I begin this post with the same concern in my spirit that many may be feeling today.
I believe though, that no matter the outcome tonight, My GOD still sits on the throne
and it is in HIM I place my trust, faith and hope! Our country may change,
but My GOD never changes!
Now, I will share my thoughts about chapter 8 of Behind Those Eyes by Lisa Whittle. It has been both joyful and at times difficult to continue with this study hosted by Lelia at WriteFromTheHeart! I have both loved it and dreaded it at the same time. It has pushed me to face truths about my life and myself that are painful yet healing. I see hope in the days ahead but this post will be my most difficult to write.
If you are a family member, other than my mom or siblings, you may read some things today that you have been unaware of. I have purposely kept what I am about to write a very private matter as to not bring shame or humiliation to my family. My father and grandmother both passed away in 1999 and it is time for me to come clean to the depth of my being in order to become totally free to live the life God intended for me to live long before He created the world.
This chapter "We are completely loved and accepted completely" was difficult for me to read. Though I have been a Christian since I was very young, have loved Jesus since my earliest memories, have known that Jesus loves me, has accepted me and I am completely His there is a part of me that has never been able to grasp fully the love of God the Father. I have spent this week in quiet reflection as I've prepared for this post. I pulled back from most things this week and have just spent time with God. Seeking His face and understanding as I have asked Him the questions I posed last week.
Yes, I have been hurt, much more deeply than what I have shared regarding my previous church. I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of my earthy father. I can say that without tears because, with God's help, I forgave my dad a couple years before he passed away and was holding his hand when he took his last breath on earth. I honestly do not know where he is today but I can say that I pray he is resting with Jesus.
So, if I have truly forgiven then why do I continue to have questions and fight depression and loneliness? I have come to realize that when a trust is broken between and father and his daughter it is a trust that affects her entire life. It affects every aspect of her life including all of her relationships, her marriage bed and her ability to trust her own creator.
I was deathly afraid of my dad. I had reoccurring nightmares growing up. I attempted to share with a few people but there seemed to be no place of safety, no place of rescue, no place of real love, no place of protection. I began building walls around my heart just to survive. Thoughts of suicide become my constant companion because I felt that if things got too bad I could always kill myself and then I would be safe, or so I thought.
I stuffed my feelings until I had 2 ulcers at the age of 18. I ended up leaving home and eventually got married but never shared my past with anyone. In 1990 I became so depressed and despondent that suicide really did become my option. But God...had another plan.
I ended up in a hospital for 30 days which helped to begin the process of forgiveness toward my father. There was a lot of fear, anger, bitterness and pain stored within me that needed to be released and sorted out. In time I was able to forgive and had a decent relationship with my dad before he died.
I could relay to you the details, and there are many, but that is not the point of this post. My greatest desire is to relay what God has been speaking this week in my quiet moments with Him.
First, AND I HAVE NEVER SPOKEN THESE WORDS TO ANYONE BEFORE THIS MOMENT, He has revealed that I hold my dad accountable for the fact that I was unable to have children and my hysterectomy at 26. When a young girl's body is subjected to abuse I believe damage can be done. I am not a physician so I cannot substantiate these claims from a medical standpoint, but it doesn't really matter, because deep within my spirit, I blame him. So, this is a new area that God is planning on remolding and shaping in my heart.
Second, and most importantly, He, my Heavenly Father, has spoken that I am still afraid to grasp a hold of His complete love for me. Yes, I have fear. Loving Jesus the Son, is so simple for me but loving and trusting God the Father is more challenging than hiking up from the bottom of the Grand Canyon. It is easy for me to work my fingers to the bone for God and the church, hoping to gain love, respect, and acceptance but not easy for me to just accept His love.
As I sit here and type my hands are shaking and my heart is pounding as if someone where beating a drum. I am shivering and sweating at the same time. I know I am on the brink of a breakthrough but quite frankly it scares me to death.
James is one of my favorite books of the Bible. James 4:8 says, "Come near to God and he will come near to you". Lord, I want to come near but fear of being vulnerable locks my heart behind the years of walls I have so carefully constructed. I give you permission as I type to complete the tearing down process that has begun.
