A New Mindset

I experienced a genuine breakthrough at my latest counseling session. I have been struggling to understand the various personas who live inside me, not really understanding my fractured state. Please understand that I do not “lose” portions of time or have multiple personalities that take over my life, but, in my case, different personas live inside me, safeguarding some of my emotions. In particular, the little girl who lives in me is especially withdrawn and emotionally closed down. She is the one who took the memory of my sexual trauma away from me, along with the feelings associated with that abuse. In effect, she has been protecting me for over 50 years by blocking those memories.

However, I have been able to reconcile some of my other splintered pieces and gather them back to myself.  I have even learned not to fear those other personas but rather to love them for the roles that they have played in keeping me safe and sane through the years. Now that I acknowledge and recognize them, they have appeared to me during periods of fear or anxiety and helped me through those difficult times. But I have a different sort of relationship with the little girl.

I have not been able to allow her to come forward, because I have been deathly afraid of what she will reveal to me. If what happened to me as a child was so horrible that I completely blocked it out of my memory and consequently my personality fractured, then how am I going to handle the memory today? To be honest, I have been horribly afraid to learn the truth of what happened to me as a child. During the past year, bits and pieces of that devastating experience have risen to the surface of my consciousness, and they have been extremely difficult to handle.

I am amazed at how the body remembers things from the past so vividly that it is as if you are actually reliving and feeling them again. When this has happened to me during a counseling session, I have unintentionally—or maybe intentionally—put a stop to it and refused to go any further. I did not want to relive the pain and horror of the past. I was perfectly content for the little girl to go back into hiding and she was perfectly content to retreat behind that closed door.

Unfortunately, the negative consequence of my refusal to face the little girl was that, when she went away, she took some of my feelings away with her. For years I have struggled with feeling numb inside, but now I am just tired of feeling that way. I have worked on my marriage, using exercises designed to improve my relationship with my husband, but the numbness remained. I yearned to be different from how I was, and finally came to the conclusion that the only way to be truly whole again was to let the little girl step forward during counseling. I had to meet her face-to-face.

So I went into counseling the next time with a new mindset. I made up my mind not to be afraid. I would let the little girl say everything that needed to be said. Joshua 1:9 admonishes us, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go (NAS).” I had trembled before, but not today! I would be strong and courageous because I knew that God would be with me and help me face anything that the little girl shared. So I allowed her to share, and she did. As a result, more healing came into my heart and mind. And, though it was hard and worthwhile, it was not terrifying or horrible.

Is there something in your life that you are afraid to face? Is it something that would bring healing and move you toward wholeness? Know and believe this Truth: God is with us wherever we go. No matter how hard or how terrifying you think it will be, God is with you. Stop trembling. Do not be dismayed. Do whatever it is that you need to do to bring healing to those hurting places.

Blessings – Lisa

Faithful and True

Even after years of counseling, I was still fighting a black presence in my life that lingered on. I was stuck, unable to move on, unable to overcome. I needed a quiet time again, and so God gave me one. After a long battle with health issues, the time finally arrived for me to have a hysterectomy. Following the surgery, I stayed on the couch in my pajamas for two weeks, and God used that time to work on my heart and to share some of His Truths with me.

In particular, God led me to a devotional in the book Come Away, My Beloved by Frances J. Roberts. This is the passage that spoke directly to me:

“You are in My hands. You are not keeping yourself; I am keeping you. If I choose to hide you away, it is for a purpose. If I wish to give you a time of rest, it is for thine own good. Nothing is amiss that is in My will. Do not think that it will be as times in the past. I have deeper lessons to teach you.” (Page 148)

So I began to wonder just what deep lesson God meant for me to learn concerning the black presence in my life. And, when I least expected it, I found the lesson on TV, not from an evangelist but from a character on a television drama.

This fictional character had been shot in the chest and bore a terrible scar on her chest that symbolized the incident and reminded her of the fear that now filled her life. Throughout the episode, she battled her fear alone and would not accept help from anyone. At the end of the episode, her conversation with a counselor caught my attention and I rewound the scene and wrote down what was said. In essence, the character believes that being wounded by a gunshot has defined her and made her who she is. She longs to be more than that, but she does not know how to make peace with the scars on her heart. She asks, “How do I do it?” Thoughtfully, the counselor replies that the real question should be, “Are you ready?”

