For those of you just joining us for my series on the awesomeness of therapy.
Here's a powerful story of suffering and redemption especially for those of you who have suffered serious emotional/psychological trauma and have not yet had the courage to face it.
Please note that I have changed the names of these women to protect their privacy.
I chose to go to therapy because I finally got to the point where the possibility of the unknown pain that was certain to come from talking about my suffering was more appealing than continuing to live with the extremely familiar pain that I had toted around for a solid 18 years. I was sexually abused as a child. And the fact that I just typed that and am allowing it (even anonymously) to be published is a testimony to the amazing grace and healing that God has wrought through the grace of the Sacraments and through therapy. I tried for a long time to do it on my own. To just pray hard enough and long enough until Jesus magically zapped me with healing. Then I could just pretend like the wound never existed even though it had been buried deep and festering for so many years.
We cannot have resurrection without the cross is what I finally came to understand. The cross is ugly and painful and heavy, until we look at it with the eyes of Love. And then we see that Jesus will carry us and our crosses all the way through. It hurts like the dickens, but through His own passion and death, He made it sanctifying and He made it a way to come closer to Him. And He always always always promises resurrection. He is Faithful to His promises, to this I can attest.
Plus, not going to therapy is super painful, too. It’s just unfamiliar and we humans often cling to the familiar. At least I did. But the pain is not ever going to go away by itself, and the pain of ignoring it or pretending it’s not there is a pain that only grows and deepens with every passing day. The pain of therapy is like scrubbing a really infected wound. Dang it hurts. And I kicked and screamed like a 4 year old getting her scraped knees disinfected, because that hurts. But it’s a hurt that will get better and will lead to healing. God knows that this pain is temporary and will be for our good. Just like your momma and dad know that the pain will pass, the booboo will heal, and instead of an infected wound that keeps getting more infected, you will have a scar. A scar that will never completely go away (until Heaven), but one that will not control your life in any way like the untreated wound does.
Your past experience is NOT who you are. It does not have to control your life and every decision you make. You absolutely CAN be FREE. You were made for absolute Joy and an abundant life. That’s what Jesus wants to give you, but He never forces it on you. You have to receive it and believe you me, you cannot receive it if you are buried in the darkness of your past wounds.
An amazing resource for anyone who has ever experienced any kind of abuse is Made in His Image.
Great spiritual reading: Interior Freedom by Jacques Phillipe (this book absolutely changed my life)
And for a really good book about God’s redeeming love and hope I highly highly recommend Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.
There is so much hope. God is with you and in Him there is no darkness at all.
Go to therapy now. Don’t wait a minute longer. You and your future self, family and friends will be so so so so so glad you did.
If you're struggling with the affects of abuse and would like to talk to someone who is recovering, please feel free to email me.
I'll leave you with some encouragement from God's Word. Read it. Pray with it. Believe it:
“Because he himself was tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested” Hebrews 2:18
“At dusk weeping comes for the night; but at dawn there is rejoicing” (Psalm 30:6)
"Come, let us return to the LORD, For it is he who has rent, but he will heal us; he has struck us, but he will bind our wounds. He will revive us after two days; on the third day he will raise us up, to live in his presence. Let us know, let us strive to know the LORD; as certain as the dawn is his coming, and his judgment shines forth like the light of day! He will come to us like the rain, like spring rain that waters the earth." (Hosea 6: 1-3)
“For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare, not for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope.When you call me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you. When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, you will find me with you, says the LORD, and I will change your lot?” (Jeremiah 29:11-14)
(Top image via my Instagram; bottom image via Verily)