What’s Next – RESTORATION

shutterstock_409053640One of the problems with our fast food, fast transportation, fast internet, and fast communication era is that Some. Things. Take. Time.  We are no longer wired to have the patience it takes to wait for a fully completed project. Patience has to be intentional these days because most of us forget what it really means to wait. Psalm 27:14  tells us, ” Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!

We are God’s masterpiece. If we’ve been broken and flaws have appeared, then there is one place to go to be restored. That is to the artisan. Most of the famous artwork that we know of from the past can’t be restored by the original artist because they’re dead.  Good news! Jesus is alive! We can have the very touch of the Master Himself…it may take some time in cooperation with Him.  Don’t just let the work begin, let Him continue working on you as long as it takes. If we’re humble, we’ll admit that the work will be ongoing.  There is hope, the pain of the past doesn’t have to have a voice in our future.

“God is in the restoration business!”

Joel 2:25-27 (MSG)

“I’ll make up for the years of the locust, the great locust devastation—

Locusts savage, locusts deadly,  fierce locusts, locusts of doom,

That great locust invasion I sent your way.

You’ll eat your fill of good food. You’ll be full of praises to your God,

The God who has set you back on your heels in wonder. Never again will my people be despised. You’ll know without question that I’m in the thick of life with Israel,

That I’m your God, yes, your God,  the one and only real God. Never again will my people be despised.”

“See when the devourer destroys your harvest, he is also destroying your seed for future harvests.”

Brenda Mangen

  • Do you believe that He will restore what the enemy has stolen from you?

Jeremiah 29:11-13 NKJV

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

  • What has been stolen?
    • Hope?
    • Innocence?
    • Peace?
    • Relationships?
    • Good childhood memories?
  • Jesus knows your needs.

Hebrews 4:15 (MSG)

Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So, let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.

  • He understands – so we can trust Him to minister to us exactly as we need Him to. Healing is available to you. Believe you receive.

Isaiah 58:8 (NKJV)

Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.

  • His righteousness goes before you…His glory is your rear guard!  Hallelujah!

“His Glory covers your past. It’s not even the same past because once it’s touched by His Glory it is never the same and neither are you.  The glory turns our pain and shame into His testimony and fame.”

Brenda Mangen

  • Your memory is malleable. Your memories can actually change over time. You can spend so much time focused on what happened that your perception of what happens changes.
  • Caroline Leaf talks about our brains having neuroplasticity. It CAN CHANGE. We know God’s word says that, but guess what? Science agrees. There is hope that we can live anxiety free and PTSD free if you work with the Lord to experience a change in your thought life.

Isaiah 26:3

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You Because he trusts in You.

  • For a thought to manifest in action, it has to have 63 to 84 days of repeated attention. The more time spent focusing on the thought increases the strength of the thought, building it into a strong and influential memory. When we have painful events in our past, we know that God uses them for good in our future.

Romans 8:28 (NKJV)

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:28 (MSG)

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

  • He takes the pain, heartache, and tears from yesterday and they all become part of the masterpiece He has in you. He will use you to testify of His goodness and restoration power.

Isaiah 26:3-4 MSG

People with their minds set on you, you keep completely whole, Steady on their feet, because they keep at it and don’t quit. Depend on GOD and keep at it because in the LORD GOD you have a sure thing.

Who are you? Do you really want to know? Into His word, you must go. Look and see, in Him, you’ll find your identity.

Brenda Mangen

Romans 7:20 The Passion Translation

So, if my behavior contradicts my desires to do good, I must conclude that it’s not my true identity doing it, but the unwelcome intruder of sin hindering me from being who I really am.

He has installed into you immeasurable Greatness and Power!

Ephesians 1:19-21

And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength,

20 Which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places],

21 Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named [above every title that can be conferred], not only in this age and in this world, but also in the age and the world which are to come.

A word from the Lord to me…Quit looking back to circumstantial evidence. Look forward to supernatural sustenance. Joy is your STRENGTH!

Brenda Mangen

  • Be made whole.

Matthew 8:3 (AMP)

And He reached out His hand and touched him, saying, I am willing; be cleansed [a]by being cured. And instantly his leprosy was cured and cleansed.