For some reason, that dialogue opened a dam within my heart and my tears began to flow. I was in physical pain at the time, recovering from surgery, unable to lift anything, and confined to the couch. I wanted to do more than just take it easy. But I knew that I had to be patient and let my body heal, and that afterwards the scars would just be scars and would not hurt any more.

Similarly, I had let the emotional scars from my past define who I was and was still suffering their painful effects. I said that I wanted to be different, but in reality I feared learning the whole truth of what had happened. I live in pain, asking myself, “How do I do it?” when perhaps I should be asking, “Am I ready?” I searched my heart and knew that the honest answer was no. I was not ready. In fact, I was afraid of the memories and the emotional trauma that my black persona holds. So, what next, Lord?

Another passage from the devotional book answered that question for me:

“I would spare you if I could do so in love; but this kind of protecting love would be false, and would rob you of much treasure. I only love you truly as I give you My best. My best cannot come to you without pain, even as it could not come to the Lord Jesus without pain. Pain is the result of sin, true, but sin is still an existing problem to be dealt with. It must be grappled with. I want to make you strong. I have brought you to this place. Make the most of it.” (Page 148)

What happened to me as a child was the sin of another person, but I needed to deal with it, to move on and become strong. And I needed to address my own sin of not trusting God to be with me through the healing process and to ask forgiveness for my fear and doubt. That was the real issue, the deeper lesson that God was trying to teach me.

God led me to Revelation 21:5, “And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ And He said, ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true’” (NASB). Yes, God alone can make all things new, heal all scars, and take away all pain. He alone can make me more than I am today. I believe that the words He has given me are Faithful and True. I truly do want to make the most of my counseling and confront the black enigma in my life.

What about you? Do you have a scar that will not heal, that keeps you stuck in your pain? Is the real issue your readiness to heal? If so, let’s ask God for the strength to be ready. Let’s ask Him to take away our fear and replace it with action. Only then can we ask the question, “How do I do it?” and really mean it. Let’s do it today, for He promises that He can make all things new. I cannot wait. How about you?

Blessings – Lisa

How Precious and Vast is God’s Love for Me

I am very assignment-driven. But one of the most difficult homework assignments that my counselor ever gave me centered on my closet, or more specifically on my need to dress and undress inside my closet. For you see, I did not want my husband ever to see me without clothes. I had not always been that way but, as my sexual issues became more and more intense, I became more and more adamant about not being seen naked.

I did not want my dear husband to see me while I dressed or bathed. I demanded that my “bathroom time” be totally mine, even though my husband and I share a bathroom and walk-in closet. Admittedly, some of this reluctance was due to the weight that I had gained through the years, but mostly I just did not want to be seen.

Then, as if this problem was not bad enough, it escalated to include my not wanting to be seen during our intimate times. That meant that sex occurred in total darkness—no lights, under the covers, and wearing as much clothing as possible. Of course, this was a very difficult and frustrating problem for our marriage.

When I confided in my counselor, she gave me a new set of assignments. I was to stand in front of the mirror at home fully clothed and make a list of the things that I liked about my body. After that, I was to repeat the exercise but without clothing, making a new list of what I liked about my body. And all the while, I was to remember the verse that had been with me since the beginning of counseling and to say that verse aloud every day: “For I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14, NASB). The Psalmist continues in verse 17, “How precious also are your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them!”

Revisiting my journal from this time, I realize that it took me a full week to write anything positive after looking at myself fully clothed. Then I needed an additional two weeks before I could undress and look at myself in the mirror. It was a very difficult assignment. However, as I tried my best to fulfill my counselor’s instructions, I finally started seeing a few things that are unique to me as a person: my hands, my good complexion, my hair, a little crooked place on my left ear. I had a list!

About this same time, I saw an episode of What Not to Wear that centered on the unhealthy issue of using clothes to hide your body. The client receiving the makeover was experiencing exactly the same problem that I was fighting. Like me, she felt shame and guilt, and longed to be invisible. Through the television show, God reminded me that I am not alone. I’m not the only woman going through such a journey.

