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Stay Strong in the Lord

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Blessings to you.

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His Glory, Not Mine! – Testimony

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In 1997 I was leading a support group for women who had been sexually abused as children and also publishing the Angels by Grace Magazine. I wrote this article for that magazine for the April 1997 issue.

The healing the Lord has accomplished since this writing is staggering! It is amazing how the Lord will use our pain. There is hope for healing! Trust Him. He will bring you through. 

When I read the testimonies that are given from women and men that have endured the hurt, betrayal, and loss as children, I cry. I feel that pain so very deep inside and wonder how any of us have survived such atrocities. I thank God for the healing that He has done, and is doing  within me and so many others.

There are a couple of testimonies that have been offered for Angels by Grace that have mentioned my name. I feel so humbled that the Lord has used me to offer up His hope before others. If I had been asked about the love of God just a few short years ago I would have either snarled out some caustic answer or turned and walked away. Not knowing that Christ was working within my life I would have clenched my teeth in absolute anger at the very thought that God loved me! How dare anyone tell me what I thought were lies! God could not have loved me. He could not have died for my salvation. For you see I thought it was God who not only told my Dad to abuse, but sat beside me and laughed while it was happening! How very wrong I was. I have asked Christ for His forgiveness so many times for my ignorance of who He is and He has forgiven me every time I cry out to forgive me again.

Therapy brought me through the times when suicide was thought to be my only alternative to stop the torment of memories and the sense that nothing could stop the pain of those memories. Much to my surprise I have learned that it was not God who was sitting beside me laughing back then, but the devil himself! I have learned that God was crying the same tormented tears of hurt and pain, betrayal and loss of innocence that I cried about then, and sometimes cry about now.

These past few years Christ has shown me that He is the One who sits in the Angel Group Support Group and says the words of encouragement to those hurting souls. I know that it is Christ that these women see who offers hope and healing, who’s understanding is given because if it were really me, the human called Sue, I would probably be asking as many questions as the others in the group.

I don’t always have the answers to difficult questions, like those that we struggle with on occasion about why did He allow it to happen? Why didn’t He stop it? I, like so many others, do not have the answers. I have to believe what Christ tells us in the Bible, that He is love, that He does not sit and laugh at our pain, that He is faithful to complete the good work He started in us. And like so many others, I still hurt, I still cry, and I still run to Christ like a child running to daddy. ( A daddy that did not hurt me.)

Reading the testimonies of these healing people has humbled me before the Lord. I am amazed constantly that He would not only take my pain and use it to help others, but that He has chosen me to work through. I’m the one who could not mouth His name because of anger directed at Him. Yet, when I sit within a room praising Him, acting like I’ve got it all together, these women thank me for what they see before them, the healing that they see that has been done within me.

Please know that I am grateful to the Lord who has done the work. I am grateful that people look at me and find encouragement. But what you are seeing is Christ within me. You are seeing Christ at work through someone who continues to sin. And I thank Him every day that He is the One who heals, restores, and is the life within me.  He is the One who shows us that abuse is wrong, that we need others to encourage, that groups are a must for those of us who need a shoulder to cry on, someone who can share our deep pain and laugh with us when we jump for joy over some accomplishment or area of healing that we have found victory over.

He is the Power that lights the way and we are the lamp stands that He will use. Healing cannot be done alone. We need Christ, we need others to encourage. Even if you are still within the walls of pain you also can help others. A kind smile, a simple pat on the shoulder goes a very long way when someone feels cold inside.

Let Christ use you as His lamp stand. For it is His light that brings us through those dark and scary places. It is He that sits amongst us and tells us, “Healing is a process. Don’t give up. Hang in there. Been there-done that.” Christ is faithful to bring you through the pain. Trust Him for He is the One who is faithful and true. He’ll prove it was not He who hurt you. That it is His will for you to be all that He created you to be; loving, happy, and whole.

