Continuing on from the post Why Me….. after I received the gift of the figurine and the card my friend gave me it made me take a long, honest look at myself and allowed me to begin to grieve all that I’d lost as a child and teenager.
Where was God in the middle of my shame? For years I would not ask that question, partly because I was afraid of the answer, and partly because I was not willing to look into the hidden parts of my childhood.
The hidden parts of a little girl whose mind and body was assaulted and whose soul violated.
The hidden parts that a woman kept hidden behind huge walls of self-contempt and shame.
In the months to follow my pain and anguish began to overwhelm me as I sank deeper into depression. As I watched my husband and friends stand by me wanting to help but unable to reach me, and as my daughters wondered why their mom couldn’t smile anymore, I knew I needed help.
I called my Pastor at the time and asked to see him. That day in his office and in the months to follow all the band-aids came off.
I learned that my depression was a mask covering up the real struggles of my soul. A mask becomes a band-aid; it covers up the hurt but brings no real healing. Band-aids trap our hurt behind protective coverings rather than allowing the light of exposure to start the healing process. My wounds needed to be exposed to the healing touch of Jesus Christ.
My journey involved bringing my wounded heart before God. A heart that was full of rage overwhelmed with doubt, bloodied and bruised, rebellious, stained and lonely.
The path involved the risk of putting into words the condition of my inner being and placing those words before God for His response.
You see I thought that when I became a Christian at the age of 21 God had saved me from that day on. And so I cut off all the stuff that had happened to me before that time. But I came to understand that God is omnipotent and omnipresent. When He heals us He’s not just healing us from the day we accept Him and only from that day forward; He’s healing us from our past up till today as well.
He heals our yesterdays as if they were today, because there is no yesterday for Him.
So I took the risk and asked God, “Why me? How could you let this happen to me?”
It was then in my Pastor’s office, in prayer, that God gave me a vision. In my minds eye I saw myself as a little girl being molested. And then I saw Jesus, standing there with tears pooling in His eyes…. I turned away, ashamed…. How could a Holy God look upon me like this…? How could He look upon the ugliness and humiliation I was enduring? But as I dared to look once again at His face I saw something that to this day I will never forget…..I saw something I’d never seen before…. Indignation…..His righteous anger aroused by the injustice, the wrongness, and the evil of what was happening to me. He wasn’t angry with me but at the evil that was happening. It was a Holy indignation and a Holy compassion mixed together.
And then the vision was gone…..and I wept…. no one had ever given me the gift of such a beautiful compassion, no one had ever sorrowed over the evil perpetrated against me, it wasn’t pity- it was love. His love penetrated my heart that day and began to heal my broken, fragmented heart.
I came to understand that God had given all mankind the freedom to choose His way or satan’s way. We are not robots programmed to respond only one way, but we are human, each with a will and free to make our own choices.
Some, for whatever reason would choose evil over good. Very simply I had been the victim of someone else’s wrong choice.
Eventually I recovered enough to stop screaming, “why” and begin to gently ask, “who are you, Lord?” In time I came to see God as a compassionate Father who grieved with me and who hated the rape and abuse even more than I did. Ultimately I was able to see that God is who He says He is, and that He does love me.That God accepts me, not just the woman I am today but the little girl I was at every age.
Although I cannot always understand God’s ways…..I can trust Him. I cannot expect to always be spared pain and suffering, but I can go to Him in the midst of it and find His love and comfort.
It was through the pain and hell of abuse and rape that I found His love, felt His arms around me and saw Him face to face. Through Jesus I found my healing.