“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” – John 15: 1-2
Thank you for showing me to your path once again and all your many blessings in my life. I am sorry I strayed but my heart leaps with joy with you once again. As a child, I went to Sunday school and learned all about Jesus and then was confirmed. But then tragedy happened and I lost you. I forgot what it was like to feel your presence until now.
I wake every morning now and feel the relief of your love and the most amazing sense of freedom. You see Lord, I have been locked inside of my own misery, trying to maneuver my way through life and just trying to survive.
I fell very hard and tried to stand back up, oh so many times. I felt the intensity of my pain so deep inside, struggling to burst its way out so I can be free.
What I realize now is that my pain from trauma was right next to you and you never left me even though my soul was suffocating.
You finally set that pain free and allowed your light to become my light and shine. I am so grateful that we touch now; body, mind and soul. As we continue to navigate life together, we are one for you are the great Vine and I am the branch. You will nourish me forever and I hold on to that promise.
I cannot say that my entire life was so difficult. There were moments of happiness as a child that presented goodness to me. But I was often confused as my Dad and I never built a relationship. I often wondered why my dad ignored me as a child. Why didn’t we connect? I became so lost.
As I grew into my teenage years, I never had confidence, I never sensed any security and didn’t know how to make decisions. I was afraid of becoming an adult. My amazing mother was always there to hold my hand and talk to me about you Lord, but the silence from my dad stung my soul. I felt invisible and sad. Eventually anger began to emerge.
Then came the night my innocence was violently stripped from me. Guess you could say I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Suddenly I was in the ugly hands of a rapist. And then, out of nowhere a loud bang came from another apartment startled him and he let go of me. It was as if an angel saved me from certain destruction. I ran.
It was then that I felt hatred may have won the battle…but not the war. I believe I was miraculously freed to overcome this horrendous act.
When it was over, I soon met another enemy: shame. My anger joined hands with shame and I fell into despair. The rape not only violated my body, it severed my connection to you. Lord, I did not know how to reach you again. And then like a coffin nailed shut, my heart was buried in darkness.
For thirteen years I stayed there. I looked for relief so I began to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol, I hated myself. I didn’t know how to bridge the gap between You and me.
A few years after the rape, I eventually met my soulmate and husband, Jason. We birthed our first child, Lillian. I was “in love” with her and I felt hopeful that more love would follow. But though I loved my husband and I loved this tiny baby, I couldn’t love myself. I know that love is stronger than hate, but how would this happen within me?
Motherly love was not enough and I still couldn’t find how to connect this wide, deep chasm between me and You, until one day well into my second pregnancy. Jason and I birthed and said goodbye to our precious son, Joseph.
At 26 weeks’ gestation he was born still. My heart broke and my sorrow burst out of it. As each tear fell after Joseph’s passing, your light filtered through my darkness. While birthing him, I felt a strange connection between You and me as the pain merged with a warm presence that felt like love. For the first time, I truly smiled. I knew you were there with me. Joseph left my womb on earth, but his tiny soul led me back to you in heaven. You saw me in the light of dawn as I labored to birth him. You stood glowing over my bed and I knew that the Heavenly Angels surrounded me. I felt your warmth comfort me.
I felt peace in the midst of my trial. I found you again.
God’s love is there through all traumas and heartbreaks of life. I heard once said that we must leave room in our gardens for the angels to dance. Yes, that is true because God is the gardener who connects all of us to the true Grapevine who is Christ.
Like a rose that slowly opens, my heart opened more to Your Divine Love.
I was guided me to forgive myself for carrying this burden alone and forgiveness of those who harmed my emotions, spirit and body. I am grateful to share a whole, abundant life with Christ at my side.
Thank you Lord, for I am eternally grateful in your name. I will never stray again from your path.
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