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A Fist Raised in Anger

11342215-a-man-angry-over-the-whole-world-is-screamingIn going through some of what the Lord has spoken to me through the years I ran across one writing from last year and it made me think about how we get so angry at God and tend to blame Him for those things that have hurt us or things that have gone wrong in decisions we have made.

For many years I blamed God for not stopping the abuse I suffered from my family and later for an abusive marriage and, just to be honest, for a lot of things. The abuse I suffered within my family was not my fault, I thought God was supposed to stop it. He’s all-powerful so how come He let it continue for years?

I didn’t need the Lord in choosing my first husband! I had decided the man was good-looking, I was twenty-seven years old and ready to settle down, and this guy was fun to be around. I learned very quickly after the “I do’s” that he was an alcoholic, a womanizer, and wife beater. That may not have been the man the Lord wanted me to marry so why didn’t He say, “Stop! Don’t marry him!” Maybe He kept quiet because my anger slammed that door in His face and the fist was raised and maybe He had and I ignored Him.

I am convinced that those that vehemently claim to be atheist’s have turned their back on God because of hurt, rejection, abuse, or something else that happened early on or at some time in their life that they felt God should not have allowed. The fist flies up and suddenly “there is no God!” They have rejected the all-powerful One and have deemed themselves god. They claim there is no God yet their god is Satan.

We can blame God for those things that are not our fault and blame God for the poor choices we make. Some have felt “led” to do something, thinking God is the One leading them only to learn later it was either our own soul or the enemy that was in the lead and yet we blame God. “If it wasn’t you, God, then why didn’t you stop me? You knew it was going to turn out like this.” or “You knew what they were going to do and yet you said…..”

We humans, some of us anyway, are quick to shake our fists at God instead of focusing on His will and trusting that even if we mess up He is there to bring us through. He knows what we are going to do, think, and say before we even do, think, or say anything! His love is so great, His grace so abundant that maybe, just maybe He lets us make the mistakes so we will eventually learn to turn to Him about all things. Some of us have to learn the hard way and I’m more than sure, being one of those, that the Lord is more than willing to let us have our own way. And in having our own way, not seeking or following God’s will we have allowed the enemy access.

So let me share His words that I found that caused all this deep thinking:

“The Almighty God which art in heaven sees all that is within heaven and earth and even beneath the earth. His Grace is poured out for all who will accept it yet there are those who refuse and will even blasphemy His name. Those who love Him have the assurance of an eternal home with Him and those who reject Him shall see the fires of hell for all of time and beyond.

God’s love goes beyond human understanding and it is a shame that although He gave His only begotten Son for the sins of all mankind they reject that shed blood. It is a shame that the enemy of God has such powerful influence in men. It is a shame that so many have turned fists to heaven and swear by their own gods. Their god is self. If they refuse the Son of God there is only one alternative and he has been on the prowl more so now than ever before because he knows his time is short.

Those who follow the Son of God must stand strong and bold. They must watch for the ploys of the enemy and not be sucker-bunched by those who follow the enemy. For if they do not follow God through His Son Jesus Christ they are following Satan. They may not realize their self-righteous attitudes are those coming from Satan but they are. I pray to My Father that all will see My light and that none should perish. I come to the Father with love for all even though they reject and defy Me.

