26: Don’t Ask Me

26: Don’t Ask Me

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Tough Times

Don’t Ask Me

By Kaye Kinsey

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

~Galatians 2:20

The first time I remember him molesting me was in my mama’s house. I was about seven. It was on a Thursday, my mama’s grocery day. He sent my brother and neighbor out to play. Then he locked the door….

Time passed. He moved. I grew up. I went to college, married, and had a daughter. Finally, as an adult, I told my family at different times what had happened. Daddy was sick. My brother was furious. However, my mother’s reaction was anything but what I expected. With disgust in her voice, she bitterly stated, “I don’t believe that. It never happened. You were never alone with him.” Although I gave her details to prove that I wasn’t lying, she still defended him… her brother.

I cried out, “If you ever deny what happened to me again, I will never come around you, and you will never see my daughter.” From that day on, neither her brother, nor what he did to me, was mentioned in our conversations.

Mama, however, still continued a close relationship with him. She took him out to eat and to his medical appointments, and visited him regularly.

Dementia has affected many of my mother’s relatives, so it wasn’t a shock when Mama began to show signs of it. Even in the early stages, she was not able to handle business affairs. It was that condition that led Mama to ask something of me that I didn’t think I could do. She asked me to handle the funeral arrangements for her brother who had just died.

The thought of it made me sick. I had told other family members that I would never attend his funeral. Now my mother was asking me to contact a minister, get burial clothes, telephone family members, notify the insurance company, and open my home as a place for the family to gather.

How could she? I hated him. I hated what he’d done to me. I hated that she had chosen her love for him over her love for me.

I began to pray. “Lord, are you giving me an opportunity to forgive him? I don’t want to. Are you giving me the opportunity to heal a wound that my mother caused? I don’t want to, not this way. I can’t do it.”

But I knew the whole time that God wanted me to forgive. Still, on and on I prayed, reminding the Lord of all that had happened. He continued to speak to my heart.

At last, I recalled a verse I had claimed many times in my life — Philippians 4:13: “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

Sitting behind Mama at a funeral I had planned, while a gentle rain fell on the tent above us, I found a peace that had eluded me for years. And it happened because God called me to do what I thought I couldn’t do… truly forgive.

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