Good morning, Beloveds.
It is Thursday, 30 March 2023, today and as is practice by some of us, we wear black as we agree and stand together against violence and abuse against women and children.
As I was preparing to share this with you, I am led to remind someone that God indeed redeems broken pasts….
I am an open book and I don’t mind sharing my story …..but I don’t want to be defined by it.
Years of childhood abuse left wounds which refused to stop oozing well into my adult years, and any attempts to stitch them up… bandage them… and even hide them were nothing more than a temporary fix…. the unearthing still came.
Especially the kind we have no control over…
The kind dealt by those who should have loved us and protected us.
The rubble left behind is almost impossible to climb out of alone, and I remember thinking I would never overcome all the heaping of hurt.
Marriage and motherhood triggered memories that had been tucked away in long forgotten places of the soul. When they finally emerged… ravaging my dreams night after night… I felt like I was drowning in the pain.
Every morning’s first breath felt like a last breath… riddled with lies of my identity and worth.
The truth of what really occurred was more than I could bear.
But ah…. amid this hard truth…. God was very present… whispering a soft truth my wounded heart desperately needed to hear.
And it is the same truth He whispers to each of us.
And so regardless of how devastating the wounds, we can’t give ourselves permission to stay in the rubble…there is a way out.
God never intends for us to remain in the wreckage of hurt…it is His plan to heal us from all our wounds, even those inflicted from abuse. We are created to be overcomers, not “succumbers”, and overcoming often means journeying through the memories, the pain, and the questions with the One who overcame all.
I won’t pretend to have all the answers my friends. But I do know the journey God took me on included trusting, yielding and some key elements which brought both healing and freedom.
All I can advise is to trust the unearthing to the “Lover of your soul- Jesus.”
One of the most devastating results of abuse is that it strips us of our identity and the ability to trust. It also distorts our perception of God. My childhood development was stunted in the area of trust because the abuse began from my earliest memory.
It took some personal God encounters with the help of professionals to begin to trust that He was and is good. That He saw everything and that He loved and accepted ME….. When we know God truly adores us and grieves over what was done to us, we can trust the unearthing. We can trust there will be healing on the other side.
But we must confront and silence the lies with truth.
There is no way to overcome the hurt of abuse without overcoming the lies firmly rooted in our soul as a result. No amount of brave or perfect or in control will overpower what the enemy intends to lay waste. Confronting lies is the first step in silencing them. Silencing lies with scriptural truth is a necessary step to experiencing chain-breaking freedom. Every lie planted can be uprooted and replaced with God’s truth.
We must intentionally empower healing by releasing the hurt.
Although we are not responsible for the hurt done against us… we are responsible for making the choice to release it. Otherwise, we risk passing this hurt on to all those we hold dear. And we become the one doing the hurting. Any hope of a future depends on releasing!
What does releasing look like… it is opening our hearts to acknowledge the hurt…it is realizing how the hurt has affected our thoughts… our emotions… and our behaviour. And it is developing a willingness to entrust it all to a God Who is big enough to carry our hurt. Once we become firmly established in Who God is and how the truth of scripture speaks over us and through our hurt… we can then trust God to govern our deepest pain.
But we need to embrace the process of forgiving.
The adage “forgive and forget” is a terribly insensitive expectation for anyone who has endured abuse….. it does not acknowledge the depth of pain inflicted to a soul.
Truth be told I think we are humanly incapable of forgetting. And for many of us, forgiving is also difficult. And forgiving is made more difficult when well-meaning individuals lead us to believe it’s a choice made once and for all.
I remember struggling with the kind of forgiving spoken of in Matthew 18:22. How could I forgive an abuser 70 x 7 times without it continuing to relegate me as the victim… does that not give the abuser consent to abuse over and over again?
See it was not until I learned that the formula of forgiving does not refer to number of abuses…it refers to the continual and ongoing process of forgiving… sometimes daily… sometimes hourly that it takes to reach healing. Because forgiveness is not a one-time choice. Deep hurt often takes a continual choice of forgiving. And this is the 70 x 7 process of releasing… of forgiving that honours the heart of the one yielding to the journey of overcoming hurt!
And that we need to claim a new beginning over our future.
