Every child deserves a place where he or she is in control. Not a home where a child tyrant is suffered, no not at all. But a place in their young life where they are allowed to make choices about what to do and how to spend time and even how to spend a little bit of money. Children who are allowed and encouraged to choose the day’s wardrobe, wear, the colors to draw with or the height of block buildings learn important things about themselves; especially when parents stand by supporting safe choices. Often that is not the case. Far too often parents make decisions based on their own comfort, expediency, or need to accomplish.
The loss of innocence occurs when hurried parents lose focus and the soul of a child is chipped away. In difficult times, without conscious intention, parental influences permanently change the heart of a child. Children forced to deal with poorly thought out adult decisions must later come to terms with an undeniable loss of innocence, childhood and formative years.
Emotional abuse, while without the lasting, painful visual scars of physical abuse, is a deeply embedded bitter, unending mar on the personal spirit. Over 54 years I have struggled with deeply burrowed scars from the pain of poor adult choices, racial discrimination and physical abuse. It has taken so very long to see the damages fade away. The little girl who dealt with adult foolishness in the Civil Rights era, grew up to be an adolescent who felt unworthy and chose to seriously self-abuse. Today, 33 years out of those very dark places, I find myself retracing past years, desiring retrieval of some part the young kindergarten artist who dreamed of prettier things. That five-year-old prodigy prolifically created page upon page, carved an array of images into clay, fashioned cooper twisted sculptures and built a universe of paper dolls. Sadly she learned with great intensity, the temporal state of the poverty which has no room for art or masterpieces. And somewhere, she got left behind like the unfurled length of a kite’s tail; which brought years of a life, flitting on the wind, then crashing to the ground over and over again.
Right now, it seems a little gray but wait, I am still here! You see, one day, somewhere, somebody prayed for me and because of those prayers, the LORD of second chances calls me His friend. And guess what? The years that have passed will not be wasted because I have been promised so much more.
Today my creative soul has taken flight once again and those ravished years are but fuel for a stronger, more stable engine. And oh how I know HE WHO PROMISED IS FAITHFUL! I believe the promises in the Bible are mine and I am seeing GOD’s Spirit poured out all around me and will express it with the works of my hands. And I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, GOD WILL RESTORE HIS PEOPLE.
“And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the canker worm, and the caterpillar, and the palmer worm, My great army which I sent among you. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your GOD, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and My people shall never be ashamed. And ye shall know that I Am in the midst of Israel, and that I Am the LORD your GOD, and none else: and My people shall never be ashamed… And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out My spirit.” Joel 2: 25- 29