Pebbles of Forgiveness

No ones knows the heartache
or the heavy burdens a child was forced to bear.
No one sees the daily struggles with which the past has cursed my present.
Yet there is a God who commands me:


The harms done.
The love spurned.
The abuse endured.

My Rock drops pebbles of forgiveness
to toss into the past
To sprinkle like refreshing rain
On those who were knowingly to blame,
Creating ripples of hope in their seas of shame,
And beginning to ease my memories and pain.

Tell A Story

Track marks tell a story
she wishes they didn’t tell
about a girl who faltered
as to smack she fell
when her heart was bleeding,
bruised by evil men
His scars tell a story
she grieves that they tell
about the Innocent who died
as to evil men he fell
when His heart stopped beating,
thrashed and hung upon a cross.
His grave tells a story
she rejoices that it tells
about a dead Man raised
to overcome her hell
when His tomb was empty,
defeated death and evil men.
Her life tells a story
she humbly does share
about a drug addict rescued
by the King’s gentle care
when He silenced accusations,
made a new creation.
Her scars tell a story
she’s no longer shamed to tell
Bout a Savior who renamed her
made her sick heart well,
when he freed from heroin’s call
healed harm done by evil men.

“What’s In a Name?”

William Shakespeare wrote in Romeo and Juliet, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other would smell as sweet.” A name communicates a lot of things, but mostly, it identifies who or what we are talking about, gives clarity. I know that I have kept my name hidden, and I really want to explain the many reasons why. I pray you will receive my explanations with grace and understanding.

First, I choose anonymity. Some people call me Grace and I am good with that – wish it were my name, really. I know they get it from the title of my blog, “Grace Anchored Soul.” It makes me smile and brings me joy because it reminds me of God’s grace.

Some call me Abigail – and that is the name that I am published under. It means father’s joy. It became my pen name when the publisher contacted me. I chose Abigail because it reminds me of who I am to my Heavenly Father, that I bring Him joy. My dad always called me a curse, told me he wished I was never born. Once he put his hands around my neck to strangle me while screaming horrible things at me. But God preserved my life, redeemed me, and called me his child. My Heavenly Father rejoices over me and considers me a joy, not a curse. And so, for that reason, I chose Abigail as the name that people would know me by.

Others know who I am and call me by my given name – and that is fine, but their comments never make it on this site. Still others know who I am, but understand my need for anonymity and comment without my name (thank you).

Why anonymity? Some might think that I am hiding in shame. For many years, that would have been accurate. Now, as God has written His healing in my heart, I have made the choice to remain anonymous for the protection of my family as well as for the protection of my abusers.

For myself and my family:

I am an addict of the worst kind – although my dip into drugs was short-lived, it is a daily battle to stay sober. I have been clean one month short of two years. My children don’t need to pay for the mistakes of their mother. Friends and family who know that I have used heroin have responded with grace and love, but the church isn’t a safe place for people with sins like mine. Other children wouldn’t be allowed to play with my children – I have witnessed this with other children whose parents struggle. Not all parents are understanding and some would keep their children from my children in fear of me. So, I write under a pen name for my children’s protection.

And for my abusers:

My first abuser is dead. I hadn’t seen him in decades, but attended his funeral – I can’t explain why I felt the need to do that. I sat and listened to what a wonderful man he was, how he had surrendered his life to Christ and was now in heaven. All I could think was that he had molested me repeatedly beginning when I was four… how is that “wonderful”? The pastor shared the good news of Jesus, saying that the man would want everyone to know what he came to believe and live by: Jesus died for sinners like him. We sang “Amazing Grace.” I cried angry, busted up, bitter tears. He had gotten away with what he did to me. But then God reminded me that his sentence had been just and his punishment had been fair… just like mine was. Jesus had carried his sins to the cross, just like He had mine. Death was required and in mercy and grace, Jesus paid it for him. He is my brother and when I get to heaven, we will embrace. None of the harm he caused me will be between us. It’s hard to think or imagine, but it is truth, even on the days when I punch my pillow and weep over it. And nothing would be accomplished by ruining the testimony he had at the end of his life.

My second abuser was a teen. Mistakes made by a teen should not destroy him now. I have forgiven. If I ever suspected he was harming someone else, I would come forward. But really? He has grown into a really good man who fears God and has overcome the abuse that he endured as a child, as well as the abuses he committed against me. There is something to be said for that. He deserves freedom from the past, just like I do. He still lives near me and I run into him at the grocery store occasionally. He always stops and talks to me. I come home and cry, wondering how he can even look at me after what he did. In the end though, grace and peace win – Jesus loves me. Jesus loves him.

