Gentle Recovery

Healing From Child Abuse & Rape

Healing Journey

Growing in Hard Places

Posted by gentlerecovery on January 15, 2010 at 4:27 PM

"Where flowers bloom so does hope." Lady Bird Johnson

When I went to visit my sister in Israel, she took me to the top of this rocky mountain. Nothing was there - just rocks, stones, and gravel. But it was still beautiful. Maybe because it was so isolated and high.Standing there I felt like I could touch the sky.


We sat there -just the two of us - bathing in the soft wind, the warm sun and the peaceful quiet. Then she started talking, telling me how awful it was for us as kids. She talked about the beatings, the constant bullying, ridicule and name calling, being left alone - the fear, the shame, the terror. She said she was sorry she didn't protect me - that she wasn't there for me.

I was still in denial. I didn't believe it had been so bad. She told me how afraid she had been watching me slowly die from the drugs, the eating disorder - not understanding why I wouldn't or couldn't talk. She had run to her friends. I withdrew into myself trying to become invisible.

I'm not sure why we hadn't noticed them before, but there a few feet from us, two flowers, side by side were growing in the rocks. We were stunned. How could they grow in the middle of all that hardness? How could those two flowers survive and grow?

Somehow they had managed to grow without good soil or adequate rain. I looked at my sister. "We survived." My sister is older than me. And more emotional. She broke down and cried. I forced myself to be strong like I had done since I was a kid.


"It was so bad." She said. "How did we survive?"

I looked up at ths sky. I knew. I remember when my mother was dying. We lived in a tight Jewish area. I came home from school and was surprised to see a nun sitting with my mother. I think that woman prayed for us.I think God heard.

Thinking about those two flowers, I wonder if God put them there for us - to show us - even in the hard places He's there helping us to grow, helping us to be strong, keeping us safe. I need to believe that.


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Reply Andrea
3:16 PM on January 16, 2010 
Graham Cooke, who many would refer to as a prophet, has written much about growing in hard places, the wilderness. I remember hearing him say he loves such places. Can't say I'm at that place. Much prefer the gentle ocean breezes.
Reply Elizabeth Mahlou
12:30 PM on January 18, 2010 
I think that nun prayed for you, too. My younger sister once told me that she knew why we survived. She said that when she was two years old (she probably was more likely four or five), she prayed, "Dear God, Dad is gone and Ma is a child. Would you please raise us?" I believe that God heard and answered.

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