I remember very vividly the day I came face to face with the realization that I both hated and feared men. In one sense it was a shocking insight, yet at the same time I felt cold regarding it. Not really caring much. “So”, I thought, “I have a right to feel this way. Look at what men have done to me.” I felt justified in my feelings.
During one of my counseling sessions I came to the understanding that my depression had been a mask covering up my anger. I never thought of myself as an angry person, sure I got mad sometimes. Something would trigger me and I could blow up, but I was not a rage-aholic like the men in my home growing up.
While I had been learning that underneath the depression was a low-lying rage, which simmered and would explode once in awhile, I came to recognize that although I was not a rage-aholic the potential to become one was there.
I never exploded with physical violence like they did, but instead I used my words like lethal weapons. When my husband would say something that hurt me I would react in anger and my words would hit their mark, his heart… words of hate towards men would come out spilling out…. and I knew when my words had hit the mark, I could see it in his eyes. But I never really saw how deep my hatred and fear went until I was in counseling and had to face it.
So what was I to do with this hate? How was I to let it go? One night I took it to the Lord, and I prayed that He would give me “wisdom in the hidden parts”. And I waited. Nothing, no sudden miracles and boom it was gone, no words of knowledge, only silence.
But that night I had a dream. A dream so vivid that I knew God was speaking.
In my dream the Lord led me to a large garden surrounded by a small, white picket fence. As we stood in the garden He asked me what I saw. “Weeds,” was my reply. I did see the odd flower poking up through the weeds but it was filled with mostly weeds.
By this time I’m thinking why God would bring me here. This is ugly, who wants a garden full of weeds.
Then the Lord asked me to trust Him and close my eyes. As I closed them He gently touched my eyes and then asked me to open them again. This time when I looked it was a totally different garden. There were flowers blooming everywhere. Flowers of every size and shape and color filled the garden. And the fragrance was intoxicating. It was a garden fresh and alive.
When I looked closely I could see the odd weed growing amongst the flowers, but the beauty of the garden was so breathtaking that I didn’t notice the weeds.
Confused I looked to the Lord for an explanation. He said,” Daughter, you were looking at this garden through your eyes, your experiences, you saw all men as weeds.
You have lived as a victim of fear for so long that what you expect to see colors what you really do see in life. Daughter, in order to deal with your fear and your hate, you must change your expectations.
Yes, you were abused and wounded by men, but Daughter, there are flowers in the kingdom if you wish to find them. Not all men are like the ones who abused you. You have painted all men with the same paint brush; your fear is tied to your past, but look at the present for what it is.
Today I am showing you that there are more flowers than weeds in my kingdom. Today I have opened your spiritual eyes to truth. Today I am showing you that not all men are depraved or evil. Stop living in fear and change your expectations and as you do healing will come and the hate will dissolve.”
I woke up from this dream and wept. I repented of my hate and painting all men with the same paint brush, generalizing all men into the same category. I can honestly say the pain and anger left. I knew that God had visited me in my dreams. I saw men with new eyes. I saw my husband with new eyes. Did it mean I could trust any man, no…I still needed to use discretion and wisdom just as I would with any person. Yes, there has still been the odd time when the fear creeps back in but no longer did I paint all men with the same paint brush. No longer did I hate. God healed the hatred.