My children, you must be strong. You must focus on Me day and night for the times are about to change and things are not as they have been. My strength I give you if you will follow in My footsteps and let Me lead you through the turmoil. Trust Me as you have never done before. Pray for the lost but do not compromise My truth for any. Many shall belittle. Many shall call you atrocious names and throw the fiery darts so as to turn you from Me. That is the fiery darts of the enemy. Put on your armor and stand firm!
I am the Almighty I Am. Go with my love, joy and peace for I am with you.”
Given by the Holy Spirit 8-7-15

~~~~~

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elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.

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Never, Never, Ever, say these 15 comments to a Victim of Abuse!

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There’s a difference between still being a victim of abuse and a survivor of abuse.

A person that still carries the shame, guilt, unforgiveness, has not healed the emotional issues from abuse, or is still being abused is continuing to be a victim.

The person that can stand tall, speak out with no shame, no guilt, and has walked the healing path is a survivor of the abuse that was perpetrated in the past. It isn’t just having “lived through the abuse.” It is a matter of having walked the healing path and by God’s grace has over come the emotional issues and is walking in freedom from the past.

Many people want to be helpful and many think that their questions and statements are innocent and do not affect those that have been abused, be it childhood sexual abuse or spousal rape and abuse, or physical and emotional abuse.

Over the years I have heard many testimonies of the added pain inflicted upon victims and survivors of these types of abuse. I have experienced many of them myself and I can tell you from experience the survivor of abuse may steal herself/himself for the onslaught of “innocent” questions and statements but these questions and/or statements are knives deeply imbedding in the heart of the one who has survived the horrors of abuse.

Never, never, never, ever say these things to a victim/survivor of abuse: 

1. “You could have done something to defend yourself.” 

Let me ask you how a small child can defend herself against an adult? Or how can a wife defend herself against a husband that is bigger, stronger and wields some object, including his fist, at her? Or a teen girl or boy defend themselves against an angry father or mother? Children are taught to obey! Obey no matter what the parent says to do! Wives are taught to be “submissive” to their husband.

2. “Why didn’t you just leave?”

In the case of a small child, where would they go? A two-year old cannot support themselves, nor a 5-year-old or 7, 10, or 12-year-old. Teenagers? Some do leave and they end up on the street, homeless, the property of a pimp, or within a gang doing drugs, robbing, stealing, scavenging for food in dumpsters, and the Lord only knows what else. Many do not have relatives that will sympathize and take them in. For the grown woman, some are threatened with death if she ever leaves, she has children to consider, a homeless shelter may be a temporary answer IF they are not full, she may not have ever held a job in her life and has no means of support. The list can go on and on and on. I highly recommend the book, “The Walking Wounded: The Path from Brokenness to Wholeness” by Secret Angel for a better understanding of a wife and mother living with an abusive husband.  Available at: www.amazon.com.

3. “Why didn’t you tell someone!” 

Many have, most won’t. With young children some have been told to “keep the secret no matter what!” Many were accused of lying, blamed for the assaults, beaten for “telling such lies,” ignored, threatened with family members being killed (and many other guilt-ridden consequences) Most have been subject to mind control from an early age, manipulated and controlled, blamed for the abuse by the abuser. One of the things I was told over and over as a young child, “Just stay away from him!” At two and three years old I was told, “If you wouldn’t sit on your dad’s lap…” We are made to feel it is all our fault! For teenagers some have been actually thrown out of the house at fifteen or sixteen years old or have run away because no-one believed them and the abuse continued. Some married the first guy to come along only to be abused now by a husband. Victims are seldom believed! Males are laughed at. “Men can’t be raped!” If that’s your attitude then read, “Unhelpful Myths About the Sexual Assault and Rape of Men.” Posted on this blog, June 10, 2015.

4. “Well you should have……” or “Why didn’t you…..?

Unless you have been in our shoes there is no way you can even begin to understand or comprehend the dynamics that are or were going on in an abusive home. To lay this kind of condemnation on a victim is to jab the knife in real deep, smile sweetly, and then twist it!

5. “Did you call the police?” 

Young children don’t know to do that.  Some teenagers do and end up in foster care only to be abused again or bounced from one place to another to another to another. Some, when the police arrive the abuser convinces the police the teen “has some mental problems.” Unless there are obvious bruises and cuts the police will file a report and leave.  With adults, many do but out of a false sense of “I love him” or “He loves me” they refuse to press charges once the police have come. Many do not get that opportunity for the control is so great there may not even be a phone available in the home.

6. “Just get over it! It happened a long time ago!”

There is no way that dagger can be shoved any deeper into the heart of the recipient of this remark. It is one of the most devastating, demeaning, accusatory, condemning and hurtful remarks that can be made to a victim of abuse. Particularly sexual abuse or rape. Which by the way, sexual abuse that involves intercourse is rape!

7. “What’s the big deal? It was just sex!”

