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Setting a Captive Free

Years passed since the physical, emotion, psychological, and sexual abuse has passed. But the lingering pain, the memories that were buried deep so as to stay sane began to invade and torment my mind. Little flashbacks, a dream here and there would skitter through my mind but I would shove them back and hide them again. Shuck them off like rain drops on my shoulders.

Our emotional states will affect our physical state and one day I went to the doctor for some physical ailment. During his exam he asked me various questions and somehow it slipped out that I didn’t care if I lived. Without further ado, no condemnation, no sermons or “Oh you don’t want to think that” comments, he simply wrote a name and phone number on a prescription pad paper and handed it to me, “You might like to give this man a call” was all he said.

That was the beginning of my years of therapy. He was a secular therapist and looking back I realized that the Lord knew that had I been sent to a Christian counselor I never would have set foot in the office. I was angry at God. Very angry! He said He would save me but He never showed up at my house or on my doorstep to rescue me. That preacher that said God saves us had to be delusional. Nope, not trusting God or anyone else to save this woman!

Gradually as the psychiatrist and I talked the sexual abuse was brought out into the open. I can’t begin to describe the pain I felt as we waded through the horrific details and memories. For several years depression took control, dreams left me screaming and sweating sitting in my bed, suicidal thoughts flickered in and out as easily as a stream flows down hill. A few attempts to end the pain forever were made to no avail. Tranquilizers and anti-anxiety medication was prescribed and helped but God knew what I needed and that was the healing that only He could give.

Many years later, I found myself standing before a pastor, in a church I had never been in, asking the Lord to be my Lord and Savior. I got saved and Baptized that very morning and life has never been the same since. My husband had just died from a long illness and the Lord used his passing and my grief to bring me to where I should have been years earlier.

He knew my anger and He knew every detail of my life and my suffering and He knew my great anger even better than I did. I was still seeing the secular therapist but gradually he could not answer my spiritual questions that seemed to keep popping up. I began seeing a Christian counselor and little by little He walked me through the pain. With a Christian counselor who allowed the Lord to lead me down those dark, scary paths it seemed as though my healing was escalating. There was a difference in my journey this time. I had Christ walking the path with me and that is when the deep healing took place.

I’m not saying it’s easy, far from it! Pain, suffering, memories, regardless of where that pain and suffering began is not an easy path to travail. To wade through the muck and the mire is like walking through cement as it hardens. We get stuck but we tug and we pull until we are free from that one footstep that is holding us back. Then we rise up and take the next step and gradually we can see the end of the pain and suffering as each issue is brought to light and left behind. That doesn’t mean we forget what happened! It means that it no longer controls our emotions, relationships, and lives. We begin to understand why we may be a wall flower or why we have to control everything around us or why anger bursts forth at little provocation. Our attitudes begin to change and our misconceptions and all those false teachings are transformed into truth. Truth, not just what happened but more importantly how God sees us and that He loves us no matter how angry, hurt, or betrayed we were. We learn that He accepts us right where we are! We are not who we were told we are but who God says we are. There’s a big difference!

It took many more years of therapy; talking, remembering, crying, begging for it to be over before the freedom came. Forgiveness of all those horrible things that happened and forgiveness granted to those who did them was all part of that healing process. It was a huge step toward my healing process, and it is a process and it is not easy but with the Lord walking that path with us and whispering His encouragement in our ears and revealing the deep pain we continue the journey.

I have heard several pastors put down secular therapy but I am here to say that not everyone will go to a Christian counselor for whatever reason. And there are, sadly, Christian counselors that are Christians but do not council by the Word of God. Some are condemning, judgmental, and accusing leaving an already shattered victim devastated and turning away from God and all that He is. There is a big difference between someone who is a Christian but their method is by mans knowledge, book-learned therapy, and a Christian counselor who allows the Lord to lead the sessions, hears God’s guidance, and trusts God’s wisdom.

The Lord knows our hearts. He knows who we will trust and who we will not and He knew that in my circumstances that if I didn’t get therapy I would not live to be what He created me to be. He allowed, and may even have used that doctor, to lead me to a therapist where I would get the foundational healing I needed. The abuse was revealed and taken into the light, the issues were confronted in all their grimness, and when God’s timing was right He used my husbands passing and my grief and sense of great loss to bring me to Him. God is good! He knows our hearts, He knows our needs, and through His Son and Holy Spirit He will bring anyone who is suffering to Him for His healing. All we have to do is take that first step and trust. He’ll even teach us how to do that.

“He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted… to proclaim liberty to the captives…That they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” Isaiah 61:1,3

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elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.

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“Which way do I turn?” – A Testimony

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Written by Kelley – Angels by Grace Publication-June 1998

Have you ever been bombarded with questions stemming from abuse, in any form, and there was nowhere to turn? Opening up to friends or your counselor just didn’t seem to help at all? Yet the questions do not go away and it is torment. Every person needs a safe place to turn when dealing with any issue. Yet, I have come to realize friends or counselors aren’t always aware of our needs to open up, no matter how childish it seems.

God has allowed me to see that I have been looking to people to meet the emotional needs in my life. Needs such as,  knowing what it’s like to have someone put their arms around me and say they love me when I feel crappy about myself. Having someone to hold me and let me cry out without judging me, or reassuring me when things aren’t going well. We all need this.

All these needs stem from what we didn’t get growing up. If we are saved, spiritually, then in that regard we know (or should know) who we are in Christ. If we are a man or a woman, we know because the evidence is there.

Where is the turmoil at? It is our emotions. There is a big gap between our spirit and our physical bodies. The emotions are there and they are damaged, which brings doubt, insecurity, fears, etc.  Satan has his fun by doing everything in his power to prevent us from getting out what we really feel. He does this by getting us to focus on the situations in our lives, instead of focusing on Christ.