I end by saying this: I am not depressed, despondent, discouraged or depleted. I am scarred and scared. But somehow in the midst of this moment ~ I have peace.
This may be an unusual response to this chapter but it is mine and I'm thankful for it.
I continue to Consider It All Joy,
WOW! I don't usually respond to posts about the study as I am not doing it. But there is no way I can go from here without telling you how proud God must be of you right this minute. Being transparent and vulnerable is such a huge step toward all that HE has for you. Exciting! God has big things for you, I am sure of that.ReplyDelete
I understand not fully accepting the Father's love. Not for the same reasons but I do get what you're talking about. If satan can get us to not accept the most basic gift from God - His love - then he can keep us bound.
Cindy, I am proud of your courage. Many will be learning from you, I am sure of that. Can't wait to see where God takes you from here.
Love to you,
I am moved beyond words. What an incredible breakthrough. The Lord must be well pleased with you for taking this step even though you are "scarred and scared". I love your raw honesty. The Lord will move in a mighty way now that you've confessed your true feelings. This is a new beginning of the work He will begin. I feel this is a step of giving Him permission to heal and restore. Yes, I do believe at times we must give Him permission to work in our lives. God is not a bully and He will not force Himself or His ways on us.
Once again, thank you for sharing so openly and honestly. I am so proud of you for opening yourself up to allow God to really heal your heart. It is scary, but you can trust God to take care of you. May you continue to find peace, love, and joy in Him!
It seems to be the time for you to be transparent and share your pain with others. As the Lord is healing, blessing and teaching you through this process, you become a witness and encourager to other women who may have gone through the same type of abuse. I have not experienced this but members of my own family have. Often the pain of it all comes out in physical symptoms. Bless you Cindy for opening up your heart.ReplyDelete
Oh Cindy, I am so proud of your break through. It's amazing what God can reveal to us if we will only let him.ReplyDelete
I'm praying that you will finally have the peace that only God can give. There is no telling how many will be touched and the love of God shown through your testimony.
The sky's the limit for you!
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Cindy, thank you for sharing and I pray you continue to have peace and new found freedom in sharing. This chapter has struck me as well in a big way, but though it's hard it is good.ReplyDelete
I too struggle with accepting His love - I guess it's something that really is so foreign to us in our world today. But He offers it and constantly reminds me, I just need to accept as we all do. There is nothing we can do that will cause Him to take that love back and at the same time there's nothing we can do to make him love us more.
Cindy I thank you for sharing your heart, moving forward and doing exactly what this book is all about. God will honor you and bless you for your obedience. He'll also speak thru you, I know He did that to me.
Well written, despite your being scared and scarred. I thank you for your heart and your willingness to bring to the light that which has shadowed your life for always. In the light, we find our healing. Secrets harbor shame and foster the unimaginable yet fully believable lies of the enemy.ReplyDelete
Our earliest "thinkings" about God are often shaped by the relationship we have with our earthly father. If that is skewed, then we live with false impressions...some of us for the rest of our days.
I am deeply sorry for the trust that was broken between you and your father. I cannot imagine coming back from such a fracture. But time and again, I am amazed by God's grace and his capacity to restore the brokenness exacted upon us by humanity. Truly, He is the only one capable of such a resolution.
Thinking of you today and praying for a fuller restoration in your life. You are God's girl and God's heart. I love you for sharing it with us today.
November 4, 2008 12:43 PM
What courage you have. What strength you have been blessed with. You are an over-comer. When you've had to fight so hard for so long to not only defend yourself but to protect yourself it is no wonder that this chapter was a challenge. Your defense mechanisms is what allowed you to make it through the hard times, I pray now that the courage God has provided you will help you move through to complete healing.
You know, God doesn't reveal more than we can handle. A little at a time -- we learn to deal and adjust and He's right there loving us as we work thing through.
Keep up the good fight, Cindy. It's worth it. May you feel God's loving arms around you and the Spirit's gentle hands holding your heart.
Praise God for you and your finding a new deeper level of intimacy with your Creator. For He loves you Cindy and He desires to keep showing you each and every day!ReplyDelete
My heart is aching for that little girl inside of you. And...my heart is rejoicing for you as you and God work out all the pain that you have inside of you. Let him love you--you really are worth it!!
