Where is God in Abuse?
Here is an
article that was posted to the message board, written by
someone who has wrestled with receiving God's love. She
writes: "I hope it helps folks - save it to read when
you are ready to hear it."
...Thanks so much for your very honest and heartbreaking
response. I know your pain behind those words. They
almost made me cry once again over the extreme
wickedness of people, that makes trusting God next to
impossible instead of natural. Good parents should make
the transfer very natural to see a good God as shown in
the Bible. Abuse destroys every connector there is to
God (or so the enemy thinks). I already tried to end my
life at 14. Two days later, I accepted Jesus into my
heart (one protector alter did at the same time). That
was a real conversion - for eternity but also with a
desire to love Him. The next time my grandfather went to
touch me, I blurted out, "Jesus lives in my heart now.
You can't do this anymore!" (my alter speaking). (I
thought until then he was such a powerful man - but the
truth is, it only took one "no" from a child to make him
stop. He never did stop with my sisters until they
But I still pictured God (like my grandfather and
father) sitting in heaven with a shotgun, just waiting
for me to mess up so He could shoot me for the sheer fun
of it! I learned from my father's role-modeling that God
was also angry, distant, quick to punish, and never
forgiving. Can you see how my experiences colored my
perceptions of the Truth about Him? God didn't do
anything to me to ruin my concept of Who He is - wicked
In heavy abuse under the full moon, I would cry out to
the watchful mood, wondering if God or the moon could
see me, cared, could rescue me, etc. It didn't seem so,
because He didn't part the heavens and intervene.
God, to me. was always "way out there" even after I
accepted Christ into my heart. I'd cry out to the skies
trying to figure out if He heard or saw me. It was a
long journey to where I am today. But Truth (laid out in
Scripture) has never changed.
Sexual abuse and incest is strictly forbidden as early
as Genesis. This is not a new, surprising subject for
God. It's really been a battle waged on innocent
children by the enemy to hurt the deepest, most
vulnerable part of God's heart - childlike
responsiveness and trust in His love - since the
beginning of time. God imposed death penalties on entire
families where sexual abuse and incest occurred. He
never turned a blind eye. It's always been strictly
against His laws. And in Matthew 10 and 18, He says it
would be better for a millstone to be around someone's
neck and thrown into the sea for one who makes it harder
on one of these children seeking to love and trust Him.
It was through a series of events that I grew but it was
a growth in head knowledge - I'm a Bible School graduate
and spent 3 years in Eastern Europe as a smuggler to the
Eastern Church and had a sexual relationship there with
a Yugoslav man. My spiritual authority in that mission
board said, "It is the worst thing that's ever happened
in the history of the mission. I was finished in
ministry, finished in Europe, finished with them." They
even tricked me into going home on vacation - only to
send me a letter saying I was fired and my supporters
were notified of my "sin" (which I confessed to them
before they even knew). My personal belongings are still
in Europe - over twenty years ago. It brought me to my
I finally learned that Jesus not only wanted to save me
from hell, and give me eternal life. He wanted to be my
Lord. When that sunk in, I could relate that to my dad -
my father was the boss! I now understood that when my
will collided with Jesus' will, mine would yield to His
because He was the Boss. By virtue of His position, I
would yield. That started some radical changes in my
When I personally crashed after my brother's death (in
the '94 plane crash in Pittsburgh), God had already
begun some healing in my heart. Miraculously, He made me
feel alive for the first time ever in a healing service
in 1993. After the plane crash, I could no longer
function. I began to work on abuse issues. In doing so,
not only did I have to face the question, "Where the
hell were You, God? Why didn't You rescue me?" but I had
to face the pure wickedness of people and the depths
they will go with the enemy's power to hurt God,
themselves and steal innocence that was stolen from them
so long ago. The innocence they see in other children
reminds them of their own lost innocence so they set out
to destroy it. My therapist held to God's Word being the
plumb-line of Truth by which to mold my life. At the
same time, he gave me the time and space I needed to
deal with honest emotions resulting from abuse and let
me see the distortions of God and His Word that I
learned through those experiences.
