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Archive for September, 2010


Refer to Step 4: I choose to believe what God says about Himself: that He is good and can be trusted.

Father,

As the years progress,

I often hear people talk

About how much they trust You,

But their pronouncements seem like a fickle lover

With a self-serving agenda rather than a commitment.

Lacking substance or depth,

Their mellifluous affirmations seem to be

Pathetic and selfish, lacking substance.

Obviously, their loyalty has not been forged

By adversity and weathered by hardship.

Their trust seems shallow and juvenile,

Rather than strong, resilient and confident.

Believing that whining and demanding

Will gain Your favor instead of humility and agreement,

They come before You with hearts that are

Petulant and peevish, lacking gratitude.

I understand their perspective completely, Lord,

Having spent the decades of my life

Coming before You in precisely the same way,

Never understanding or admitting that

You know what is best for me better than I do,

And that You are God, and I am not.

Forgive my effrontery, Father. On my best day,

I am Your spoiled child, but Your child nonetheless.

I have foolishly thought that my way is better than Yours,

But it is not. Nevertheless, I have wanted My way,

Believing that when You have refused to grant it,

You were distant and detached—unloving and uncaring.

But I have been wrong about that—completely wrong,

Just like all of Your other immature children.

You do know what’s best for me and everybody else,

Regardless of what that might be.

As I bow my knee before You, let me say,

I am Yours to do with as You see fit.

After years of foolishness, I now understand my petulance.

I wish I had known it sooner,

But I lacked the maturity to do so.

Now, as wisdom has entered my heart,

I am led to acknowledge gratefully,

You give and take away;

You give and take away;

Blessed be Your name.

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Refer to Step 11: I make a commitment to nurture my relationship with God, asking Him to reveal His will to me and to give me the power to carry it out.

Father,

My spirit has been rejuvenated.

Even my step feels lighter,

As the burden of my past has been

Lifted from my shoulders.

Now free to walk into the future,

Unencumbered by guilt, shame,

And all of my self-defeating behavior,

I want life to have more meaning

Than the mediocrity that has become my routine.

The pursuit of valueless materialism no longer

Has the appeal it once had for me.

In fact, my definition of success has changed.

My spirit has been awakened and I want

To spend all of my days, which You have numbered,

Doing what You would have me do—

What You have prepared for me.

I’ve learned that I can understand Your leading

By looking back, far better than by looking forward.

Whatever You have in store for me, Father,

Regardless of what that might be,

That is where I want to spend my days.

Having wandered so far from You in the past,

I know what I am capable of doing—

Of who I am capable of being,

And it is not what I want for my life .

Father, guard my heart so that

I do not wander away from You again,

Pursuing fruitless, meaningless endeavors.

Let my heart rejoice in Your ways

And give me peace each day for as many as I have left.

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Refer to Step 10: I choose to believe God still has a purpose for my life—a purpose for good and not evil.

Father,

Having been used, abused, and discarded,

By those who insisted they spoke in Your name,

But most certainly did not,

My self-worth has suffered significantly.

Having internalized the shaming charge,

Which my abusers have levied against me,

I have acted in ways contrary to my beliefs,

Which You have set forth in Your Word,

As well as in my heart and soul.

Having tried to run away from You for so long,

I now see how flawed my judgment has been.

Returning has required me to renew

My mind to look at life like You do.

Thank You, Lord, for enlightening me,

For revealing that You have good things

Planned for my life and not calamity.

At times, I still have trouble believing You—

Believing the validation You have instilled in me.

The stinging indictment of my abusers

Has found fertile ground in my soul,

And continues to resonate, telling me that

I am a person without value—without worth.

But, when that happens, all I need to do

Is come before You, Almighty God,

And listen to You tell me,

You are my child—loved and valued.

And I most assuredly have a purpose for your life.

Whenever you have doubts, come to me,

And I will remind you that you are highly-valued.

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Refer to Step 9: I humbly ask God to change anything He wishes, and I ask Him to heal my pain. Because God forgives us as we forgive others, I forgive my abusers.

Father,

Now that I’ve revealed myself completely,

Being as honest and forthright

As I know how to be,

Having also admitted my faults to another,

I want to humbly ask You

To change anything in me You desire.

You are Almighty God; and I am not.

I’m weary of trying to walk a path,

Which has not been directed by You.

To complete the process of purging

All that remains toxic in my soul,

I know I need to travel the final step as well.