Thanks for having the courage to share all of that. As a fellow abuse survivor, I know how difficult it can be.ReplyDelete
I loved what you wrote here:
"I end by saying this: I am not depressed, despondent, discouraged or depleted. I am scarred and scared. But somehow in the midst of this moment ~ I have peace.
I like to say that I refuse to be defined by what happened to me. Rather, I will be defined by the one who loves me more than I can imagine.
I am so thankful for you. You are a wonderful person and an amazing example of one of God's children. I love you and I am blessed because of you.ReplyDelete
What you have shared is beautiful transparency.
I think of the verse, "He who walks in the light as He is in the light will have fellowship with one another"... I've also heard it said before, "to the depth that you are willing to be vulnerable is the depth you will be healed." I sense a great healing coming on.
I understand why there is apprehension for you.
But I know Papa God will be tender, delicate, merciful and gentle with you. He is not happy with what happened to you. He has relentlessly been pursuing you with His love. He's been waiting for you to be willing to receive it. He's always wanted to give it to you. He's been waiting for you to trust Him to show you what true, genuine love looks like.
I know.... I was a performer, love earner too. He has persistently pursued me to healing.
I know His heart for you is tender....so very, very tender. He wants to show you what "fathering" really looks like. The enemy has distorted that picture for you. God is coming to restore it.
He holds your heart like a delicate piece of glass.
He loves you so!
Thanks for sharing your beautiful heart and story. I am so very honored to share your heart's journey. Thank you for entrusting us with it.
PS. Sunday I wrote about death and the beauty in the midst. I see the beauty waiting to emerge as you step into this place of death to the old way of thinking....
Thanks for sharing girl! The more we share our hurts the more we are able to connect with a hurting world around us. I am so proud of you. You have released the secret and it now has no power of you. You are right where God wants you - in His arms. I pray you begin to feel HIs love beyond measure. I praise God that He has brought you this far. You are loved, courageous and beautiful! Blessings.ReplyDelete
What an awesome journey you are on!ReplyDelete
Our relationship with our earthly dad is so important as it is supposed to give us a small model of our relationship with God.
Sitting on His lap--telling Him our hurts and concerns--knowing He is our rescuer and redeemer.
I am so sorry you didn't experience that--but the good news is that God loves you--just because with no strings attached--unconditionally!
When those thoughts come up--acknowledge the lie and replace them with God's truth from the Bible!
I am on this journey, too. God bless!
You are beautiful! You are perfect in Christ. I am awed by your courage. I must admit I did shed tears for you. You are covered, so very covered in His love and prayer today. I know your post is not one of a cry for help but of breakthrough. You are strong! Stronger than you know! You have been hurt and disappointed by those who occupy this earth but it IS okay to give yourself to His love completely. For he is love. His love is perfect. He will NEVER leave you nor forsake you. And, to be honest, you are an overcomer and you have overcome! You have nothing left to fear so embrace Him and all that he is and allow Him to fully embrace you.ReplyDelete
I love you, sister in Christ. You are courageous, and God will bless that you are willing to be real, in order to bring Glory to His name!ReplyDelete
Scarred, and scared. wow. yes.
May he bring healing, and continue to set you free. Free you from any lies that have embedded in your heart.
It is hard for us to accept a Love that pure, that perfect, that which we do not even understand...
especially when we lose trust in our youth. It is hard.
But He who began a good work in you, will carry it on until completion, until the day of Christ Jesus.
So blessed to be on this journey with you,
I read your post and am moved at the mighty way our God works! I rejoice with you as you confess the truth of your pain because I know that it will lead to wonderful freedom.
You are so loved, Friend. And I look forward to being witness to the journey ahead, as we all become more real before God and with each other. Prayers are with you!
I have no words. God is doing amazing work in you. He wants to draw you near. Only He understands the full extent of the pain you have suffered.
I am so sorry that you went through this.
The fact that you glorify Him every day is evidence that He is healing you.
I will pray for you.
I feel as if my heart has just swollen up to be bigger than me!
Oh, how blessed I am to know you.
