Monday, January 9, 2017

Collision of Hell on Earth and Hope, Being Available for the Abused Child.

David grabbed my notebook out of my hands. You know, the one I wrote my secrets in. He read words out loud to our study hall class  that made me crawl under the desk. Red faced and ashamed to show my face, I fought with my all my strength to get that spiral notebook from his hands and shut off the disgust that mocked me from his mouth. Middle school boys have no filter. Kids can be
cruel. From that point on shyness had to disappear one meeting at a time with school counselors. Social workers, rape information services, psychologist, polygraph tests, lawyers, foster homes. Destruction. The worst times of my life played over and over again, flipping like a broken reel to reel movie. The events prior didn't compare to the harsh and ugly  reputation I felt I was deserving. Hard times and cruelty attacked, chopping away chunks of my self esteem. Yet that day, the day David said those words, "*&&%^$#$%^" was the day my life actually began in God's perfect timing.

Could it be that God allowed the words that were spoken to land  in the right ears? No, not the kids who laughed and ridiculed, but the teacher who He placed in my life to shelter me. She listened carefully without asking too many questions. Her heart was open. God must have prepared her heart for that day. She knew what to look for. I immediately knew I could share with her without condemnation or judgement. Mrs. Lane talked to the guidance counselor. My name wasn't rubbed into dirt. I wasn't trashed or bashed but was cared for. Cared about.  I needed the understanding they displayed. Although I was afraid of intimacy, I needed the security of feeling loved. God's love was displayed through the caring eyes of others.

Notebook after notebooks are still written on times like those. Only, I'm not the one writing them. Too many children are still sitting in classrooms with fear in them. Cell phones, computers and even composition books are still being filled with words such as, "He told me to take off my...." Spoken words don't come easy. Kids are still cruel. The aroma of shame continues to fill the classrooms, Sunday school classes, recreation departments and homes. Children are longing for someone to read between the lines of the tears that they hold back.

 Think for a moment...note book is opened in front of you. It reads, HELP, but in different letters. Do you know what to do with it? Have you prepared your heart and mind in ways to help?  Do you know what to do when you come face to face with a child in this situation? Will you throw the child and the notebook in the trash and walk away? Will you delete the electronic notes hoping to not be bothered by such ?  It is impossible to empty the memory bank from you or the child. But there is a way to upload hope and security.

Pray that God will prepare the way if  you do face this reality that a child will need you. He puts each of us here to be a place of rescue, a safe haven and a venue of healing. And even though it may take what seems to be way too long, He has perfect timing in the collision of hell on earth and hope. Listen to the silent screams with your eyes and your heart wide open and be prepared. It may take courage to step out and be the hero of hope and you may be the only courage there is to save the life of the muted child.

Pray . Educate yourself. Be ready to listen to the secrets. Be the ears, heart and mind for the hurting child. Trust  is...a bandage to heal.

I remain forever grateful to those who dared and cared enough to listen. Words written forever in my heart, "I'm here."

Won't you be too?
                             Britt Nicole All This Time

Please visit or stop by my Facebook  page Be a Voice 4 Kids
With Blessings,
Mary Edwards

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Intentional Sin and Saying I'm Sorry.

When your 3 year old teaches you a valuable lesson... I know many will say "Well this is a given." or "You should know that." but life gets busy and before you know're in your routine.
I've been having problems with Raelynn thinking that just because she says "sorry", after intentionally doing something she's not supposed to, makes it ok.

I'm not perfect, so very far from it, but I've realized that this is the way many, including myself, sometimes go about sin and God's forgiveness. We often don't think twice about sin because we hope that God will forgive us, and you know He will because He's God. He loves and forgives all who are truly seeking him, but does that make the sinning ok? Of course we are human, of course we stumble, but are we truly living a life for Christ if we knowingly sin first? Kind of the like the saying better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission. This is where that saying fails us.

