June 6 2016

Surrendering To Pain

painToday I feel like a outpatient that has just gone through major surgery. On the outside I may appear normal (although I am doubtful of that), but on the inside I have just gone under the microscope and had tumors removed from my soul by the hand of Jesus Christ. That may sound like a strange phenomena, but that is exactly what I go through, every week. Some weeks the surgery is fairly easy and I get out with a short recovery time. and little pain. Other weeks I need to be quiet and rest, letting the procedure take hold in the depths of who I am. Recovery takes longer because the pain was more intense.

What is this surgery you ask, and how can it possibly be good for me? Well these weekly procedures are what I like to call “inner healing“. I started my journey into inner healing last spring. It actually started with just a wonderful Biblical prayer counselor, but then that abruptly ended because God had bigger plans for my healing. The Biblical prayer counseling helped me to get an understanding of the anger I had been dealing with for my whole life. What I learned is that anger, as well as anxiety, fear, bitterness, depression, and other related feelings, are a secondary emotion to pain. Pain is the root of all feelings outside of the love and joy God has created us to have.

Pain is a sneaky little thing really. It always seems to hit you out of nowhere, blindsiding you and then leaving a mess in the wake of it. You are left looking around you wondering what happened and how did you end up on the floor? Most of the time when pain comes we are so unprepared we have no idea how to deal with it. It is a very messy and ugly feeling, and makes us feel powerless and ashamed of our weakness. Yet instead of reaching out to Jesus, the conqueror of death and hell, we usually shove that pain right back in where it came from, so we can just try to get back up and move on with life. What we don’t realize is that pain comes for a reason, and no matter how bad it feels, Jesus will still work it for our good, if we just allow Him to do so.

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Romans 5:3-5

What really is the point of pain, you might ask. Pain is a place to meet the grace and love of God. It is a place where the enemy works very hard to get you, because he believes it is in that place he can destroy you. That is not the point of view God takes, however. God sees us in the midst of this pain, and He sees a sweet and beloved child who needs Him desperately. Yet when He begins to reach down to lend a hand out of the pit, we ignore it in favor of climbing out on our own. We need to feel self-sufficient and capable because the world tells us that we are worthless otherwise. Only the weak and pathetic sit in pain, the devil tells us. Wrong. It takes immense strength and resilience to sit in the pain and call on the name of Jesus to bring healing to it.

When I first started my inner healing sessions, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I was surrendering to God’s will, but I had no idea He was about to uncover a mass of memories that had been suppressed for my entire life. He started off small, letting me learn more about who I am in Christ. He also started to reveal places of pain that I was already aware of, yet had tried to suppress. It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t that difficult either. Really, I was just dipping my toes into tepid water at that point.

The real difficulty came just a couple of months in. The sessions always start of with prayer, and giving everything over to the will of the Holy Spirit to do what He knows needs to be done. Every person can handle what they can, and God knows what those things are. God had been building me up in strength for a very long time, I just had no idea. I had finally come to this place in time where the healing could begin. The funny thing is, healing never feels like healing. It feels like when you break a bone and it heals incorrectly, then it has to be broken again to heal correctly. Pain upon pain. Then you have the time it takes to wait for the complete healing and restoration of the bone. It takes time, patience and effort on your part to take care of yourself through the healing process. Sounds like a blast right? Of course not. But joy will still abound, when you rest in the faith of Jesus Christ.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Romans 15:13

When the memories come, they often come in slowly, one thing at a time. I am in a darkened room. It is a small room, with no windows. It is cold and lifeless and scary, lit by candles. There are three men in black robes, and my grandmother. I am chained to the wall. I am only about 2 years old. I am scared out of my mind. Why would my grandmother bring me to this awful place? At this point, I did not even know where I actually was, which was at the Mormon church. Over time I would be very familiar with this room.

The men are chanting. They are calling upon evil spirits, and channeling them. I am being molested by my own grandmother. It is terrifying to me. Yet it is not the first time she has molested me, I just don’t remember it at that time. The men are calling upon spirits of evil because they want to channel them into me. The sexual stimulation is for the purpose of filling me with fear and pain, so that I will be open to receive what they have to offer. I can see what is happening around me, yet I can hardly comprehend.

