All Things Work Together
by Cathy Yonish
Romans 8:28 says. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to his purpose.” The scripture doesn’t say only pleasant things work together for our good; it says ALL things work for good. I am amazed when I reflect on how He orchestrates situations, all the while He gets glory, but we reap the blessings.
My family consisted of my mother, my step dad, 2 older sisters and 1 younger sister. By all outward appearance everything was great. Mom and dad loved each other, kids were somewhat well behaved and everyone was happy.
I was just a small child when my family was invited by Andrew and Mary Williamson to come to church. I do not remember much about the first few times there but I do remember how real His Spirit was to me. We quickly became involved in church activities by going to services and weekly prayer meetings as well as any work we could contribute our time and effort to. Our dad jumped right in and became what you might consider a pillar by answering the call to pray with the laying on of hands and other activities which would usually fall to an elder or deacon. Our mother, being a good country cook, enjoyed preparing meals for church outings and loved the fellowship of the other ladies. Everyone was happy and healthy and all was well with the world, or at least it would appear so.
No one could have guessed the horrible secrets at home. Oh sure, from time to time his true nature would reveal itself around others in the harsh and cruel way he would rebuke and punish us severely for even the smallest misbehavior. But when there were no prying eyes and while our mother was away from home, our step dad was committing horrible acts to us that no child should have to endure. All the while, we suffered in silent terror.
In those days abuse was not discussed and there was no Oprah show to publicize either the cruelty or the avenues by which families could get help. My 2 older sisters received most of the abuse but it had already started to happen to me by the age of 8. No one ever talked back nor resisted in any way. If we did our punishment was severe and delivered in anger. We feared every day that we would be left in his care but never realized that this is not normal behavior so for years we did not speak up. I can remember hiding under blankets in the back of the closet in fear when I could hear him come home, waiting quietly when he would enter the bedroom looking for one of us. He never thought to look there.
Finally my sisters had the courage to reveal the situation to our mother who turned to truly loving and God-fearing people at church for help. By today’s standards, this man would have spent time in prison for his crimes, but we were so naive and innocent this was just not pursued. The Lord delivered us from the situation and because of His hand on our lives we have prospered and have been truly blessed all through the years.
It wasn’t an easy road to travel being raised in a single parent home, but we always had every need met and the people of God have been more like family than words can describe. It would be wrong to be angry at the situation or people involved because our heavenly Father allowed our lives to follow that path for reasons that only He is aware of. He does ALL things out of His perfect love for us and that is why we can say that “all things work together for our good.”
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