Thursday, July 24, 2008

an old letter to my daughter....

Hi babe--I'm not sure I ever finished this & sent it to you! Sorry 'bout that....since I want to use it for the Famine study with the girls, I'm finishing it & sending it to you & sharing it with them, too.

It's also been a challenge to organize my thoughts on what God has taught me about the lust/sex thing...the hunger for satisfaction. But if I ever actually write my book about Happy Wife/Human Husband, I need to have this chapter in it. So you are giving me incentive to do what God & your dad have been suggesting I do.

As you know, I was sexually molested by a cousin while growing up. One of the confusing things for the "victim" is the awakening of desire...it does feel good & you have a lot of conflict about guilt and shame at the same time you are experiencing a strong pull to satisfy a physical hunger you never had before. It is a real trap, and part of the victimization in the sense that your body seems to be working against you. I found out later that he had been molested by another cousin and started to molest others when that cousin moved away...HIS physical urges being too powerful for him to deal with alone. So I wonder where the line between victim-molester really is...but it doesn't negate our responsibility for our actions.

In the Song of Solomon, we are repeatedly warned not to "awaken my love before she pleases". I believe this is a reference to the passions....we are not to be sexually active in thought & heart until it is appropriate to be sexually active physically. This is why modesty is an issue...not just clothing, but thought & behavior. You can be incredibly immodest and completely covered up...it is easy to entice with glances & smiles. It is why we are told to guard our hearts....the books we read, the things we watch, the friendships we cultivate. At the end of the book, Solomon talks of a little sister...and the need to be a wall rather than a door. If you want an intensely satisfying sexual life with your future husband, YOU MUST BE A WALLED GARDEN with only one way in--marriage.

The result of my being a "door" was like having a broken cistern in my heart. I had all kinds of hunger & thirst for attention & affection but no way to keep my bucket full. I was like that verse in Proverbs 27:7, "A sated man loathes honey, but to a famished man any bitter thing is sweet." In the margin below that verse I wrote this years ago--"If I am not content in His love, I'll be tempted to "be content" filling the gap with food, attention, fantasy--and if He has not already filled me, those comparatively bitter things are sweet. But if I'm content in Him I will not idolize."

(I love having a Bible that has stuff written in it from years past--it reminds me of what He has brought me through & of His faithfulness to us. I need those reminders so often! Don't be afraid to write in your Bible.)

Being sexually active in fantasy & action seemed to be satisfying a hunger that I had for my daddy's attention. You never knew your grandfather, but he was quite a character. He had some real handicaps--one was the belief that you don't face problems, you walk away from them. He'd be very affectionate at times, then turn his back & say "I don't love you anymore, I'm mad at you" & go to sleep on the couch. He wasn't around much.

You know how you need to feel connected to your dad, and how you hunger for his love. Being "just a man" and living in the fallen world, he can't meet all your longings for his love. I think the reason we have that "Daddy Hunger" is that we really hunger for God the Father's love & He planned that we'd be able to understand His love by being first loved by a daddy. Our sinfulness messed up God's plan generations ago and we all have problems because of it.

Right now there are a growing number of teens having plastic surgery because they feel so ugly the way God made them. The size of their breasts or nose has ruined their perceived potential for being happy...they hunger for a satisfaction that they think will come in being attractive in a narrowly described way. It is a tragedy because satisfaction doesn't work like that...one of my roommates had a sister who owned a top modeling agency & Sheree said that the people in the top modeling circles are the unhappiest, most insecure people she'd ever seen. All "beautiful", all unhappy.

No matter what you are in life, you will have "hunger pangs"--unfulfilled desires. It is easy to think that something you don't have will satisfy you, but what actually happens is more like a meal; it fills you up for a short time. If you're eating junk then you will be full for a short time but not get any benefit from it...it will cause harm. It really is like that verse in Proverbs: if you learn to be content with God, your life is full even when you have nothing. If you are starving for God, you eat & eat & eat all the world has to offer & keep getting hungry again because nothing the world has satisfies forever even though it tastes sweet at the time.

You'd wanted to know what verses God has used in my life as a single woman. The most helpful passage for me has been Isaiah 54. The word-picture in the beginning of the chapter is that of a solitary woman making her tent more secure by stretching it out & hammering in the pegs. She's making a TEMPORARY dwelling more secure by digging in deeper where she's at. Here's my take on this--

1. Get a larger perspective on your life--we live in a tent; our mansion is in heaven.
2. Make your tent secure by putting energy into what you have to do today...
--what are your responsibilities?--do them well. (Matthew 24:45)
--who do you live with?--learn how to connect with them. (Isaiah 58:7)
--what is God teaching you today?--write it down! (Psalm 19:7-11)

The last thing I want to share with you in this letter is another part of Isaiah 54. There are times when you are SO desparately starved for love that you see the world through a blur of tears. After the tent thing, God talks of a wife rejected, forsaken and grieved in spirit. In verse 11, He says this--

"O afflicted one, storm-tossed, and not comforted,
Behold, I will set your stones in antimony,
And your foundations I will lay in sapphires.
Moreover, I will make your balltlements of rubies,
And your gates of crystal,
And your entire wall of precious stones.
And all your sons will be taught of the Lord;
And the well-being of your sons will be great."

Ties in kind of cool with the walled garden thing out of Song of Solomon, huh? I have clung to that promise over the years, seeing the words run together as I wept. There are times when you will be storm-tossed & find no comfort. We live in a fallen world, one that has pain in every direction. We cannot escape the reality of sin & it's effect on us. That's why Jesus came.

Last year, I wrote on the margin of Isaiah 54:11--"God keeps His promise made in these verses to me as a single woman-now married w/4 kids who are dedicated to Him 4/15/04"

My point is not that you may someday be a happily married mother of children. There have been times in my married life that I have felt storm-tossed and afflicted...other times when I have been so deep in the pit of despair I could not see any light. But through all that time, God has been faithful, like the sun that shines all the time even when you cannot see it because of where you are on earth.

If you are reading His Word & thinking about it, praying for wisdom and writing your thoughts, you will feed your spirit.
If you are obeying His command & laying down your life to follow Jesus in meeting other people's needs, you will feed your soul.

Like your tag line says, "you don't HAVE a soul, you ARE a soul--you HAVE a body." God knows you have physical needs, He made your body. He commands us to feed the hungry, to satisfy our spouses & be exhilarated in marriage. It's just temporary, though, to help us understand eternal things. When you are hungry for something, attention from a guy, for instance, ask yourself what the big picture is & what God is teaching you.

Well, I'm out of time. I hope this helps a little--

love you much--Mom

2 comments:

MacyLane said...

I'm a firm believer in writing in my Bible margins, for the same reasons you mentioned. It's so neat to re-read later!

Much of what you were saying in this post made me think of a book I read once called "kissed the girls and made them cry" by Lisa Bevere.

It talks alot about the problem with passion being awakened too soon---and what to do to put it "back to sleep" so to speak.

I've reall enjoyed reading your posts... :)

nickolina said...

I am really glad that you are reading my posts...it's encouraging to get comments. That book sounds like a good one to suggest to lots of people.

My Bible doesn't get read as much as I need to read it...but God is faithful anyway. And the writing in it reminds me of His faithfulness since it was a gift from anonymous on March 5, 1976. I should write a post about that....hmmmm.....