Monday, September 29, 2008

Tender Hearts in the Church

"Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!" (James 2:12-13)

The following is an excerpt from our minister Ron Babbit's newsletter to supporters of his ministry with the Contact Church of Christ. The Contact Church is an urban ministry, dependent upon the support of individual Christians and congregations who want to support mission work in the inner city of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

"Please read below and 'listen' to a battle of the heart. This is often true of the lives that walk the halls at Contact Church. GOD keeps sending hearts who are searching for acceptance, answers, healing and direction in their lives...

"'Dear Mama, I really don't know where to begin. All I do know is I love you very much and wish things could have been different. The reason I'm writing this letter is to let you know how your drinking, drugging and choices have affected my life and how it affected the choices I've made. They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, but sometimes it leaves you very scared, confused, and lonely. Sometimes trying to carry out your own death. I can remember the fight when I was about 5 or 6 years old. It's so loud! Screaming, yelling, and you breaking all the dishes. Me, I'm screaming and crying and covering my ears. You guys are so lost in whatever you're fighting about that I feel scared for you, and for me. I'm ignored, maybe I don't matter, but you do, you are my mommy. It's all those big parties at our house. A lot of drinking, drugging and fighting. With me and my siblings, the drinking would start and the fear would kick in because we knew what was coming. So we seemed to act accordingly, arguing, fighting to get attention because we are ignored...By 8 or 9 years of age, I'm already comfortable with the inconsistent chaos in my life. I'm angry and hurt, lonely, afraid and unimportant. I'm to blame and I'm also powerless. I must do what you say when you tell me and not have any feelings or responses or reactions to it or I will be punished. You told me to tell the truth but then taught me to deny my reality. I had valid feelings and you told me to dry it up and stop crying. So I learned to suppress my emotions to the point that I couldn't even figure out any one single emotion. When men started molesting me, I couldn't tell you the truth because I might be punished or you wouldn't believe me. I just needed to talk to you without fear. I needed you so bad and you weren't available. I watched you become something I couldn't attach to! I tried several times seeking that bond with you, the need to be loved, comforted, held and accepted. Somehow I just wasn't good enough. At age 12 you sent me away...I was the problem and if I would go away then everyone else would be happy. Thus I have lived my life feeling responsible for others' behaviors. I've let others' opinions play a huge part in my decisions in life. I finally stopped trying to reach out to you because I was rejected, abandoned and hurt by you! Then I started reaching out to guys because I could give them what they wanted and briefly get a little of what I needed. But it was never enough to take it away.

"'By age 15, full of anger, I was seeking men, drugs, alcohol, attempted suicide, all temporary releases of emotions. All to change the way I feel. By the age of 20, I married someone who didn't drink or do drugs. Surely he was my Knight in Shining Armor. Maybe, but by now I'm the Queen of Chaos. I did everything to destroy that because I couldn't live in a nice stable, drug-free home with family who talked to each other and expressed healthy emotions and trusted one another. Of course I blamed them for everything...When that marriage ended, I was even more abandoned...I tried to take my own life. I had absolutely no value then. But I had my boys who I wanted to be a good mommy to. I read everything I could and I began to fight for them to protect them.

"' I met someone who would abuse me physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. That's what I thought I deserved. Over 8 years of time, I would lose my boys, give birth to 2 girls, get married, get my boys back, loose all my children, drinking, drugging, fight, scream, yet hate myself, hate him and neglect my children. All during this, I was searching for GOD. Seeking to stay clean, fighting to stay alive, and fighting for my children to be heard. All the while I was fighting for me to be heard, I suffered broken bones. While pregnant I was kicked many times, choked numerous times, and had my life threatened daily. I have successfully created the chaos and the neglect and the emotionally hostile environment. I seriously wanted to change the way I felt the whole time.

"'Finally when my girls were molested, I gave up the fight. I called for help. The only way I know how to live is with the drinking, drugging, fighting, emotional and verbal abuse. I'm at present making better choices, leaving my husband who has no desire to change his life. I have committed my life to the LORD by being baptized into CHRIST. I got my 2 girls back and they are living with me and I am in the process of receiving my education.'

(Ron Babbit concludes with his own comments)

"Thanks for praying for the Contact family. Our friend travels by public transportation and some of the Contact family members are also stepping up, getting involved, helping with transportation and loving others. Since our friend isn't bashful, she has invited many to services and we are currently reading the WORD with other families because of her love for the LORD. Praise GOD for HIS healing of her heart. Thanks again for your partnership of souls. GOD bless you. We love you,
Ron and Judy Babbit"

Thanks for reading this post! If you are a supporter of the Babbits or our other ministers, thanks for the support!


Mike said...

I continue to be amazed at the number of broken lives that are out there.

Terry said...

Me. too, Mike. Thanks for the comment.