Thank you for keeping me straight, even if it takes a 3 year old to remind me every now and then.
‪#‎timetoreevaluate‬ ‪#‎byhisgrace‬ ‪#‎iamfree

Facebook Post from Dana Keffer

2 Timothy 3:14-15 (NKJV)
14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Be The Miracle

    I came in the door only to hear the news announcer talk of things that bother my heart, mind and soul. One man charged with child sexual abuse. Another caught in child and women prostitution in human trafficking. It sickens me. Although I will never ever have the mind of an abuser, I still try to figure them out. Only, this mind can’t wrap itself around the idea of these abuses. Some may call it a stronghold. I call it sick. I’m sure it is a mental illness. I wonder if any pimp or pedophile will ever be able to walk away from these stongholds and obsession. I don’t know. I DO KNOW that anything is possible through God. But for me, I can only see the impossible. In my strength I would want to decapitate these violators. Death penalty isn’t even good enough. But I am not God. I can’t perform the miracle.  I can’t do anything to punish any of them.  And it’s not my job to do so anyway.

    Just before I came in the door I heard a song on the radio. Be One. Be what? Be the miracle. Be the change. Be the hope. It’s time to get our hands dirty. Be the actions of change. I can’t change the person who does the evil. Neither can you. But we can get involved in the prevention. In the education. In healing. In hope.

Is there something on your heart that you know you cannot do alone? Do you have the desire to make changes in a world of corruption? What about in your family? What about in yourself? Is it time to let God help you be part a miracle? Be one through Him.

   Father, I know my mouth has been quiet lately. I could make up all the excuses but you know my reasons. We all have answers to why we step back and let others take over. I am sorry for the delay in the work You have called me to do. Please help me to have the strength to fight against these evils. Thank You for supplying the rest I have needed through the pauses. But now, Father, I am ready to put on the shield and work again.

   I pray, Lord, for those who also seek to be part of the solution of whatever task you set before them. Let us all find the desire to work miracles through Your Holy Spirit and Your awesome power. If the miracle is in giving hope to those who can’t heal, let each of us reach out our hands, hearts and prayers to touch. For those who need the miracle, may we be one.

In Jesus Name, Amen

Friday, November 20, 2015

Thanksgiving Colors, A Cornacopia of Love.

     Ms. Proctor sat in the crowd of others enjoying their early Thanksgiving dinner. I loved watching the display of artistic people gather in a church setting, all in one place. I felt comfortable and my heart warmed as I cozied up in conversation of days we had spent together in the past. Ms. Proctor sat at my own home around the Thanksgiving dining room table, over a decade ago, telling me that she wanted the part of the turkey that went over the fence last.  That still makes me giggle. And we laughed last night over the such. I love Ms. Proctor, who now resides in a nursing home. Gathering with her and the others did my heart good and kick started my holiday spirit with thankfulness.
     The church we ate at opens their doors to everyone. Every color. Every mental ability or lack of it. Not one person turned their head in shock as someone of a different color sat next to the opposite. Each person there accepted the next for who they were. Nothing less and nothing more. Special needs, physical challenges, or the less fortunate common man all together with smiles and gratefulness. It was an absolutely beautiful cornucopia of God made masterpieces.
      My heart gets bothered when I think of separation in churches or any organization. I used this phrase when my children where little, "No one got to choose their color", Ya know what, I think somewhere along the line I might just have some other color embedded in my soul. God just made me that way. And I love it.
      I loved the hugs that Ms. Proctor gave me at that fine paper plate dinner last night. She is at one end of the rainbow and I am on the other yet we met in the middle. Black and white became a beautiful colorless craftsmanship. Built with the strength of God that took absolutely no effort of either of us. I bet we would have been bestest friends if we were kids.
      I know that I can't paint the eyes of others. I can't force anyone to become color blind. I just pray that they can see deep enough into the eyes of another human to see their heart. The same Holy Spirit that dwells in a white Christian dwells in the red, yellow, black and brown. The same God who helped the lame to walk  helps those who call their walkers their Cadillac. And the same Jesus who listens to the clear words of a man on their knees hears the cries of the man who can't speak clearly.
     As this holiday progresses, I pray that we find thankfulness in each other, that we care enough to pray for each other, help each other and find love for each other. May we, like the fall leaves, lay our colors to the ground and shed our pride so that our true colors display His Love.
     Happy Thanksgiving. I pray yours, maybe, is actually an absolutely colorful one.
God Bless us everyone.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Polygraph Test, Telling the Truth about Abuse

