Hurt happens. Healing can happen, too – even when the hurt is horrific. In today’s Thin Place story Loretta shows us we can receive God’s wisely gentle healing. (Has God ministered to you in a Thin Place? Want to share your story? Go here to read how.)
I was only 6 months old when the abuse began. At the age of eight I was taken to the root cellar and raped by my grandfather. After being raped I felt I was a dirty little girl. His shameful acts filled me with guilt and fear. Even though I lived in a Christian home, I began to believe Satan’s lies that God would never love me and that I should be ashamed of myself. Though my Bible said God loves the world, in the deepest recesses of my heart I believed God looked at me with disgust because I was contaminated by the sexual abuse.
Forms of abuse continued throughout my childhood. I couldn’t stop them. I longed for control over something in my life, then I realized that no one could make me eat! Anorexia gave me a sense of control and thus began a long battle with eating disorders.
I thought perhaps when I grew up it would all stop, but I was wrong. At the age of eighteen I was raped by a boyfriend, who beat me often, reinforcing my core belief that I was a powerless shameful victim God did not love me or He would have protected me!
To compensate I learned to put on a phony mask, hiding my brokenness behind a neatly built facade. Fear was my constant companion and panic attacks kept me close to home. I ran from any threatening emotion that surfaced and tried to bury the hurtful memories deep inside. Sleep was hard to come by since I was plagued with nightmares. I was desperate for help, I could not face the memories of my past alone any longer.
I found a husband & wife counseling team who helped me work through issues and gave me helpful books to read. I learned how to journal my emotions and deal with situations that retrieved my hurtful past. My pastor introduced me to God as my emotional healer.
What is hidden in the darkness of our minds gives Satan a weapon to use against us. For so long Satan beat me up whispering lies into my heart with great condemnation. As I shared the painful secrets of my life, allowing the pain once buried deep inside to surface, God began to pour the oil of His love into my shattered emotions and take away the deep inner pain. My crushed spirit began to experience life once again. His love healed the painful places.
Healing takes time. The painful memories were too overwhelming to face alone and surfacing all at once would be more than I could deal with. God allowed the process at a pace I could handle. As I allowed God to shine His light on Satan’s lies, they withered and I felt Him reach out to me with his healing power and comforting presence! He spoke healing words into my heart and set me free as I brought each broken piece of my heart to him.
As the Holy Spirit illuminated God’s Word, I saw God as a gentle loving father I could run to. His Word released me from the painful memories that held me prisoner. Like a warm blanket on a cold night I find comfort in reading passages from David’s Psalms. Words like “…your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me. When doubts filled my mind your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer. (Psalms 94:18-19). “…yes, you have been with me from birth…” (Psalm 71:6) and when I am afraid I will put my trust in you.” (Psalm 54:3)
John 8:32 says you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. Christ replaced Satan’s lies with His truth. Satan could no longer condemn me and I no longer believe his lies – I know the truth!