I wish I could tell you that I was instantly healed overnight. Thankfully, things have gotten better. I still have a way to go, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. I believe that God’s thoughts toward me are precious and vast, and I remember that my husband loves me very much.

Do you dress in the closet and try to hide yourself from your loved one? Has this impulse caused a problem with your spouse? Then I want you to repeat along with me, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Say it again, and believe that God’s thoughts toward you are immeasurable. All the oceans of the world could not contain them.

Do not let your abuser win this situation and take those priceless truths from your mind. No! Again I tell you from God’s own Word, YOU ARE fearfully and wonderfully made! Believe it, and come out of your closet. Come out of the darkness, out from under the covers. You are so very precious to our God, and He wants you to live a life of light and freedom. Let’s believe it, and let’s start today.

Journeying To A New Land

As I walked along my journey and finally began to address my sexual issues, strong new emotions began to surface. As soon as I opened one door, the feelings that had been stuffed away for so long flooded over me. One of those emotions was anger. I was angry because I felt so alone. I felt as if I could not tell anyone else about my problems with my husband. I had a terrible secret that threatened to explode from within me. I became furious with my husband over minor infractions. For example, he was late one day when we were helping our daughter move to a new apartment, and you would have thought that he had committed a felony by the anger that washed over me. Poor guy.

As weeks passed, my anger flared up more and more often, and over the littlest things. So, again I knew I had to discern the truth about the situation. The truth was, of course, that I was not alone concerning my sexual problems. God was with me, and the knowledge of that truth was enough to help me. God gave me Psalm 37:7-9, “Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret, it leads only to evildoing, for evildoers will be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land” (NAS).

Satan certainly wanted to carry out evil schemes against me, but I was commanded to rest in the Lord and not to fret. I had to release my anger because anger only leads to evildoing. As a result of letting my anger go, I would inherit a new land, and this new land is my marriage. God had promised me that my marriage would be restored. I chose to believe God’s word and to be patient in the work that He was doing in my life.

Another of the emotions that attacked me was hopelessness. I did not feel as if I were changing fast enough. In fact, I did not feel that I would ever really change. Again, I had to look at the truth of the situation, the truth that my marriage could be restored and that God can work miracles. I cried out to God to help me believe this truth and soon began to feel peace and hope. In Psalm 37 I found another promise. Verses 10-11 say, “Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; and you will look carefully for his place, and he will not be there. But the humble will inherit the land, and will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.” Abundant prosperity—that was what I was going to hope for. Then one day I would be able to look back and see that my hopelessness had been replaced by healing and wholeness. What a promise to cling to in my time of need!

Along with anger and hopelessness, I also experienced fear during this period of my journey, especially fear of making decisions. For some reason, I started feeling as if whatever I said or did had no value. I felt voiceless and worthless. I felt bad about myself, caught in that never-ending cycle of negativity. Would it ever end? As I discussed my predicament in counseling, I was given a new assignment: to be more assertive about what I really wanted to do in my life. That assignment was more difficult than it sounds, because I realized that I really did not know what I liked or what I wanted. I had to figure out what was important and meaningful to me. Over the years, I had retreated so much into myself that I had become a non-person without likes or desires. So this assignment turned into an adventure.

In Psalm 37:23-24, the Psalmist says, “The steps of a man are established by the LORD; and He delights in his way. When he falls, he shall not be hurled headlong; because the LORD is the One who holds his hand.” With these verses, the Lord assured me that he delighted in me, and that I was a person with meaning and purpose in my life. If I did stumble, He was there to hold my hand and lead me in the way I was to walk. Oh, how I needed to hear that word. I chose again to believe the truth, that I am a person of worth.

What truths do you need to claim? Satan wants to steal, kill, and destroy your life, but God wants to give you a new land, abundant prosperity, and meaning and purpose to your life. Give Him those hurtful emotions and believe with me that there is hope, hope for a new life that is blessed and happy. Believe. Let’s take God’s hand and walk with Him in the delightful way He has for us.

Blessings – Lisa

From A Black Maze to A Place of Contentment

At a certain point in my counseling, I realized that I had “hit a wall” in my healing process. There was a blackness in my mind that I could not penetrate, and I felt as if some hidden thing lurking inside me was holding me in bondage. I was right on the edge of working through this obstacle, but I just could not get through the black maze. Memories were trapped there in the blackness.

