what happened and of escaping the responsibility of past actions.

Yes, I do keep at a distance, and this poem I think shows why. I have to, because when I became the most vulnerable, let my feelings out about my childhood and the wounds I received, I was further hurt and pushed away by unbelief, no support, and continued words inflicting more pain than I could endure. So the only way I can now survive is to protect my heart from further pain. I test the waters to see how much of 'me', the real me, a person can handle or wants in their life, and I act accordingly. Those I am closest to are those I can be totally honest with, those that can accept me as I am now and as I will be tomorrow...those that believe me and know me to be an honest person, and those that believe in me. Closeness is a two-way thing. You can't just accept parts of someone and reject other parts and be close. You can't be close to someone who you can't believe or who doesn't believe you. And you can't get very close to those that don't appreciate what a person is willing to give.

All I can say about this part of the above poem is that even after being rejected after disclosing family secrets, and being devastated, more so by the way I was treated after than from the initial abuses during childhood, I have reached out to try to re-establish some semblance of a relationship, and feel frustrated because it seems to never be enough. Instead of feeling like there is gratitude for the times I do get together, or for other little things I try to do, I am faced with criticism for what I don't do, or for it not being enough.

For those parents that may be reading these pages....what your children and adult children need is your support. They need you to listen to them, believe them, be there for them (giving them space to work through their feelings if they want or need it), admit your mistakes and wrong-doings openly and honestly without excuse, and simply be sorry and do what you can to right the wrongs. You can't go back and change the past. That is not expected and certainly impossible. Punishment is usually not desired if the wrongs were committed by family members or other loved ones. Those survivors I know that were abused by family, especially parents, only resort to wanting to see them punished when they continue to refuse to admit what they've done and continue abusing them in return through words and actions. Righting the wrongs is simply (at least in my case) acknowledging what happened, being repentant, and being there... even if it means being there during the anger stages. When someone deals with the past, it is like any other grieving process. There is denial, grief that often turns into depression, anger, acceptance, forgiveness. It all takes times. It is painful to have to go through these steps with someone you have wronged, and far too many are unwilling to go there. But the rewards of going there will be a true relationship that will be stronger than ever.

More responses from Mother:

I JUST HAD A FLASH BACK OF STRANGE HAPPENINGS IN OUR HOME AT 231 E BELMONT AVE. WHERE WE LIVED AFTER MY HUSBAND AND I MARRIED IN 1958. WE RENTED A VERY LARGE HOME AND MY FRIENDS AND MY HUSBANDS BROTHER MOVED IN WITH US TO SHARE EXPENSES AS IT WAS A LARGE HOME. IT WAS ALSO A STRANGE SPOOKY HOME.

AFTER WE HAD ALL MOVED IN, MY FRIENDS HUSBAND STARTED SEEING DEMONS. HE WOULD GET SO SCARED. HIS WIFE WOULD RUN INTO OUR ROOM AND GET ME UP TO GO PRAY THE DEMONS OUT AND TO CALM HER HUSBAND. THEN SOME THINGS STARTED GOING MISSING. THEN I STARTED HOLDING PRAYER REVIVAL MEETINGS IN OUR HOME AS I AM AN ORDAINED MINISTER. THERE WOULD BE ANYWHERE FROM 25-30 PEOPLE AT THESE MEETING ON THURSDAY NIGHTS. ONE NIGHT ONE OF THE MINISTERS TOLD ME SOMEONE WAS KNOCKING ON THE DOOR. I STARTED TO THE DOOR. I COULD SEE THE SHADOW OF A MAN STANDING ON THE PORCH DRESSED IN A TRENCH COAT. I OPENED THE DOOR, HE WAS GONE. I WENT BACK TO THE PRAYER ROOM. THE MINISTER SAID THE MAN HAD COME IN AND GONE UPSTAIRS. HE IS A DOCTOR. "IS SOMEONE ILL UPSTAIRS?. I SAID NO ONE IS UPSTAIRS. WE ALL RAN UP STAIRS TO SEE THE MAN. NO ONE WAS THERE. BUT ONE OF THE WINDOWS WAS OPEN. NO WAY HE COULD JUMP DOWN. IT WAS THREE FLOORS UP. SO WE PRAYED. WE ALL ANOINTED EACH ROOM AS WE PRAYED.

THEN AFTER, WHEN EVER I WOULD GO INTO TAKE A BATH. I WOULD HEAR A LITTLE GIRL TRYING TO OPEN THE DOOR AND SHE WAS CRYING, "MOMMIE HELP ME!" I WOULD OPEN THE DOOR BUT FOUND NO ONE. I WOULD GO FIND MY PRECIOUS DAUGHTER. "WHAT DID YOU WANT ME FOR? I WOULD ASK. SHE SAID. MOTHER I DIDN'T WANT YOU. IT WASN'T ME" THIS KEPT UP EVERY TIME I WAS IN THE REST ROOM. THEN ONE NIGHT I HEARD HER AGAIN SCREAMING "MOMMIE HELP ME! I LOOKED OUT. NO ONE. I CALLED DOWN TO MY DAUGHTER ARE YOU all right? YES MOTHER. SHE WOULD SAY. I ASK MY HUSBAND IS SHE REALLY OK. HE SAID "YES. SHE IS HERE WITH ME" AFTERWARDS I ASK MY DAUGHTER. TELL ME THE TRUTH HONEY, DID YOUR DADDY TRY TO HURT YOU OR PULL YOUR PANTIES DOWN AND TOUCH YOU IN YOUR PRIVATE PLACES?" SHE GIGGLED AND SAID, "MOTHER, HE IS NOT LIKE THAT.