It was very hard to see this memory, as I had no idea, and I mean no idea, that I had ever experienced anything of this nature in my life. I am in shock as the Holy Spirit recalls it to my memory, piece by piece. Yet it is real. How can it be. How? Yet there is some hope in the memory. Before the man who has channeled the demon can summon it upon me, a strong gust of wind blows through the room. It is an impossible wind, in a room with no windows. Yet it blows so fiercely that the candles go out and the man is knocked to the ground. The demon spirit is chased away by the power of it. It was the Holy Spirit. The men are filled with fear, and my grandmother is enraged. The spirit is gone and will not come back this time, so the ritual must end. For now.

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

2 Timothy 4:6-7

The man scrambles off the floor as another relights the candles. I don’t understand what is happening, but I do know the presence of God when I feel it. I had already been in communication with God; already had talked with Him personally even at this tender young age. For some all this sounds impossible, and improbable. I wish it was. Yet in this world the devil has a foothold so deep that he has convinced us that he does not even exist. I am not alone in these experiences. There are many just like me. Yet they do not remember. They cannot remember. To remember without the Holy Spirit is virtually impossible, and to attempt to do so could send someone to insanity.

It is extremely dangerous to attempt to recover any memories of abuse without the help of God. He has to be the one to reveal them when He knows you are ready. Once He reveals them He shows you how they affected your beliefs and the way you see God and the world. He then removes the impact of what has been done to your soul through the moments He shows you. He brings you healing and begins to redeem what was bad, trading it for something good. This could never be done without God. The part He plays in this is vital and essential.

This was the first ritual I that I become aware of. It is like a horror movie has come true, and I am the star. Yet the fact that I feel it is unreal and a horror movie speaks volumes about what this experience has taught me. It has taught me that the world is evil, nowhere is safe, the devil has control, and more things of that nature. Yet I still hung on to the hope of God in that moment. I still clung to Him desperately. That would change eventually though, as they realized the power of God that was already inside of me.

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

1 John 4:4

child-running-1082102_1920I do not think I am special. I do not think my experiences or abuse is worse than anyone else. Abuse in itself is traumatic and rips apart the fabric of your soul, no matter what the abuse is. It is evil in its nature, and it’s intent is to tear you down, so the devil can build you back up, just as he wants you to be. Weak, afraid, and susceptible to his viewpoints of life. That is why it is imperative to follow Jesus into the pain. The pain wants to control us and hold us down, but God wants to use it to teach us, to empower us, to strengthen us, and to build us in our identity in Christ. I have not wanted to know these bad things that have happened to me. Not once. They only get worse from here, every single time.

Yet I have continued for 9 months, and I have no idea when I’ll be done. Do I consider myself strong? Not by a long shot. But because I have trusted in God, even just a tiny bit, I have been willing to walk through this with Him. His mighty right hand has uplifted me, and strengthened me, just enough to get through each day. I have wanted to die. I have begged God to take me home, because I am done with this life. It has been harsh, cruel, and a living hell. But God says He wants me here, if I can just keep hanging on. He has promised to redeem it all, and give me something beautiful in return. I honestly have no idea how that is possible, but I have heard that nothing is impossible with God. So I chose to remind myself of that promise, even if it is hard to believe. So far He has been faithful and True to His word to me. So I keep fighting the good fight.

And you can too. I know you are not me, but you are here because you know you have pain and you know you are hiding from it. So I just want to give you encouraging words. If I can do this, I am most certain you can, because Jesus can. And if Jesus can, anyone who trusts in Him can. Do you trust Him, even just a tiny bit? Ok. Then my beautiful sweet friend, you can.

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

1 Peter 4:12-13

May 2 2016

Talking To God

jesus-with-childI have never been cool or popular. I have never had a lot of friends, or been the kind of girl that is the life of the party. I have always been shy and insecure. I have had body image problems: i.e. I think I am fat and ugly. I have been more afraid of people than not, and desperate to connect even in the midst of the fear. I have longed for real intimacy with another human being, not physical, but emotional. I have struggled endlessly to find myself in a world that constantly seems to tell me I’m nobody and not good enough. I have been in hiding, even when out in public, because I am terrified of being hurt, or worse, of being known. If I were to truly be known, then the depth of the pain inside me would come seeping out. And that surely would bring complete rejection upon me.

