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Once upon a time there was an innocent little girl. She longed for her mother’s approval, but found herself being disciplined by her mother with a wooden spoon countless times.
The girl was naive and did not really know why she was being disciplined most of the time. The scenario always ended with a period of trying to figure out what she did wrong to deserve the punishment she just received.
This little girl was me.
I can remember our seating arrangement at the dinner table, which was shaped like an octagon, and there were four of us. We each had our assigned seat. We had strict rules at the dinner table. We had to be sitting properly. We had to hold our fork properly. And normally the television was on during dinner.
For some reason I was the clumsy one. (and the youngest of the family) Either I spilled the milk while pouring more in my glass, or I dropped peas from my fork, and here came the wooden spoon. My mother would go into the kitchen to the drawer, get out the wooden spoon and slap it on the table next to me, as a warning. I got to continue my meal with the wooden spoon next to me, as a reminder not to make another false move.
If I made another mistake, I would be hit with that spoon. If I talked back, I was hit.
My life was a system of rights and wrongs, never really learning or feeling like I could do what I was expected to do. And many times not knowing how.
A few times I was slapped by her at the dinner table as an instant reaction instead of the spoon. I grew up hating my mom, and wooden spoons.
It seemed I got into trouble a lot, and looking back, the memory of what I did to deserve punishment is not clear. But what is clear is the routine of what happened next. My mother got angry. She went to the kitchen drawer. She came back with the wooden spoon. I was beat.
She tried to beat me on my rear, but as the beating continued, I tried to cover myself, begging her to stop. Screaming. My hands desperately trying to cover my rear from the pain that I anticipated. Many times screaming before she even started to hit me.
Once she started, she did not stop. She kept beating me. If she could not get my rear, she hit my legs, not just once, not twice, but over and over and over and over. I screamed. I cried. No one ever came to help me.
I was sent to my room and told to shut up. Be quiet. If I cried, I was beat again.
My only option was to scream into my pillow in order ‘not to be heard’. Because if I didn’t, she would hear me, and come back into my room and beat me again with the spoon.
Sometimes she beat me hard and long enough that the spoon would break. When I saw the spoon break; as a little girl I was devastated. (that she would hit me so hard that it would break) When going to my room and looking at all the oval welts on my legs, I felt worthless and sorry for myself.
I grew up hating the wooden spoon. I thought to myself, I would never have a wooden spoon when I get my own kitchen.
Even as I got older, the discipline was the same. If I did or said something wrong that make my mother angry – I could expect to be hit, or a beating with the wooden spoon – again.
Years later, after being saved by Jesus Christ as my savior, and about 5 years after that, in a season of my life God brought me to a place of deliverance. I learned that I needed to forgive my mother for all she did to me. And to allow Jesus to heal me of all the pain and the beatings. I had abuse cast out of me. And there was more than one. I went through a process called inner-healing; where you forgive, heal the trauma associated with it, and have the unclean spirit behind it cast out. I began to change dramatically through the process, and became stronger and stronger.
It was a long process, and no matter where you are at, there is always more to do.
I have been saved now for over 20 years and just yesterday went through another layer of the bitterness, and pain from the past.
I thought it was all healed, and forgiven! But every circumstance requires another healing. It’s a process.
Interestingly enough, just days before I came across these cute wooden spoons with happy faces and had to buy them. Although they looked just like the ones my mother beat me with, the faces on them changed my feeling toward them. I put them in my kitchen. Now I realize it was God who led me to buy them, and telling me he will make all things new. He will change my gloom to joy. And he did.
The process is not an easy one. And there still may be more to heal.
But today, I have the victory through Christ Jesus for my healing and comfort, and deliverance. To God be the glory.