This shows total ignorance on the part of the speaker. Sexual abuse encompasses the mind, the will, the emotions, and the spirit of the victim. The ramifications and emotional consequences of childhood sexual abuse can last a life time. In spousal abuse, where the wife is raped by the husband (along with beatings, etc.) the same thing applies. The mind, will, and emotions are all involved and emotional damage can be severe as well as possible permanent physical injuries.

8. “I’m sure they (parents) did the best they could.”

In my opinion, there is absolutely no excuse that can be given for a parent to turn his or her back on a child that is being abused emotionally, physically, psychologically, or sexually! There is always something that can be done or someone who is willing to help. We have had police and laws for centuries. By ignoring the abuse happening is emotional abandonment and anyone who knows or even highly suspects abuse is taking place and does nothing is a co-conspirator to the crimes that are being committed. That means by doing “nothing” you are doing “something” – agreeing with, condoning the abuse.

9. “You just need to forgive and move on.”

Oh, this sounds so Christian! And of course this is done in “love.” Again, it shows the ignorance and total disregard for what abuse does to the victim; physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. The emotional pain of the victim is never taken into account with this statement. This statement gives the impression that the horrors the victim has survived are merely minor infractions. “Here’s a band-aid, I’ll kiss it and make it all better.” The knife goes really deep and twisting it hurts even more!

10. “Are you sure it really happened?”

There’s that knife again! Survivors have questioned themselves until they are blue in the face with this very question even though they KNOW it happened. They do not want to believe that someone they trusted and possibly loved would betray them in such a horrific way. It is very difficult to accept the reality of being hurt, betrayed, and used by a loved one. To have this thrown at them turns the knife at least a full turn deep in their heart. Is essence you are calling them a liar and they’ve heard that from many others.

11. “Give it to God and let it go.”

Oh such a simplistic and uncaring statement! Just twist the knife a little more for this is a platitude that many Christians will spew forth when they can’t think of anything intelligent to say. Yes, we seek the Lord, if we are not so angry at Him for not stopping the abuse.  Some beg, plead, and scream to the heavens.  Many victims of abuse carry great anger and through the grace of God we do heal but to tell us to just hand everything; emotional damage, memories, scars, and what we feel to God like we’re handing Him a stick of gum is irrational on many levels. The issues run deep and much emotional damage has been done. Each issue is dealt with in time with God’s help. We can not put an entire childhood or 20 years of an abusive marriage in a box and just cast it off and go about our merry way.

12. “Maybe it was just a bad dream.” 

You have not only stuck the knife in but have slapped the victim hard in the face. In my case, that would have been an 18 year nightmare! When victims of sexual abuse begin therapy, or even before, this thought does come to mind. “Maybe I dreamed it up. It isn’t true.” Again, it is that deep need to not want it to have had it happen. The bruises in spousal abuse prove this was not dream. A night mare in reality but not a dream during sleep. No, we didn’t dream it. We wish we had because we would wake up and it would go away after the 2nd cup of coffee.

13. “Just don’t think about it!” 

Total disregard for the hurt, betrayal, physical and emotional wounding of victim! Absolutely no compassion is being shown. Victims do not have control over what the Lord will bring to mind that He may deem as time to deal with or the memories popping up “out of nowhere.” Walk away from this person! They do not have a heart for your pain and will only cause more.

14. “Well you must have done something wrong!”

In other words, “It’s all your fault!” We’ve heard this from the first encounter, be it as a child or an adult. Abusers NEVER take the blame! It is ALWAYS placed on someone or something else (usually the victim) and the knife is being twisted around and around as it has been sunk very deep into the heart of the victim. The child victim is NEVER  to blame! With adults, there’s no excuse for a man to hit a woman, ever! Or a woman to hit a man unless in self-defense.

Are you ready? Here is the one that tops all that I have heard over the years! Out of the mouth of a youth pastor that had a seventeen year old victim living with he and his wife to escape the sexual abuse at home came these mighty words of wisdom so confidently spoken to me:

15. “A one time rape is more devastating to the victim than continual sexual molestation, they get used to it.”

I’m still speechless!

Am I saying not to talk to survivors of abuse? NO! I’m saying be sympathetic, compassionate, and caring.  If the person brings up the subject, listen before speaking. Think long and hard what questions you may want to ask. If you are sincere in learning more about what we have to face as the results from the atrocities done to us ask if there are any books we might recommend. Don’t give the platitude or outright lie by saying, “I know just how you feel.” NOT IF YOU HAVEN’T WALKED IN OUR SHOES!

Some survivors, like me, are willing to answer even the questions that you never should have asked. But that’s only because I have had years of therapy and by God’s grace and Christ’s healing I can stand up to the intrusive and inconsiderate questions and remarks. Many survivors will wilt, feel condemned, and damage beyond belief can be done. Words hurt! Words can be that knife in the heart!

Many victims of abuse are sensitive, guilt ridden, filled with shame, low self-esteem, angry, hurt, and  pain so deep only God can bring it into the light. Many continue to feel isolated, unloved, dirty, and unworthy of anything positive.

Love them to life!

