I am sharing my own personal story in HOPE of helping others. Learning forgiveness of others to be forgiven!
I asked the Lord to forgive me, it took a little time but the Lord has reassured me of his forgiveness. I realized I wouldn’t be forgiven until I was able to forgive those who hurt me. The forgiveness started with my father for all the years of sexual abuse. I realized there was a connection between the abuse of my father and my first failed marriage. I married young at the age of 19, it was only 3 years after I had been engulfed with a lifetime of sexual abuse which involved my grandmother and my mother. He was able to control all of us, having us do his will. He took away my innocence while warping my mind, resulting in my own insecurity. We lived in a house of darkness literally and spiritually, he was a nudist. I remember the shades always down when he was home. We all had to participate. Many of our family vacations involved going to nudist colonies which included my mother, my grandma (mother’s mother) and me. This was his choice, we were just all victims. I loved my grandmother very much but she was a victim just like me, so I never blamed her. She died when I was ten. My mother ended up an alcoholic. I remember him beating her, her crying, and her with a black eye. My mother took her pain out on me and would slap me across the face or pinch my mouth. I recall my father becoming enraged over a lost porn magazine, at first he came after me, pulling back his fist as to hit me but stopped. I was so scared that day, then he turned his rage on my mother. I remember my father sexual molesting my friend and I, she was 9 and I was 10 years old. He had a way of making it into a game. I remember when my dad would go to X-rated stores to buy his magazines, he would leave my mother and I in the car for hours at a time. Then when I was 11 years old, my mother and my grandfather (my father’s father) ran off together which lead to my parent’s divorce. That relationship failed between my mother and grandfather, my mother had no money so my dad was able to take even greater advantage of her and his sex acts became even more perverted by including me. At that time I was living with my Maw Maw (my father’s mother) and the neighbors started taking me to church where I accepted the Lord and was baptized. My father then remarried when I was 13 years old and there was more abuse. My stepmother would always say things to put fear in me. She told me how she and her older daughter murdered her first husband and how they got away with it by claiming self defense, along with other stories to add more fear in me. Every time she would leave the house my father would come for me for his pleasure. Seriously I had come to the point, I wanted to die. For the first time I finally told my secret to a friend that lived a few houses down the street named Mary. The Lord intervened when Mary told her friend Sharon about me. Sharon didn’t know me but told her parents about a girl who was being abused.
I finally told my father I was going to tell and everything hit the fan. As I spoke of the unspeakable, I just wanted to run away, I remember my whole body trembling and shaking. I asked if I could go live with my mother and they said go ahead, but that didn’t work because she was always drunk and the man she was married to threatened to beat me with a big chain. By this time I had Sharon’s parents phone number who offered me help and they took me into their home. They got me legal help and they became my foster parents. I lived with them for about 2 1/2 years and there I learned more about the Lord. I was rescued for a time, but when I finished school I was on my own and the sins of the world engulfed me. I was insecure and I met someone who said they loved me and wanted to get married. But soon after we married I felt I couldn’t trust him. I was so jealous of every girl and child. One day I went to visit a friend out of town and I planned to stay the night but I missed him so much I came home. He wasn’t there and I waited by the window late into the night. When he finally got home I asked him where he had gone, it turned out he went to an x-rated store to buy a x-rated movie. I was so angry. Well, a few weeks later I noticed the trash had been taken out. I knew that wasn’t like my husband to do that without me saying something, so I went out and dug into the trash. There I found x-rated magazines that he had been looking at after he knew how I was so against it. He knew about all the abuse I had endured as a child and the porn my father was into. What I am getting at is my state of mind was so messed up, I couldn’t handle being with someone that reminded me of my Dad. I wanted to separate but during the separation period he found someone else and wanted a divorce. Once my marriage was over my life was filled with sin, drinking, sex, and drugs and I was living my darkest hours. I was alone living in this dark cloud, the Lord seemed miles away. I tried to take my own life by taking a bottle of the remaining Valium I had, only I found myself still alive the next day. I knew something needed to change, I felt so tired. I prayed and asked the Lord for a family and soon after that I met my husband to be. The husband I have now is nothing like my father. We have been together 28 years and he is a wonderful husband and father. A few years ago I decided I wanted to go back home and truly get connected to the Lord. I was on fire and so happy. I called my foster-father and went to visit him after over 30 years and let him know how much I loved all they had done for me. I saw my foster-sister but my foster-mother had already passed away. A few months later my foster-father passed away with cancer. I knew the Lord let me have that chance to tell him how much I appreciated them and thanked him for all they did for me. But going back to church turned out to be so disappointing for me. I never realized I would not be accepted as a member of the body. I tried to explain the situation but it didn’t matter. It was firm I could not be a member unless I divorced my husband because they said I was living in adultery. I couldn’t believe the coldness, where was forgiveness. I was so troubled over it. It ate at me and I prayed for answers. Then on May 6, 2006 my daughter’s boyfriend committed suicide and that was the worst pain I ever felt. I cried out to the Lord like never before. It broke my heart and the pain I felt ran through my whole body.