One of my abusers is an old man. He has not made peace with God. Do I think that publicizing his sins against me will lead him to repentance? Probably not. It would probably cause him to harden his heart even further. So, for the hope and prayer that he will repent and give his life to Jesus, I remain anonymous. Some days, it is hard. Some days, I want to point my finger and say, “My daddy hurt me and I want the world to know it…” but then God reminds me, “Vengeance is mine…” And one way or another, God will have vengeance, the price for his sins will be paid. He will either repent and turn to Jesus, allowing Jesus to carry his guilt and shame to the cross, just like He did mine, or he will pay the price for the things he did for all eternity. All eternity is a hard, long time, and so I pray he finds Jesus.

The other men who harmed me, well, I don’t even know their names or where they are. If I saw them today, I don’t even know if I would recognize them. I pray that they too will come to know and understand the redemptive power of Jesus.

For God’s Glory:

I don’t write to be known. I write for God to be known. I don’t want others to be distracted by who I am. Nor do I want pity from those who know me personally, but are unaware of my story. I want all that I write to point to the redeeming grace of God. In the midst of my pain, there is a God who is able to use it for my good and His glory. Just like Joseph said, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good…” (Genesis 50:20), I long for Him to use the evil against me for good – to turn the ashes of childhood abuse to beauty!

Abundantly Overflowing

(The following poem has graphic content that may be triggering to sensitive readers)

Her turtleneck and long sleeved shirt hide a new blue-black bruise
At ten, bitter beer, burning whiskey numb her pain and fear
Teachers, pastors, friends close their eyes to her every tear.
Childhood memories abundantly overflowing curses and abuse

Men decide her worth – she doesn’t get to choose.
Seventy-two dollars and he sells her soul the first time
Causes shame and guilt. She doesn’t know man’s sin is not her crime.
Childhood memories abundantly overflowing curses and abuse.

Sixteen and she chooses to fight against men’s use
His hands circle neck, squeezing out her breath
Darkness descends, but she is cheated of her death
Childhood memories abundantly overflowing curses and abuse

Eighteen and she tries to escape the path she didn’t choose
College friends, drinking hard, still being chased by the past
Secrets she never dares tell and no one ever asks
Childhood memories abundantly overflowing curses and abuse.

Eighteen and her life is changed when she is asked to choose
in a whispered invitation from a Man who died upon a cross
to surrender to Him all her broken parts, sins and worthless dross,
childhood memories abundantly overflowing curses and abuse.

Childhood memories abundantly overflowing curses and abuse
she relinquishes to the One who came and died
so she could be made whole and new, never to be denied.
In Him she with joy is abundantly overflowing, never again
by shame and guilt to be accused.

This poem was written in response to:

Poetic Bloomings Prompt Day 5 – Autumnal Poem A Day Chapbook Exercise: Cornucopia

For you this morning:

If you are in a dangerous or abusive relationship, please seek help. Go to the authorities. Tell a trusted friend. Seek a safe place to get away. You are valuable and you are loved by the God who created you. I know your pain and I know it is hard to believe when you are in the midst of horrible circumstances that God could possibly care, but he does. He is able to make a way of escape and to heal the pain.  Find a good counselor to help you process the harm done to you.

The above poem is based on my life. He has saved and rescued me. He has redeemed the broken parts through His gospel of grace. He has brought me healing through counseling and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (E.M.D.R.). He is able to heal and to redeem every broken thing.  If He would do that for me, how much more is He willing and able to do for you?

As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God!    ~Psalm 40:17 (ESV)

For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the One who helps you.”     ~Isaiah 41:13

Father God, You are a good, good Father. I pray for the hurting that You will speak Your healing, give them Your wisdom, courage, and grace to take the necessary steps of escape I pray You will bring mentors, friends, helpers into their lives that will show them the way. Please, Father, be who You promise to be, their ever present help in times of trouble. Help them to step into freedom, to know and experience Your love in a real and living way. You are the God who is able to do much more than we could ask or imagine. And today, I ask you to work in mighty ways through Your word and Your Spirit. In Jesus’s Name I ask. Amen.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.   ~Psalm 46:1