Why is it so important to process through the healing of your own wounds? Because once you do, you are able to see it more clearly along with all the other healing happening around you. I know my processing has been made public, and while I’ve not used names, it’s not a secret to some who the people I’ve talked about are. Why would I do that? Why would I publicly talk about someone else’s sins done against me, and feel that I shouldn’t take it down? Well, because I’m me. I’m real and while I want to change all my ways and be a better person and I’m allowing God to transform me in the process, I want to be real about the struggles I deal with.
You see, I went years stuffing down my anger to do what I was told was the right thing (or only being angry about things openly with a couple of people). It helped NO ONE. Hiding who I was inside and what I was feeling and thinking helped no one. DOING righteous things didn’t make me righteous while I was feeling, thinking, and believing awful things about myself and trying to change the unrighteous thoughts I had of others, to ‘do’ the righteous thing.
God knows me and wants me to do the right thing, but I have to also believe that God wants me to be real – and in being real, I can stop getting stuck in a place of “woe is me” and get to a place of “what next, Lord.” What I’ve posted regarding J and L, doesn’t come as a surprise or as slander of them. It’s not to cause trouble for them or to cause division or strife. It’s about speaking with the voice I have to speak about the very real issues people face and no one notices. Abuse.
Yes, the Word shows us we will all experience some sort of abuse in our lifetime and what we are to do when we experience it. However, it can’t be at the expense of who we really are. Oftentimes, my head gets in the way of me being ME. I can’t count how many times I’ve cried out to God with what the “right” thing to do was and I heard in different variations, “be you – I created YOU. For today and for where you’re going to be someday.” It’s so hard to get out of my head and just be real about what’s going on inside me. The weight on my shoulders has been – “I’m going to cause someone else to stumble because of my mess ups!” It’s also been, “What if I turn someone away from Christ because of these struggles I carry?” The truth of the matter is, God doesn’t need me to cover His reputation. My mess ups and me struggling, are a testimony of who God is in my life. It’s not about me. It’s about Him. And if He can make a broken person whole, an angry person find peace, or a slanderer repent! Then that’s on HIM! HE gets the glory for that – not me. So if I’m angry and dealing with unrest – wrestling it out with Him (even publicly), it only shows those around me what He’s capable of – and what I’m capable of through Him. If I’m slandering someone’s name and being a troublemaker to those around me, God will meet me where I’m at and humble me! I want Him to! Show me my heart, Lord! Cleanse me of my sins!
If I’m never real about what I’m dealing with, I can never face the sinful parts of my heart. If I’m doing all the right things with my body, but never address the sinful desires of my heart, I can never truly be free from the bondage of sin! I am trapped in sin because it’s flowing freely through my blood! But when I’m real about what I’m thinking and feeling and other people witness, hey, I’m feeling what you’re feeling too… we see we’re not alone and we see our need for Jesus. It might not be a “hey, you’re not alone” type of a response – it could even be, “I don’t want to feel like she’s feeling anymore – God, give me freedom, peace, strength, hope and healing TODAY!” I am great with people not wanting to be LIKE ME. I want people to see my need for HIM so they can see their need for Him too. I’m so far from where I need to be… and me sharing publicly in a blog about where I’m at, is evidence of that. I’ve learned a lot on this journey with God, but I am so far from where I’m going to be someday. God is working in me and transforming me.
And right here, right now, He loves me. He’s working on me RIGHT NOW while I process. I was wronged. I was hurt. People did wrong by me. And I’m angry. BUT GOD. That’s it. BUT GOD. He’s getting me through that. He’s bringing me to a place of TRUE healing. I refuse to stay angry forever – but I refuse to stifle my anger as well and to feel wrong for being angry. Sexual abuse done against children (or anyone) is EVIL. What I experienced was AWFUL and no words can truly explain what it felt like on a daily basis to be in that. And God brought me to a place of healing and forgiveness long before I allowed myself to be angry. I forgave the man who did that to me 3 years after it happened! I forgave him and prayed that God would encounter him and save him if his heart would turn toward him. ONE MONTH LATER: he died. I was so thankful to God that He brought me there and gave me that closure to that part of my life. I didn’t spend years being angry at him. I spent years hurting for what he had done to me and overcoming obstacles in my marriage – the very real interference it played in the intimacy we shared, and I don’t just mean sexually. There was a struggle with trust and security… and before I could find that in my marriage, I needed to find that with God.
How did I do that? I had to be real about where my husband and I were at in our marriage. I had to be real about my feelings. I had to be real with him. I had to be honest about things he had done to hurt me, even though unintended, and assert myself in a loving and respectful way towards him and towards myself. I had to stand up for myself as a child of God and to my husband as a child of God. I didn’t handle it perfectly and some of what I had believed at the time wasn’t true. What did I need? I needed to be real and I needed my husband to appreciate that I was seeking to be real… and he did. He listened. He listened as I let it out. He listened despite not fully understanding and despite not being sure of what it meant for us and for our marriage.
From there, I felt even more safe with him. I could trust him and be real with him. And I was able to grow in how to be real in a more loving way. My husband allowed room for me to grow. He didn’t pick apart my sinful way of addressing him, he gave me room to allow God to transform me.
I am 30 years old. I’m young! I’m still figuring a lot of stuff out because I thought I grew up at 13… it turns out I wasn’t a grown up… and many of the adults in my life didn’t understand that. I don’t know what their reasons were – but they didn’t. I was often treated as an adult when I was very much a child. When I was forced to grow up a little due to losing a part of the innocence of being a child due to my sexual assault, I was only treated even moreso as an adult, instead of being seen as a wounded child. I was 16 and putting a man in jail, but I was still a little girl, lost and looking for love. I’m thankful that the Lord brought me my husband – an honorable young man, though still young himself and sinful and growing, who despite that, would love me cautiously and allowed me room to grow and heal. I was still very capable of falling into the hands of someone harmful (and I had with J) but at least, it wasn’t the man in my life. My husband walked down the path of healing and freedom with me from the moment he walked into my life, even though neither of us knew I was even on that path.
I guess what I’m rambling about is that, I’m me. I’m not trying to be anyone but me right now. I’m just being me and being real. I’ve been careful to not use names for the people I’m talking about, aside from the man who sexually assaulted me. I’m believing that God encountered him and he had his time to turn his heart to Jesus before he died. I believe that. Whether he chose that or not, whether he was truly repentant, I will only know in heaven. And I’m certain, because of the promises of God that there will be no more sorrow, pain, or tears in heaven, that somehow, God will make that happen for me if David is there. I also believe, God sees our hearts and no man can mock or deceive God – so if David was not repentant, then that is his end.
I’ve forgiven J. I pray that she finds healing and wholeness. Does that mean there is no consequence for the sins she’s done against me? Does that mean I’m not wounded, hurt, angry? No. I feel very angry about it, but I wish no ill will on her.