Going back to my father. I asked the Lord for forgiveness. I started praying for a heart pleasing to him and his spiritual wisdom. I prayed for mercy, and as time went on I started having a change of heart. I stopped being angry with my father. I found myself praying for him and asking the Lord to have mercy on him. All the terrible feelings I once had vanished. I felt the Lord’s love like never before and I knew I was forgiven for all my past sins. I hold no guilt because I have learned in order to be forgiven by the Lord we must forgive those who hurt us. My father never came to me and asked me to forgive him. I never set eyes on him after 1972, I later heard he died in a car crash at the age of 66. No longer would there be a chance for him to come and ask me for forgiveness, yet I knew the Lord was telling me I needed to forgive. This is a principle taught in the word forgive others to be forgiven.
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15
The Lord can turn anything into a blessing if we trust him!
~♥ My Foster Parents and I ♥~ (1976)
My wonderful foster parents who took me in when I was 16 years old. This picture was taken around (1976) when I was 20 years old. The Lord planted me in the Church of Christ as a teen and I believe it was for HIS purpose! Sadly both of my foster parents have passed away! My foster-mother had diabetes and it took her life. My foster-father died of cancer in 2005 but the Lord blessed me by letting me see him a few months before the cancer took him. I was able to tell him and my foster-sister how much I love them and all they did for me! What a great blessing it was to see them after all those years!!! One added note!! I was re-baptized at the age of 17 years old, the teaching in the Church said my first Baptism done in the Baptist church was invalid. But on Sept 22, 2007 the Holy Spirit let me know I was the Lord’s Child at 11 years old, he knew I was a child hurting and accepted me. I Love how the Holy Spirit opens our eyes to HIS truth.
My foster-sister and her husband (COC preacher), my foster-mother and me (1974).
A brief history!!! There was a girl that lived down the street from me and I confronted her with some of the things going on in my life. She told Sharon who I did not know at the time. Sharon told her parents about me and their heart went out to me. They wanted to help me get out from all the abuse. They helped me by taking me into their home and getting me legal help. They got child welfare involved and they got custody of me from the ages of 16-18 years of age. They were very loving and I learned more about the Lord living there. Sadly because of legalism many of those in the conservative Church of Christ now consider me a fallen Child of God. Things have changed, the Holy Spirit has helped me see things in a new Light! After Sammy’s suicide (my daughter’s boyfriend) the Holy Spirit started moving in my life and started opening my eyes to things I never knew before the age of 50 years old. I give the Lord all the Glory!
~♥ My Grandma and I ♥~ around 1964!
This is my grandmother (my mother’s mother) and I. She lived with us from my birth till she died June 4, 1966. I was 10 years old and loved her so much! She was a Christian and I believe she must of taught me about the Lord. She was a member of the Pine Forest Baptist Church in Vidor. After her death I was so very sad but one night I had a beautiful dream and I remember that dream like it was yesterday. I dreamed I received a present. It was a long box wrapped with a big bow. I opened the box and it was my grandma. I was so happy and I remember exactly what was said. I asked her, “Grandma, what is it like in heaven?” And this is what she said “Francine, I can’t tell you, you are going to have to find out for yourself.” What a wonderful dream and I was only 10 years old. That dream was a gift from God. What was the chance that I would ask such a question and that dream would never be forgotten? Could it well be that the Lord knew I would use it one day to glorify him. Less than a year later after she passed away I accepted the Lord and was baptized. I know that the Lord does give us those special dreams and they are for today! Acts 2:17-18 ‘AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ God says ‘THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS; EVEN ON MY BONDSLAVES, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, I WILL IN THOSE DAYS POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT And they shall prophesy.
This is South Park Baptist Church.
I was baptized there when I was 11 years old, November 19, 1967. It looks the same as how I remember it 44 years ago. What is ironic when I was 6-9 years old I lived two houses away from that church yet I had never been in it. The house we were renting was bought by the Church and destroyed to build a bigger parking area. I remember that house as a house of darkness. Always dark because the shades were down. It was there in that house where the molesting got really bad! My father was molesting both my grandma and me. It is know wonder the Lord used my Grandma in the dream to call me to him. It is amazing that very house was destroyed by the Church where I found the Lord and accepted Jesus into my heart.
As a child hurting I know the Lord used a dream to help comfort me and bring me to the Him!
† Porn is a Serious Problem Even Among Christians. If you or someone you know is suffering from this addiction know there is Help!!!