I have tricked myself into believing that I had dealt with my childhood trauma.
I believed that because I could admit to myself and others that I had been sexually abused and abandoned by both my parents either emotionally or physically, that I must have dealt with the residual side effects. In the last year God has used my circumstances, books and beautifully broken women around me to open my eyes and reveal that I still have so much work to do on my path to recovery.
God has been strategically drawing me closer to Him so that he can show me where he wants me to focus my energy. He has been leading me toward the realization that I have never processed or dealt with the scars that were left by my mother’s addiction, my father’s inability to be a father at the age of 16 or the man who forever changed how I see the world. God is making it clear that I have some deep, ugly scar tissue that is encasing my heart, keeping me from fully experiencing life or his unconditional love and provision.
The life that I have been leading is nothing but a dim shadow of the life God envisions for me. I must first do the painstaking hard work down in the trenches of my past so that I can live a full and abundant life in Christ.
Once I realized that I hadn’t in fact dealt with my childhood trauma I came up with every excuse and every reason why I couldn’t step back into counseling. I didn’t have the time, or what if I completely fell apart? How could I take care of my family if I couldn’t even take care of myself? God had been telling me that I needed to address my trauma and the residual effects that it was causing and I just wasn’t willing to trust Him.
As he does on a regular basis God used circumstances around me to reveal where I had been going wrong. He used a sermon series being taught at our church inspired by “Experiencing God: How to know and Do the Will of God” to meet me right where I was at. There is this beautifully written statement made by Henry and Richard Blackaby that stopped me in my tracks: “God doesn’t make suggestions. He speaks with the full determination to see that what He has said will come to fruition.” When God tells us to do something, he expects that we follow through!
As I read this it is impossible not to see such a perfect correlation in my daily life.
One morning a few weeks ago my oldest, Landon, refused to go to school. Have you ever had one of those mornings, where no matter how much Holy Spirit fueled patience you have, no matter how kind and gentle you are, your child has dug their heels in and has committed to their platform? That was the kind of morning we were having. My son had in his mind that if he put up a big enough fight that he would win and I would allow him to stay home from school. Little does he know that I have had 20 years to perfect my stubbornness. I am a master at the art of digging my heels in. He has no idea who he is up against!
What Landon was failing to see was that he can either choose to willingly get in the car and buckle himself in to his car seat or I can pick him up, kicking and screaming and hold him in his seat while he flails and fights. I will eventually get him buckled and in the car and headed to school. The only choice that he has is how he is going to handle the circumstances that he is in. He can decide how he is going to respond to the choice that has already been made for him by his mother who has more wisdom and foresight that he can even fathom. Is anyone else seeing the connection to our relationship with God?
If God can heal the Leper (Luke 5:13), give the blind man of Luke 18:42 his sight and raise Lazarus from the dead (John 11:43-44) he can certainly heal the scars of sexual abuse!
As I explore this new (to me) concept of God’s sovereignty I am beginning to see that He has a plan for me. My life is going to end up at a certain destination, in this case healing from sexual abuse as a child. The only thing that I have control over is how long it takes me to get to that destination. I can either go kicking and screaming refusing to see past my lack of desire to deal with this (this is defiantly the choice I have been making for the last decade) or I can choose the path that God has laid out for me, either way I have to process this and deal with the effects this is having on my life.
If God can heal the Leper (Luke 5:13), give the blind man of Luke 18:42 his sight and raise Lazarus from the dead (John 11:43-44) he can certainly heal the scars of sexual abuse! He can repair the wounds inflicted by seeing my mother’s addiction completely consume her. He has the power to be a salve to the fear of abandonment and being left out. Why is it so easy to believe that He is powerful and compassionate enough to heal the bind, that he is powerful enough to guide David’s stone to defeat Goliath but so hard to accept that he can and wants to heal these deep, personal and dark wounds?
God is inviting me to join him on the path to redemption and healing, but I have to make the decision to trust him enough to follow; to pick up my cross and follow Him. You can move past your trauma, it doesn’t have to define us! The same God of the universe who parted the Red Sea lives in me! He lives in you! He is willing and waiting for me to call on His strength; all I have to do is ask. All you have to do dear sister is take His hand, trusting and knowing that he will be there every step of the way guiding and wrapping you in His loving embrace.