Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Little Girl Within -- The Kiss that Changed Everything

Do you have deep pains in your past?  Do you wonder if Jesus is pursuing you, relentlessly, tenderly?  Meet my friend Deanna and peer in to a part of  her tender, precious heart and then witness the hope that she has in Jesus. This hope is  for you, too, dear reader.
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I pushed my soup around my bowl. Why had he kissed me? What kind of kiss was that supposed to be? Was that supposed to be a regular “uncle” kiss? We were a huggy family, but I’d never been kissed on the lips by anyone but my parents. Really, by the time I was 13 I mostly kissed even my mom and dad on the cheek. If that wasn’t a romantic kiss, why was I feeling so stirred up? Why was my mind swimming?
I peeked out from under my hair at my aunt and Grandma’. Could they see that my mind was spinning? What would they have thought if the kiss had happened in the kitchen instead of in the garage? Should I go back to the woods where we’d been working together? He was splitting wood, and I was loading it.  Should I say I wanted to stay in the house and help wash the lunch dishes?
When we went back to work my questions were answered. Yes. I should’ve stayed in the house and done the dishes. No, I shouldn’t have gone back in the woods. No, it was not a regular “uncle” kiss. I felt stirred up because I was 13, and he was 28 and he intended for me to feel that way.
The little girl within me stayed behind in the woods that day.
When I went to the altar to pray at church, I embarrassed my family and learned that even Jesus couldn’t help. I began to question what I’d believed about Jesus. I questioned the Bible. I even questioned my questions. No one had the answers. The little girl who once loved church and Jesus became a young woman who wanted to believe, and wanted to love Jesus, but had been broken by bad choices. After a while, the bad choices of my uncle and other grown-ups were compounded by my own bad choices. I was impossibly far from Jesus.
“Then Jesus told them this parable, ‘Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?” Luke 15:3-4 (NIV)
For years I ran from Jesus. From Jesus, because He was pursuing me even when I didn’t know it. He was pursuing me when I was with kids at camp who had a real, vibrant relationship with Him. He was pursuing me when I checked out library books on tarot card reading and the occult but my schedule grew so hectic that I never had time to open the first book. He was pursuing me when I was invited to Campus Crusade for Christ, and loved it the one time I went, and missed it (and Him) when I refused to go again. He was pursuing me when I got married and tried to find my identity in being a wife. He was pursuing me when I got pregnant and started attending church again because I wanted my baby to be raised in church. He was pursuing me when I was invited to Bible Study and began to see that He desired a relationship with me.
“And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.” Luke 15:5-6 (NIV)
I get frustrated with myself sometimes. I still have areas of weakness. I still have places that hurt sometimes. But I know I will never again be the lost sheep. Those areas where I’m weak cause me to recognize my deep need for Jesus and stay close to my shepherd.  I see that my weaknesses and dark places are opportunities to be led by Jesus. I see that it’s through my weakness that I have hope and a witness to offer to others who need a shepherd.

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Deanna Rouse has been married to her wonderful husband for 20 years. Being his wife and  mom to their 3 children is her greatest joy after serving Jesus Christ, through teaching Sunday School and women's Bible study. She especially enjoys using drama to teach the truths of the Bible. She loves to read and to visit the mountains of North Carolina and Virginia. If she can read in the mountains that's even better.

If you have a Little Girl Within story that you would like to share in order to encourage others, I would love to hear from you. Guidelines for submission are at the bottom of the post for the start of the series here.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I will never look at that verse the same, again. Thank you for this gift.

Fran said...

I am so sorry for the pain inflicted upon you during such a crucial phase of your development. Your uncle's acts were criminal. How encouraging it is to me and others for you to share the pursuing love of God you experienced in your life. His love remains constant - dependent upon Him. Your life is evident of His constant love when you seek Him, question Him and even rebel. May you always cling to Him even in times of remembering the pain - you will always find Him there!!

Carol said...

Thank you for sharing your story. My heart hurts for what you went through, but am reminded of God's relentless love and pursuit of us. God loves you so much!! Thank you for your courage in sharing this story.

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