Judy and her siblings were placed in an orphanage. Later, at the age of six, she was taken from her brothers and sisters and placed in a foster home.
Judy shared what this period was like in her life. “I was forced to live on the closed-in back porch. I slept on a pile of rags and my food was handed to me on a saucer.
The amount of food was never adequate to silence my hunger pangs completely. I was only allowed into the house when it was time to wash the dishes or mop the kitchen floor.
Judy remembers sitting in the sand and covering her feet because they were cold and she didn’t have shoes. She searched through a trash area and found old boots that didn’t fit, but at least they protected her feet from the cold.
This was her lifestyle until, at the age of eight, a series of events brought changes into her life. Judy continued her story: “I had a serious bout with poison ivy and was taken to a doctor. My eyes were almost swollen shut and my body was covered in blisters.
“A compassionate woman was in the office at that time and from my appearance, it was evident to her that I wasn’t receiving the care I needed. The woman and her husband were an older couple who had talked about adopting a child. She talked with her husband and they set about the procedure of adopting me.”
Judy remembers sitting at the kitchen table with her adoptive parents. Her father explained that she would no longer be treated as a servant, but she was going to live the life of a child. That lifestyle was so different from the one she had been living in the foster home that it took a while before Judy could adjust and believe that she would not be taken from the home.
Eventually, there came a time when she realized her adoptive parents did love and want her. This would be her home for as long as she needed one. She knew that she was part of the family and she was loved and accepted.
During the years of being taken from her parents, separated from her siblings and living in an abusive foster home, Judy wasn’t aware of a loving God who had a plan for her life. However, her adoptive parents were Christians, and through their love, Judy came to know the Heavenly Father and his love.
The experiences Judy had during her early years of life could have caused her to become bitter and to remain that way throughout her life. However, Judy chose to forgive her foster parents and to let go of the memory of the years of abuse.
Many Christians refuse to forgive those who have wronged them. They drag around an unseen boulder day after day and continue to dwell on the abuse and heartaches caused by others. The longer they drag around the boulder of unforgiveness, the larger it grows.
Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV) talks about forgiveness as well as unforgiveness: “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
Judy is a positive woman with a ready smile and a helping hand for those who need her. Because she chose to forgive those who had abused her, she enjoys the peace and joy of knowing she is part of God’s forever family.
Norma C. Mezoe began writing after a crisis in her life. She has been a published writer for thirty years. Her writing has appeared in books, devotionals, take-home papers and magazines. She lives in the tiny town of Sandborn, Indiana where she is active in her church as clerk, teacher and bulletin maker. Contact at: email@example.com