In Faith on
2 August, 2013

Stories to Tell: Part 2

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I have to say, I really enjoy the comments and emails I receive from my readers. So, today I’ve decided to lend my pen to one of my readers, Dennis, who wrote to me shortly after I published this post. He has a beautiful testimony that I want to share with all of you. Enjoy!

In my years, I have come to learn that family histories often repeat themselves. Some of those histories are good, but all too often they are bad. For example, the way we are treated as children, including the way we’re spoken to as kids, can have a significant impact on how we perceive the world as we grow older and how we act in our adulthood. To better explain this, allow me to tell you about my family’s history.

My mom’s parents were both immigrants from Czechoslovakia. Even though I never met them, I have been told that their lives were very difficult, especially considering the poor country they came from. My grandparents were verbally abusive to their children; their words to them were harsh and cold.  My grandfather ended up committing suicide when my mother was still young.  Needless to say, my mom didn’t grow up in a loving or caring home.

My dad’s history is much different. He grew up in a large family of 13 on a farm in Michigan. His family had been settled in America for quite some time, and he was born in the states. I have fond memories of my paternal grandparents—I saw affection and cooperation in their home.

In 1950, my parents were married in Michigan. I was the youngest of seven children—four brothers and two sisters. My dad drove a milk truck and worked in a car plant for most of his life. He also served in the army in the 1940’s. Like many marriages at the time, my mom stayed at home and my dad took care of providing for the family.

Then, when I was only seven years old, everything changed. Pancreatic cancer took my father’s life at the age of 48, leaving my mother to raise all seven kids without the experience needed. She didn’t even know how to drive a car.

At the time this was happening, I was oblivious to what was going on. However, now I know that my mother felt very alone and lost after the death of my father. This tragedy, coupled with her difficult childhood, made her feel unloved and alone. After my dad died, she went into a deep depression. She and all us kids went to counseling for many years.

The death of my father left me with a sense of abandonment and loss, too.  It led me to an addiction to food for many years. But God has been gracious to me and has shown me that trying to fill that hole in my heart with food or other things is not  healthy for my mind or my body.

As an adult, I now see that my mom’s fear and negativity had been passed down to me. It led me to a mindset of not taking on new challenges and trying new things that allowed me to grow and flourish.  Fear can hold us back in many ways that keep us from finding freedom and growth that God wants for us.  I now realize that she never experienced love as a child and thus had a hard time giving it.  I have learned we can look at our family trees and change those things that will allow us to grow more fully.

Although it took many years for me to realize it, I now know that God’s love is great and we have no reason to be fearful! I have been healed in so many ways because of God’s love for me, and my life is so much richer now because of it.

Dennis

If you have a testimony you’d like for me to consider sharing on my blog, email me anytime at admin@jennifershopeblog.com. I’d love to hear from you!

Jen

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1 Comment

  • Malcolm Snyder

    That was so beautiful to read. My husband of more than 40 years always says ´two givers´works better than ´give and take´´.

    13 November, 2013 at 2:34 pm Reply
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