For those that know me, or follow me, these things may come as a surprise. I probably appear confident and put together. In some ways I am. I have come a long way. That girl that was hurt and scared is still here, but through the love of Christ I have come to find who I was created to be. Or at least, I am beginning to find that person. I actually think I am pretty now. Well, most of the time. Yet I still struggle with feeling fat. I am able to smile at people and look them in the eyes, whereas before that would have been impossible. But most of all, I am able to start to open up my heart a little to others. And it all started with God.

When I was very young, I could see the angels and talk to God. The angels would sing beautiful songs about the Lord to me. I talked to God on a regular basis, because I knew Him. I trusted Him. He was mine. I hadn’t been taught it was wrong; it was just normal to me. For a time anyway. When I was two I would regularly get spanked with a belt for disobedience. Once when I tried to tell my father I talked to God, he became extremely angry with me. Of course he didn’t believe me, and thought there was something wrong with me. If you have been taught that something is wrong or impossible, then you tend to believe it, and carry that belief with you. Well my father grew up in the Catholic church, and of course he believed that I could not talk to God. That was how he was raised.

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.

Psalm 91:11

Yet I was just a little girl. All I knew was my experience, and that I loved my father and desperately wanted to make him happy. It’s a very small world through the eyes of a child. My father had also been raised being punished for insolence, which is what he considered this whole “talking to God” thing. So I was punished and reprimanded for it. That was the first time I began to doubt my gift and also to doubt God. Yet I did not stop. As a matter of fact, one of my favorite ways to pass the time was to sing. As a small child my song base was rather small, but I did know the songs of the angels. I would sing them to the Lord, in a soft and sweet little voice. It gave me comfort and joy, and helped me worship God, even then.

It was at a very tender young age of two that I also became indoctrinated into my first satanic ritual at the hands of those who I trusted most; my family. That was only the beginning. Once the elders at the Mormon church realized my gift to hear God, they immediately began to punish me for it. They absolutely could not have me talking to God, because this was not the one True God, as I believed. No. They would need to teach me about what was true and what was right, because I was very far away from that. Once my grandmother heard me singing one of the angel songs while I was playing at her house, and she flew into a fit of rage. She grabbed me by the arm and took me straight to the Mormon church so she could tell the elders.

If my father thought it insolent to talk to God, imagine how worshipers of Lucifer felt when one of their disciples was actually singing and worshiping God. It was beyond an outrage. I was given a chance to do the right thing. Bow down and worship the true god, Lucifer, god of light. I was filled with fear, but I had faith in God. He had always been there for me, at least so far. So I did kneel down, and bow, but to the God I knew; the Living God. The elders went mad with rage and beat me until I finally complied with their demands. It was not OK for me to sing these precious songs, because to them I was a traitor. To a little girl it made absolutely no sense. It was just a song.

“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 18:3-4

These are just some of the memories I began to receive through the revelation of the Holy Spirit when I first began my inner healing.  These are not memories I could have recovered on my own, because they were so painful they had to be buried deep in the recesses of my mind. These memories were pivotal moments in the breaking down of my relationship with God, as well as the gift of discernment He had bestowed upon me. This gift is a very hated gift in the eyes of Lucifer. Anything that can be used to get closer to God and His love is disgusting and must be banished or ruined as far as possible. The gift of discernment is far too revealing to the natural world. It reveals the spiritual world in which God resides as well as the devil without his many disguises.

Many have asked why I would want these memories to ever be retrieved. Why bring up more pain and relive the past abuse. That is a very valid question. The reason is exactly what I wrote in the first two paragraphs of this post. The painfully shy girl who was desperate for love and acceptance but scared to death to actually get it, was a byproduct of this abuse. I was taken from an innocent little girl who loved God and knew Him, to a girl who was contaminated by pure evil for the purpose of being stolen away from God. And that is how I have lived the past 37 years of my life. It is not how I was created to live; not who I was created to be.