I BECAME VERY WORRIED, I KNEW THEN THAT SOMETHING BAD HAD HAPPENED TO A LITTLE GIRL IN THIS HOUSE. BUT WHAT? WHERE WAS HER MOMMIE. THIS LITTLE GIRL ALWAYS CALLED HER MOTHER MOMMIE. NOT MOTHER LIKE MY CHILD CALLED ME. SO I SAID, I SET YOU FREE MY CHILD IN JESUS NAME BUT IT CONTINUED SO ONE DAY I SAID PERHAPS WHAT I SHOULD NOT SAY. "ENTER INTO MY BODY MY CHILD. YOU WILL BE SAFE. FROM THEN ON WHEN I WOULD SLEEP, SOMETIMES IT WAS LIKE THE HEAVY WEIGHT OF A MAN WOULD CLIMB ON TOP OF ME AND TRY TO KILL ME. I HAD A HARD TIME BREATHING. I WOULD STRUGGLE TO WAKE UP. IF I DID THEN I WOULD BE FREE. THEN ONE MORNING IT HAPPENED AGAIN. I TRIED TO SCREAM FOR MY BROTHER IN-LAW TO COME HELP ME BUT IT CAME OUT IN ANOTHER
LANGUAGE. I MANAGED TO CRY OUT "JESUS! "AND IT LEFT ME. NOW WHAT I AM WONDERING ABOUT IS," COULD IT BE THAT PERHAPS THE SPIRIT OF THAT PRECIOUS LITTLE GIRL ABOUT THE SAME AGE AS MY DAUGHTER ENTERED INTO MY DAUGHTERS BODY. SO SHE WOULD BE LOVED AND CARED FOR BY ME AND MY HUSBAND? COULD IT BE THAT SHE COMPLETELY TOOK OVER MY DAUGHTERS BODY AS SHE BECAME A TEENAGER AND EVEN MORE AFTER SHE REACHED ADULT HOOD. IS THIS WHY MY DAUGHTER CHANGED AND IS REMEMBERING ALL THE RAPE, MOLESTATION'S, ECT.?. AS A MINISTER I HATE TO THINK THAT BUT IT IS POSSIBLE I KNOW. WAS THAT CHILD'S NAME ANNIE? I WISH I KNEW HOW TO CHECK THIS OUT. JUST WHO LIVED IN THAT HOUSE BEFORE US? WHAT ALL HAPPENED THERE? AFTER WE LEFT, ONE OTHER FAMILY TRIED TO LIVE THERE BUT IT DID NOT WORK OUT EITHER. THAT HOUSE THEN WAS TURNED INTO A HAUNTED HOUSE AND WAS LISTED AS SUCH ON THE HOUSE UNTIL IT WAS TORN DOWN. "FOOD FOR THOUGHT." BEFORE I BECAME A CHRISTIAN I WAS A FORTUNE TELLER AND WAS PRACTICING HYPNOSIS.

I WAS SPEAKING TO THE DEAD SPIRITS ECT... SO EVEN IF I AM A MINISTER AND WE ARE TAUGHT AGAINST THESE THINGS. EVEN SO I CANNOT DENY THAT THESE THINGS CAN HAPPEN. IT IS NOT DEMONS. A DEMON IS A FALLEN ANGEL. A SPIRIT OF A DEAD PERSON IS A SOUL. SOMETIMES AWFUL THINGS HAPPEN TO PEOPLE WHILE THEY ARE ALIVE ON EARTH AND THE ANSWERS ARE NEVER FOUND OUT UNTIL ONE ENTERS ANOTHER HUMAN BODY AND SEARCHES TO REVEAL THE ANSWER. IT CANNOT REST SO TO SPEAK UNTIL IT FINDS AND REVEALS THE TRUTH TO SOMEONE AND THEN IT CAN REST IF THAT PERSON FREES IT. I KNOW THIS IS TRUE. I LIVED A LIFE BEFORE MY SALVATION WHERE I DEALT WITH THESE THINGS. IT WAS VERY SCARY AT TIMES AND MANY THINGS HAPPENED TO ME. WHEN I RECEIVED JESUS INTO MY HEART I TURNED MY BACK ON THE OTHER THINGS. THERE IS THIS NATURAL WORLD BUT THERE IS A SPIRIT WORLD ALSO. DIDI

From Saucy's Son

Should Saucy Forgive and Forget?

