My next assignment on my journey to wholeness was to read the book The Wounded Heart by Dr. Dan B. Allender which deals with childhood sexual abuse and the need to work through the pain, no matter what it takes to find healing. As I started reading, a passage spoke to me. It talked about honoring God and that the best way to honor God was to choose to change. I wanted to change, because I wanted to honor God and what He has planned for my life.
At this time I also added a new verse to the list that I wrote in my journal every day. Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need” (NAS). I knew that I was going to have to find grace and mercy in my time of need as I read further in the book.
As I read further, I came across the revelation that God is committed to my complete healing and, because He is, He can use any situation or hard time I have endured in His wisdom to bring great joy and fulfillment to my life. When I read that passage, I prayed then and there for God to use all that had happened to me so that I could find that fulfillment and joy.
But I still struggled with repressed memories of what had happened to me, so how could God use “all that had happened” if I could not remember it all myself? Why couldn’t I remember everything from my childhood? During the next few days after making the decision to let God use “everything that is me” for His divine purpose, I started experiencing a sick stomach, throbbing pains, tears, and fear. I became afraid of the dark, always feeling as if someone were coming to get me. I began to dream troubling dreams.
Every day, I wrote in my journal the phrases that God had given me. Over and over again I would write that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, that I can find grace and mercy in time of need, that I am free from any condemning charges against me.
Still, I experienced anxiety attacks over the simplest things, and I began to binge-eat. And again I started obsessing about a certain person who had hurt me. I kept waiting for those repressed memories from my childhood to come forth—for God to use in my healing—but they never came. My counselor encouraged me to pray for the Lord to give me pleasant dreams instead of haunting nightmares. I was skeptical, but I did it, and God answered my prayer. This prayer was an example of my drawing near to God with confidence as He promises in Hebrews. I prayed, and my bad dreams stopped.
For whatever reason, even though I wanted to recall those repressed memories, the time was not right for that to happen. Instead, God helped me in other ways. Looking back in my journal, I see three specific things that God did to help me through this difficult time.
The first thing that God showed me was that, if I am free from condemning charges, then I must stop condemning others, particularly the “problem person” who was plaguing me so. Wow! I had to confess my sin and give that person over to God. Then God reminded me of how he had used friends and strangers to encourage me. On two different occasions recorded in my journal, friends just texted me out of the blue to offer words of kindness, not knowing how badly I needed to receive them. And a phone call from a total stranger had miraculously and unexpectedly brightened a particularly dark day. The third thing that I realized was that I do have the power to control my eating. God had already given me the authority not to binge-eat, gain weight, and despise myself for it. For you see, I am fearfully and wonderfully made. With confidence I knelt before the throne of God and asked and received His strength to overcome this situation.
My word of encouragement to you today is for you to honor God and surrender your life so that He can work in His way, in His time to bring you joy and fulfillment. I wanted so badly to remember those repressed memories so that I could move on, but instead He used this time to show me other things that needed to come first. Maybe tomorrow will be my day of remembering, but today I am going to rest in Him and believe that He is working for my best interests.
What about you? Are you trying to rush what God has for your healing? Are you being impatient, wanting it to be done now? That’s how I was, but now I am going to rest in His grace and mercy. Come sit with me. Let’s just rest today and gather strength for the hard work that still lies ahead of us. He knows best.
Blessings – Lisa