Betrayal is too kind a word to describe a situation in which a father says he loves his daughter but claims he must teach her about the horrors of the world in order to make her a stronger person; a situation in which he watches or participates in rituals that make her feel like she is going to die. She experiences pain that is so intense that she cannot think; her head spins so fast she can't remember who she is or how she got there.All she knows is pain. All she feels is desperation. She tries to cry out for help, but soon learns that no one will listen. No matter how loud she cries, she can't stop or change what is happening. No matter what she does, the pain will not stop. Her father orders her to be tortured and tells her it is for her own good. He tells her that she needs the discipline, or that she has asked for it by her misbehavior. Betrayal is too simple a word to describe the overwhelming pain, the overwhelming loneliness and isolation this child experiences.As if the abuse during the rituals were not enough, this child experiences similar abuse at home on a daily basis. When she tries to talk about her pain, she is told that she must be crazy. Nothing bad has happened to you;' her family tells her Each day she begins to feel more and more like she doesn't know what is real. She stops trusting her own feelings because no one else acknowledges them or hears her agony. Soon the pain becomes too great. She learns not to feel at all. This strong, lonely, desperate child learns to give up the senses that make all people feel alive. She begins to feel dead.She wishes she were dead. For her there is no way out. She soon learns there is no hope.As she grows older she gets stronger. She learns to do what she is told with the utmost compliance. She forgets everything she has ever wanted. The pain still lurks, but it's easier to pretend it's not there than to acknowledge the horrors she has buried in the deepest parts of her mind. Her relationships are overwhelmed by the power of her emotions. She reaches out for help, but never seems to find what she is looking for The pain gets worse. The loneliness sets in. When the feelings return, she is overcome with panic, pain and desperation.She is convinced she is going to die. Yet, when she looks around her she sees nothing that should make her feel so bad. Deep inside she knows something is very, very wrong, but she doesn't remember anything. She thinks, Maybe I am crazy.
Margaret Smith
It is now time for us to ask the personal question put to Jesus Christ by Saul of Tarsus on the Damascus road, ‘What shall I do Lord?’ or the similar question asked by the Philippian jailer, ’What must I do to be saved?’ Clearly we must do something. Christianity is no mere passive acquiescence in a series of propositions, however true. We may believe in the deity and the salvation of Christ and acknowledge ourselves to be sinners in need of his salvation, but this does not make us Christians. We have to make a personal response to Jesus Christ, committing ourselves unreservedly to him as our Savior and Lord … At its simplest Christ’s call was Follow me. He asked men and women for their personal allegiance. He invited them to learn from him, to obey his words and to identify themselves with his cause … Now there can be no following without a previous forsaking. To follow Christ is to renounce all lesser loyalties … let me be more explicit about the forsaking which cannot be separated from the following of Jesus Christ. First, there must be a renunciation of sin. This, in a word, is repentance. It is the first part of Christian conversion. It can in no circumstances be bypassed. Repentance and faith belong together. We cannot follow Christ without forsaking sin … Repentance is a definite turn from every thought, word, deed and habit which is known to be wrong … There can be no compromise here. There may be sins in our lives which we do not think we could ever renounce, but we must be willing to let them go as we cry to God for deliverance from them. If you are in doubt regarding what is right and what is wrong, do not be too greatly influenced by the customs and conventions of Christians you may know. Go by the clear teaching of the Bible and by the prompting of your conscience and Christ will gradually lead you further along the path of righteousness. When he puts his finger on anything, give it up. It may be some association or recreation, some literature we read, or some attitude of pride, jealousy or resentment, or an unforgiving spirit. Jesus told his followers to pluck out their eye and cut off their hand or foot if it caused them to sin. We are not to obey this with dead literalism, of course and mutilate our bodies. It is a figure of speech for dealing ruthlessly with the avenues along which temptation comes to us.
John R.W. Stott
Then he made the mistake of looking into her eyes and froze. Her expression was so open, so full of tenderness and longing as well as heat that he almost balked. This was supposed to be about closure, about having the goodbye they’d never gotten last time. How was he supposed to leave after if she gave herself to him this completely? Her hand came up to cradle the side of his face, her thumb stroking back and forth across his jaw, her touch gentle and loving. Need you, she murmured,It was good. Even better than he remembered. Liam buried his face in the side of her neck and sucked in a breath, struggling to hang on. Being cradled in Honor’s arms, buried to the hilt inside her while she opened her body and heart to him was the most incredible thing in the world. How the f*&^ was he going to walk away later? Without warning his eyes began to sting. As though she sensed how close he was to coming unglued, Honor murmured to him and pressed kisses to the side of his face, her hand urging his head to turn toward her. Liam shook his head, unable to bear that final level of intimacy when he knew this was their last time. Keeping his face in her neck he fought back the swell of emotion and began to move, a slow, shallow rocking motion that was more profound than words could ever be. He loved her. Would always love her, but it wasn’t enough because some things couldn’t be undone and he just couldn’t let her in the way he had before. All they had left was this bittersweet farewell and he was going to make it memorable. .... A lump settled in his throat and he squeezed his eyes shut, torn between the excruciating pleasure swelling inside him and the need to see her face as he took her this last time. In the end, his heart won out. Powerless to stop himself, he lifted his head and looked down at her. Anguish sliced through his chest when he saw the tears glistening in her beautiful eyes. Don’t. Don’t cry. Shit, he didn’t want either of them to hurt anymore. He was sick of hurting. That’s why he was ending it all tonight. With a low sound of regret he covered her mouth with his, his tongue sliding against hers as he took her. Honor kissed him back deep and slow...Cupping her cheek with his free hand he gave her everything he had left to give, allowing his emotional shields to drop for these final moments.She ran her fingertips up and down his back in a soothing motion, her body limp and pliant beneath his, legs still wrapped around him. And all of a sudden he felt like crying. He felt too much, was in too deep again.He didn’t know what to say to make this any easier. After what they’d just shared he was more conflicted than ever about what to do. I’ll miss you, she murmured and he caught the slight catch in her voice. Ah, fu&%. He gritted his teeth. It would be so much easier if they could just hate each other. For a moment he considered saying something to make her do exactly that, but couldn’t. Even he wasn’t enough of an a**hole to end things that way. And that look on her face… Against his better judgment, Liam sat back down on the edge of the bed and pulled her into his arms. Honor went willingly into his embrace, pressing her face to his chest as she hugged him tight in return. I’ll miss you too. Dammit, he should never have come here tonight. I wish it could be different, but I just… I can’t do this anymore. I’ll always love you but I can’t afford to let you back in again. I’m sorry.
Kaylea Cross