  • Sometimes I’ve thought of sexual abuse as a kind of leprosy.  It made me feel unclean. Society and sometimes the church reinforced that feeling rather than helped me to be cleansed from it.  That shame came not only from inside me, but it came from others who felt ashamed for me.  It’s ugly and as humans, we don’t want to look at ugliness and it’s simply hard to without the compassion of Jesus.
  • Jesus wants us to hear the same thing that he said to the leper – He is willing – Be made whole.
    • Let go of the past, press toward the good things God has planned for you.

Philippians 3:10-14 AMPC

10 [For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope]

11 That if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body].

12 Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own.

13 I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,

14 I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.

“Look back in forgiveness, forward in hope, down in compassion, and up with gratitude.” 

-Zig Ziglar

 

Tools for Transformation-Meditation

What type of tools do we need for the job?  This is a question that we each must ask as we start any project or endeavor.  If I’m going to be working on a car then I will be looking for mechanic’s tools.  If I’m working on building something out of wood for a house, I will likely need a carpenter’s tools.  How about if you’re cooking a big meal for a potluck or family gathering? Then you will need cooking tools.  The point is, whatever we are doing, we are more productive if we have the right tools for the job.

There are some instances that you can “make do” with a tool that isn’t for the specific purpose you are using it for.  For instance, I’ve been camping and having forgotten the can opener, we ended up using a screwdriver and a crescent wrench to open the can.  The crescent wrench was used like a hammer to pound down on the screwdriver to poke holes around the edge, so that the top of the can could be pulled back enough to get at the pork & beans.  Let me tell you – it would have been SO much easier to just have had a can opener! Not only easier – but safer too.

After we obtain the correct tool for the job, it is important to become well-trained in using the tool.  Otherwise, we don’t get the full benefit of the tool.  I can get by with some tools in the kitchen.  However, if you give me a fancy food processor that slices, dices, chops and puree’s, I guarantee that I would be lost in trying to operate it.  However, I’m pretty sure my sister, who is a wonderful cook, would be able to utilize it to its fullest capacity.  The tool we need for life is God’s Word.  Most people in free countries either own a Bible or have access to a Bible. Unfortunately, many people don’t know how to get the most benefit from it.

What tools do we need for becoming healthy and whole women who are fulfilling our purpose on this earth and not being victims of our past? There are a few, and they are all related to our need to reprogram our soul realm which is our mind, our will and our emotions.  It’s so important to replace those negative thoughts that tell us we will never be able to have good relationships because we will never trust with the truth that God’s love is poured into our heart by the Holy Spirit – Romans 5:5 AMP Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us. With His love we have the capacity to trust again.  When you replace bad thoughts telling you that God doesn’t care with the truth that is given to us in the following verse then you grow in your ability to trust Him. John 3:16 AMP This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.

The primary tool that we need for transforming our life is the Bible. But then to get even more specific, we need to locate the scripture verse(s) that apply to what we need.  Since this blog is dedicated to recovery, in the area of emotional healing for sexual abuse, I’d suggest verses that apply to building your faith that it is God’s will to heal you. There are numerous scriptures that we can memorize and meditate on to build our faith for healing. However, the most important verse for you is the one that the Lord leads you to and that is the one that becomes alive to you. Yes, His Word is ALIVEHebrews 4:12 NLT  For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. We put our trust in the Holy Spirit’s leading us to exactly what we need. If Jesus is your Lord and Savior then you have a direct connection to hearing from Him.  Romans 8:14 NLT  For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

Proverbs 3:5-6  The Message (MSG)

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; Don’t try to figure out everything on your own.  Listen for God’s voice in everything you do,  everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.

Find one or two verses that minister to you. Trust the Lord is leading you to them. Those are the verses that you will meditate on. Write them on an index card. Keep them on your nightstand. Tape them to your bathroom mirror.  Speak them to yourself before bedtime and when you awake.

Psalm 1:2-3 NKJV

But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
    Planted by the rivers of water,
    That brings forth its fruit in its season,
    Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.

The word, meditates, in the verse above is the same Hebrew word, hagah, used in Joshua 1:8.  The Strongs Concordance shows that this Hebrew word, hagah, could also be translated as: mutter, speak, imagine, study, utter or talk.

