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Friday, August 30, 2013

I am Gomer—By Cheryl Meakins

I used to think that I had nothing in common with a prostitute working the corner of some run down urban real estate. I felt no connection to her reality just as I felt no tie to the story of Gomer’s life put on display and up for eternal debate in the book of Hosea.

Hosea, a prophet of God, was told to marry a prostitute. So he chose Gomer.

Though Hosea was written to send a message to Israel and quite possibly the modern church, I’m beginning to believe it was written just for me.

God’s voice kept wooing me “Read Hosea” and I kept digging in my heels.

“Why God? I don’t want to read about leaving my first love or how awful I have been to repeatedly walk away from you. I know I have an ambivalent faith. But I am at the end of myself. I can’t make myself do perfect-Christian-girl any longer. You’re right, I walk away from you time and time again. But I don’t know how to change it and I personally think that beating me over the head with Hosea isn’t going to help me.”

“Read Hosea”

His voice kept calling over two weeks’ time until I relented

“Fine, but I only want to know what You think of Gomer”

I was in the midst of enduring a year of traumatic flash backs to childhood sexual abuse and my soul was broken, beat down and full of shame. Ashamed that I couldn’t make myself get past my issues nor find a way to trust God with my consistent love for him.

I think God smiled tenderly when I relented and might have even chuckled. Because He only wanted me to see what His heart said to Gomer; another woman sexually abused.

I began to read and felt this mounting tension all through chapter one and into chapter two. If God were standing next to me, I pictured him pacing in his anger, a pointed finger raised, preaching his vengeance on a profoundly disloyal and insulting person. Words of judgment flew from him towards her; a hedge of protection he called it. Frustrating her when seeking sustenance from other lovers. Desperately trying to force her to see that she was still provided for by her one true love.

I was shocked when I literally turned the page to Hosea 2:14.

The words shouted to me like Zeus sending lightning bolts of fury… “This is what I will do!”


And then a quiet cool wind blew in… “I will allure her into the wilderness, and I will speak tenderly and to her heart”

What!?! That is not what I expected. Where did the righteous anger go?

Gently God unpacked his heart towards me, a sexual abuse survivor, and a woman like Gomer.

“There will I give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor to be for her a door of hope and expectation.”

vineyards grapes

The Valley of Achor a place of hope? You mean the place where Achan and his family were stoned to death? How is this a place of hope?

Let’s go back to Joshua 6. Joshua was instructed to take the first city in the Promised Land, Jericho. And all the spoils of this first city were God’s, no one was to take the spoils for themselves (Joshua 6:17, 18). But Achan took for himself the things that belonged to God (Joshua 7:1) and buried them in the floor of his own tent (Joshua 7:21). Interestingly, Achan was from Joshua’s own family (Joshua 7:16-18). In obedience to God, they took Achan, all his family and his possessions to the Valley of Achor and stoned them to death and burned their bodies with fire (Joshua 7:24-26).

“Lord, what does this have to do with Gomer and her hope?” I prayed.

“Cheryl, when you were sexually abused you were taken from me. Your perpetrator took the sacred that was set apart for me.”

A hot tear formed and gathered in the corner of my eye as he continued to teach me.

He asked, “Cheryl, what sin is hidden in the home where the sacred is torn from my creation?”

Understanding began to creep in, “Ah, Sexual abuse”

hidingTears flowed now as I saw how beautifully he answered Gomer and myself about the pain of our abuse. He sees the hidden sins done against us. He knows the places that darkness hides, even in the homes of his children. And he is angered not at his daughters but “because he (Achan, the perpetrator) has transgressed the covenant of the Lord and because he has done a shameful and wicked thing in Israel” (Joshua 7:15)

After weeping for a time I ventured just one step further, “Where is the hope Lord? What good can be said about Jericho and the valley of Achor? Where is the hope?”

All he had to say was “Cheryl, dear one, who was the only person saved and redeemed from Jericho?”


“And her occupation?”

“A Prostitute”

“And was she simply saved or was she redeemed?” He asked.

“She was redeemed to a great place in Israel, the great-great-grandmother of King David and therefore in the lineage of Christ and mentioned in Hebrews 11 as a heroine of our faith”

There is the hope!

In a moment I finally understood His heart. Though hurt by the continual choice to walk away from his perfect love he completely understands that he is loving a woman who DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO BE LOVED.

I am ambivalent in my love, my abiding with him, because I have been abused. I cannot love him unless I first receive his love for me.


Gomer and I have a lot in common. I am so grateful for Hosea and his message of enduring, faithful, redemptive love. Maybe I’m not so far off from that woman working the corner of some run down urban real estate.

Maybe I can say, I AM GOMER.


Cheryl Meakins Horizontal 300x200Author, Speaker, Mentor, and Modern Day Abolitionist - Cheryl Meakins is as comfortable in high heels as combat boots.  Transforming her mourning to dancing, blending her laughter and tears, and swapping a sewing machine for an archer’s bow she embraces the multi-faceted roles of The Wounded ~ The Healers ~ & The Warriors. Cheryl longs to see women express the beauty, boldness, and vulnerability God designed in them.  Her journey and budding community can be found at www.CherylMeakins.com

You can also find her at …

Blog: www.WoundedHealerWarrior.com

Twitter: @MeakinsSpeak

Books:  Contributing author to 2 devotional books – “If I can do all things through Christ, Why can’t I find my car keys?” and “Big Dreams from Small Spaces.”