God's generational curses (giving each generation time
and choices to break the wicked cycles) only last to the
third and fourth generation if someone will renounce the
sins. But his mercies and grace extend 1000 generations
to those who love Him and do break the power of the sin
and resulting curses.
As I worked on reconciling my experiences with the
"seeming" contradictions in God's Word, it caused deep
raging, honesty and emotional intensity. He is big
enough to take our onslaught. Eventually, when we are
spent in each round, He somehow touches our souls with
love, not shame, disgust and guilt that we expect.
Instead, He's the only One who can wash us clean, inside
and out. I am the first to be breaking this generational
sin in my family.
All the abuse I've known has been in the guise of
Christianity. Not a single "unsaved" person has hurt me.
So, believe me I know your pain and confusion. My
grandfather professed Christianity all his life - and
would take us with them to church in the morning and out
in the woods in the afternoon. All the ritual stuff
mocked Christianity and Jesus. Three days before my
grandfather died at the age of 94, he boasted of having
over 150 girls and was proud of every one of them! Then,
I got word of his deathbed conversion! I was livid!!! I
raged at God. Not only did I have to endure his abuse,
now I would have to spend all eternity with him.
God gave me an
instant reframe: "If My blood is not sufficient for his
sin, it is not sufficient for yours." I was silenced
immediately. What He spoke went through to the depths of
my soul. Then, when I was quieter and more yielded, He
gave me this reframe: Not only will you have all
eternity to know your grandfather for the first time (in
purity, not wickedness), but another one has been
snatched from the clutches of hell. He was the only
grandfather I had. A pure relationship awaits me for all
eternity with a grandfather I have never known.
An evil relationship that shaped me ultimately set me on
this path to pursue God at any cost until I could "feel"
His Presence within me, instead of sensing His Presence
out in the skies somewhere. "What was meant for evil God
has turned into good." (You are witnessing just a small
part of that good now.)
As I continue to wrestle with God over these things in
our own little boxing ring, I find out His Truth doesn't
bend to my wishes. I become gut honest with Him, and He
changes my heart with unconditional, pure love,
acceptance, and forgiveness. I have been forgiven
absolutely everything I have ever done and will ever do.
So how can I refuse to forgive someone else? These are
not easy things to grasp when our souls scream for
justice. But if justice is what I want for my
grandfather, justice also becomes MY reward. I'd rather
live under God's mercy and grace than His justice. God
promises His own rewards and justice in Heaven.
Vengeance is His, never mine. How that works out, I
leave up to Him.
This is not an easy subject. But God didn't do this to
me - ultimately my grandfather, greatly empowered by the
enemy - sought to destroy my innocent soul and shatter
it so there would be no connectors left to reach out to
God. The amazing thing is, God gets a hold of a part of
our heart anyhow. Then, when it is safe enough and we
are old enough to understand what happened to us, He
then patiently lets us kick, scream and fight against
Him until we finally fall at His feet, spent, helpless
and hoping that His love and arms are big enough for us,
too. And He always leaves the 99 to find that one lost
person - be it me or an alter, or you, or one of your
alters. He's not come for the healthy but for the sick.
And God ultimately triumphs as we (thought forever
spoiled by the enemy) become trophies of His love, mercy
and grace and redemption - and become childlike, mature
warriors against the very one who tried to steal our
soul - the enemy of God.
My role model was Corrie ten Boom from the time I was 14
years old. If she could endure the atrocities of the
Holocaust, not even being a Jew, and come out with a
message of love and forgiveness, then so could I. Seeing
it come into fruition has been the process of the last
ten years as I have honestly raged and screamed and
cried out to God, asking Him to make me hungry to know
the Truth (which sets me free) from the lies (which bind
me to the abuse and never lets me go).