Now I cry tears of gratitude and love for the healing that He has done for me and for the healing that I know He will do for you.

~~~~~

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Blessings to you.

 

Stay strong

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“It is God who clothes me with strength, and who makes my way upright;” Ps. 18:32 

 

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Blessings to you.

Rocks in my Garden

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Adam and Eve had the perfect garden to live, laugh, love, and dwell in. They had the perfect relationship with each other and with God until the serpent slithered in. The devil is out to destroy us! He is out to destroy any relationship we may have with Almighty God. That is his sole purpose and he will use any means to accomplish his goals.

The serpent (abuser) slithers in and through deception and manipulation builds the trust of the child. Slowly and gradually the child’s trust is built and then suddenly is destroyed. Like a coiled rattle snake the devil strikes. Abusers do not strike just once. They keep coming back, over and over and over again. Most have more than one victim. And each time they strike it leaves another “emotional rock” in our perfect garden.

Suddenly our innocence is gone. We’ve learned not to trust anyone. Our heart begins to harden and anger fills our being. Bitterness is like a boulder weighing us down, and guilt rides on our shoulders. Shame is so deep we cannot speak of it. “If they really knew me they would not like me.”

Without intervention on the child’s behalf the rocks keep building. The pile becomes larger and deeper and wider. The child who was born to be happy and grow into a productive God fearing person is now weighted down with the baggage of a life filled with fear, doubt, guilt, and shame. Their self-esteem is lower than a basement floor, and many cried out but no help arrived. Now as adults we are still weighted down by the residual effects of the evil perpetrated against us as a child.

The devil whispers in our ear, ” If God really cared He would have stopped it! He doesn’t care about you! ” Satan just threw the all-time biggest bolder on the top of our rock pile. If we believe that lie, the devil has accomplished his goal!

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

I remember one time when I cried out to God, “Why didn’t You stop him!?” The Lord gave me a mental picture of Jesus kneeling, with tears streaming down His face, praying to the Father on my behalf while I was being raped. It made me furious! “That’s ALL You did! You just prayed!” I screamed. I didn’t understand, at that time, how the Lord Jesus intercedes on our behalf. I didn’t understand that because He gave humans free will that He could not reach down and slap the tar out of my Dad and make him stop what he was doing to me. I wish He could, but He can’t, because He gave us the free will to sin or not to sin.

And the devil takes full advantage of that free will offered by Christ. It is the devil’s influences that are taking place within the abuser. “The devil made me do it.” Don’t even go there!

We humans have a God-given inborn sense of right and wrong. It is instilled within us as early as the womb. The abuser knows he/she is doing wrong. Why else are we told to not tell? Why else are we threatened in a variety of ways if we reveal the evil being done to us? The abuser knows it’s wrong and chooses to do it anyway!  

“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,…”Joshua 24:15

The action the abuser chooses leaves his victim devastated. The younger the victim, the longer the duration of the abuse, the more emotional rocks (damage) we’ll have in our previously beautiful garden.

Did anyone ever tell you that Christ is also a Landscaper? He knows what weeds to pull, He knows how to crush the rocks and boulders, and He’s very proficient in trimming those dead branches. He wants us to be the beauty in which He made us and He knows how to rid us of those rocks in our garden.

Assignment:

In your journal, draw a container and a basket.

At the time I did this I called it the rocks in my well. Call it what you like, but draw some sort of container, and ask the Lord to reveal to you what emotional rocks you have.

It helps if you draw something that the rocks fill up. The visual of something full is more effective than a list on paper.

   Cyber Support - Rocks in my well

As we go along the various issues will be talked about. As you pray through the various issues and the Lord brings healing you can remove that “emotional rock” and place it in the basket that you have also drawn. Name your basket whatever you’d like; trash basket, healed basket, praise God basket, etc.

If you want a really powerful image use various sized real rocks and print the issue as the Lord gives it to you on each rock. (Careful of your back, there may be some big boulders.) As each is ministered to, place the real rock in a basket on your desk. Great reminder of what God’s doing and the accomplishments you’ve made.

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Tell us how you’re doing with your journaling. What is the main problem you have, if any, with journaling? Share your thoughts with the rest of us in the group. (Leave a reply section below)

Suggested reading:Product DetailsThe Search for Freedom – Available at Amazon.com

Suggested reading: “Building Walls” (Apr. 2, 2014) – http://www.suespen2paper.com

Lord I ask in Jesus Name that as these beautiful people seek Your wisdom that You will reveal those issues they still struggle with and we will give You all the praise, honor, and glory. In Jesus Name, Amen.

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

http://www.elahministries.com

Blessings to you.