The Seasons of My Heart
From the time I was twelve until I graduated from high school, I lived in an environment of verbal and emotional abuse. During that time, I learned to stay within the safety of the four walls inside my bedroom. As long as my music could not be heard or my one friend who could come to my house was quiet, I was shielded from the abuse.
As the nails of adversity were continually being pounded into my heart, I taught myself how to escape through my dreams and I developed an increasing desire for chocolate. God had been pushed to the back for a season because Mother and I no longer went to church nor did she and I read God’s Word together anymore.
However, during that season of detrimental abuse, God never left me. I was not seeking Him, but He was still protecting, providing and caring for me. Deuteronomy 31:6 – Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
God was doing more within my heart and my life than I could even begin to understand at that time. I loved Jesus because I could sense Him deep inside my inner being. Romans 8:28 – And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
God was teaching me about forgiveness. He was showing me that even though the nails of torment and anguish were being driven deep into my heart I did not have to have a heart that was cold, callous, rusting, hateful, mean spirited and unyielding to Him. God wanted me to learn in this early season that I would always need a heart that He could shape and mold, a pliable heart. With a resilient heart, the nails of adversity could not take hold in my heart no matter how many and how devastating. Isaiah 64:8– Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.
As the years passed, the individual that caused the misery began to reap what he had sown with his abuse. By the time I was thirty, this individual was no longer involved in my family. He was completely alone with very little material possessions. At his death, he had nothing, no family nor any material possessions.
Not only did this individual reap what he had sown, but God restored what he had taken from my mother and me. God restored my relationship with my mother. He gave my mother another home better than the one she sold for this individual to take the money and invest in a business that went belly up because of his deceitful ways, and God provided financially even though this individual was taking my social security check away from me and paying his own bills with it.
Forgiveness is the most difficult command God asks of us. No matter what the offense has been, or still taking place, we are to forgive, period. Luke 23:33-34 – When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals, one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
The command of forgiveness can only happen when there is a heart that seeks after God. Psalm 51:10 – Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Deuteronomy 10:12-13 – And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?
During those first two decades of seasons concerning my heart, I was able to honestly seek God for the forgiveness that I needed to give the individual that caused me to question who I really was. However, as the seasons have gone from two decades to climbing the hill to six decades, it has not been so easy.
As the seasons of the heart have increased and the nails of affliction have intensified and multiplied, I have had to be more persistent and diligent in seeking God’s Presence and His guidance to forgive the individuals whom Bobby and I have loved, given great compassion to and been very generous too. These individuals want to destroy and kill us.
However, as I saw with the individual that abused me in the early seasons of my heart, I know that there is sowing and reaping for us all. Galatians 6: 7-8 – Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.