This is THE most critical question we ultimately face in
our recovery and restoration: "God, where were You?
Where are You now?"
If we won't wrestle at some point here, we will never
truly find the rest, freedom and abundant life He called
us to find in becoming childlike again. Knowing His true
nature and heart for us and finding our identity in who
He says we are, not the value statements we picked up
from our abuses, is true liberty. In that security, I
can risk trusting, loving and being loved. My foundation
is that whatever happens, I can now run to Him as the
Biggest, Most Wonderful Daddy and Father there is. And
if someone is hurting me, I run TO Him, not away from
Him. In the process, He will break down the walls
dividing me from His love and nature. I build a history
of trust with God, one step at a time, just as you are
doing with your therapists. He was faithful last time,
maybe He will be faithful this time - so I will continue
to risk with Him.
The hardest thing about trust is that it requires me to
take the first risk. You can tell me all you want that
you are trustworthy but until I risk with you, I really
won't know. It's the same with God. He tells us that
Jesus shows us the exact nature of God. I once read the
gospels, taking note of every interaction that Jesus had
with people. I was startled to discover the only people
He "tore into" were the "religious" people whose very
actions betrayed their words. He loved the broken and
came to show us how much He loves us - how much His
Father - our Father loves us, no matter how badly other
"religious" or purely evil people have taught us -
through words or example or actions.
I can choose to forever blame God and run from Him and
remain lost for answers and be eaten alive by the virus
of bitterness. Or I can see God's heart breaking in two
for the wickedness people inflict on other children of
God. Jesus said in Luke 4 He came to heal the broken
hearted, set the captives free, preach good news to the
poor, proclaim freedom for prisoners, recovery of sight
for the blind and proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.
He cries for His children who, through experiences and
abuse, blame Him and refuse to look at Him - no matter
how long He woos them. Because they are afraid if they
looked at Him, He would heal them (Matthew and Luke).
So we really have two choices. We can continue to keep
our walls up to shut His healing love out or we can let
Him gently break those walls we needed for survival down
to reveal our hurts, false guilt, shame, etc., and
discover how deeply He loves us and wants us to rest in
being His child (no matter who our earthly family was or
is). We can choose to see the abuse through our angry
eyes or through His wooing heart. We can let our souls
be eaten alive or restored to better than before the
God is Truth. The rest is a lie. We aren't the first to
be abused and, unfortunately, won't be the last. If God
took over, we'd have no free will - no choice to love
Him. That's why He created us - to choose to love Him
with all our heart. God doesn't cause the abuse to
He never promised life on earth would be easy. It wasn't
for Jesus when He came. He endured a lifetime of
mockery, rejection, scandal, misunderstanding, lies,
then in the end, betrayal, full-body exposure in front
of His own mother and friends in public, and total
abandonment, even by His own Father. And all the while,
He KNEW He was God, the Son! He could have wiped them
all out for their treatment of Him. But, for the joy set
before Him (us - redeemed by Hid death and
resurrection), He endured the cross. He died for each of
us who call on His name and ask to be His child. He
wants to lavish His love on us as we learn to trust Him
without all the dividing walls of mistrust and defenses.
He promises to be with us in our suffering. He led the
way to show us how to walk in the midst of suffering.
And, for each of us who ask, He promises eternal life,
too. He promises to never leave us or forsake us.
We can blame Him for the abuse and avoid Him and His
love or we can fall at His feet, become His child and
learn to trust His love and protection and turn to Him
for the comfort we need. Ironically, both paths lead to
suffering - one by our own choice; the other with His
Presence to lead, comfort, heal and strengthen us.
May the Grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit
rest with you as you read and ponder these words. Any
response is a good one, if it is honest. You are safe
blasting me, so don't worry about my feelings.
I've raged plenty myself. But this is where I've found
my soul made whole and healed, learned to trust, look
forward to the future and cast away my sorrows - to the
One who promises to carry them all away.