My husband and I have had conversations with my son about hiking in the Grand Canyon. Now, none of us are consistent hikers so it would be a lot safer for us if we were to hire a guide in navigating the terrain. I live in Arizona and there are many dangers here, heat being just one of them. There are indigenous creatures that we don’t want to accidentally rile up. We really need help if we are to embark on this adventure. So it is with us in this adventure of recovering from abuse. We need help. The good news is Jesus Christ came to help and then He left the Holy Spirit here on the earth to be our Helper, Comforter, Counselor and much more. I hope you reach with your heart to Him and freely receive His help through this process.
We all fail in our own efforts. None of us has the ability, in ourselves, to be anything without complete surrender. There can be no “faking it.” He can’t heal what is not revealed.
For me, after grieving for the hurt little girl, I needed to just come to the point where I had to be willing to admit to the adult Brenda that she had some major issues. Some of them were not as obvious as others. It was painfully evident in my failure to have decent relationships. I only knew dysfunction, I expected it, and I drew dysfunction to myself. It wasn’t just my male relationships but my female friendships that suffered. We won’t even touch on family relationships right now. I trusted no one.
I grew up with such a high level of secrecy surrounding all the gross things that happened in my family. I’ve found, in speaking with many people who grew up in the midst of incest, alcoholics, drug addicts, sex addicts or, whatever type of problem(s) that was prevalent in the family, that there was an unspoken, or possibly loudly spoken, rule – nobody tells. Don’t let the neighbors know what goes on behind these closed doors. The very habit of hiding keeps what’s lurking in the darkness from being exposed in the light.
From the time when I moved out on my own at the tender age of 15, I’d known that I was broken and was trying to find out how to fix it. I looked into all the fads, psycho-cybernetics, and self-help books of all kinds and finally decided on psychology. In my part-time, alternative high school, I started pursuing that as a possible career path. I even interned for a semester at a mental health facility. All to realize that no matter how much I performed the steps in the process that was given me…I was still the same. I could think better for a season. I could act better for a time but eventually my willpower would simply get worn out.
I began to feel that there was no real hope. I discovered that I pretty much hated myself. I hated how I felt; I hated what I thought about; I hated what I was willing to do just to feel loved. So, what did I do? I went back into hiding, emotionally. I started to live the “fake it ’til you make it” mantra. Never let anyone see you in pain. My best defense, at the time, was to stay high on pot. That way, it minimized how I felt and helped me live in my fantasy world where everything was alright. It was a place where I could lie to myself, that I was okay. Never rock the boat. All the while I started to not feel at all – not good, not bad, and I just knew emptiness. I really didn’t care if I lived or died.
It wasn’t until I surrendered to Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior that I was able to actually know that something in my very nature changed. That is what was missing before, even after doing psychological calisthenics. Please know that this is not a commentary on psychology. It has it’s place. This is a testimony of understanding that real change begins at the deepest part of us. Our spirit.
Maybe you are like me, in that you just totally believe that you can go through the motions and pretend that you are okay? It might have worked for a while, or so you lied to yourself. Maybe you’ve just decided that it really doesn’t matter enough to make the effort to want to be emotionally healthy? Maybe you are already a Christian but are still dealing with the remnants of things that you suspect are linked back to the incest, molestation or abuse as the root cause. Maybe, because you are a Christian, you feel pressure from some to automatically be healed, so since faith is an action – you act healed. Now you pretend that you don’t secretly feel pain, abandonment, rejection, shame, etc. Well, whoever you are, wherever you are in this journey, there is a path to wholeness. There is hope. There is healing available to you.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. –Jeremiah 29:11
The most important step in any recovery, in my view, is that we get to the point that we admit that we need help. We surrender to the Lord and commit to a plan that compels us to seek Him for wisdom walking through this journey to health. We will spend a scheduled time with Him daily. We will read His Word, and we will talk over what we read with Him. We will listen to what He’s saying to us. Let Him love on you. We will have our journal ready. We will write down what we hear Him saying to us and also whatever questions we have for Him.
You see, a key to being healthy, is thinking healthy. As we are surrendering, we are letting His Word & Spirit begin to renew us in our mind. The more we look into the mirror of God’s Word, the more we see the image from the mirror begin to take shape in our life. We begin to believe what we see, and then start to look like the person God created us to be. No, this doesn’t happen in a week, a month or even a year. It’s a lifelong process. However, you will see results in your life before you know it – so don’t delay. Consistency is the key. Don’t give up.
I will be giving you little scripture assignments for each week. You will read the verse given, if you want to go the extra mile – read 10 verses before and after the one given so that you can understand the context. Then, I will give you some jogger questions to help you in seeking the Lord so that He can reveal to you how the verses apply to you.
Here is the meditation scripture for you to start off with this week.
Ephesians 4:21-24 – I encourage you to read this in at least 2 different translations or more if possible. These are the ones I recommend. New Living Translation (NLT), Amplified (AMP), The Message (MSG), New King James Version (NKJV). Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you in your reading, thinking and meditating of these verses.
- What do you think it means to be deceived? What is the dictionary’s definition of deception?
- What is verse 24 asking you to put on? What do you think that means? Ask the Lord what He means for you to do.
- What does it say corrupts us?
- What are we to do with our old life, old thoughts, and old habits?
- Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you how to apply these verses to one thing, maybe a bad habit, this week. Write down in your journal how you will work on that one thing and pray. Ask for God’s grace to do it.
- Write the following verse on a piece of paper or an index card and put it on your mirror in your bathroom, if possible.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
– Philippians 4:13
We are beginning to build an image of the new you.
You are His Masterpiece!