I was bruised and battered, I couldn’t tell what I felt.I was unrecognizable to myself.Saw my reflection in a window and didn’t know my own face.I could feel myself fading away.Streets of Philadelphia lyrics © Downtown Music Publishing
These words from Bruce Springsteen resonate strongly to my heart and mind as I ponder Pastor Chris in 21 Days of Prayer saying that God desires to and CAN put me back to where I was supposed to be, that I can become changed, a person I don’t yet know … transformed.
BC days (before Christ), I recall easily the despair of my healthless life … bruised and battered, living crueled days of mental and emotional abuse, at the same time mothering three little ones under age five, one a child with special needs. My eyes lived flat and dull, windows into a despaired spirit, seeing no hope of change. I was easily illed physically, the rage of infectious “dis-ease” so closely attached to darkness. There were many days of sickness in our house. At one point, the dog was even tested as a possible carrier of strep throat!
Many days my kids fell onto my gratitude list, each one by name, as they provided direction and purpose to my day. We played A LOT of “M&M bingo”! Cheerios floated as hydrotherapy turned “Jacuzzi party”!! We baked A LOT of chocolate chip banana bars! I was the neighborhood mom who created field trips, often to the Humane Society, with promises made under threat that NO ANIMAL would follow anyone home!
I long sought solutions in “self-help” publications of the era, ignorant that New Age adages could hold no candle to the Power of a Higher Word to fill a void that was indescribable even to myself at the time. Meditation, deep-breathing mantras “Lord Jesus Christ (inhaling), have mercy on me” (exhaling), many Jacuzzi parties, learning to cross-stitch, many really great novels, and “little bakers” kept me in a focused place.
My life had become unmanageable and I could feel myself fading away.
I sought peace hungrily. Unlike the aforementioned song, there did come to be angels to greet me, good and right people placed in my path. Who orchestrated THAT?! I slowly came to know God and believe that He could and would restore me. Not just some of me, but ALL the years that the locusts had stripped. It was a turnaround day when I grasped the horrific pain that Jesus suffered to save ME and that He would have done that even if I was the ONLY one to save!
The decision to turn my life and will over to the care of God was the only next right thing to do! My life had been a mess … and here was the Messiah!! He had never forsaken me and He had been waiting! He took my hand, turning darkness into light, directing my path to churches and resources and people and experiences that grew my life in Him! My chains are GONE!!!
I began to experience freedom from fear — of people, of lies, of rejection, of failure. Then I began to enjoy freedom to — freedom to choose gratitude, freedom to be myself, freedom to express my feelings and opinions, to experience peace of mind, freedom to grow spiritually.
Years later I see that the Lord had been like my shadow, even when I was wrong, and that God was ever faithful, keeping me from a place from which I could not return.
I keep this photo as it personifies my story of a changed life! It still brings my heart to a weeping place.
Bruised Battered Unrecognizable
Rescued Renewed Restored LifeFULL Transformed
I will take the hand of those who don’t know the way,
who can’t see where they’re going.
I will turn the darkness into light before them,
make sure they don’t fall into the ditch.
I will not forsake them.
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In her life journey, Lori came to develop a heart for women who suffer domestic abuse. Her mission includes walking with them to find resources to re-find themselves and develop skills to rebuild their lives. She knows personally the power of a Father God who calls her ‘daughter’ and blesses her with many ‘sisters!She lives in Omaha, NE with husband, Michel, and Willa Cathair, an extraordinary Torti cat!