So I had a choice: continue to live as a shell of who I should be, or take a dangerous step into the unknown, and into pain, to find a miraculous healing at the end of it. It is not for the faint of heart I suppose, but I honestly don’t consider myself to be a special person to take this task on. I’m not particularly strong or courageous, but then again neither was Abraham. He was willing to leave everything he knew to go only God knew where out of trust. He was also willing to take his beloved son to be a sacrificial lamb without question when asked. Yet he was completely weak and full of faults. I think that is the beauty of it. It is not about being something special in order to walk into your pain and greatest fear. It’s about believing the promises God has given us in the Bible, that there is something much more that we were created for. Then it’s about being desperate enough to want it.

God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

1 Corinthians 1:9

guardianangelsI know that everyone has their skeleton in the closet so to speak. My skeleton may be different than yours, but it is not better or worse. Every person has their burdens they must bear over the course of their life. Some are too excruciating to ever let out, and some we are able to tame enough so that we can believe they are not quite that bad. Whatever it is, it has still been left undealt with. And the longer you leave it hidden, the longer you leave it to fester and rot away in the inner most core of who you are. Like a sore that has never healed, it becomes more like a disease, that spreads throughout the entire being, corrupting as it goes. That is how I lived my life. And now I am done. I am on a journey to find freedom and healing, as long as it takes. Because Jesus is worth it. I do this for Him. Because knowing Him, all of Him (at least as much as humanly possible) and being with Him, far outweigh all the bad that I have ever had to deal with.

If you find yourself struggling internally; knowing there is something bubbling up inside and begging to be let out, or if you even only think there is that something but you aren’t quite sure; you are not alone. God, your Father, is right here with you. He has never left you alone, and He isn’t about to start right now. He wants to walk with you through this, just as He has from day 1 of your life. He has amazing plans in store for you. The question is not what, but when. When are you going to take that leap of faith and trust Him enough to surrender your heart and life and accept the healing and freedom He has for you? Today sounds like it may be a good day for that. 🙂

For you are God, O Sovereign Lord. Your words are truth, and you have promised these good things to your servant.

Samuel 7:28

April 11 2016

Healing From Sexual Abuse

sexual abuseWhen I was 13, my sister had her first child. I was so very excited, and was eager to babysit. My sister and I were not close, but she was newly married and living in a nice home with a new baby, so I was hoping to get closer to her by babysitting. Unfortunately, her husband had the same idea, about getting close to me. He slowly began to build a relationship of trust and kindness with me, in order to get close to me. Next thing I knew, he was grabbing my butt one day, as I was holding his infant daughter, and my sister was not around. I was as shocked as I could be, and just stood there stiff as a board, afraid to move, unsure if what happened was even real. You see, when  you are a victim of sexual abuse, you do whatever you can to cope with it, and make it less real, or even OK.

There is nothing OK about sexual abuse, yet it happens every single day in our world, and most of the time it is perpetrated by those we know, trust, and even love most often. It is a sad fact that 4/5 of sexual abuse is committed by someone the victim knows. What my brother in law did  that day was just a small step in the abuse that he was setting up through a trusting relationship. I was scared to death to tell anyone, so I endured more advances, that thankfully never got any worse than that. I told myself it was best to keep it a secret, lest I hurt my sister or disturb their marriage. I was not going to cause any problems for her, especially now that she was in my life again after many years of being gone.

These are some of the lies sexual abuse victims tell themselves, in order to get through. If we make it our fault, or make it OK, then it isn’t really abuse, and it’s not really that bad. Sexual abuse is bad, and it tears the soul of the victim to pieces. It violates them in ways that break them to the core, and turn them into someone they were never created to be. Sexual abuse is not just about being raped or molested. Many people often don’t realize that sexual abuse also includes inappropriate touch; including over clothing, showing sexual pictures or objects, talking about sexual things, getting undressed in front of you or asking you to undress in front of them, showing parts of their body or offering to, taking pictures of a person undressing or showing pictures of themselves naked or undressing. These things most commonly are sexual abuse when it happens between a child and an adult, but it can also be between peers.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Things like this happen to people all the time, and it makes them feel violated and uncomfortable, but they do not think it is sexual abuse. So they try to brush it under the rug or forget about it, in order to cope with it. Maybe in their home it is even normal, and they don’t know anything different. I had an “uncle” who would tickle me every time he saw me. I hated it more than anything, and dreaded seeing him. It made me feel wrong and ashamed and he did it for years. My parents never said a word about it, and it seemed like it was supposed to be totally acceptable. Except for the way it made me feel. Dirty. That is abuse.

