Cries for Children Who Are Abused

 

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves;
ensure justice for those being crushed.”
Proverbs 31:8

I want to scream and wail until the whole world hears. For the children who are trapped in abuse. At home. From people they came to know and trust. From sex traffickers.

As I write this, last night’s news is still haunting me. The fire chief in our city, one who is supposed to be an advocate for public safety, is secretly a viewer of child porn. People who knew him say he was such a “nice man.”

Have you been or are you abused? Jesus weeps with you and for you!

A psychologist discussed this rising horrendous crime in our nation with a reporter. She said many who watch child porn seem “nice” in public, but in their secret life they have a lack of empathy for children who are victims. Some have said, “They’re just pictures.”

No! They are NOT just pictures. Each child in the picture is a precious child created by God. A child who deserves to be loved, valued, and respected. NOT neglected. NOT abused. NOT exploited. Their voices need to be nurtured, not crushed.

Every child deserves to be loved, valued, and respected.

Why, God, why? I know children are precious to You. Why don’t You stop all this evil that victimizes them? Why don’t You keep all children safe?

It’s so hard to understand, but I have learned it’s not God who wants this to happen. Yes, He could stop it in a heartbeat. But we humans were given a choice to choose. And devastatingly, some are choosing the evil and abusing and exploiting children.

Oh God, please help!

“For Those Who Can’t Speak”
by Tenth Avenue North

“I see the glory of the Lord every time the sun rises
I hear the unheard screams of a broken heart
Because every day a son dies
27 million slaves but no plantation
27 million slaves, all different races
This is not the picture the Lord painted in Genesis

Silence is our enemy, our voices can end it
I have dreamed of a kingdom coming where
Evil drowns in mercy streams
I want to see those rivers of justice
So I use my voice for those who can’t speak
I will use my voice for those who can’t speak

Yeah, yeah, when it’s all said and done
Yeah, I pray that everything we said is done
I don’t want my son to say I was one of the ones
That watched 27 million suffer and never say
No, no, I won’t be that
I don’t deserve a mic if I ain’t got no feedback
Bring back every girl from the west to the east that
He crafted for His glory, not for making you green backs

I dream that
Every ounce of brokenness and disease that
Bring that to the cross, believe that He redeems that
Sees that type of world that my daughters can breathe in
Where the beautiful feet that go where the needs at

Come on, come on
Oh, none of here are just a number
We all have a name like any other
There’s breath inside your lungs
And you are my brother
My God, when will we stand
Stand together

I want to be the kingdom coming where
Evil drowns in mercy streams
Oh, let me see those rivers of justice
So I use my voice for those who can’t speak
I will use my voice for those who can’t speak
I use my voice for those who can’t speak”

If you think you have seen a missing child,
or suspect a child may be sexually exploited,
contact the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
24-hours a day, 7 days a week.

Recover The Interests God Has Created In You

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God created each of us with unique interests. Finding those interests can help us to better understand who He has created us to be and help us to better use them to glorify Him.

Sometimes these interests get buried under painful memories, and it takes intentional work to recover them. Working through our pain can remove the blinders from our eyes, so we can more easily see what we loved as a child. To remember what made us feel alive and more hopeful in the midst of the darkness.

As a child, I didn’t know a loving Jesus. To me, God was angry, vengeful, and unapproachable. But as I look back, a God of love was still at work even though I didn’t see, feel, or know Him. He created in me interests that I now see as ways He made my life more bearable.

One of my fond memories was when my brother and I brought our Holstein cows from the pasture to the barnyard for milking. I loved smelling the country air and feeling it on my face. Hearing the frogs chirp in the creek making a ribbon through our pasture. Seeing the killdeer drawing us away from their nests with a shrill “Kill-deee! Kill-deee!”

“Kaaa Boss!” we would yell. Many of the cows would come when called and would head home in a long line, but there were usually those who stayed in the back of the pasture until we rounded them up.

I loved walking barefoot but it was kind of tricky when there were thistles to dodge. Once I didn’t see a dead one and stepped right into it. Ouch! My foot was still stinging when I plopped it smack dab in the middle of a cow pie so fresh it was still steaming. Yuck! And yet I remember the warm, soothing feeling squishing up between my toes. It actually helped take the sting out of my foot!

I loved animals, both the farm ones and wildlife. I was even intrigued by the ones others might call creepy, like bugs, spiders, and snakes. 🙂

Animals became a part of my dreams, too. I wanted to be a marine biologist. I wanted to study chimpanzees or gorillas like Jane Goodall.

As I grew into a teenager, I also dreamed of owning an orphanage. I wanted every child to feel loved and cared about. I wanted to shield them from all harm. I never got what I wanted, but God did give me children to care for. As a teacher, then a mother, and now a grandmother. Sometimes my heart aches for all the children in this world, and I wish I could protect them all from evil. I know I can’t though and I have to give them into the hands of Jesus who loves children and invites them to come to Him. What I can do is be a part of making every child I meet feel noticed, loved, and cherished.

Not all our dreams come to reality in our lives and seasons in our lives change. Sometimes because of circumstances, we have to let go of pursuits that gave us such joy, and that can be painful. Sometimes even those dreams we have that line up with passions we feel God has given us fall by the wayside. We don’t always understand why, but God can help us to grieve and move forward into the plan He has for each of us.