I thought that it might be nice to hear an insider's (outside) perspective. As neither the abuser nor the abused, I have a different perspective that is not tainted with pain or self-preservation. Yes, I'm Saucy's Son, so I have a lot of the inside information, and if you want, you can believe that I am biased. Maybe in some ways I am biased, but for the most part I believe that I am not. I have, countless times, had to ask myself whether or not I believed that my mom was doing the right thing or not. In some cases, we disagreed in part, but overall, I have chosen to give her my support. These are my reasons.

1. I have seen the way my family deals with abuse. At one point in time, I was aware of a particular family member being abused by someone who was living in their house. According to family gossip, he was sexually abusing her, and still allowed to live there. It seems that everyone knew, but nobody was doing anything. At the time, I was twelve years old, so I guess that I figured that the adults would do something, but they didn't???

Now, this part is hearsay from my mom--the prior wasn't--according to my mom, family members would sit around and say, "Oh, the poor _abuser_, you know, he's a man, he just can't control himself. You know men, everything is controlled by their you-know-what." (My thoughts on this as an adult--"Yeah right, and ten year olds can be so seductive to grown men...As a man, this makes me sick!!! To think that the men in my family are held to such low standards)

2. My family has very redneck roots. With that is a "blood is thicker than water" mentality that can be a strength, but it can also be a weakness. When "What happens in the family stays in the family," becomes a philosophy even when someone is being abused, then it is only a weakness. "Blood is thicker than water," is only good when it means that if your niece is being abused--even if she lives in another state, that you go to protect her, not protect the family member that is doing the abusing. So, while I respect my family's philosophy "Blood is thicker than water," I feel that their follow through of the philosophy is misdirected.

The other aspect that I must disagree with the philosophy is that I have often seen how other family members have literally TOLD my mom to leave the dirty laundry in the dirty laundry basket (to keep things hidden), and not to be spreading this stuff to people other than family members. And the philosophy to "forgive and FORGET." This brings me to my next point.

3. My mom has constantly been bombarded by people telling her to keep her mouth shut, to "forgive and FORGET," and they have even tried to quote "Forgive and Forget" as being something from the BIBLE. Now, I'm going to school to be a Pastor, and I would like it if someone would please show me where the verse is. Every single verse that I know of in the Bible about forgiveness has to do with the person repenting first.

Think about it. When we pray to God, we say "Forgive us our sins..." In essence, we're repenting. When the people asked Peter in ACTS, "What must we do to be saved," Peter told the to "Repent." When Jesus commanded how much to forgive your brother when he sins against you, he said this:

"If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, "I repent," forgive him." (Luke 17:3-4, NIV)

Another Teaching in Matthew 18:15-20 states:
[1]If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you will have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, [2]take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the [whole] church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

So, those of you that want to spout what a good Christian does--READ THE BIBLE--

If my mom had done the very thing just commanded, all these family affairs would have been dragged before an entire church, to be judged by an elder board, and if those in the family that were abusers didn't repent before the whole church, they would then be treated like pagans and tax collectors. So, I think my mom was doing the Christianly thing, though if anything, she's letting people off a little too easily--at least scripturally speaking.

Point being--My mom has done a pretty good job at showing love to the family, even to those that did abuse her. I know that one of her highlights over the last eleven years was that her step-father was honestly trying to meet with her and confess his sins and finally be forgiven for what he had done so long before. This may upset those of you that want to live in denial of any abuse, but it's the truth. My Grandfather, her step-dad was a man I loved dearly. I wish that I could still go out bowling with him. Just because he did some things wrong in his past, does not make him any more evil than the rest of us. Every man and every woman has the potential to abuse the very ones they love the most and neither you nor me are any exception. Our addictions, most often, hurt the ones we love most whether that be our spouses, our children, or our closest friends--those are the ones that we have the power to hurt, and those are the ones we often DO hurt. When we are addicted to alcohol, lust, pornography, or sexuality, we hurt those we love the most, most, and some of us even abuse those closest to us because of our addictions.

This has happened in this family time and time again, but instead of confronting each other and dealing with it (which I admit is hard), we have all too often tried to pretend that it has never happened. While "forgiving and forgetting," might help you get along, it is not a productive philosophy for relationships. Some people who were, say, Holocaust survivors, will never have the opportunity to reconcile with their former Nazi abusers, and in this case, they must "forgive" in a sense--or rather they must give the "vengeance" over to God, who declared, "Vengeance is mine saith the Lord..." But when you are living side by side with someone, someone who is your brother and not an enemy, for true forgiveness to take place it is a two way street. The offender must repent, and the offended must then forgive in order for reconciliation to take place. This is what I often call the difference between forgiveness and reconciliation. Whether the offenders think so or not, my mom has forgiven them--in this sense, but in order for a healthy relationship to occur, there must be reconciliation, which requires both repentance and forgiveness. Without these two things, the offense will always hang as an invisible wall, separating people from each other. Kevin


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