There are many other people who are holding on quietly to secrets of sexual abuse from their past. Maybe it was from a relative or a neighbor or a babysitter or even a boyfriend/girlfriend. Sexual abuse leaves many to keep their dirty little secrets in shame, shoving them deep down until they don’t have to face them anymore. The problem is, even though you shove that pain and the memories into the depths of your subconscious, the effects of the abuse lasts a lifetime. Especially when you never deal with the pain and begin to heal it. When I was 14, my first boyfriend raped me. We had a very sweet and innocent relationship, until he decided he was tired of being a virgin. I had no interest in sex, but I loved him. He made me feel loved for the first time in my life. I told him I did not want to have sex, but those words fell on deaf ears.

He made a plan to come to my house early one morning while my parents were at work and we were off from school. He tried taking my clothes off and was chasing me around my small duplex. I resisted the best I could, but eventually I gave in. I told myself it was OK, because I loved him. I knew it wasn’t OK, because I felt violated and hated every second of it. But I had to make it OK enough to survive it. He loved me and I loved him, so it would all be OK. I was so desperate for love and affection. So broken and alone. It happened over and over again for many more months, until I finally broke up with him. I did everything I could to put it behind me, and tell myself I was “over it”. That is until I ran into him about 10 years later in a movie theater one day. I was with my two young sons; he was with his girlfriend. I was sick and disgusted, and when I got home I broke down completely.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

2 Corinthians 12:9

After years of telling myself I was over it, and it would be OK, I came face to face with the harsh reality of the pain and the trauma that came out of the abuse. I did not want to call it abuse, or see it as abuse, but that is exactly what it was. I was so busy seeing it as dirty and ugly and hiding from it, I could not possibly heal from it. This abuse continued to haunt me for years, as I tried to just cry it out and move on, hoping the wounds would just heal up magically. Sexually abuse kills the soul and deadens a person and their ability to love, feel, give and receive intimacy. It skews their perceptions of pleasure and leaves them unable to create healthy boundaries for themselves. It leaves them full of depression, despair, hopelessness, shame, anxiety, fear, contempt, powerlessness, and so much more. These things weave their way into their lives coming out in belief systems and behaviors. Sexual abuse is never the fault of the victim, yet most often it is the victim who takes the responsibility on for the abuse.

The sexual abuse I experienced there set me up for years of sexual abuse throughout my life. Once you become a victim of sexual abuse, especially as a child, you become promiscuous, sometimes even having sex at a very young age. I allowed myself to be used by many guys for their sexual purposes during my teens years, in hopes that I would get love and affection in return. The lines between sex and love were blurred as I believed that giving myself sexually equaled love. I even put myself in dangerous situations, such as walking down the street in the middle of the night, looking to get into the car of anyone who would stop. I was so desperate for love and I believed that love and pain were the same. To receive love and approval I needed to subject myself to hands of abuse. So that is what I did, time and time again until it finally stopped when I met my current husband. He has treated me with nothing but respect. Unfortunately the abuse I endured has caused so much pain and mistrust, it has caused many problems in our relationship as well. I knew I had problems, but I was helpless to do anything about it.

hearthealI am now in a class for women who were sexually abused as children. This class, (called Wounded Heart, after the workbook), has been a big help for me to understand more about sexual abuse, and the lasting effects it has had on my life. I am on a path of healing, and learning more about who I am and why I am that way. I did not come to this class because of the sexual abuse I have talked about in this post, but because of the sexual abuse I endured as a child. I was molested, sodomized and raped as a child, in the Mormon Church. The abuse was so terrifying that I completely blocked it from my conscious mind. This class has been an outlet for me to connect with other women who have been abused and can understand the heart wrenching pain and anger that I have been in as I allow Jesus to come in and heal me. I really wanted no part of this class in any way, because I wanted to stay alone in my shame, but I stepped out in faith to try it.

The Lord works righteousness
    and justice for all who are oppressed.

