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Child Abuse / SRA vs. God's Heart

A survivor writes: I was asked an excellent question today. After writing a response, I decided to post it here. At some point in our healing, this question almost has to arise. The timing for each of us is different. While these insights may take some time to absorb, finding answers to this question has tremendous healing potential. I hope you will print it out to labor over in safety. I've answered from the depths of my heart. The question now follows. Blessings to you!

"Why did satan choose to attack a small child's sexuality, knowing she would carry it for the rest of her life? Did he just want to destroy me? I feel so guilty and ashamed. I understand that my dad was the one who did this to me, but I still have been feeling so guilty for the things I've done in the past and sometimes for the things I still do."

Answers regarding sexual abuse follow, and at the bottom, I've taken it a step further for SRA. Please don't read any further than you can but please save it for when you can. This question is a huge springboard for healing and is worth the risk but personal safety comes first.

a. Who satan is and his merciless war against God and His creations;
b. God's heart vs. an abuser's heart
c. SRA - satan takes it one step further

Who satan is and his merciless war against God and His creations

Scripture points out that satan is a liar, thief and a destroyer. he wants desperately to hurt God in any way he can. and he is the continual accuser of God's children. he knows he will ultimately lose his rebellious war but tries to keep us from reaching out to God. If we do reach out to God and accept Jesus into our hearts, he tries to do everything he can to keep us from ever connecting with God in a way that God desires most - knowing the height, depth, width and breadth of Jesus' incredibly deep and lavish love for us.

Our experiential walk of trust with Jesus is the foundation for real fellowship and sweet intimacy with Him that we are designed as God's children to enjoy. That fellowship is why God created us in the first place. To know God and enjoy Him forever. What better assault on God than to assault the heart of a child before they are old enough to even know what damage is being done to them?

satan is insidious and can't create anything on his own so counterfeits everything that God really is, making it easier to reject God's love and nature if we are hurt by any of his counterfeits. satan hates it that God has children - and created human beings to be in loving fellowship with Him. satan can't create; he can't create children. satan knows God well. he was an angel of light and enjoyed God's presence before his arrogance and prideful rebellion against God. satan knows the incredible expanse of God's pure love. he was there. he basked in that love as the worship leader before his rebellion (desire to BE God). satan knows if we, as God's children, get the slightest taste of God's goodness and heart, he will forever lose any stronghold on our lives.

Who would refuse such purity, love and security if we experienced just a taste? The slightest taste of God's pure love would create an insatiable hunger and thirst for more (like a new couple getting to know each other - they increasingly spend time together, much to the exclusion of everyone and everything else). satan sets out to make sure no one gets that taste - or determines to ruin our connectors that make matching up with God impossible. And where better to start than in the trusting, open, vulnerable heart of a child? satan knows how to hurt God where it hurts - in the hearts of children, created by God, Himself for His pleasure and our pleasure and good.

God's Heart vs. an abusers heart

When we have been hurt by someone's actions, and then encounter something that "feels" the same from God, we instinctively avoid the pain and move away, saying, "No thanks. Been there, done that." We lose the gifts God has for us because we recoil from the pain of the last encounter. satan knows he may lose this war on the eternal destiny of our souls but he tries his best to keep anyone from accepting God's payment for our sin. Many will accept Jesus into their hearts but he also knows God IS love. Love permeates His entire Being. If satan can keep us from breaking through, separating God's nature from the lies we learned through hurtful experiences and abuse, satan still wins - I may gain eternal life through Jesus Christ, but never experience the joy of intimately being connected to God through Jesus Christ and enjoying the safety, security and love that He offers me here as His beloved child.

I will have salvation and a head knowledge of God's goodness but no intimacy; no joy. God's design is to reveal His nature in the hearts of godly parents for their children. Godly parents role-model sacrificial love and trustworthy hearts to children, making it very easy to transfer their trust to a loving heavenly Father. A child rests in God's incredible Daddy heart just as they run to their earthly Daddy for everything.

What better way to really hurt the deepest heart of God than to destroy the very connectors to God in the tender hearts of children through sexual abuse? Sexual abuse implants fear of intimacy, inability to trust, fear of authority, silence, secrecy, betrayal of love, protection, nurturing, restlessness, and an inability to receive (or connect to) love, security, value, being cherished, respected, etc.) in the unsuspecting heart of a trusting child. It is soul murder.

The enemy of our souls thinks if he can use the unhealed wounds in another person to assault a child sexually, that child loses all connectors to God's open invitation to intimacy with Him. satan forgets, though, the magnitude of God's power and gentle strength in rebuilding what was thought permanently ruined through abuse. satan mocks God for being patient, gentle, merciful, loving and kind. Through sexual abuse, a child learns to distrust all of these offers. But God knows love conquers all. He patiently waits for us to struggle over separating out His pure love over the "love" we've been force-fed in abuse as children.

My difficulty in this journey is that God's ways seem so similar to the abusers. But - His heart is in NO way the same as abusers! Knowing His heart is what sets us free. Learning to trust what He reveals about Himself in Scripture and accepting that as Truth about what He is like (not what was role-modeled or what we were told). The Truth is, God is in control. His love is available as I learn to trust Him. He is the Potter, I am the clay. He wants me moldable, pliable in His hands. He makes the rules. I learn to live by them to experience the fullest of His goodness for me. Trust is the basis for my relationship with Him. That means I risk first. (I can tell you all day that I am trustworthy but you will never experience that unless you take a risk with me. Only my response to your risk will tell you if I am trustworthy. When you take increasing risks with me, you find me increasingly trustworthy and we are build a history of trust. It is the same way with God.)