The judge ordered that stupid polygraph machine to be hooked up to me. Wires and pads were placed around many areas of my 14 year old body. I trembled in fear. I didn't mind telling the truth. I didn't have anything to hide. I wasn't afraid of failing that test. What I did fear though was what the results would do. It would make my mom and step dad even more furious at me. I don't think they ever stopped being angry.
Questions flew at me about being sexually abused. The administrator of the test asked the same questions over and over again but each time it was worded differently. I was't blind, deaf or dumb to the trickery. I had a story to tell and the story didn't change throughout any of the interrogation,( I mean investigation).
I failed it. Right at the end. I failed that test. I messed the entire thing up with one simple question, " Is that all that happened to you?". My heart raced and pierced my chest. I held my breath and huffed,  "YES."  They removed the wires from my body. My social worker, who was watching everything from the other side of the two way mirror that hung in the room, let me know I did well. But, I indeed I failed the last question.
I could only tell part of the story. I could not deal with the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Heck, 37 years past that day and I still have more stories to tell. Bits and pieces seep through my memory and stays like an unwanted guest. I am not sure when the pages of my story will finally come to an end. But I am ready for it to.
I will share the pages of my life with snippets of this chapter and that chapter.  Words on the pages often run together. Maybe I look at them too long. Sometimes it smears from salty water droplets that fall from my eyes. I can't seem to close the book all the way either. I guess there is more to read. More to Write. More to share.
If I get hooked up to one of those machines today. I probably will fail the last question again. But then again, it depends on who ordered the test.

We all have a story to share. And when we are ready, we can share it. If not, we can keep that story under lock and key of the heart. Only when ready will I answer the last question or any other. Polygraph. The truth lies within each of us. The ugly truth of abuse... within ourselves waits to escape, honestly.

John 8:32 NIV  Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Surrender the Anger. Giving it Up to God.

Ya wanna know what breaks my heart? To see people so filled up with anger because of something that happened so long ago. Children who are abused have every reason in the world to be mad. Innocence was stripped away from them. They lost control. Big brothers and big sisters end up feeling responsible for little siblings being abuse and hatred grows. Adult survivors of child abuse of any kind can grow cold and bitter.

 I have seen results of pain festering due to that ever so strong helplessness. I witness people feeling like under no circumstances will anyone ever win. And by no means will they allow themselves to be on the losing end of abuse again. Hatred boils at the memory and those hurt victims will go to all self resources to never be victimized again. Not by anyone. Not in anyway. To see that much anger makes me...ANGRY.
 And ya wanna know something else? I get it. I understand that need to be on the offensive side. Defense is over for some. It becomes time to fight until the others beg for mercy or cower. At times, it appears that these "fighters" will never cave. Heck, I don't want to cave either. 
 But who I want to surrender to is a whole different identity. Yes, I will fight like my life depended on it to not go back to those abusive times. I will give my all to navigate against anyone who makes me or any helpless child feel threatened like that. Yet, I have and will continue to surrender.
I do not give up the fight. The white flag of defeat isn't going to wave. I just let someone else take over. The leader over this war is superior to any of my plans, my thoughts or those horrid hurtful memories. I could never face this alone. I could speak with another until I am blue in the face. I can heal areas in my life, and I have, through therapy. But nothing, no one, ever, ever, EVER  compares to the soldier that fights this war with me and for me. I quit  putting myself out on the battle zone.  Instead I dropped to my knees and bowed to relinquish responsibility. 

Ephesians 6:12 New International Version
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

The battle that abused children and surviving adults face is not that of the flesh. Its against dark powers.  It's not something we can physically go to war with. No wonder we feel powerless. Let me tell you though, there is strength in that kneeling surrender. 

It took me too many years of pain through fighting in the dark. It was not until I let Light in on the subject that I gained even the smallest amount of control. Looking back, I see decades of wasted energy. Looking forward I see the rewards of letting my heart Soldier help me to find defeat.

I will continue to go into battle for any victim, survivor and overcomer. But it is not only my energy or strength that can help. It is that of God, through His son, Jesus, and through the power of the Holy Spirit that supplies the durability and endurance. He supplies the will. God is my protector. He shields me from the snares of those evil powers. He brings me through depressions and lifts me to stand high on the mountain tops of my well fought life. Nothing I had ever done on my own helped in my recovery battle like that of the Lord. And never ever will I ever find another to trust in like I do Him.