Psalm 103:6

A class alone, nor a workbook, are going to heal a heart torn apart by sexual abuse. Only Jesus Christ can heal wounds that run this deep. Yet I would highly recommend a class of this nature to any man or woman who has been the victim of sexual abuse. You need to know that you are not alone. The devil wants you to continue to hide and feel ashamed or at fault, because then he has you right where he wants you. But if you expose those dark places to the light of Jesus, you will see that there is indeed hope there. I know you may have lost all hope, or maybe like me you have convinced yourself it never happened, or that it wasn’t that bad. I am here to tell you that as bad as it feels right now, there is healing for you. If Jesus can redeem my pain and hell, then he can absolutely redeem yours. There is nothing too big for God, the author of all healing.

I have been where you are, and while I am not completely on the other side of it yet, I can see the other side of it. There are days when the pain seems like more than I can bear. There are days when I am so angry all I can do is yell. But that is OK. The fact that I have been willing to see my abuse and ask for help is the biggest step any of us will ever take. I invite you to do the same. You are not walking this out alone. You are not a nameless and faceless person on the other end of a computer screen. You are very real, and your pain is completely valid. Jesus knows it, and He has felt ever bit of it with you. He has mourned the loss of innocence and felt the sting of shame. If you would be willing to step out and allow Him in to it, I can guarantee you, He will heal it. It may not be as fast as you want, or in the way you desire, but He will heal you. Not only will He heal you, He will redeem you. Please, take a chance, and ask Him in. And remember, I am here for you too.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Psalm 147:3

 

March 7 2016

How To Deal With Pain And Anger

pain and angerI have been going through hell lately. It’s been over half of a year now since I began a journey into discovering why I have had a life filled with intense pain. I had gotten to the point where I felt much better than I ever had, because Jesus unconditional love and saving grace had brought me transformation. Yet I discovered that as time went on, I wasn’t doing as well as I thought I was. After the initial transformation (which was huge) I started to decline. Don’t get me wrong – all the changes the Holy Spirit inspired me to make, and all the growth I achieved were still there. Yet I came to a place where I was finally at the end of my rope. I had tried everything to get better with prayer and healing and deliverance. Yet somehow I could barely make it through a day and take care of myself, let alone homeschool my kids and make dinner. I was drowning in pain and anger.

I knew there was something deeper going on, and so I decided to explore options for counseling. Once I began to dive into the emotional and spiritual depths of my soul, I found the answers I had been seeking. I was horribly abused as a child, by the people who loved me and were supposed to be taking care of me. This was a shocking blow to me, because the abuse was so severe that I actually completely blocked it out. I mean I had no memories whatsoever of any of it. Yet the information I began to receive as revelations from the Holy Spirit, finally started to put my life together like a puzzle that had lost the corner pieces.

I have always been drowning in deep pain. Pain deeper than I think one person should ever have to bear the burden of. Yet somehow I did bear it, and continue with life. I think not knowing the source of that pain (aka denial) was very helpful until I could get to a point where the Holy Spirit could begin to heal me. If I had attempted to recover these memories any sooner, I am pretty sure I would have gone completely mad. These are things that no person should have to live through, and I am not even sure how I did. Well, I am sure actually – It was by the protection of God. Yes, even though I suffered severe abuse, God was there protecting me in ways I could not know and got me through to where I am now. Hallelujah! Now THAT is a miracle! I would not even be a lover of Jesus Christ, if the devil were to have succeeded in his plan. Praise the Lord, the Almighty God, that I am where I am right now.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Romans 8:18

This journey has been a very difficult road, and it is not over. I have had some days where functioning was not even on my list of things to do that day. I just did what I could to make it through and tried not to have a complete breakdown in front of my kids. I have felt so awful as I have had to face the root of all my pain. I have been depressed, angry, scared, hopeless and worse – suicidal. Yet it has all been worth it because I see the healing Jesus is bringing. Things are improving. Because of this pain I have had to drop out of most of my social groups. At one point I was in 6, yes 6, Bible studies at a time. I was doing well at all of them and enjoying them. I also had a moms group and a life group. I have had to drop out of all of them, except my life group. Which honestly is only because that is the one group the Lord has moved to me stay in.

