Today 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.
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.
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
I 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