What Is Your Name? My Name Is Beloved.
Beautiful Younger Soul,
I want to share with you a very painful season of life, from when I was a teenager. Those years are usually when the illusions and projects of life begin. I lived through several difficult stages in my life, but I will tell you how the Lord turned a life of mourning and sorrow to one of joy and dancing.
I was a very insecure and fearful girl. Since I can remember, I was always touched inappropriately by my brothers and a cousin. I thought it was normal, and then I got older and my body began to change. The worst thing came when my father started to see me with different eyes. He would send my stepmother to the market and he would touch my body inappropriately. Even though I fought against it, he was bigger and stronger. I would tell him to let me go and I think he would see my desperation so he would let go. I was in terrible anguish and told my stepmother not to leave me alone with my father, but she said there was nothing she could do about it. When I showered, my father would spy on me and as he watched, he would grope my stepmother. I didn't want to shower or stay alone anymore because I was afraid of what my father would do to me. We had a septic tank; sometimes, he would take my sister and me there to grope us. These were very hard years, with mistreatment, beatings and humiliation. The worst thing was that my stepmother didn’t do anything; she only told me not to shower when my father was home. My father repeatedly beat my stepmother very badly and we always had to defend her, but he also beat us for defending her. My father had a mean spirit; he could be very happy, and suddenly, it seemed like the devil got into him. He was also a very jealous man and a womanizer. He always thought that my stepmother was cheating on him. It was always during dinnertime that he went into violent episodes.
My father owned a lumberyard and always sent me to cut the wood with an axe so he could sell it for firewood. I became an expert at it and that brought me a little happiness. One of the things that made me very happy was being able to help others. The neighbours always asked me to give them vegetables so I would take what my stepmother bought and I would give it to them. I even stole money from my father to give to them. I think they took advantage of my innocence and my goodwill. There was also an elderly couple who sold toys and I felt so bad because I thought they didn't sell anything so they wouldn't have anything to eat. I would steal money from my father to buy the toys and then bury them in the ground so my father wouldn't notice. That made me happy, but at the same time, I lived in constant fear of what my father would do to me if he ever found out. Living in fear all your childhood makes you a very insecure and shy woman.
I remember that when I went to school, it was very difficult for me to make friends and I was a very lonely girl. I always carried with me the label of disdain; not only in my family, but also at school. The kids used to make fun of me because I was so skinny; they called me names like "parasite girl" and "skeleton girl". My brothers also used to tease me by saying that I had arms for legs because my legs were so skinny. I was very self-conscious and felt ugly. I remember when my grandmother used to bathe me and my sister, she would say, "Look at your sister, she is chubby and healthy and you are all skinny and bony”. She would shower me with anger. My back would hurt so badly because as she showered me, she would press her hands with such force and anger against my back. Due to her mistreatment, I hated to shower.
I felt liberated when I went to school, but I couldn't go unless I finished cleaning the house. I had to sweep, mop and dust everything before I left for school. My greatest tragedy was when my stepsiblings were born. The contempt and abuse from my stepmother grew. At school, they had two shifts, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Very often, I had to change shifts because I had to take care of my stepsiblings. This situation complicated my education. Regardless, I was very smart and I was quick to grasp what the teacher was teaching us. When I finished sixth grade, my teacher told me that I was going to go far in life because I was very smart. He asked me what I was going to study and I told him that my father didn't want me to go to junior high school. My teacher went and spoke with my father; he told him that he had a very smart daughter and he shouldn’t waste her talents and abilities. In that moment my father agreed, but when it was time to enroll me, he changed his mind. My father said it all depended if my brother agreed. My brother didn't agree for me to go back to school because he said I was going to get pregnant. I begged for him to let me go, I cried and cried, but there was nothing I could do. Instead of going to school, my father put me to work as a seamstress. My father took all my money, but I didn’t care. While I was at work, I felt free from all the oppression that was going on in my house. I didn't have to do the housework anymore, nor did I have to put up with my father’s and my stepmom's fights. I think that was the best thing that could have happened to me at that time. Even though my aspirations were broken and buried, I had some peace of mind.
You know, remembering that time in my life, my heart aches and pains for that young soul who suffered so much. I know it was a very hard time, but it helped me become the woman I am today. Since I came to the Lord and received Him as my Savior and as my Father, He has become a very important part of my life. He came to change my sorrow into dance and filled me with joy. If you have gone through something similar, don't be discouraged, God sees all the afflictions and pain in your precious heart. He will change your pain into a blessing, you just have to give your life to Him. He makes a difference in our lives and the attitude you take towards your situation could lead to a blessed life. Remember, everything helps those of us who believe and love Him. Life is a school that forges us as human beings, but God perfects us and gives us a new name and a new identity. Your new name and identity are not based on your past, but are based on His love for you. He calls me beloved. What is He calling you?
Older & Much Wiser You
You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy. Psalm 30:11 NTL