Jesus brings peace daily. How unbelievable it still seems for me to not be filled with such anger. When I finally gave in to God, He gave the war zones in my spirit a sense of security. Daily I let Him fight the crusade. It's easier on the heart, mind, soul and body. Knowing in my know-er that I was too tired to do this on my own, giving into giving up brought peace to the war.

The gift of God's shelter is yours to hide behind. He can be your safeguard. I don't care how much tough skin the years have grown on you. It doesn't matter how cold you allowed your heart to grow. And never will it matter that you might be "found out" with a white flag or surrender to Jesus. Allowing Him to go before you is much easier than to trudge and shove your way into these evil principalities.

If you are one of the many hurting and anger filled victims, I am praying for you. May God be your most useful weapon. May His strength be found in your weakness. God bless you as you lay down the hurt and pick up the "PEACEs." 

Lord I need You.




Thursday, May 14, 2015


Josiah Rodgers

With permission from my very dear friend, Paula Kaplan Rodgers, I share this blog spot. Her story touched my heart and I wanted to share it with yours.

Jeremiah - 29:11 NIV "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Sixteen years ago, today, God oversaw the delivery of the gift he had for our family, Josiah. As I reflect back to that day, really that week, if I was a gambler then I'd say the odds were against us for best outcome. At some point during delivery my placenta tore and Josiah was in distress. My oxygen levels were low to the point that I would fall asleep while trying to deliver and they would awaken me to push. Finally, they gave me oxygen and got Josiah out. His Apgar scores were low and he was unable to cry. They immediately began working on him w/in hours he had been transported to CHKD. I had not even held him yet. What results in death in many cases (placenta abratia), did not have that grip on Josiah. Instead he recovered quickly and by day 4 of his CHKD stay the doctors discharged him home in perfect health. The story doesn't end there - on that day we had the second event that could have been fatal and deeply tragic. Kristin and Katlin (with the help of Keri) had bought the wooden stork to be put in our front yard to announce the birth of Josiah. We went outside to take a picture in front of the stork. In what seemed like a finally orchestrated moment, Katlin walked in front of Josiah (who was in my arms) when a car passed by and shot a high-powered BB gun. That BB hit and penetrated into Katlin's back. We were so blessed - the ER doctor told us had that BB had hit just a little bit higher or over, Katlin could have been paralyzed or even had died. Instead it was superficial. If Katlin had not been where she was in that moment, the BB would have hit Josiah and he would not have survived it.
This has been one pattern I have witnessed in Josiah’s life. There have been obstacles that he should not be able to get over, and yet time and time again he has achieved success despite the obstacle. He never consider the obstacle as one. For example: Josiah was born with my gift of music – those of you who know me realizes that although I can sing okay, sort of, with somebody, there would never be a time that I could sing solo. Josiah never saw himself as a singer without potential; instead he set goals that were higher than I could ever imagine he would reach. Those of you who know Josiah have seen him realize this dream on stage time and time again, most recently in the role of Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Academically, the same thing. Josiah was gifted with a strong brain. At the same time he was gifted with my gross motor and fine motor skills. We always saw his strength academically and then one day we received the results of a test we had done for the gifted program and it showed his percentile in visual perception was very low – skewing the results of the test. Wow! We knew he had suffered from tremendous headaches almost daily. We had taken him for different tests through the years. The physicians were unable to find anything wrong. The administrators of the test suggested we send him to Dr. Westcott, an eye therapist. There we learned Josiah had an eye tracking problem. A year of therapy strengthen those muscles and he went from reading 10 minutes a day before getting a headache to reading 1,000 pages a week if he wanted to. Josiah never saw himself as having any learning problems or reading issues. He just took life one day at a time achieving the high goals he set for himself.
See the pattern? There is a phrase – what Satan meant for evil, God meant for good. Life doesn’t come easy for Josiah, in the same way it doesn’t come easy for any of us. But Josiah doesn’t look at himself as one with limitations or handicaps. Instead, he sees life as an opportunity and there is nothing that he sets his mind on that he cannot achieve. God has blessed him with this gift.
I love my son! I thank God for all 16 years – and look forward too many more.