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Angels by Grace

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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.

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April 1998

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.

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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.

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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.