by heartland guest author, Marsha Marks
I love the Bible verse from the 23rd Psalm that says, “He restores my soul.” If you’ve ever restored furniture you know how much work is involved, how much sanding (and sometimes gluing back together) is involved to restore the piece to way it looked when the creator first set it out from his shop. I like to think of God like that, as the great restorer of me, restoring the parts of me that other people have damaged or kicked in or bruised.
When I was a child, about 4 years old, my mom (who was a just a teenager) married a man who was into destroying souls by abusing little children. I was one of those children. When I was 9 years old, I finally told a teacher what was going on. I would have told sooner, but he had taken me to the garage and skinned my pet bunny alive in front of me. Then he told me he would do the same to my baby sister if I ever told on him. He held up my 4-month-old baby sister, who was screaming her head off. So, I kept quiet to protect her.
But, when I was 9 I told anyway. The teacher at school told the principal and they called a conference with my parents (this was long ago — now they would call county aid,) and at that conference the stepfather from hell said I was lying… that I told tall tales for attention. But, after that conference, he never touched me again.
However, as I grew into an adult, the fear that I had developed because of his abuse stayed with me, stuffed down into a place that I was afraid to visit, until I was 43 and he died. I went to a therapist then because as soon as I heard of his death a song began to play in my head. I recognized that the song was being sung in the voice I had as a little child: “Ding dong the witch is dead, the wicked witch, the wicked witch. Ding dong the wicked witch is dead.” I told the therapist everything — and then I showed the therapist some of my cartoon drawings. I showed him four cartoon characters and told him they were based on different people in my life, like my sisters etc. He said, “I think they are all you.” And in that moment, I knew he was right. I knew when I was 9 years old (and had finally stopped the bad guy from hurting me), that my personality wasn’t whole, like it is now; it was fragmented into four distinct characters: one very strong character who was a protector, one sweet character, one popular character, and one character that loved the law and loved enforcing it.
The therapist helped me to see that I was a victim when I was a child, but that my tragedy was not my identity. I continued to write for and draw my cartoon characters all the rest of my adult life, and all the while I was growing in my faith in God.
But one thing in my faith bothered me. I could understand how God could work all things together for good, and that he allowed some awful things – but I could not understand how he could work what had been done to me as a child together for good. How could he possibly use child abuse so bad that my little personality had to split to handle the stress? I had no idea. Then recently my first book of cartoon characters came out. People are telling me they are blessed by these characters, and I’m thinking, maybe — just maybe — when God restores my soul, he recycles all the damage into something good.
You be the judge. You can download my eBook based on these characters at Amazon.com: Lambu looks at the Bible. Click the blue title “Lambu Looks at the Bible, by Marsha Marks” below the hearts at the top of this web page (right above this post) to see samples from the book. Enjoy! ♥