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Healing Your Identity and Sexuality

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 married.)

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 people did!

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 knees, literally.

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 heart.

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 abuse.

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 happen.

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.

Blessings to you all. I love your honest search.