You took a giant leap toward complete freedom when you wrote this post.
Thank you for trusting your blog sisters with the most fragile places of your heart. Now, we can tenderly hold those places up to our Heavenly Father who is incapable of abuse and manipulation. All He knows is how to adore and cherish you.
I'm teaching a class this Saturday, but I'm free in the morning if you'd like to do breakfast....email me and let me know.
Cindy, my dear friend. You are so brave to share such pain. I started praying for you as soon as I opened this post. God has started a new chapter for you, one that will break through a wall that has been built for so long.ReplyDelete
He is holding you, loving you, and and proud of you for taking this step.
You have encouraged me through so many of your posts and the comments you've left with me. I am continuing to pray for you.
I just stumbled upon your blog and my heart was so touched by your willingness to honor the Lord with all of your heart.ReplyDelete
I don't know you and yet I believe that the Lord has plans to use you in mighty ways in the lives of other women (as He is doing already).
I know so many women who have experience similar abuse and my heart just aches for the deep hurt in your heart. Yet, the Lord wants
to be your everything (and my everything). May He continue to do amazing things in you and through you!
May we all be able to grasp just how much we are loved and valued by the King of Kings.
Bless you sweet sister!
All for Jesus,
Wow...I don't know what to say.ReplyDelete
I know keeping secrets can destory us but allowing God to reveal them will destory Satan's hold on our lives.
Just wanted to say thanks for your sweet comment today!ReplyDelete
You admit to being scarred and scared, and with every reason; however, your post just sang out loud the very fact that God has given you strength and courage in this. I could so sense your determination to get to the crux of the hurt and press through the 'darkness'. You have the grace of God, it is sufficient and amazing and it is carrying you... Hasn't He brought us all to a wonderful place! You are SO blessed to have the 'KNOWLEDGE' of His love, and now He's taking you on a trip of a lifetime to discover the joys and depths of His love, for you. Your is a testimony that will honour Him and bring others to Christ!ReplyDelete
So much truth here! It was beautiful for me to read -- not because of the details (which break my heart) but because it showed a heart that is learning to become vulnerable despite being compromised. I know this was a difficult post for you, but I hope and trust you felt a release when you wrote it. Friend, you may well be closer to a breakthrough than you've ever been! It certainly sounds that way.
God had such a specific purpose in each of the women doing the study, and I have no doubt but that He wanted you in it. Thank you for admitting what so many of us feel -- that we know of His love but never fully grasp it. The awesome thing about it, Cindy, is that unlike those we seek love from in the world, He doesn't ever tire of trying to show us how much He loves us. You're right...it is a revolutionary truth if we will let Him in to be that father figure to us, etc., that many of us never had on this earth. The promises in His Word are true, Cindy, and I know you believe them. My prayer is that you will own them in the deepest places of your heart from this point forward. Then and only then will it change your life.
Praying with you for that breakthrough!
Wow.........thank you for sharing this. I know it was hard. I'm so encouraged by the courage that you've shown through this post. God is doing amazing things in your heart! Press on!ReplyDelete
Oh Cindy...I don't even know how to respond. My heart just aches as my own little girl came to mind and wondering how if her own Daddy did something like this to her how it would change her bubbly personality and damage her and strip away her security. I can't even begin to pretend to know what you have endured all of these years, but our sweet sister Esther came to mind..."for such a time as this". For such a time in 2008 for having a breakthrough. For such a time while blogging will God direct you to an online Bible study. For such a time for His glory to outshine all of the ugliness of what happened to you. For such a time as this...Right now to be used again. Used again by your Father, but not your earthly one your Heavenly One. Used again with no shame attached. No pain. No loss. No secrets. Used again to draw other women into the throne room to meet a King that can love the hurt right out of them. Your life Cindy is being used mightily. I am so proud of you and I can't imagine how God must feel to be able to get another piece of your heart.ReplyDelete
You Cindy are beauty at its best. Thank you for blessing this Bible study hostess with your willingness to surrender to Christ and share with us what He is doing in your life.
Thank you for your honesty and transparency. May the Lord use your story to encourage others in their pursuit of freedom from their past. Truly He is the Lord who redeems!ReplyDelete