~~~~~~

Feel free to add additional hurtful comments in the comment box. People need to be aware of how they can help, not hurt. 

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elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.

IF ONLY…

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“The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Gen. 3:13

All the way back to Adam and Eve “If only…” has been used to excuse our sins. Eve used the serpent as her excuse, Adam used Eve as his excuse. “She gave me… and I ate it…” (Gen 3:12) In other words “if the serpent hadn’t…” and “if Eve hadn’t offered me…” What would have happened if none of these “if only” excuses had not happened? What would have happened if the “if’s” were used in other ways?

All through the years people have pondered the “if’ only.” We usually use the “IF” for blame. In David A. Seamands book, “IF ONLY” he calls this “the Great Blame Game.” How true that is for even today! No-one wants to take responsibility for their choices or their behaviors. We always blame someone else or something else. The “IF” is complaining, regretting, or blaming.

I’ve done it myself! “If I hadn’t been abused…” “Lord, if you hadn’t given me these parents…” “If he hadn’t told me…”How many times we use the “IF” in complaining or as our excuse for our attitudes and/or behaviors! The Lord said that He can take what is meant for evil and turn it to good. (Gen. 50:20) Complaining, regretting, and blaming is not faith, it is sin.

Take for example the story of Christ raising Lazarus from the dead. Martha says to Jesus when He arrives, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (John. 11:21) Sounds like an accusation and complaint to me. Can we relate? “They abused me and now I…” “If only God had stopped it…”

Did Jesus beg Martha for forgiveness? Did He look at her with an expression of, “Are you kidding me!?” Did He say, “If only it hadn’t been so far and my feet didn’t hurt I would have been here sooner?”  No! He turned that “If” into a challenge. “Jesus said to her, “‘Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” (John 11:40)

In one of my counseling sessions, it was pointed out that the Lord knows my pain and in great frustration, I blurted out, “But Jesus wasn’t sexually abused!”

So how can He relate to our pain?

*He was betrayed by those He loved. In my post, “What is sexual abuse” I stated that 90% of victims know their abuser.

*Jesus was beaten, spit on, and belittled. Sexual abuse also can involve being belittled by the abuser. Physical abuse is also involved. (I may discuss that later)

*He was hung naked on the cross. Crowds of people staring at Him. How humiliating is that!? Didn’t we feel humiliated?

*His friends fell asleep when He asked them to stay awake and pray for Him. They didn’t listen. Many of us have told someone what was happening and they didn’t listen.

Jesus knows your pain!

So how can we go from blaming, complaining, and regret to healing? First we must look at the past for what it is – the past. We are not being sexually abused now. We must choose to remain a victim or to be victorious. If guilt, shame, anger, hatred, bitterness and un-forgiveness is still a strong part of your life, you have remained a victim. Yes, you survived, but the bondage of victimization is still there. It’s time to let light in. “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.” (Eph. 5:8)

IF we believe, we will see His glory.

IF we believe the Lord is our Counselor, we will see healing.

IF we believe, He will meet us where we are.

IF we believe, we shall walk in freedom.

~~~~~

 

 

Suggested reading: 51GOmvLGASL._AA160_[1]  It is available at Amazon.com

Discussion: Has starting a healing journal helped you? If not, why?

Assignment:

Ask the Lord to bring to mind the “IF”s” that you have used. List them.

Ask Him to shed His light on each “IF” you listed. What did He say? Write it down.

 

If you have confidential questions/comments feel free to e-mail me at: elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you and I hope to see you next week.

http://www.elahministries.com