My counselor advised me to create a “safe place” to which I could retreat when the time finally came that I did penetrate that blackness and begin to drive it away, a place in my mind where I could rest whenever my emotions or thoughts became too upsetting or too hard to handle. This exercise also included choosing a name for my safe place. I chose the name Contentment. According to the dictionary, contentment is the state of being contented, and contented means feeling satisfaction with one’s possessions, status, or situation. Contentment is a feeling of calm satisfaction.

On the very day that I created my place of Contentment, after I left my counseling session, my new feeling of calm satisfaction was put to the test. When I got home, I realized that one of my pet cats was missing. You may remember that God had sent me two cats that had become sources of real joy to me, so to find that one of them was gone made me very sad. As I sat and meditated about the situation, I realized that my accustomed response to this type of challenge would have been extreme sadness accompanied by weeping and deep depression.

However, this time I felt different. I felt sad, but there was also a calmness about me. I felt contentment in the situation because my sadness was not controlling my life. I knew that I could move on and not be defeated by my extreme emotions. Some people may not consider this to be a very important thing, but to me it was a huge accomplishment. It was a great victory in my life. And I knew that my winning these battles in the small things would prepare me for the larger battles along my path to healing.

As the week progressed, I used my new place of Contentment to deal with other stressful situations, including a confrontational encounter with a difficult person. God used these opportunities to build my confidence.

In Psalm 27:1-4 He says, “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident” (NIV).

I may have that blackness in my mind for now, but God is the light that will shine through it. I will not fear. The Lord will be my stronghold and help me advance toward healing and wholeness. I will not be afraid. Even though emotions and bad memories try to ruin my life, attack me, and beat me down, I will be confident. God has helped me with the small battles so that I can win the big ones.

Verses 5-6 tell me, “For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in his dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.” Oh what joy to be safe in His dwelling and to be on a rock, not hidden in a cave somewhere cowering from the enemy! I can declare with the Psalmist what is written in verses 13-14: “I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Yes! I am confident that goodness will come out of all that I have experienced and all that I will experience in the future. But for now I must wait. I will be strong and I will wait.

Is there some difficult thing in your future that holds the key to your healing? Do you, too, need to find a safe place? What is the word that God has just for you? Rest in this assurance: God wants to keep you safe in your day of trouble. You are a victor, and God wants to set you high on a rock for all to see. Have confidence and wait on Him. Wait, and be strong.

Blessings – Lisa

Peace Of Mind, Even In Stressful Situations

Mother knows best. My mother taught me that there are some things in life that have to be done annually. Every year I get my teeth cleaned and my eyes checked. And I have taught my children—and my husband—to do the same thing, too. I read somewhere that having all these annual appointments during the same month of the year, your birthday month, allows you always to know when to go. So when your children are grown and on their own, they can always remember when to get their teeth cleaned and their eyes checked.

For me, of course, these annual appointments also include the dreaded obstetrical appointment. Every year, during my birthday month, I go for my annual exam. Like many women, I really despise my yearly checkup. Then, as I got older, the annual mammogram was thrown into the mix. I have never been able to make myself self-examine my breasts, probably because of residual effects of my abuse. I have read about the benefits of doing monthly self-exams, and I know in theory how to do them, but I just cannot.

At some point, I became aware that my stress level during this month of annual doctors’ visits was increasing. In particular, I realized that as the doctors’ appointments approached I would start binge-eating and often gain several pounds just in time for my annual weigh-in. Over the course of several years, I discovered that my weight-gains followed a cycle. The anticipation of my annual physical was so traumatic for me that I would just go to pieces over it. I had friends go with me for support, and for a while I stopped getting mammograms altogether.

Then I started going to counseling. When the time came for me to schedule my yearly appointments, I really wanted things to be different. I did not want to binge or have a breakdown. I wanted to be calm and peaceful. I hated that my birthday month had become an unhappy time every year. So I brought up my problem to my counselor and she reminded me (again) that my abuse was something awful that had been done to me and not something that I had brought onto myself. She also reminded me that these annual doctors’ visits benefit my health, not only for my sake but for my husband’s and children’s sakes as well.