I release those who have been abusive to me,

Forgiving them totally and completely.

I have clutched my anger and bitterness

For far too long, and I have paid

A heavy price within myself for doing so.

Believing I was punishing them by being unforgiving,

I have only punished myself instead,

Which I now regret and no longer desire to do.

I forgive them—just as You have forgiven me.

I release them completely—just as You have released me.

Give me the strength to put my pain and anger behind me,

Father, allow me to walk into the future

Free from my debilitating encumbrances

To become the person You created me to be.


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Refer to Step 8: I will share my experience and my own wrongdoing with a trusted friend, confessing the exact state of my heart.

Father,

Now that I have spelled out

The exact nature of my behavior,

And have written it on paper,

I feel naked to the world and very vulnerable.

Just reviewing at it makes me feel

Relieved but also sorrowful and insecure.

Now that I have brought to light

My deepest, most intimate secrets,

I feel so exposed and fear rejection and ridicule.

Perhaps I will even be mocked by my confessor—

Just like I was by my religious abusers.

I know that’s not a realistic fear,

But just the thought creates apprehension and foreboding.

I know that You will forgive my self-defeating behavior,

But humans are rarely as generous as You, Father.

You’ll have to prepare the heart of my friend—

The one I have chosen to be my confidant.

When I reveal myself to that person,

I pray that Your love and acceptance will be

What I experience and not the condemnation

Of someone who is self-righteous

And cannot understand or accept me—just as I am.

Father, I have already worked so hard and come so far,

Help me to continue being vulnerable and forthright,

Which I know is Your will for me.

Stand with me, Lord, so that

I can boldly state the exact nature of my heart

With humility and not with timidity.

Heal all of the broken places, Father,

And relieve the burden of guilt I have been

Carrying with me all of these years.

Free me to walk into the future unburdened by the past.

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Refer to Step 7: I will make a detailed, written account of my abusive experiences, as well as my subsequent behavior. I commit to being as thorough and honest as I’m able.

Father,

I’ve come before You so many times,

To tell You about my life—

About my woes, heartaches and failures.

I come to tell You who I really am—sort of.

I want You to know me, but only from my perspective,

Which may not be an accurate picture.

I know that. That’s why I tell You

About myself in bits and pieces.

But now that my situation has become

Too much to bear—too much to shoulder;

I’m forced me to be honest—to be forthright.

Until now, my admissions have been haphazard.

I’ve refused to consider that more was needed—

That a complete cleansing would be required.

As I continue on my road to recovery,

I want to unburden myself of all my shame,

All my guilt, and everything that enslaves me.

But to do so feels like a daunting task.

There’s so much there. I know it, and so do You.

Father, that’s why I need Your guidance so much.

Only You can help me be completely honest

With You as well as myself.

As I begin to journal my unvarnished inventory,

Give me courage to be thorough and transparent.

Give me the “grit” I need get it all out,

And the discipline to put it down on paper.

My insides churn as I begin this journey,

Because I’ve loved the darkness rather than the light,

Even though I pretend to all that I do not.

Father, without Your help, I can’t change a thing.

I know that but, with You empowering and guiding me,

I’m committed to be strong, courageous, and thorough.

Now, with Your help, let’s begin.

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Refer to Step 6: I refuse to become like those who have abused me and abandon my desire to spread malice because of my pain and my anger.

Father,

You know how badly

I have been mistreated

By those who should have fostered my welfare

But did the exact opposite—

Taking advantage of my trusting nature instead.

I’ve expressed my outrage and indignation

To You so often that I’ve lost count.

This affront has wounded my soul deeply,

And out of my pain, I know I have hurt others,

Which I’ve tried to justify but cannot.

I fear I have become like those who have hurt me,

Injuring others who are innocent—just as I once was.

Father, I acknowledge that I have done this,

And I am becoming a person I don’t want to be.

I don’t want to be like my abusers,

But if I am being completely honest, I know I have been,

Despite my insistence that I have not.

Forgive me, Father. Heal my wounds,

And restore gladness to my troubled soul.

As a conscious act, I choose to abandon

My self-serving ways, which have hurt others.

Despite my pain, anger, and disquietude,

I will stop spreading malice and enmity.

To make this a reality, Father, I will need

Your strength more than ever before.

Will You reach down and touch me?

Will You help me bridle my caustic tongue?

Will You keep my feet from stumbling?

Will You transform my wandering heart,

And keep it close to You?

Will You help me, Father? Will You?

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