I haven’t been good company or a good friend. I haven’t been able to pray for people the way I used to or reach out to people in need the way I have wanted too. I have just shut myself in and tried to just do what I could each day. I would often start crying in public (like at some of my groups or at church) because I would be reminded of my great and deep pain. I have felt isolated and very alone. How can you share something like this with anyone else? First of all, it is more than I can bear, so I cannot expect others to bear it as well. Second of all, this is not your every day abuse that you just talk about. Not to say people talk about abuse easily. Yet most types of abuse have at least a support group of some kind or there are other people who have been there you can connect with. No, this abuse is so ugly and horrifying that is has to be kept secret. At least that is how I have lived for months.

I have to say the worst part is, as I have tried to explain to those I know in my life just a little bit, so they could understand why I am looking so depressed or started crying randomly or dropped out of my groups, I have not gotten a positive response. I try not to give details really, because it is personal, and as I said, very hard for people to deal with. I have gotten the brush off, or some kind comments then a change of subject, or some words that were supposed to be comforting but were hurtful instead. I have sat there in church crying, while people I know were a few feet away talking and laughing, oblivious to my pain. It has been very hard for me, especially coming from a place of wanting to push people away, because it seems safer than risking getting hurt again.

He heals the brokenhearted
    and binds up their wounds. 

Psalm 147:3

I have known suffering personally. I have been in the trenches with it, and longed to climb up out and into the light. Yet I felt so hopeless that I could not even reach up to touch the hem of Jesus’ robe. Even that small of a task seemed impossible in those moments. I know not everyone has experienced that depth of pain like I have, but I do know everyone at some point has reached a point of pain that for them, seemed unbearable. Everyone has had those moments when they feel utterly alone and lost in this life, unsure of what to do to get help with where they are at. And that is why it is my prayer that if I ever, ever see someone suffering, that I would never just turn a blind eye, or walk away from that person without reaching out first. There is nothing like being in the depths of pain and sorrow, and knowing that the very Christians who are supposed to uplift and support you, can easily turn their backs on you in an instant.

I hope I do not sound angry or resentful, because for the most part, I am not. I have learned much from these experiences, about pain, and about people. What I have come to realize is that people hate pain and do not want to deal with it. I know that sounds pretty obvious, but actually it is not. We as people go to great lengths to avoid pain or dealing with the pain we already have. We take prescription drugs, get numbed to give birth, do drugs, drink alcohol, watch TV, and so much more. I know that sounds simple, but really the process by which we go to avoid pain becomes incredibly complicated. We created elaborate stories in our minds to have reason behind what we do to escape pain. We are very convincing to ourselves, but the outside world, and God, are not so fooled by our denial.

Take me for instance. I have tried to cover up my own pain with anger and rage and hate. If you knew me personally you would probably be surprised to hear that, because I try to keep that hidden from outsiders. It is my family that has seen my ugly secret, and has been on the receiving end of most of it. Yet anger has been so much easier for me to deal with. Safer. When I am angry, no one can touch me; no one can hurt me again. I have control, unlike when I was abused I had no control. I can keep those I love at arm’s length, instead of trusting them and being betrayed. I can pretend that I am angry about all kinds of things – things people do or say, or something that happened at church or whatever. That way I don’t have to acknowledge that I am really angry because I was betrayed and hurt and abused. I can just wash those things away with the anger. The funny thing is, anger is what brought me initially to my journey of inner healing. I was tired of being so angry all.the.time. Now I understand why I am angry and can begin to let go of the anger to start tapping into the pain.

My shield is God Most High,
    who saves the upright in heart.

Psalm 7:10

I know that it is hard to think about tapping into your pain. After all, pain is painful. We are told constantly to avoid pain at all costs – not just by our own human nature, but by the world around us. Pain is the enemy, and we must fight it at all costs. Yet we know that the truths of the world are always the opposite of the Truth of God. Jesus tells us that pain is to be expected in this life, no avoided. So when did we buy into the lie that we need to run from pain? When we face the ugliness of our pain, we have to face the ugliness of sin. It is sin that causes pain; our sin and the sins of others against us. The story of Adam and Eve is a perfect example. They sinned against God by believing the lies of the devil, and next thing they knew they had unraveled the foundation of what God had created for them.

