Confession time. I haven’t decorated the house for Christmas since 2010…Brandon is the Christmas guy, so it made sense when the boxes appeared on the evening of Black Friday and he and the kids began decorating the tree and bookshelves. What didn’t make sense was my simmering resentment…
You may remember that my home was hit by a tornado back in April. My children and I were outside in the storm for a couple of minutes, debris blowing all around us. While we weren’t hurt physically, the terror of that moment left a mark on our spirits.
The three of us have utilized a combination of tools—spiritual and psychological—to recover from the trauma. If you’ve read my guide, Ten Tools for Inner Healing, you will be familiar with some of the spiritual tools.
What’s so interesting to me is how both approaches put the imagination to work.
The pain of what happened is gone, but healing continues. Because relationship continues.
I’m still learning to trust God—really trust him. No matter what happens. This one is hard for me. You see, I was always where I was supposed to be when the bad things happened (and not just sexual abuse)—in my classroom, in my house, with family, at church, at work, at youth camp.
Not that I was perfectly behaved, but most of my foolishness took place after all the abuse and betrayals had occurred. Evil sought me out. Hunted me.
(Not that a woman’s foolishness or wisdom justifies or condemns the wrongful actions of others. Assault is assault, no matter where she was when it happened.)
At times, bad things happened because I did the right thing. Doing the right thing usually comes at a price.
Before I continue my story, let's review a few important steps on the path to inner healing.
No one goes anywhere with God unless first invited by the Holy Spirit. Ultimately, every healing story begins with God's desire for our wholeness, not our desire for wholeness. Apart from him, we don't even know we're broken.
We have to agree with God that we're broken. Sometimes, we have to speak this agreement aloud in the presence of other believers.
What you believe matters.
A belief is like a seed. Throw it into the soil of the mind. Wait. In time, the belief yields the fruit of behavior. As the nature of the fruit depends upon the nature of the seed, so the nature of the behavior depends upon the nature of the belief.
All beliefs bear fruit eventually, no matter how deep you bury them.
Those who have followed my blog for the last several years know that I don't spare my readers from the dark moments, and neither do I leave them there. We always find our way out again. Until recently, I couldn't have led anyone very far in this particular darkness, which is why I haven't told this story in the past.
If you choose to read this series, I'm going to take you to some places that may bring you to face your own darkness, but I'm also going to show you where God's light was in mine so maybe you can find him in yours. I'm going to tell you how he healed my deepest wounds in hope that yours might get healed in the process. If you're up for that kind of journey, keep reading. If not, file away the web address for a later time.
Before I begin, I feel it's important to state that my story isn't unique. In fact, it's tragically common. Furthermore, my personal experience isn't even close to the worst version of this story I've heard. I'm friends with people who have experienced much worse. You, reader, may have experienced worse.