A good example of this is me being without a job for a little over six months. The first thought is survival and that results into not tithing, for example. It is easy for me to trust God when things are going great because I feel like He loves me. However, when a trial hits that means depending on Him, it is now the hardest thing to tithe. But tithing is my responsibility no matter what happens.

After the not tithing issue, my value as a person takes a beating as never before. Satan will use looking for a job as a way to compound the emotions of rejection, feelings of not having any abilities that would interest someone enough to hire me, etc.

Who does a person turn to after finding out that the things of the world, friends or counselors can’t help or stop the pain? The Person to turn to is God! As much as I cover my true emotions up with anger, He is the only One I can turn to. I honestly can’t say the blank feeling with people is His fault because God knows the right people to bring into my life.

However, when there is no other safe place to turn, He is our refuge. Kirk Talley does a song called, “Sometimes a Soldier Cries.” Its message is that it is okay for a soldier to cry, not feel strong, etc. And that we can turn to God’s arms of love.

Do I ever feel His arms around me or His love? No! However, God really uses music to comfort me, to remind me of His love, that His arms are really there. Yes, I have been frustrated with things I have gone through involving job hunting, things in life, and counseling. I can honestly say that God’s purpose was to get me to realize He is the only place I can truly turn and just be me. I really believe that His love is going to flood my emotional hurts in such a way that I will never be the same and that the torments of thoughts will be less and less.

Recently, God allowed me to attend a funeral of a nine-year old boy. One of the preachers there shared a very touching sermon and it hit home for me. He talked about Job and how Job never blamed God. The preacher also shared about God’s Sovereignty in the boy’s death.  He pointed out that in God’s Word that our days are numbered and that the car accident was the means of God calling His child home.

How does this relate to abuse of any nature? Very simple. We have a Sovereign God who is in control. Yes, we could go into the question of if He’s so Sovereign, why did He let it happen? I have wanted to do that many times in an angry way because it hurts so much. God understands me doing that but, it would be my way of covering up the tears, the pain, and the need to release these feelings even though I’m scared.

There is no reason to blame God and get into the “What if’s” concerning myself or any circumstances that contributed to it. There is only forgiveness and letting His love flood my emotions. I know that God will always remind me of these things daily as a source of encouragement because He knows that I have the worst habit of focusing in on the circumstances and other people instead of focusing on Him.

 

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elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.

Unholy Vows is an Open Door

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An inner vow is a solemn promise we make to ourselves. Those vows lodge into our subconscious and although we may totally forget we made such a vow, it is there and will control parts of our attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.

As children, and even as adults, we make vows that start with “I will never.”  Usually it stems from hurt or pain. “I’ll never get married again!” “I’ll never be like my Dad!” These inner vows stem from a spirit of rejection and open the door to the enemy.

As a child being abused I learned that by crying it created great satisfaction to my abuser. Upon my realizing that fact the devil stepped through that open door and whispered, “Show her, don’t cry!” I immediately vowed, “No-one will ever see me cry again!” That not only shut the door to my true emotions but caused me more physical pain because the beatings lasted longer in order to draw tears. For 45+ years no-one saw me cry! Not tears of joy, not tears of pain.

Hatred replaced forgiveness. “Forgive others so you’ll be forgiven” flew right out the window of my heart. “Come hell or high water I’ll get revenge! No-one will ever hurt me like that again!” Satan was well pleased with my vow. He instilled hatred instead of love. He accomplished his purpose to rob, steal, and destroy.

God has a purpose for all of us and unholy inner vows thwart, separate us from God’s purposes. We’re saying, “My will, not God’s.”

Our anger, unforgiveness, pride, issues of control and manipulation all stem from that spirit of rejection.

Many times we use anger to cover the hurt we are feeling. We stomp off making yet another vow. We try to control people and things by building walls. Walls that leave us in a prison of not knowing, feeling, or exhibiting love. We think we are protecting ourselves from being rejected but in reality we are shutting God and others out. “No-one will ever hurt me again!” “I’ll never show my true feelings.” “I’ll never trust _____ again!”

Inner vows is where “people pleasing” comes from. If we can be what someone wants us to be then they won’t reject us. If I can make everyone laugh, regardless of the turmoil I’m feeling, then they will love me. “Don’t rock the boat” and I won’t be rejected. “I’ll never say what I really think.” “I never count so make them happy.”

In order to hide the feelings of rejection we also try to manipulate others and circumstances. Instead of trusting God with the situation we usurp Him by “making things happen my way.” That’s pride! Pride feeds right into the vows we have made. “I don’t need God to tell me what to do.” Authority issues stem from the issues of rejection.

There are many vows we have made knowingly or unknowingly and in order to be set free from them and come closer to who God created us to be each and every vow must be renounced and repented of.

Ask the Lord to bring to mind the unholy inner vows you have made. Don’t be surprised if there are many. Take the time to write them down and begin renouncing them.

Here’s a sample prayer of renunciation:

Heavenly Father, I come to You in Jesus name, I repent and renounce the vow I made (describe what the vow entailed and any person you may have made the vow to).  I realize this was foolish and rash on my behalf, and I ask that you will forgive me and release me from the bondage that this vow has brought me under.

In the name of Jesus, and by the power of His blood, I now renounce, break and nullify the vow (name the vow and any person the vow was made to), and I confess that I am released from this vow and it’s bondage in Jesus name.

I now command any evil spirits which have taken advantage of this unholy vow to leave me now in Jesus name!

(Repeat this prayer if you have more than one unholy vow to break.)

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Feel free to e-mail me with any confidential questions or comments at: elah501c@bellsouth.net

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Blessings to you.