1994 I was facilitating a new ministry the Lord put on my heart. “The Angel Group” was a support group for women who had been sexually abused as children. It was the only Christian based support group within several counties and we had women traveling several miles to attend. The need was, and still is great.
One morning the Lord woke me up out of a sound sleep and told me, “Get up! You’re going to publish a magazine.” I had no idea how to do that but as always the Lord is faithful to walk us through whatever He calls us to do. Standing at the kitchen table with Christ beside me we put together a small outreach publication for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. All submissions were by survivors. The publication started out with only 25 mailings and by the end of four and a half years it had crossed into several states and the hands of many, from hurting survivors to professionals, pastors and everyone in between. Any time we follow the calling of the Lord and do things His way we will be successful. Over the past several months, you my readers, have read several of those submissions.
Here is a letter to the Angel Ministry, now Elah Ministries, Inc., as an example of how reaching out can bring hope, healing, and deliverance to those who are hurting. I see our blogs, yours and mine, as an outreach ministry and regardless of whether you have comments at the end of your article or not, you are touching someone.
Dear Angels of Angels by Grace and Angel Group:
I am a fellow “Angel” if you should call it that. Though I must confess it’s been years since I’ve felt like one. I write to you to praise, mainly because I’ve lived in this town for over ten years and your Angels by Grace magazine is the first outreach of support I’ve encountered in that time without seeking it out.
I wanted to let you know, that both witness and compassionate brothers and sisters in this healing journey that yes, you are reaching out indeed. Your magazine managed to reach its way into a secured building and guarded cell block in Douglas County jail, where myself and a handful of women have been blessed with the assurance that there are still people who care.
The other reason I wanted to send praise is on a more personal note. And actually, maybe it’s not so much praise for your work as it is a deep gratitude. I have been here a month and await my court date next week, concerning charges resulting from an addiction that I have.
The addiction in turn, results from years of traveling over, under, and around issues from eight years of sexual abuse as a child. The psychological and mental aspects of healing are nothing new to me. I’ve been through more forms of counseling than I care to disclose.
What is new to me though, is recognizing that no amount of medicine or counseling will help heal these buried hurts if I neglect to make my relationship with Jesus Christ a “constant” in that journey. I have been a born again Christian for seven years now, but oddly enough, that revelation has just occurred to me.
Receiving your magazine today made that possible by awakening a desire in me. A desire to examine my heart and surrender it to the Lord. I have realized that literally, it is too exhausting for me to carry the burdens any longer. I am now ready and willing to let God take them for me.
An added bonus, if you can call it that, is that I have taken the first step in overcoming my addiction and getting my life back on track. There is, most assuredly, a long road ahead for me. And it seems deeply overwhelming at times. I had thought, “there’s so much to do to begin really healing, make amends, forgive others, forgive myself, that I don’t know where to start.”
I do know now. I’ll start on my knees. If that doesn’t work, then I’ll try flat on my face and stomach. I’m learning to pray again and it’s wonderful. I am scared out of my wits when I think about what lies ahead. What I’ll find that I’ve been hiding away. I fear that maybe it will be to much to handle, but in my heart I know that’s just that scared little girl talking, who didn’t know Jesus.
The best part of all of this is that I’m a grown woman now, who knows and believes in Him. Satan, with all his manipulative demons, has no power here! Not in my days now.
I wanted to say to each of you that the lesson of the week for me has been to learn to take the promises of God as just that, Promises. Promises from One who would never forsake or break them. In 1Peter 5:10,11 it says, “The God of all grace, Who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself perfect, establish, strengthen and restore you. To Him be the power for ever and ever.” That’s a promise!
Thank you again for sending your love, even unbeknownst, to each of us here. You are in our prayers, and I ask that if you will, would you please remember to say a word for us? There is a magnitude of hurt and bitterness here the devil himself would back away from. I know that none of it can be cleansed without the power of God. Please pray for that power. Sending much love and thanks, and may God bless and keep you. Alice.
Blessings to you.