God's Promises in the Psalms

My blog has to do with how God's promises in the Psalms helped transform my life.  As a survivor of twelve years in a residential school in the 1960's, there are two main effects of the school that stand out to me.

First, we were given a number, and that is how we were spoken to.  My number was "39."  In our family, we addressed each other by our names or nicknames with affection and endearment. When a number replaced our names, this caused shame, dehumanization, and a loss of identity. What a cruel adjustment.

In the bible, Psalm 147:3 says

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."

These words began to replace the shame of the past. There was hope and healing in the scriptures.  I held on to it and began choosing to find my identity in Christ.

These promises became my refuge and strength.

Second, I began to hate my parents for dropping me off at the school. I felt abandoned and helpless. The religious order running the school indoctrinated us to believe that we were too sinful to go to heaven, that we'd never make it, that God was a severe judge, and we could never please him. 

Years later I attended a bible study and discovered comfort in Psalm 27:10:  

"When your mother and father forsake you, the Lord will take you up."

This promise reconnected my family that was torn apart by laws and policies. God restored trust and forgiveness. I learned that as I was crying at night missing my parents, they were back at home crying for me. They had to deal with ten months of an empty house because all of us siblings were forced to attend the residential school. 

Being lost and forsaken had taken up a lot of my energy, but the scriptures became like a warm coat on a cold day. 

God was no longer the angry judge, but a kind, faithful and loving father who I trust and lean on today.


Mary Jane Joe, Ntle'kepmx First Nation.

I have attended Point Grey Community Church/Redemption Church since Oct 1992 when I began my B.ED studies at UBC.  The prayer group has prayed me through thick and thin. I have learned that God is faithful and heals past trauma, and Jesus keeps promises about abundant life. I have recently retired after 18 years of teaching at UBC and Langara College. I am happily married to Wayne Campbell of the Musqueam First Nations.

My recommendation is: Be honest about inner pain, release it and ask God for help. The Holy Spirit is more than able to restore what the enemy has destroyed in our lives. May God richly bless you!