I’d like to encourage you to take your verse concerning healing and say it out loud. Mutter it.  Utter it putting a different emphasis on each word in the verse.  Say the verse to yourself in your own words – paraphrase it.  This will build your faith. Romans 10:17 says “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  It is imperative that you hear the truth because that will build your faith.  Notice that Romans 10:17 says faith comes by hearing.  It doesn’t say that it comes by reading.  It doesn’t say it comes by having heard.  Faith doesn’t come from wishing.  It comes from hearing the Word of God!  In my opinion, this is your most important tool.  The more skilled you become at wielding the tool of meditating on the God’s Word, the more revelation and the more faith you will acquire to enable you to take hold of the promises of God.

Example: Psalm 107:20 NKJV   He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions.

He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions.   

He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions.

He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions.

He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions.

He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions.

He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions.

He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions.

Emphasize each of the highlighted words as you say the verse out loud.  Think about the emphasized word. He = Who?

Sent=From Where?  His=Jesus? Word=What word? Healed=spirit, soul or body?

Thank the Lord for healing you and delivering you.  Part of meditating on God’s word is also being in communication with the author of His word. The Holy Spirit is your teacher and He’s ready to help you understand His word. Ask Him questions.  Talk to Him.

Make sure to write your verse(s) in your journal and the results of your meditating on them. What did you learn from the Holy Spirit? Did you see something new in that scripture?

This is the first of many tools that we will be talking about over the next few blog entries.

Summary

  • Find a verse or two.
  • Write it down on an index card (a few copies).
  • Put it where you will see it regularly
    • Bathroom mirror
    • Nightstand
    • Refrigerator.
  • Meditate on the verse – mutter it out loud.
  • Ask questions & let the Holy Spirit lead you and teach you
  • Write in your journal the verse(s) that you’ve meditated on and what you’ve learned from the Holy Spirit

 P1020983Here is a song from one of my favorite Artists – Michael W. Smith – “Healing Rain.”  Let it minister to you.

It’s a Journey Not a Vacation

As I was seeking the Lord on what He wanted me to share, I was reminded about the fact that all change, all spiritual growth, all of our strides to be emotionally healthy are, in fact, a lifelong journey.  It is definitely not a vacation because work is involved, as well as the fact that vacations typically have a beginning and an end.  Because of God’s wonderful grace, He only shows us what we need to see. We may not see the end of the path but we trust that He leads us. He is trustworthy. Relax and make a decision right now that you will purpose to find some joy in your journey every day. Ask the Lord to help you and He will.

One of the challenges that I’ve faced is the realization that I will always be repenting, growing, and being changed.   Even when I think that I’ve experienced a great deal of growth in a certain area, the Holy Spirit lovingly enlightens me and shows me that there is a fuller, deeper revelation and furthermore puts a desire in me that compels me to seek for more.  It is not like a task that has a clearly defined beginning and end that I can say is finally finished.  The work of the Holy Spirit is an ongoing life-long process.

As we are determined to go after the roots of destruction that were planted in our soul through sexual abuse we need to be cognizant of the fact that as we excavate and pull weeds out of the soil, there are sometimes other things that are unearthed and pulled to the surface as a result of our digging.   Some of those things may be depression, anxiety, fear and anger.

You may stir up feelings of rejection at work, church, home, in friendships.  Insecurities may rear their ugly head.  Just remind yourself that these are the things that will be directly affected as we take hold of our healing.  Those roots will be plucked up. We are pressing toward the ultimate goal of being spirit led and not emotionally driven.

Don’t get discouraged in the process.  Stay the course. The outcome of walking as a secure, confident, stable, whole child of God is His plan for you so that you can do the things He’s called you to do.

What are some of the things we can do for ourselves to aid us in the journey?

