What difference does it make, anyway, to one’s adulthood, what kind of childhood is in the background?
I think we can use the analogy of constructing and furnishing a house, for constructing and furnishing a “self.” A reasonably happy childhood, with a stable home, where the child’s needs are basically met by loving people, helps construct a self set on firm foundations, able to weather life’s storms, and furnished with a basic sense of comfortableness. But the self-house of a person who had a difficult or worse, abusive, childhood, is shaky and ill at ease in life and with others.
This means that the person who endured a difficult childhood is at a disadvantage. In many cases he or she must seek out the missing parenting, actively pursue filling in the gaps, making up for the losses of childhood. It is a painstaking process of reconstruction and furnishing — a struggle that can take many years. And it has to be done while living goes on. You can think of it as having to rebuild and furnish a broken down house even while you are stuck living in it and still having to carry on all the other business of life! It can seem like every time you turn around, you find something else needing repair, or some other crucial piece of furniture or equipment missing, a window broken and a draft blowing in, or a table toppling over when you try to set something on it.
Someone doing a repair job on a house looks at plans and pictures to see what the finished product should look like. In the same way, people who have to repair their self-house find themselves looking closely at others, wondering what normal is and how you get there. Only those who have gone through it know what courage and plain hard work it takes.
Mary Biever is one of those people.
You know how you see a news story about someone caught up in public scandal or discovered to have been living a double life, and you think for a moment, “Oh, his poor kids. I can’t imagine what they must be going through.” Well, Mary Biever can imagine because she was one of those kids. She was one whose family went through the shattering experience of finding out the father of the family was not who they thought he was. They lost everything: dignity, security, their friends, their home.
In her riveting story, He Uses It For Good, Mary takes you inside the mind and heart of that child. You see the family trauma through her young eyes and then you see the struggle to find normal, to find happy, to find love and finally to trust God and a special man.
Mary rebuilds her self-house, furnishes it with the talents she discovers and with every bit of learning and experience that comes her way. Hers is a remarkable story of survival that becomes a story of living in grace and passing along hope.
Did you have a difficult childhood or do you know someone who had a difficult childhood? Then read and share He Uses It For Good.