I have known the Lord for 19 years and many events have transpired during that time. I have dealt with many issues in my heart and have had some foot stomping freedoms. I’ve shed a few tears, received revelations; hanging from the rafters and hard things to realize; even with baggage from unfinished business.
I was abused by a step-mother, at the age of 3. She used food to discipline me. I was a picky eater and I hated peas. If I didn’t eat within the timer on the table, I was taken to a back bedroom, made to lay across the bed face down and whipped with a belt. What I didn’t finish I was given at the next meal, along with the timer, until the plate was clean. If I vomited in the plate, which I did, I had to eat that as well. This was a daily process for 3 meals a day which lasted until the day I was admitted into a hospital for both of my legs being fractured. That was the 3rd time my mother had taken me to the hospital. From the hospital, DCS came and put my brother and myself in foster care until the court proceedings were over and we were placed back into my mother’s care. I was only 3 but I can still remember the bed spread, the table cloth on the dining table, and there is much more but you get the picture.
There are many things I had to work through once Jesus found me at the age of 30. My point is that the 3 year old little girl had set up a permanent foundation within me; self-preservation; a defense mechanisms for survival; complete control. A hatred for anyone who loved her because she was unlovable. A deep sadness with insecurities; I stuffed everything inside. The ONLY one she would allow in was the brother. I am speaking of her in 3rd person, because that little girl took control of everything so she could survive, not live, but survive.
The 3 year old had been hushed and told not to cry so, as an adult, I didn’t cry. I only had one emotion I knew, and that was anger. 4 years into my walk with Christ, the Lord was just getting to the surface of my abuse issues. At this time my brother, whom I am extremely close to (because of what we went through) lived with me. He and his wife were having some marital issues. He was my protector, my best friend, my father figure, my brother and he was the ONLY one whom I loved and would allow to love me. He was the only one I trusted and the only place I found security; we had a bond like no other. One evening, my brother complained of not feeling good. I thought he was making excuses for not going to work and I got angry with him.
Later that same evening, June 1, 2003, I found him on my couch with blue lips and blue fingertips, not breathing. He had passed away of a heart attack. I can’t justly describe with words, the anguish in my heart from this moment in ‘time”. Then came all of the guilt; why didn’t I listen to my brother? Then the question, “Why did God take my only security?”
Now in 2018: I have peeled MANY layers over the years dealing with unforgiveness, rebellion, bitterness, self-hatred, I could go on all day with a list of freedoms I have received. In 2015 my husband returned from rehab completely delivered by The Lord; after being an addict and alcoholic for 26 years. Today he is a different man. The last 3 years of him walking in freedom has been super hard for me. I have felt lost, with no purpose. I no longer had to be co-dependant and fix him, God did that! I have always been the “glue” in the entire family, including extended family. These last 3 years my world has been turned upside down. It is now actually right side up in God's eyes, like it is supposed to be. I however, am learning to adjust and God is teaching me who Melinda actually is. More recently in the past 6 months, I have had dreams of past experiences, which should have been painful, but had no effect - because I am a stuffer. He is teaching me to process emotions, to cry, to feel and to be vulnerable. Hard but necessary; so I am being obedient with each occurrence as the Lord shows me; six months of revelation of MY HEART.
Now fast forward to the Sunday I first spoke of May 20th. I could feel the presence of the Lord so strong when I awoke that day. I thought I was to minister in dance, I see now, it was so much more. I didn’t dance, it just didn’t feel like it was time. After church I was aggravated, easily irritated and wasn’t sure why. I kept crying that afternoon – something I NEVER do. I felt so much grief and couldn’t process what was happening. I talked with my husband in detail of what was happening. The Lord showed him some things regarding that 3 year old little girl inside of me and how she was tied to the grief and guilt of my brother passing. Well the flood of emotions was too much for me. I said ok I see that needs to be dealt with but not today. My husband lovingly said, “It’s been 15 years, why not today? The longer you wait and put it off the harder your heart gets. Just be obedient and let me make a phone call and you can be free tonight!” Let me pause right here so you can fully grasp that IF I dealt with the little girl, then I had to deal with the grief of my brother’s passing 15 years ago and that was something I just refused to let go. Obedience is much more important to me at this point in my life, so here we go . . . I called everyone in the house into the living room, my mother lives with us, I have a 15 year old son, we have a person we help with addiction who has a strong gifting in prayer and my husband was present.
When the Elder of the church arrived, it was already 9 pm and I had been wailing most of the day, needless to say I was a complete mess. Honestly, I wanted to run but I have been running my whole life from the pain. I am tired, I just wanted to be free, no matter the cost. As the Elder starts asking questions and we are discussing the things the Lord has been showing me that lead up to this point in time, and I ask “Why did God take my brother?” He tells a story. A lady, whose husband would not go to church with her, lost her three-year-old daughter in a car wreck. Her husband got real angry with God. One Sunday she
invited her minister, Charles Green to eat dinner after church. Sitting at the table the husband asked Charles, “Why did God take my little girl?” Charles said, “I really don’t know the answer to that.”
Later they walked out on the farm where he had to feed his sheep, which were on the other side of a creek. Knowing sheep are skittish of crossing water, he picked up the little ewe lamb, crossed the creek and set her down. The mother ran through the water to be with her baby. When she did the other sheep ran over too. Charles having a revelation from God said, “That question you asked me at the dinner table;
The Lord has given me an answer for you. ‘Sometimes you have to carry the baby lamb over first, to bring the others over.’ The man saw it too and fell down on his knees, repented and was saved. Then I realized when my brother died, my dad came to The LORD. My brother was the baby lamb. My husband was then led by the Holy Spirit to look at my mother and ask this question, “Do you feel guilty?” My mother broke at this point, a hard break from being heartbroken over the abuse, and she carried that guilt for over fifty years. At this point it seems the flood gates of heaven opened up for me. I confessed, repented, screamed, wailed and asked God to take it. I said, Lord you know my heart and I cannot let this go, but in obedience I am asking for you to take what I cannot give. I also repented for holding my brother as an idol. As long as I was holding on, it was putting my brother before God, and that is an idol. Nothing can be before God. Over the next hour there was a lot of emotion, more tears than I have ever had, some deep rooted pain, extreme grief and lots of confession. We gathered around and prayed. The Elder commanded that little girl to leave and I physically felt her leave my body. I had no idea until that moment that she was a demon controlling all my emotions so she could survive, but Jesus came so THAT I, Melinda, COULD LIVE, and that is what happened that night.
New life in me; what a journey. I can’t say that this was a rafter experience (just yet) because it is a lot to process, even writing this is part of that journey, BUT I can tell you that I have freedom and peace that surpasses all understanding with the human mind. I even cried yesterday when my feelings got hurt. I cannot recall ever doing that in my 48 years of life. I could feel that and it wasn’t anger it was raw emotion and I FELT THAT. Crazy as it may sound, that is EXCITING to me. After 45 years, starting with my abuse at the dinner table, I can now eat green peas and like them. Wow! What a Redeemer!
- Are you a stuffer?
- Do you have unfinished business?
Lord, I confess that I have unfinished business. I have stuffed some wounds and painful scars deep in my heart and I can’t seem to give them up. It hurts even to think about it. But I submit to you, and forgive those that have hurt me and I repent of my resentments. Now, You will have to take those from me and make me what I’m not. Amen!
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