To read the first part of this two-part series by Charismata, click here.
This past year, I’ve been on a different journey with Him, for He has sped things up a lot. Now, He is dealing with whole structures in my heart instead of little parts and pieces of memories tucked here and there. He is taking down the full structures, the full strongholds that the enemy had firmly put in place through intentional, methodical abuse and making me whole in ways I didn’t even know He could. But it is still a process of healing.
Many days, I still face the thoughts that I’m not a safe person for others to be around or the lie that I will suddenly drop over dead. When those things come, I see images of bad things happening instead of having bad thoughts most of the time, and when I do, I still take them to Jesus, moment by moment, and ask Him to speak the truth to me about it. He always does, and I go on with my day. Some days, I’m tired and just want to sleep. Other days, I find moments of joy, excitement over something in the future, or a feeling of being loved. Joy. Excitement. Love! I actually have times where I feel these now!
Some days, I feel lonely, that no can relate to the things I’ve had to face. I get irate when people choose to get hung up on petty differences and won’t forgive. I sadden when people’s voices are not heard, ignored, misunderstood. So many people are just crying out for help in the only way they know how to, but oftentimes, instead of being validated, valued, and heard, they become liabilities to the religious system, a cog in the smooth-functioning machine.
Instead of being seen as team players or family members, they are now segregated, marginalized, and systematically removed from the team. Too many times, the institutionalized church has a horrible track record of getting rid of the least of these who would challenge or slow down the agenda.
Jesus always had time for the broken. In fact, He often changed course, went a different direction just so that He could touch one person, heal one broken heart, go after one lost sheep, call one prodigal home. He is the healer of the brokenhearted after all. Sometimes, that is a heart broken in two, and sometimes, it is one intentionally shattered into a thousand pieces. Either way, He knows how to heal, love, and bring truth to those who need it most.
Even though many of my friends can’t really relate to where I’ve had to walk, some try to understand, and for that, I am truly grateful. Many survivors, though, don’t have anyone who can relate or will try to understand. Many have the church turn its back on them when they hit bottom and need a hand up. Maybe it’s because it makes the leadership feel insecure because they don’t know how to help. I don’t know.
Many of us do wrong things out of fear. Actually, I’ve had this happen to me when I was at one of my lowest points, and it hurt deeply. Thankfully, though, I had my husband who chose to stay and support me through the worst because, somehow, he loved the wrecked mess I was at the time, and I have had a handful of friends who chose to love me despite all the pain of what I was going through. That gift was and is immeasurable, for it was the gift of being seen and heard for who I really am, fears, failures, and all.
I recall two such friends who trapped me between them in a movie theatre because the Holy Spirit had told me to watch the movie The Shack. I thought multiple times I was going to die while watching that movie, but one held my sweaty hand the whole time through it, and the other blocked my escape route and then wept with me in her truck afterward as I sat and processed.
Another friend brought me homecooked food and took care of my children when I was too weak to walk to the bathroom unaided and then, when I was ready a few years later, let me meticulously retell the horrors of my story through snot and trembling simply because I needed to see with my own eyes someone would listen and not turn away (especially when you are told that you will die if you ever tell anyone what happened to you). I didn’t die. And she is still one of my closest friends to this day.
So, for those who have dared to read this, please know, if you relate, you aren’t alone. There are people who understand what you are going through. The enemy is the same. The lies are all similar. The pain is very real. But there really is a healer whose name is Jesus, and He’s really, really good at healing broken hearts however He chooses to do it.
For those who haven’t had to walk through such extreme pain and really can’t relate, just listen to those hurting around you. Don’t judge their healing journey. Be like Jesus and love the least of these. When you have, you have loved Him. You don’t have to have the answers. Just get them to the True Lord Jesus who does. Maybe it means swapping snot in the cab of a pick-up truck.
I leave you with this story from Luke 10:25-37, TPT. We should be known by our love for one another if Jesus lives in us. May this be a positive challenge for all of us to reach out to the one who is hurting and not just walk by on the opposite side of the road.
Loving God, Loving Others
Just then a religious scholar stood before Jesus in order to test his doctrines. He posed this question: “Teacher, what requirement must I fulfill if I want to live forever in heaven?”
Jesus replied, “What does Moses teach us? What do you read in the Law?”
The religious scholar answered, “It states, ‘You must love the Lord God with all your heart, all your passion, all your energy, and your every thought. And you must love your neighbor as well as you love yourself.’”
Jesus said, “That is correct. Now go and do exactly that and you will live.”
Wanting to justify himself, he questioned Jesus further, saying, “What do you mean by ‘my neighbor’?”
Jesus replied, “Listen and I will tell you. There was once a Jewish man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho when bandits robbed him along the way. They beat him severely, stripped him naked, and left him half dead.
“Soon, a Jewish priest walking down the same road came upon the wounded man. Seeing him from a distance, the priest crossed to the other side of the road and walked right past him, not turning to help him one bit.
“Later, a religious man, a Levite, came walking down the same road and likewise crossed to the other side to pass by the wounded man without stopping to help him.
“Finally, another man, a Samaritan, came upon the bleeding man and was moved with tender compassion for him. He stooped down and gave him first aid, pouring olive oil on his wounds, disinfecting them with wine, and bandaging them to stop the bleeding. Lifting him up, he placed him on his own donkey and brought him to an inn. Then he took him from his donkey and carried him to a room for the night. The next morning he took his own money from his wallet and gave it to the innkeeper with these words: ‘Take care of him until I come back from my journey. If it costs more than this, I will repay you when I return.’ So, now, tell me, which one of the three men who saw the wounded man proved to be the true neighbor?”
The religious scholar responded, “The one who demonstrated kindness and mercy.”
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on wholeheartedwomen.org
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