As I dare risk with God and find Him faithful, I have the courage to risk again. I can look back on this history of trust when facing a deeper risk - and say, "He was faithful all these other times, I will dare to risk with Him on this issue." God's heart is faithful and true. Scripture gives us the foundation by telling us the truth of God's faithfulness and loving kindness. I don't begin my adventure with Him until I start taking risks with Him to find out for myself that He is faithful and good to ME. God's heart is pure love. God is patient. He desires the BEST for me.

As I said, it seems God's ways are so similar to the abusers. The huge difference is their hearts. Their motives. Their intents toward me. God teaches that He is in control. I am not. I hear that and my history (or past) rises up and says, "I will never let anyone control me ever again!!!" God understands my wounded heart and doesn't force me. But the truth of Who He is will never change. I need to change my resistance to embrace God's truth. The huge difference is His heart. God is in no way an abuser. His heart cannot be bad in any single facet. He is pure love, complete truth, fully trustworthy, full of mercy, grace and compassion. He is gentle strength.

The enemy uses sexual abuse to terrify us of someone being in control, of requiring that we embark on an adventure of risking and trusting (building a history of trust with God), of becoming increasingly dependent and vulnerable as a child. "We've been there, done that, and learned never to let down our guard lest the pain devour us again." God knows that becoming like little children and trusting Him (in His love, might, power and Fatherhood) is the only way into the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth. He will forever be our Father, our Daddy.

As His children, He longs for us to run TO Him, not away from Him. He wants to expose all the areas we run away from Him and let us risk learning to trust Him there and find Him trustworthy. If I really knew the depths of God's love for me in those areas I run from Him, I wouldn't run away, I would run to Him with my fears and hurts, trusting in His love above all else. Sexual abuse ruins the natural inclination of a child to run to the safety of God's loving arms. Parenting is God's means to make it easy for a child to trust God. But when sexual abuse comes in, those connectors to godly role-modeling of love are destroyed.

An abuser's heart is incredibly wicked. He demands. He demands to be in control. An abuser demands the trust of a child. An abuser tries to steal, not redeem, the soul of a child. An abuser ravages the innocence of a child. An abuser uses a child to satisfy themselves. (God is NOT like this! But satan is! - beware). An abuser doesn't know the meaning of the word love. It's been destroyed in them a long time ago. They've surrendered to the deceitful ploys of satan and are fully deceived. As a result, children lose every connector they are naturally born with to connect to a loving, trusting relationship to a loving, trustworthy God and Father. Our only solace is that God is far bigger than satan.

God allows the tender spirit of a child to be preserved in dissociation and splitting so that the abuser cannot take that from the child. God keeps what only belongs to God (our spirit) until we can make that choice for Him later on. The abusers want to own our souls. What grace that God allows us to creatively hide the core of our being from the abusers! God waits until we are older and patiently begins to woo our hearts with His love. He helps us tear down those defenses (from abuse), restore our fragmented will and God, Himself, restores the connectors to His love experientially.

It means confronting much pain and many lies we've believed about ourselves from the abuse. Lies we've believed about God, our abusers and others. It means hanging onto God for increasing revelation of God's heart for us and daring to risk when my whole insides scream of the anguish of past risking and trusting people. But God's heart is not at all like the abusers. Only as I test that out, will I begin to taste the goodness of God that satan meant to permanently destroy in my heart as a child.

What testimonies of God's gentle strength when children survive such abuse (mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually), and still, ultimately become tender, vulnerable, dependent children of God, trusting in and relying on God ! ! for everything like a child does with a godly parent!!!! God's love conquers all. Perfect love casts out fear. Love heals deep wounds and restores ravages souls. Love rebuilds the most broken heart. It's the complete devestation of satan's plans for us. God's purposes and plans for us, His children are far greater than the enemy can ever bring to fruition. We are trophies of God's immense grace and powerful redemptive love.

I long for the day when, as the fruits of my healing visible for all to see and enjoy, satan is sorry for ever touching me!! I am in passionate pursuit of dwelling in sweet fellowship and intimacy with Jesus and God my Father. I look forward to moving back the gates of hell and seeing the wounded restored out of passionate devotion to the One who restored my shattered soul. The enemy lost when he touched me with such devastation. What satan meant for pure evil, God, in the richness of His pure love, has redeemed and restored for my good and eternal joy!

SRA - satan takes it one step further

In SRA, satan builds on the platform of sexual abuse and further counterfeits every good gift God has given to us to remind us of His love and truth of who He IS. The very good things of baptism, reconciliation at His altar, communion, His lavish love for us in His voluntary and sinless death on the cross, His extraordinary demonstration of incredible might and power in His resurrection defeating death while offering grace and redemption in glorious power -- these are all hideously counterfeited.

When, later in life, I encounter these life-changing truths in my relationship with Jesus and Scripture, old wounds build a barricade of defense against the pain I already experienced in the counterfeits. I may keep a wonderful "head" knowledge of those truths, but lost my connector to it through the incredible pain endured in the counterfeits and abuse. I can't possibly allow that pain to be experienced, so I refuse the gifts God has because they remind me of that pain. It's not a conscious decision on my part; it's automatic. It will ultimately become my choice, my decision as God patiently lavishes love on me and gently breaks down my defense system and woos me to dare trust Him in increasing measure to be different than the abusers.