  • Have a trusted friend’s number ready and let them know you may call for support if you hit a rough spot emotionally.
  • Give yourself a break from journaling, grieving, or any other thoughts that may be causing you to feel anxious or overwhelmed. Use positive experiences to refocus your emotions.
    • Pray
    • Read a relaxing book.
    • A Positive Movie or TV show (no violence or stressful situations, etc.).
    • Go fellowship with a friend over coffee.
    • Fun exercise – go for a walk, run, tennis, workout, etc.
    • Take a nap and recharge.
    • Take a bubble bath.
  • Feed yourself healthy meals/snacks. Junk food and emotionally driven eating tends to have the opposite effect than we want – which is comfort.
  • Go to sleep at the same time each night to promote healthy sleep habits.
    • Avoid Sugar or Caffeine in late afternoon/evening.
    • Avoid stressful things toward evening.
      • Bills
      • Intense conversations
    • Have a bedtime routine – Ex. read, drink chamomile tea, brush teeth, pray, sleep.
  • Remember HALT – The devil uses these things to trip us up. Have a plan in place to address each area.
    • Hungry
      • Don’t skip meals. If in between meals then snack on a healthy piece of fruit or cheese stick. If I’m really hungry, my “go to” is a protein bar.
    • Angry
      • Read James 1:19-20 – write it out on an index card.
      • Write down in your journal what, at this exact moment, you feel angry about.
      • Tell yourself the truth about that situation.  Examine your self-talk and redirect your thoughts and words to God’s truth.
    • Lonely
      • While going through this process, if you’re married make sure you are spending quality time with your husband. If you’re single then be sure to have time with family or friends that are supporting you in this recovery. Go be with people that are uplifting. Don’t be around people that are negative during this time.
    • Tired
      • Rest/Nap
      • Try to get enough sleep.
      • Retreat – Sometimes when I’m tired it is a reflection of doing too much, being around people too much, giving out too much. At that point it’s time for me to spend some additional time in God’s Word or praying.  This refuels me.
  • Begin to praise the Lord. Praise stills the enemy and stops the attacks against your mind, will and emotions.
    • Psalm 8:2 – Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants, You have ordained strength, because of Your enemies, that You may silence the enemy and the avenger.
    • Matthew 21:16 – And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’?”

Recovery from the effects of sexual abuse is a process.  It is an emotional journey that can be exhausting at times.  You may ask yourself why am I going through this and will it make a difference.  I believe that if you are committed to the program and let the Holy Spirit do His work in you while in your quiet times, then you will progress.

“Don’t compare your

Chapter 1

to someone else’s

Chapter 20.”

God’s Masterpiece

This blog is written, primarily, with women in mind.  First, I’d like to welcome you to this journey of healing and victory over the effects of sexual assault, molestation, incest, or sexual abuse of any kind.  My heart’s desire is that as I share what I’ve learned that it will help you on your road to recovery and complete wholeness – SHALOM.

According to Strong’s Concordance 7965 Shalom means completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord.  Shalom means to be complete, perfect and full.

We will experience new heights as we focus on renewing our mind and becoming secure in our identity as Women of Victory Enjoying Newness – WOVEN in His Grace.

Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

We are leaving the identity of being a victim, and taking hold of our identity in Christ as being victorious.  As we realize our true identity, then we can do the things God has planned for us.  What happened to us in the past was meant, by the enemy of our soul, to distort God’s plan for our life.  But thank God that Jesus is in the restoration business.  What was once considered to be a broken vase, that was shattered into hundreds of pieces, is now under the hand of our Creator and Artist, a beautiful masterpiece.  That’s me and that’s you when you yield your life and your brokenness to the hand of the Potter.

When a piece of art is being appraised for its value, one of the important steps in identifying its value is in verifying its authenticity.  This is oftentimes done by observing the flaws that the piece has obtained over time or possibly even created with.  Now God doesn’t make mistakes.  What we may see as an imperfection may very well be the thing that makes us unique and wonderful.

To truly understand what a masterpiece is worth, we watch to see what someone is willing to pay for it.  Even the auction houses, that sell rare works of art, are oftentimes amazed at what someone will pay beyond an estimated value. Well, the ultimate price was paid for you. God gave His very life in His Son,Jesus Christ.  You are the masterpiece that he purchased. The only caveat is that you have to allow Him to redeem you.  He won’t make you free unless you want to be.

The first step in being able to function as the masterpiece God created us to be is by grieving for that child, adolescent or young woman that had their “normal” life taken away at the hands of someone else.  We have no control over other people and we will deal with forgiveness in a future post.  But for now, I just want you to allow yourself to remember that child-person that you were before. The innocence before the hurt.  We will address grieving for that person on a future post. I want to be sure that we properly acknowledge the grief.

I’d like to encourage you to grab a notebook, it doesn’t have to be anything fancy, and participate in taking notes, answering some of the questions that I will put forth, write down some things to think about and also to journal your experience through this journey.  I believe you will be amazed after looking back through your journal to see how far you will have come.  mhauxqi