Years ago, a well-meaning woman with a bit of a hard edge to her, pulled me aside in a recovery meeting I attended at the time to make her grand announcement, and diagnosis, about my life: “Statistics are against you,” she told me, as if I didn’t already know. Her meaning? She wanted me to know that because I am an incest survivor, combined with alcoholism, an eating disorder, and the numerous, yucky, typical aftereffects of childhood sexual abuse, that it was hardly likely I would ever have any semblance of a normal, healthy, and happy life. Not that life is ever altogether normal, healthy, and happy at all times for all people. But she wanted to assure me that I shouldn’t expect too much out of my life. And though I was bitter, and resentful, for the pronouncement she made over my life, I have to concede years afterward that she was absolutely correct. Statistics are against me, and I am a failure in the eyes of the world to boot. But why? Why am I a failure by the world’s standards, and how can I be tired, blessed, and happy on a gloomy morning despite the statistics that stand against me?
A failure? I was abandoned by my family as a result of speaking up about my father sexually abusing me as a child. I was given an ultimatum that if I ever wanted a family again, I had to take back what I said. I was abandoned by my other relatives, and family friends. I was abandoned by my first husband. I was abandoned by my second husband. Despite an Ivy League education, I do not hold a “normal” job, and my annual regular income amounts to $9000 per year because I have chosen to give my life 24-7 to the Lord and to the ministry work He has placed in my care. I have no husband, no fiance, no boyfriend, not even a date. I have a limited social life, if you can even call it that. And the list goes on. I celebrated 21 years of sobriety by God’s grace in February, the post traumatic stress syndrome rears its ugly head rarely, the eating disorder comes and goes, but the overall picture and the overall reality is that I still live the life of a woman who has endured great trauma, great loss, great rejection, great abandonment, not to mention great lack of the usual, typical “successes” and “accomplishments” that are so common, and desired, in this life on earth.
So how can I possibly pull out of my front yard of my little house that desperately needs a new roof, a new paint job inside, landscaping, general upkeep, and more, on a day that promises not much more than more rain and gloom, and find myself tired, blessed, and happy? Not just a little happy. But so very happy. How?
For a woman who is so full of words as I am, who can spew out words from my heart and mouth and fingertips on the keyboard of my laptop as prolifically and profusely as I can, it might be amazing and astonishing to some that I can sum up how blessed I am, and how happy I am, in two words. Yes, two words.
He is my heart, my love, my life, my hope, my faith, my peace, my promise, my lifeline, my refuge, my dwelling place, my redemption, my forgiveness, my mercy, my compassion, my friend, my Savior, my Lord, my King, my buddy, my companion, my fellowship, oh, I could go on forever. And truly, there is nothing more blessed, nothing more happy, in the entire universe, than this.
Even as I have come to an end in writing this piece, the tears came to my eyes. Even as I sit in this big comfy chair surrounded by tables of people chatting and eating their breakfast coffee shop goodies, the tears filled my eyes. How could they not? For as I experienced the joy of writing these precious words about my precious Lord, I heard quietly in the background a song from long ago. A song that marked my childhood years. A song that spoke of family, of the family that once was mine. But unlike all the times I have cried for all my loss, today the tears came because of all that I have gained. Yes, I have lost so much in my life. But what I have gained far surpasses anything I ever could have had for all my time on this earth. My happiness? But how? Despite the statistics, despite my failures in the world’s eyes. Two words.
Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.
– Psalm 144:15 KJV
Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:
Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever:
– Psalm 146:5-6 KJV