February 15, 2016
By: Cindy Lundhagen
As forewarned or promised…stepping forward boldly or doing something perceived as incredibly stupid…here I go. You see I don’t believe Jesus wants me to be silent about the glorious things He has done for me, what He is currently doing within me or how He wants to use me now or in the future. I think He wants me to sing out His praises…so that is what I intend to do. Sharing my story strengthens my faith and I hope it will yours as well or perhaps lead you or someone you know in His direction again…or for the first time. Jesus has helped heal deep wounds, has brought me peace and a promise of eternal salvation…which is the crux of my end message to you. I have no secrets anymore… Know that I am willing to talk to anyone at anytime about anything if it could help you.
So let’s begin. I started out in a “normal” family until 2nd grade…father, mother, older sister (2 yrs) and younger sister (5 yrs). We went off and on to a Catholic church of which I remember very little; I had a basic concept of God and prayer and that’s it. My mom began an affair, parents got divorced, and my mom remarried with custody of us kids. It didn’t take long to realize my world had been upended. Through the rest of my childhood, I experienced periods of poverty, sexual and physical abuse, and neglect. I was exposed to violence, alcoholism, abandonment and isolation, the death and destruction of things I loved, the attempted suicide of my mom and a host of other “really bad stuff” not imaginable to most kids. Though for me, the worst was feeling unwanted and unloved.
But let me tell you about God during this period. He was always, always there. He was a constant reassuring presence in the midst of a storm of chaos. He got me through many lonely days and terrifying nights. And I learned to pray…really just to talk to God when I had no one else.
Since I’ve read the Bible in the last few years, I often turn to John 6:16-21 when facing fear and circumstances outside of my control. In it Jesus walked on water in a stormy sea and his disciples were “terrified”. His answer to their terror is subtly profound, and important to grasp — he doesn’t explain himself; he simply reveals himself. “Don’t be afraid. I am here!”. Our assurance that everything will be OK has everything to do with the presence of Jesus in the midst of our fear. And more than quelling our fear, He invites us to walk directly into the fear, knowing that He is always with us, we are never alone and we are loved beyond belief by a mighty, mighty power that NOTHING can overcome.
Hang in there with me for a little more of my history…you’ll see the depths He has pulled me from and the lengths He went to…and then things will get interesting. Until next Monday…
Cindy Lundhagen – Summerville, SC