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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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http://www.elahministries   http://www.facebook.com/elahministries

elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.

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A Precious Gift – Testimony

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Written by Mari Levitt-Helms – Angels by Grace Pub. July 2003

Growing up I often heard how selfish I was, most often when I was depressed. To an extent I will agree with depression being a little self-centered. How could it not be when you are caught in your own black hole of despair and hopelessness?

Early in my life I started going to counseling and at 32 I’m still going. Just last week I was caught in a black hole of hopelessness about the amount of time that I’ve spent in counseling – more than half my life. Then it was brought to my attention that my journey in recovery is a gift I give my husband, my daughter, and myself.

In all honesty my progress in therapy prior to Christian counseling was mediocre at best. When I accepted Christ and invited Him into my heart, life and recovery-I could see dramatic changes.

After many years of longing to be a mother, God has blessed me with a wonderful daughter. I never dreamed how amazing or how difficult it would be. Just days after she was born I learned some of the difficulties I would face as a Mom and a survivor.

My daughter continually triggers me ( through no fault of her own). One of the greatest things I wish to accomplish as a mother is not ever making her feel responsible for my feelings. Often I find myself looking at her and wondering what it was like for me at her age and mourning for the loss of my childhood. I wonder how my mother felt knowing what was happening to me and not stopping it. It is incomprehensible for me to think about not protecting my precious, innocent daughter.

Sometimes I feel totally incompetent to be responsible for another human being and it is so easy to get caught up in all the triggers and fears, but I have given myself a gift – to seek Christian counsel. Not only through prayer, but with someone I know loves Christ as much as I do and helps ground me in my life and “mothering.” She helps keep me balanced in what God truly wants and in my distorted ideas of what I think He wants. She also helps when I have a tendency to overcompensate for something I lacked.

God has given me so many beautiful gifts, most significantly the gift of His Son for my salvation. This is a gift I would not have appreciated years ago, because I didn’t even appreciate being alive. Through counseling I have come to appreciate, love and even enjoy life. His love for me as my heavenly Father has more than made up for what I lacked. He has given me insight and wisdom to know when I seek the help of other Christians and not let the old tapes play in my head about how selfish I’m being. He has blessed me with many wonderful people who guide and love me through my struggles rather than judge or condemn me. It’s a precious gift He has given me, a precious gift I give myself and hopefully a precious gift I give to my daughter.

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Blessings to you.

Easter is Over – Or is it?

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We have all heard that Jesus is love, that He died and arose, stands at the right hand of God, forgives us of our sins, and that through His death and resurrection that we will have His peace and joy everlasting and spend eternity with Him.

That is all true but those of us that have been wounded deeply can struggle with the peace and joy part. Be it a loss of a loved one, a painful divorce, or the loss of our childhood through childhood sexual and physical abuse. When we are going through those painful memories, when we are struggling with the healing process and facing the giants of abuse issues we question, “Where’s all this peace and joy!?” “I’m hurting now and I sure don’t feel any peace about it and I have no joy.”

We live in an evil world. Evil things happen every minute of every day. Our circumstances are not what gives us joy. The circumstances that have brought deep pain can rob us of all peace and joy – if we let it! That’s what the devil wants. He has come to rob us of peace and joy. He has come to steal our faith, and he has come to kill our relationship with Jesus Christ. When we are curled on our beds in the fetal position because depression has left us limp and crying where and how can we feel joy?

Our peace and joy comes from the Lord. Our peace comes in reaching out to Him and knowing He’s there because He said He would never leave us or forsake us. His Holy Spirit lives within us and you can’t get any closer than that! There are times when we just have to refocus! We have to take the time, even if its just a moment, to remind ourselves that Christ is with us. He knows our pain and He is our Healer. We can shut Him out and remain in the fetal position or we can seek Him and get out of that bed of pain.

Our joy is not the kind we feel when we happily dance around the room singing. Happy circumstances can bring that kind of joy. The joy of the Lord is knowing, without a doubt, and total confidence, that He is in control. It’s that deep heart knowledge that even though we are suffering and hurting now that it will not last forever. No more tears, no more sorrow, no more suffering is our future and although we are hurting now we will be set free! That does not mean we have to wait to be in heaven for freedom. We have it now! Yes, tears will flow. Yes, we suffer and go through the pain of overcoming but we have Christ’s promise that we can have His peace and joy while here on this earth.

Our joy and the peace that is beyond all understanding comes from the acceptance that Christ is our hope. He is the only hope we have of ever becoming more than we are now. The pain is temporary. The suffering is temporary. It may not feel like it but if we believe the Word of God then we can look forward to freedom, now and forever more.

Christ died, He arose. The day of His Resurrection is over but we have been resurrected with Him. Easter may be over but our eternity has already begun. Christ still lives and we can live in freedom with the peace and joy that comes by believing in the One who loves us.

If you have not asked Christ into your heart He will hear your simple prayer if prayed. “Jesus, I believe You died and arose for the forgiveness of my sins. Forgive me and come into my heart as my Lord and Savior. In Jesus Name. Amen”

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http://www.elahministries.com   http://www.facebook.com/elahministries

http://www.suespen2paper.com   http://www.cybersupportgroup.org

elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.