Through the heavy weight of not dealing with past abuse in my life, the long, difficult road of finally dealing with it, and this continuing journey of healing, there were and still are times I cannot see, feel, or appreciate the deep-seated interests God has given me. But God still preserves the makeup of who I am. Both children and nature still bring me joy and hope. I am still fascinated by the complexities of God’s creatures. All of God’s creation is God’s gift of love and grace. It inspires me to open my heart to His beauty and remember He is in control of our lives.

His creation includes you. I really do care about you readers. I don’t know you all by name, but God does, and I can still pray for you. I long for you to know the joy and salvation there is in Jesus. And I long for Him to set you free to recover interests He Himself has given you. Those interests that make you who you are.

Are there God-created loves inside you that got buried in the heaviness of life’s troubles? Interests you had as a child that made you feel more alive and hopeful even when you didn’t know God? Do you take time to enjoy them today as God’s way to give you more hope in the midst of the turmoil of our hearts, lives, and world?

If you are one of those children who were so abused and neglected that you weren’t allowed to enjoy anything or truly discover where your interests lie, I’m so very sorry. I hope you have gotten or will get help to work through the pain and to recover them. I pray God will uncover and revive the special person He made you to be, that unique, wonderful person He filled with special gifts and interests meant to glorify Him.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Psalm 139:14a

“For we are God’s masterpiece.
He has created us anew in Christ Jesus,
so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.”
Ephesians 2:10

“Wonderfully Made”
Matthew West

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Feelings of Insignificance and Our Significance in Jesus

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When I was in Kindergarten, I walked to school. At the street crossing, a traffic cop directed traffic with hand signals and a whistle. One day I clutched a brand new box of crayons. At the signal I began to walk. Halfway across the road, the bottom popped out of my crayon box. I scrambled to retrieve my precious crayons, but the cop said, “No! Keep going!” I was hurried to the other side, and I sobbed as the passing cars ground my crayons into blotches of color on the pavement.

For some reason, this incident touched a deep chord in me. I remember feeling so insignificant. Wasn’t I worth it? Couldn’t the cop have helped me pick them up really fast? Why didn’t anyone care about my crayons, something that was so important to me?

Insignificant. Not worth loving. Not worth caring about. Often the feeling I felt in my childhood. Next week I’ll be 60 already, and that feeling still ravages my heart at times.

The truth is I’m sometimes my worst enemy. I too often treat myself as that cop and those cars treated my crayons. I crush myself with self-condemnation when I believe and internalize all the lies that taunt me. When I let them flatten me. When I let them define me. When I let compliments run off me like water off the back of a duck.

It takes so much energy though to keep addressing feelings and persevere in reminding myself of the truth. I can read the verses that show me who I really am in Christ Jesus over and over, but sometimes they refuse to slide from my head into my heart. I love to encourage others with these truths, but it’s hard for me to believe them for myself.

In Jesus’ time on earth, children were not valued either. But Jesus showed everyone differently by inviting children to come to Him. He took time to listen to children’s concerns and joys. He loved them so much and showed it in His kindness towards them, making them feel special and significant. His intentions towards them were always pure and honorable, wanting to help them instead of harm them.

Inside me there is still a child that feels abandoned and rejected. Unlovable and worthless. There is still a child crying to be validated and valued. To be loved and accepted just as I am. To be comforted, not hurt.

I get so confused sometimes. So frustrated and depressed. Why do those feelings still sometimes have such a hold on me? I want them wiped out forever, but they stick like gorilla glue.

I think I’m still walling up my heart. I’m still fearing to truly let Jesus in. Oh, sometimes I open the door a crack and let His love amaze me and comfort me. But so easily I slam the door shut again. It makes me cry, and my heart aches with longing for Him. So why do I keep doing it? I can’t live without Him, but I’m still so often afraid. Oh, how patient He is with me. He never gives up on me. He just keeps knocking. He just keeps yearning for me to open my heart wide so He can apply His liniment of love to heal those broken places. To lift that little girl in me and hold her to Himself. To whisper how precious and lovable she is to Him.

Do you feel unloved, unlovable, and insignificant? Jesus invites our inner child and our adult selves to pour out all our hurts to Him. He already knows them, but He still wants us to allow Him to touch those places we are so scared to allow anyone access to. He waits and longs for us to open our walled hearts and trust He wants to heal us, not harm us. To excavate those feelings of insignificance and lay them open to His healing love. To let His love define who we really are.

When His love defines us, rejection turns to acceptance. Our nothingness turns to priceless value. Our brokenness turns to beauty.

“He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds
[healing their pain and comforting their sorrow].”
Psalm 147:3 AMP

“Therefore the Lord waits [expectantly]
and longs to be gracious to you,
And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
Blessed (happy, fortunate) are all those
who long for Him [since He will never fail them].”
Isaiah 30:18 AMP

“And provide for those who grieve in Zion–
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of joy instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD for the display of His splendor.”
Isaiah 61:3

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“Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)”
by Hillsong United

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Linking up with: 

Holley – Coffee For Your Heart 

Jennifer – Tell His Story 

Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith

Barbie – Weekend Whispers

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