Testimony by Sophia Lim, Malaysia.

As much as I hate to admit this, I was physically and emotionally abused as a child.  For many years, the sight of my mum screaming in my face, and using knives as scare tactics became a norm and it scared me till this day.  Traumatised and helpless, I lived with anxiety and spent a lot of time thinking of ways to arrest the recurring situation.

From a very early age, I would cry out to God in bed, and beg for Him to intervene.  But after years and years of prayers, the situation seemed to be the same – until this year.  To my surprise, the usual situation at home began to change.  Mom has been a little calmer, and the flares of emotions that she used to have, had reduced.

It made me wonder, what happened? Did God speak to my mum through dreams or did I do something to catalyze that change?

I pondered on it for a while, and then it hit me. The difference between then and now is simple – I have begun to honor my parents. Without a doubt, the abuse and painful memories have always been haunting my relationship with my parents. Although they are still vivid, I’ve chosen to look beyond them to do what is right in God’s sight.

It goes without saying, that it is not easy. I can’t change my mom as she is given to me by God.  But for the sake of holding the family together, I told myself that sometimes I just have to go the extra mile.

It takes courage to apologize and speak softly
even when we are not in the wrong.
It takes patience to listen to those critical judgments and
hurtful words
knowing that it is not true.
It takes self-control to hold back our tongue against the
urge to saying anything that could do more harm than good.
It takes wisdom to pick the right words, and the right timing
to express thoughts and requests.
It takes tenacity to persevere through the
physical and mental hurt.

All along, the answer to my prayers laid within me.  And I’m here to tell you that no matter how much you hate the situation you’re in, there is a way around it. It is just a matter of whether or not you’re willing to take the harder way there.

The question we have to ask ourselves, is whether or not we are we willing to give up our own ways, to walk on rocky paths, in order to arrive at where we want to be, especially when it hurts. Honestly, many of us, especially me, would prefer to skip that path and just pray that God will just zap us into our “Promised Land”.

I guess God can do that for His children, but He doesn’t. Back when the Israelites fled Egypt, God could have directed them straight into the Promised Land. But instead, He allowed them to be in the wilderness for 40 years.

There is a reason for that – He wants His people to grow through the process. The process of denying ourselves means to surrender ourselves.  It means giving up our demands, our best I-know-hows and experiences to be obedient to God’s way. If we want something earnestly, be it for our family, career or relationship, the key is to say ‘No’ to ourselves and ‘Yes’ to God. This is how God leads us to grow from glory to glory.

As I’m saying this, the positive change I wish to see at home still has a very long way to go.  Although my mountain is moving by the millimetre, I will praise God for it. I will continue to press on by holding on to His promises.

We always cry out to God, by asking Him to make a miraculous move. But sometimes, that miraculous move starts with us.  It starts with our obedience.

Ephesians 6:1-3
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother—which is the first commandment with a promise— so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

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You may also like: A Letter to Those Who Hate Their Parents

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