We do not have to buy into the lie that that cycles cannot be broken…. God promises us a hope and a future…. He promises that He only has good in store for us…that He will work all things out for good. And that He will be faithful to complete this work in us. Believing and claiming these promises is a necessary choice to overcoming hurt!
And in this claiming, we can count on God to use our story…. not to define us…but to overcome the hurt and REFINE us.
You see when we live as Chosen and Worthy children of God, we can no longer live as victims. Today, I share with you the freedom and hope found in Jesus….it is that we are MORE than our suffering… our injustices… our baggage …
Just like and because of Jesus.
“He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him.” John 1:10-11.
As Jesus began His ministry suffering the rejection from His own family and people, He did not live His life as a victim… He refused the identity the world gave Him and instead, persevered with the identity and purpose the Father had given Him. Undaunted that others did not validate Him, He moved forward without needing their recognition, much less their labels.
I love how He overcame the identity and shame of it all, to ultimately bear the burden of it later on the cross. Persevering would be a necessity if He were going to fulfil His purpose.
He did not let what had happened to Him define Him… He refused to allow the world to label Him… knowing that if He did… His future would be compromised.
How could He save others if He gave way to the “victim” mentality?… how could He persevere to Calvary… bearing the weight of ALL our sin and shame… if He Himself lived as a victim.
So, I declare…I am a NEW CREATION.
No longer defined by my past, but rather by my Saviour.
“So, from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:16-17
My identity has been redeemed by Jesus Christ. Therefore, I am no longer JUST a victim.
It is my choice not to allow any excuses from my past to dictate my present or my future. I choose daily to shirk the shame and insecurity as a victim, and instead put on my new identity in Christ.
I Am His!
Loved. It is my choice not to allow any excuses from my past to dictate my present or my future!
The enemy of our souls would love to see me allow what has happened to me, become what defines me…. He tempts me to live continuously as the “victim”, instead of the VICTOR Christ claimed me to be. By choosing to reject the thoughts or images that pop into my head… refusing the devil a foothold into my identity and God-given purpose in this world…. I overcome.
Otherwise, how could I move forward with the future God has planned for ME, if I remain living in the past? How could I be of any value to His Kingdom, if I give way to living as a victim?
Is it easy? No… Is it simple? No… is there any other worthwhile option? NO!
It can be all too tempting to keep “picking at” the trauma from our past. Even if our history is littered with injuries from others or unavoidable circumstances, it is our choice to continue living with that “wounded” mentality.
Jesus tells it to us straight in John 16 verse 33, He says. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
I don’t know about you…. but I want that peace.
I Want It More Than The Right To Blame Others Or Allow Circumstances To Validate My “Issues”.
Finding fault with others for the excuses of our own behaviour can become almost addictive, as much as it is self-destructive. In the end, I am allowing my enemy to take advantage of my past to commandeer my future. The devil wants God’s children to lose sight of the Way to victory.
But in Christ, I am MORE than a victim. I am a CONQUEROR!
He Was MORE Than That….And Because Of Him, So Am I.
And so, I find myself sharing in a “Midnight Prayer of Appreciation”
Please join me….
He Prepared Tables for me in the presence of predestined audiences…
Thank You God for preparing a table of Replenishment, A table of Restoration, A table of Remembrance and A table of Rejoicing (Ps 98:19-22) just for Me.
In the desert, God You took drastic steps to make sure all poisonous weeds remain out of my reach. You diminished beautiful flowers that were a deadly menace to me. You cleared out drinking places, water holes, springs. Thank You for your breath of life. You replenished and restored my dry bones in the presence of predestined audiences.
In the wilderness, Your watchful eye protected me from predators: wolves, coyotes, cougars, and bears. You were my shield and guard against all evil and arrows of destruction. My horn You have exalted like a wild ox; I have been anointed with fresh oil.” (Ps 92:10). God, You and You alone, made it possible for me to react to aggravations and annoyances with quietness and calmness.
“What shall I render unto You My God for all your benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, Rejoice and call upon Your name” (Ps 116:12-13). Because You are My God, You are the highest goodness I can imagine in every aspect of my life. Thank you for My tables, God….I am thankful. AMEN