About a week before my annual checkup, my counselor taught me a “safe place” relaxation technique. As I went into my appointment, I was to go to my safe place and relax. I was actually excited about the prospect of going to the obstetrician, using my new relaxation skill, and then reporting back the next week during counseling. I am here to tell you that God worked in a mighty way! My exam went great, the best ever! And the next thing I knew, I was even through with my mammogram. It was unbelievable that I got through both appointments in only two hours. It happened so fast that I just sat in my car afterwards, stunned and in awe of God’s goodness and timing. These annual checkups that had caused me so much anguish for so many years had just flown by.

So, I am here to encourage you today. Do you struggle with this same issue? Do you need peace of mind? John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (NIV). God can give you peace of mind, and God will give you peace of mind. You just have to remember, as I have to remember, that although something evil was done to us we can move past that and not let it influence our lives today. Grab God’s hand, go with Him to that safe place, and enjoy peace of mind.

Blessings – Lisa

I Needed Some Answers, And I Found Some!

Grocery shopping—going solo—became the focus of my counseling sessions. Somehow my fear of the grocery store was tied to my abusive childhood, and I knew I needed answers. My memories of that time were just bits and pieces, but they all involved the family that lived next door to us. The house next door, that horrible place where hurtful things had happened to me, was at the core of my phobia. But all I could remember was that my mother had dropped me off with the neighbors because my brother was terribly sick and had to go to the hospital.

My counselor suggested that I find old photos of myself, taken around the time that the abuse happened. I was able to find two pictures; I liked one but I hated the other. The photo of the younger me was cute, but the picture of the older me gave me strange, disquieting feelings. My counselor also wanted me to sketch whatever I could remember from that time period that pertained to the grocery store. It took me a week, but finally I was able to draw a couple of pictures. One drawing depicted a happy mom (my mom) and a smiling baby (my brother?) having a fun outing in the produce section of a bright, colorful grocery store. But the other drawing showed only a sad little girl (me) crying in the parking lot outside the store. I decided to visit my mother so that maybe she could shed some light on what those sketches really meant.

I made a weekend trip to my mom’s, hoping for an explanation of this mystery. I was very surprised by what she told me. She told me that my two drawings probably represented memories from our two different homes while we lived in that city. While we lived in the first home, my mom babysat, and one of our favorite pastimes was grocery shopping, especially in the produce department. That explained my cheerful, happy drawing. However, after we moved to our second home, next-door to the house where my molestation took place, my mom would occasionally drop me off with the neighbors for a play-date while she ran errands. I was dumbfounded. All my life, I thought Mom had left me next-door because of an emergency, not for a play-date. The little girl in me must have made up the story about why my mother had left me with the neighbors because it was the only way I could cope with the trauma of what had happened to me there. As it turns out, the neighbors would also take me to the grocery store while I was in their care. No happy memories there.

My weekend with Mom, discovering the errors and filling the gaps of some of my memories, was a very emotional time for both of us. She never knew about the abuse while it was going on, but she shared with me that weekend that she soon stopped taking me next-door for visits because she started having some vaguely bad feelings about the family. And then we moved to a new house in a new city. That is where my childhood memories begin, with the new house. I was eight years old, but I have no clear memories of any time before then. While my mom and I fellowshipped that weekend, we cried and we worked through our feelings and we found closure. She even promised me—promised the hurting little girl in me—that I would never have to go to that house again. Never. I am safe.

Psalm 91:1-2 has always been a favorite promise of mine. It says, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust’” (NIV). Yes, now I can rest in the safety of my God. I can trust Him. I can go to the grocery store and not be afraid because He is my refuge.

How about you? Is there some phobia that seems strange and unbelievable, yet is holding you back in life? Do not fear; instead, rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Just His shadow is enough to help you make it through your trying time! Then you, too, can say with confidence, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Come with me. Let’s rest in His shadow. Let’s move away from that phobia and live free from fear because we can trust God to help us. Let’s dwell with Him in His shelter today.

Blessings – Lisa

Hopelessness to Faithfulness

When I first started my counseling, I struggled with feelings of hopelessness. For a month, my journal was filled day after day with my questioning whether God could really help me, one day crying out to God how much I wanted change and the next drowning in utter despair. I was on such a roller coaster ride. I just kept praying to God that I wanted more from life. I wanted to leave my past behind and move forward. I wanted an abundant life, a life without fear, a life with dreams, a life of victory, a life without defeat.

