Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Just in the Nick of Time

I'm not one to dwell on the past.  But I've heard it said, 'those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it'.  Remembering from time to time will help keep things in perspective.  It allows us to adequately consider each minuscule or monumental event which contributed to our character development.  It helps us answer the question, 'why?'.  I'm no psychologist, but I must say, that I've read and experienced enough to know that everything in life happens for a season and a reason.

Without acknowledging our past or looking through the wormhole of our fears, we will never fully heal from it.  The suffering we endured gives us greater insight and a profound connection to those that share the same pain.  You've heard the phrase, 'I understand' from people who have no clue what you're speaking of.  Though, they mean well, it is a little condescending.  So when you finally do come across that person who says, 'I understand' and truly does understand because they lived through it themselves, then it is a relief.  You realize you are not alone; that you weren't the only one who traveled the long, dark road.

I am fully aware that the horrible pain inflicted on us is for a greater purpose.  Most times, we are pruned by fire so that when we tell another, 'I understand', we actually mean it.  Although, Thanksgiving Day is a wonderful holiday because of what it represents, I've always felt there is no need to wait for one particular day to say 'thanks'.  We should be grateful each and every day of our lives.  With that said, today I wanted to share the reasons why I'm thankful with all of you as witnesses of my deep seeded gratitude.

Here goes. I'm thankful ...
  • for being kidnapped by my father when I was four yrs old
  • for having a fighting mother that never gave up the search
  • for being abused as a child
  • for knowing the bruised face of domestic violence through my mother's pain 
  • for seeing the ugly face of drug and alcohol addiction on family members 
  • for the tears, the heartbreaks, and rejections 
  • for the incompetent teachers who belittled assuming they were great mentors
  • for the family who used manipulation and humiliation throughout the years
  • for the depression that was the climax of it all
... but most of all, I'm thankful for being rescued by a loving God ... just in the nick of time.

Without experiencing any of these events in my life, I could never have written the words that I have.  All that pain amounted to something beautiful.  I became stronger.  And though I find myself still wondering on certain issues, I know that the good Lord has a higher calling and great purpose for my life.  In the end, that's what keeps me standing.  It's what keeps me breathing.  It's what keeps me humble.  It's what makes me thankful.

My dear friends, I pray that on this Thanksgiving as you sit around the table with your loved ones, you remember my words.  If only for a moment, look back at your past, look deep into the river of despair and thank God for bringing you out ... just in the nick of time.  Enjoy your holiday and God bless!

Copyright © 2009 by Ellie Kings
*Art by the talented Joey Remmers


Craftsman of light said...

Eliie, 'i understand '.....i have had a happy childhood but have seen so many others who were'nt as lucky as me.
i used to feel guilty for 'having'.... while there were those who needed it more than i did.....
i'm grateful from what i have seen and learnt from around.
Ellie its so great to see how you did your path work, ultimately , its about redemption. You have it because you have touched Love.
This iw hat i see in your writing, this is how i feel profoundly about who you are!

This post is a great reminder of how lucky we all are!!

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Being thankful in the hard things is a truly difficult lesson. But when you're able to look back and see where God has worked in the darkest of times, it means you've come through.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Lori said...

I'm always left without words by you, Ellie. You're so far. You just prove it can be done and allow for hope.

Janna Qualman said...

Ellie, my goodness. But I'd say you have this thankfulness thing under control. May you be blessed, and may you enjoy your holiday.

Tamika: said...

We do have a multitude of reasons to me thankful each day. My heart swells with joy to see God's hand in your life.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Mel said...

Wow, Ellie, this post is truly eye-opening and inspiring to be thankful no matter what we've been through; I thank God that He rescued you too. Happy Thanksgiving, friend....I hope you have a relaxing, wonderful day.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I have often said the trials I've survived have only made me stronger. Great post, Ellie! God is with us, even when we are not aware of his presence... we often forget that. I've been through so many difficulties, yet I'm still here! Amen!

Lesley said...

Thank you for sharing, Ellie. We can go through pain and become bitter and hateful. We can go through pain and hide it with drugs or alcohol or even big bright smiles. Or, as your story shows, we can go through pain and emerge as a shining example of God's love and forgiveness. Bless you.

Alexandra Garland said...

Hi Ellie,
Your list is very personal and very touching. I'm glad to hear that you have found the way to deal with life obstacles. You are absolutely right saying that you wouldn't be the same person today if you didn't go through those experiences. You have embraced the past and learned from it. That is a great achievement and it's greatly inspiring!! Wish you a great Thanksgiving!! Blessings to you!!

Anne Lang Bundy said...

I don't pretend to know or understand what you feel. But I know the pain which despairs of life. I know the God Who rescues us from whatever pit of sin and pain we've found ourselves.

But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more ... (Romans 5:20)

I know that His grace abounds in greater measure to those who've experienced the affects of sin in greater measure—and that His grace makes possible the thanks you've expressed here.

I love you!

Tabitha Bird said...

Oh wow Ellie. I understand. But I don't know if I am ready to be thankful for my abusive upbringing or the fall out of that in my life. I am willing to believe that all things can work together for good. I am willing to believe there is a plan for my life. But thankful for pain and suffering is something I am yet to appreciate. Maybe I need another five years in counselling :)
I am so glad you are able to silver linings in storm clouds. Anyone who can do that is my hero. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

I understand some of the things on your list Ellie! Truly! I am so thankful for all of the pain as well because I would not be the writer that I am today and God does make all of it into something beautiful. Lovely post!!! :o)

Jennifer Shirk said...

I'm humbled by your list.
You truly have you mind and heart set upon God.
Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving.

~Ellie Kings~ said...

Thank you all for the endearing response. I'm grateful to God for placing you all in my path.

~Ellie Kings~ said...

Tabitha~ it takes a lot of time and much healing. I'll confess there is one individual in particular that I'm taking a little longer to forgive, but it'll happen in time. Be strong! We'll get there... leave it in God's hands, and he'll work it out for you.

Wine and Words said...

This was lovely Ellie, and mirrors me...nick of time.

"Makes me that much stronger, makes me work a little bit harder, makes me that much wiser. Thanks for making me...a fighter." - CA

That is my ring tone for my parents. I don't remember much, but by the grace of God I remember just enough not to repeat lessons learned.

Jody Hedlund said...

Hi Ellie,

Thank you for sharing so honestly about your past pain. You have truly experienced the fire to shape you into what you are today. Your writing life will be the richer for it! Blessings!

~Ellie Kings~ said...

Welcome Wine! Truly wise words; thanks for sharing them.

~Ellie Kings~ said...

Jody~ I agree, we might hate it and feel the pain because of it, but the fire is what shapes who we are.

Susan R. Mills said...

I'm so sorry for the things you've had to deal with. You are such a strong person. I admire you for finding the good in the bad things that happened to you. God Bless!

Lily Robinson said...

I understand. And I too was rescued by Him, just in the nick of time! The things of my past gave me strength to endure anything. They gave me great insight into others' suffering. Yes, I understand.

Stephanie said...

You have courage that inspires and moves me. I just returned home from my monthly spiritual direction group and felt moved to pop by to visit you. The timing of your post feels divine. It was the topic of our group this evening. The fact that you can see the beauty in the horrid events of life in why you are a survivor with incredible grace-your gift is the eyes to see it and also that you have the grace and courage to share it.
I am sure God has been with you through it all-my heart is with you, Ellie. Completely.

~Ellie Kings~ said...

Just saw these last comments. Thanks girls for your kind words, for the encouragement. Stay in faith. and may God continue to provide healing in the areas you need it. much love! xo