Other posts you might like:

Where Did You First Meet God in the Bible?

Don’t Do What I Say

Our Daily Bread

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

If you can't see the video imbed above, click this link.

I love this commercial. It says it all.

Every store we’ve gone to over the last few weeks has walls of displays of Back-to-School this and Back-to-School that. Each time my daughter spies one of these she groans and calculates the number of remaining days—3 as of this writing.

And I grin.

Don’t get me wrong I LOOOOOVVVVE my daughter!!!! We have so many special memories of this summer. So many special hugs. So many special girly bonding moments.

It’s just that I want to complete one whole thought without the interruption of … “And you know what else …”

It seems my daughter is in the middle of one continuous conversation with me all day long and just as I think I’m going to have a moment to think on my own, she remembers more of the conversation to impart to me. Then I need to roll back my memory—which is hard enough to do these days—and pull up what we’d been talking about earlier (be it a moment ago, an hour ago, or a week ago) so I can understand this new expansion of thought.

My brain hurts.

I now appreciate my parents so much more than I used to.

Why am I writing this? It sounds awful to wish my daughter away at school, especially after she made me breakfast this morning—just cuz. (She’s very sweet!)

I’m writing this because it’s not mean, it’s normal. Not that we parents hate our children or want to see them less. We sometimes just want a moment when a full sentence can be thought inside our own heads without interruption. Like Jesus, we need time to ourselves to be with OUR loving Father in heaven. We need time to hear His calling on our lives.

We need time.

Next week, I’ll be lamenting the lack of time I have with my girl. I know this. But for now--

Oops, I forgot what I was going to write as my daughter interrupted me to tell me about a TV show—for real!

Other posts you might like:

Am I An Autism Mom Or the Mother of a Boy with Autism

Our Daily Bread

God's Amazing Kleenex

Friday, August 16, 2013

Such As These

Years ago, the church I belonged to had a Layman’s Sunday, when the clergy would allow members of the church-body to run the Sunday Service. On one of these Sundays one member of the church shared the story of his family’s conversion to Christianity.

His family was not a church-going one. However, he had a mentally-challenged brother who lived in a home with adults like himself. Family members would visit this brother at this home, but they would never find him there on Sunday mornings. That was the day he attended church. No one at the home prompted him to go. He did it on his own.

Eventually, family members wanted to see what it was that drew him there, and also wanted to use this time to spend with him. So they attended too. One by one they began to go to church on their own, and one by one they developed a new appreciation for the God who created them.

What a wordless witness this mentally-challenged man was. An empty vessel, as God wants all of us to be. Living his faith for his siblings to see and copy. We should all be so gifted.children

the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it. Mark 10:14b-15 NIV.

Friday, August 9, 2013

A Summer Concert

It's August. The Back-to-School commercials and sales are starting (which means my daughter is panicking about her last days of summer), and I am out of town ... AGAIN. So rather than drum up some words that may or may not inspire you, I thought I'd pass along this video. Hope you enjoy Andrew Ripp, Savior.

Posts you might like:

When It Rains, He's There

Will You Soar on Wings Like Eagles Or Be Runnin' Against The Wind

I Need A Miracle

Friday, August 2, 2013

I Have an Enemy!

I have an enemy.  No, this is not the one Jesus tells me to love. It’s His enemy too.


I didn’t used to believe in Satan, even though I always believed in God. I thought he was the metaphorical image of what leads us astray. But now I know differently.

When did I start believing in Satan? It started when I began to ramp up my faith, reading and studying the Bible. That was when Satan came out in the open and began his assault with full force. He attacked the things I held dear.

I praise God I had strong, believing colleagues and friends at that time who were able to help me see these attacks for what they were—a disgruntled, former employee of the Most High trying to besmirch his old bosses reputation. So I held strong against the storm, though the waves pushed me hither and yon. And now I’ve come to expect these battles, especially when I step out to grow my faith or share it with others.

Like now.

This week I’m preparing to go to a conference with other Christian authors whose goal it is to Write His Answers. I’ll be learning new skills, meeting new people, fellowshipping, sharing tactics for the battle, and also pitching my manuscripts to publishing houses. So what should I expect the enemy will do? Well … scream at laptoplet me see … maybe …

Give my computer a virus—check.

Make my printer run out of ink—check.

Corrupt my back-up drive—check.

Make it so the new drive, somehow, won’t fit into my USB port—check.

Oh yes, he also attacks my self-confidence and belief that what I am trying to do has any meaning—check, check, and double check!!!

Thank goodness I’m fighting on the right side, the most powerful side. The side that has already won because of my Savior’s sacrifice.

But what’s a believer supposed to do when the enemy attacks? Well, the weapon God gave me was tears. Yes, I mean those drops of water that run down your face when you feel at your weakest. How do they work? Is there a magical potion or powerful chemical compound that wards off the enemy? No. It’s just a signal to the Big Guy to send out the Big Guns. Because when I am at my weakest, He is at His strongest.

That’s just the truth.

So I cry out to the Lord, who is my strength. I acknowledge that everything WILL be done in accordance to His Will, and I trust His outcome will be better than anything I can plan for …

And it IS!   

PS. That picture above is a representation of the part of my battle where the enemy seemed to be winning—Sigh! Thank goodness God pulled out the victory in spite of myself Smile!

Other posts you might like:

Let Him Steal Your Show

I Need a Miracle

I’m Not Able On My Own