First of all, just like Revelations states, our testimonies are designed to shut the mouths of someone else’s accuser. I also use my own testimony to close the mouth of my own accuser at times. I am going to share part of my testimony here. You will be tempted to go to blame and shame. Something in you will want to take on my offense. Dont get me wrong. That is a good thing. I believe that is a Godly reaction. He placed that fierceness in us for each other. But do not be tempted to take it to an unGodly place. That place would be taking on the offenses of others. Guard your heart. Here we go.
I was sexually abused by my pastor when I was 5. We had just moved many states away from “home” to this new and exciting place. We lived with them temporarily while we were getting settled and finding a job and such. Our families were close, at least that is what I knew and felt as a child. I really loved his whole family, still do.
Over the years wounds like that really distort how you view the world. You are always in self-protective stance and you dont even know it. It is just a survival skill. I was married and a mother of four at the time God started to disrupt my pendulum swing (ie… blog Is there really an enemy?). I was stuck so far over on the other side I was having a hard time giving or receiving love in the ways He had intended for me. I had shut down my heart on so many levels and at the core of myself believing lies about me that I didnt even know were lurking about.
I had a great friend who was willing to walk through my story with me and pray with me. I needed help identifying my wounds and the lies that were attached to them that I could not see.
In one of our sessions we were praying. She asked God to remind me of the wound that He wanted to heal today. It didnt take long and it almost felt like I was back there but I wasnt because I was safe at the same time. This man ended up taking me with him to this little country store. We lived way out in the middle of nowhere. I knew it was a Sunday afternoon and my parents were sleeping. I remember feeling a deep dread as we drove away from the store out even further away from places I knew. I was trying to remember the trees, something my dad taught me. When we would go places you turn and look back so you remember what it should look like on your way back home so you do not get lost. I was turning in the car so I could see the trees and what they looked like. We drove so long that I knew I could not remember what all the trees looked like. I remember at the moment, being 5 years old and knowing that I was going to die. It was overwhelming me. We ended up parking by the water in total seclusion.
This was the memory God wanted to minister to me in. My friend who was praying for me asked God in that moment to show me where He was at this time. It was amazing because sitting there in her office I could feel warmth around my head. With my eyes closed I could see in my memory a kind of see-through Jesus. He had his arms around my head and He was whispering something in my ear. I could hear Him saying, “Im protecting your mind.” Then my friend prayed and asked God to show me how does God feel about what is happening to me. All the sudden…. another see-through Jesus pops up out of the one who is protecting my mind and He has a sword. He swiftly cuts off the man’s head. Immediately following, another see-through Jesus pops up out of the same place and catches the man as he falls and begins to minister to his wounds. It was so surreal and it was so real at the same time. I knew how real it was because it touched that deep place in me that had just felt so all alone, far from home and knew I was going to die. It was replaced with I am not alone. It said that I was fought for, rescued and so was the man who was with me. It was such a beautiful picture of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It was such an amazing picture of the real rescue that was so desperately needed for “us”. The ones being taken out by “our” enemy. (ie…blog You both have the same enemy)
I know God is stirring something in you right now. I know because I remember all the things I had to let go of to believe what I was seeing, feeling and understanding in that moment. This is how God redeems us. This is how He restores us and rescues us. This is how God loves us. It is hard to comprehend a love like that. It is hard to let go and give Him those wounds. In order for Him to really free you from them you have to let them go. He is a good God. He is faithful, just and trustworthy.
I hope you can take the time right now to practice what that is like to let go for me in my story. There is most likely not a person reading this that would not be fiercely and righteously angry about this kind of thing taking place in a 5 yr old girl’s life. But what about the pastor? What about a man who had given his life to serving God? What is in his story? From what I was to understand he had his own horrific story in which his enemy attacked him in his childhood. He too has an enemy who has attacked his very identity as a man. The man he was called to be. He is still Paul, the man God created and called to a higher purpose. He is still the man Jesus chose to lay His life down for. Yes there are christians who need to come in and rescue children who are being abused. There better be a ton of them. But there are also christians called to fight for their abusers. Not everyone is going to have that calling but someone has to stand between him and his enemy and remind him that he is believing a lie. That he is believing that he is less than a son of the King of Kings. I know this is an extreme case but how many times in your life did you choose (like in the book of Hosea) to be a prostitute instead of a Bride? Maybe you chose your own control over God, maybe it was money, maybe is was pride, maybe it was your own glory, maybe sex, or whatever you chose in place of your husband…..your God?
I was rescued. I was redeemed. I was forgiven. I was made a new creation. I was given truth, grace and mercy. Those gifts….those talents were never meant to be buried in the sand like my own personal treasure. They were meant to be invested. They are supposed to multiply. They are His kingdom here on earth as it is in Heaven.
(Let me remind you. It took me a long time to get to the place where I was seeking God and His viewpoint on this. I had to come to the end of myself. The point I could no longer deal with it myself. I do not diminish my own wounds at the hand of this man. I do tend to my own heart on the matter. I have healed to the place where it is safe and healthy for me now to consider the larger picture. God’s view is bigger than what I experienced. He is viewing everything through the cross. Jesus suffered so that we would know that He knows what suffering is like. We now know that He understands our pain. Remember the pendulum swing in the blog Is there really an enemy? His grace is big enough to cover us all while we figure it out.)