Adam blamed Eve and God for his own sin and Eve blamed the devil. Neither one of them could face up to the pain of their sin against God. God did not cause them to sin, Satan did. Satan is the originator of all sin, and will continue to slither into our lives and use anything he can to convince us of his truths. His biggest “truth” is, that we must hide from the pain of sin and blame God for what we have experienced. He absolutely loves that he can turn people away from God, and towards him. Because when we turn to sin, we are turning to Satan himself. Sin begets sin. When we are sinned against it creates sin within us. The sin of the abuse that I endured, caused me to in turn, lash out with sin towards God and others for my whole life. Was I doing it knowingly? No. Did I have good reasons to be angry and lash out in pain. Yes. God does not hold any of that against me, or anyone else for that matter. That was finished at the Cross.

hopeSo we have a choice in this matter of pain. We can accept that we have great pain that we have ignored and that it has caused us to sin, or we can continue to live the lie that the devil has perpetuated for thousands of years. Your pain is too ugly to bear and you need to hide from all of it. It is OK that you are hurting. It is OK that you are angry. It is OK even if you blame God for your pain and anger. What is not OK is that you continue to deny your pain and continue to use it as an excuse to sin. If someone hurt you, or if you have seen horrible injustice to those you love, or worse than that; none of those things are OK. There is nothing that will ever justify that sin against you or anyone else, ever. God is not OK with it, and He will get justice for it in His perfect way. He is the Righteous Judge over all creation, and one day every knee will bow before Him in judgement. Hell is very real, and there will be people there. Only God gets to decide who goes there though. We do not.

I have grown very wear over a lifetime of hiding from my pain. I was unable to deal with my pain fully when I was unable to understand the reasons for my pain. Many times we need to go deep into our souls and our lives to find out the root causes of where our pain comes from. Does that mean you have gone through something as horrific as I have? Maybe not. Everyone has their own story, and each person needs to take that leap of faith to walk with Jesus Christ to come to a place where they can receive His healing. There is a place for you, where you will find amazing freedom in your life and be prepared to fulfill the calling God has anointed you with. Are you ready to walk into that place? Are you ready to earn your crown of glory? He is waiting for you beloved. You are not alone.

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.

Ephesians 4:1

October 10 2014

Welcome to the Other Side of Darkness

My name is Beth, and I am here to tell you my story. A story of my journey into a life of darkness, hopelessness and despair; into the very pits of what I call hell, and the amazing force that brought me up out of the darkness, and into the light.

outofdarkness

I have always felt alone and sad. I never felt good enough or loved. As a teen I was raped by my boyfriend and became suicidal. Later I fell into drugs and alcohol, which consumed a large part of my life. In my search for truth and meaning in life, I delved deeply into the occult and witch craft and new age for several years. I was in several abusive relationships and continued to be depressed and lost for many years.

Does any of this resonate with you? Have you ever struggled with depression or suicidal thoughts? Or maybe your struggle was with addiction to drugs or alcohol. Have you been searching, wondering, why you are here? Is there a purpose in life? Have you suffered and been so tired that you just can’t take it anymore? Was there a time in your life you used witch craft or new age practices in your search for the truth?

I am here to tell you I understand completely. I have walked in those shoes as well. I have felt unbearable pain and sought to try any means possible to numb it or take it away. You are not alone. There is hope. There is help and healing for you. I have received unbelievable healing, comfort, joy and lasting hope in life! I have known unconditional love, that surpasses my understanding. And I have found peace in knowing why I am here on this earth, and what my purpose is. You are loved beyond anything you have ever known in your life! And you too can experience this wonderful joy and hope that I have found. It is there even for you!

Please explore my blog and learn more about my life, my experiences and how I found light in a dark world. Learn more about walking in joy and victory! I pray you will be blessed beyond measure as you read this blog. Thank you so much for visiting!

 New Posts Come Out Every Monday (with the exception of holidays)!

To read my testimony of how I went from being a witch who hated God, to a Christian please go to My Testimony.

To read more about my life, and how I lived a life of pain, hopelessness and walked from away from God, please go to My Story.

To read my new posts about recovered memories, where I am beginning to speak of my childhood abuse, please go to Recovering Childhood Memories. (If you are SRA please be advised these posts are full of triggers.)

To read about how I came to a Christian church and found a relationship with Jesus, please go to Into the Light.

To read more about my life and my latest posts (with the exception of new memories), please go to Living in the Light.

To visit my Youtube Channel where I post videos weekly about Christian life, spiritual gifts, warfare and much more, go to My Channel!

 

 

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