God, please show me a sign. Give me some sort of hope. I just can’t seem to see it clearly yet.

God answered my pleading in a way that only He could orchestrate. One night while lying in bed, I felt God saying to my heart that He wanted me to give my tithing testimony in church.

What? What does that mean, God? My tithing testimony? What is that?

He took me back to my journal, where I had pleaded with God that I would surrender and do whatever it took to move forward. This was the next step. I had to make a choice: believe and do what He asked, or not do anything and stop the plan God had for my healing. So I started writing everything I knew about my tithing, starting with how my parents taught me to tithe as a child. Then I moved on to my first job and tithing, my marriage and tithing, and on and on. I wrote and rewrote until I had a testimony to share in church.

As I worked on my testimony, God showed me how, through the ups and downs of our money struggles, rearing children and now helping our grown children with their own financial struggles, God had been Faithful. That was the real message He had for me–His Faithfulness! And I had it all chronicled in front of me. There was the evidence in black and white, ready to be given in front of my church family. God had been Faithful for over forty years. Couldn’t I trust Him now?

Matthew 4:18-20 says, “And walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ And they immediately left the nets, and followed Him” (NAS).

God was saying to me, “Dear, precious child, I want you to drop the net of your past and move forward to what I have for you! Drop those feelings of hopelessness, despair, fear, and defeat and move on now with Me. Now. Don’t wait. The evidence is before you. Give your testimony and then walk forward.”

What testimony do you have of God’s Faithfulness in your life? Ask God to show you His Faithfulness so that you can hold it before your face and believe and move on. The enemy wants you to have hopelessness, despair, fear, and defeat. God wants you to drop the net and leave it all behind. Friend, move forward, drop that net, take His hand, and walk with Him now as He leads you to freedom and victory.

Blessings – Lisa

 

Fear, I’m Closing the Door on You!

Everyone has some sort of fear. So many different things in life can cause fear and anxiety: things, people, places, animals. The list seems endless.

I personally have an intense fear of spiders. Regardless of how large or small it is, a spider really creeps me out. I cannot watch television episodes or movie scenes that have spiders in them. If I see a picture of a spider in a book, I immediately close the book or turn the page quickly. Every nightmare I have ever had has been a dream with a spider in it. And if I see one in my house, it must be destroyed or I will not be able to function because I will be constantly looking for it.

Fear is just that way. It causes people to retreat, to close the books on their lives, and always to be on the lookout. Fear keeps people frozen so that they cannot do what needs to be done. Unfortunately, I passed my fear of spiders on to my children . So I decided that I had to start dealing with my fears, for my children’s sake as well as for my own. I wanted to be free and to be able to walk through life without being held back.

I had another fear in my life that cripples me as much as my fear of spiders. I was afraid of a closed bedroom door. What’s so scary or fearful about that? But ever since I could remember, I could not sleep in a room with the door closed. As a child, I would cry if a babysitter tried to close my bedroom door after my brother and I had been put to bed for the night. Even after I was married and the mother of three, I still could not sleep with a closed door. I often wondered why it mattered so much, but it was huge. I just could not sleep with the bedroom door closed.

So God said, “Let’s work on your fear of the closed door.”

As memories of my molestation began to resurface, I realized that bad things had happened behind closed doors. Rooms with closed doors were not safe places. It was strange to me that I had never feared the dark–only closed doors. Even now as I write this I want to weep for the little girl who was hurt behind those closed doors. She was so small and innocent, never knowing why those things had to happen.

It was difficult at first, but with the help of my godly counselor I was able to walk through the pain and the fear. Over and over, she had to remind me that those things were done to me, they were not something that I had brought on myself. I had to let go of the shame and know that I did not have to fear any more.

Over and over, I have had to claim 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity–of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear–but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control” (Amplified). A calm and well-balance mind. How marvelous is our God! He can take our fears and give us instead a mind that is whole, so that we can move on and do the work that He has called us to do.

Are you living in fear and shame because of what someone did to you? Well, then, stop cringing and cowering in fear, and give those fears to God. He wants to give you rest and calmness and a well-balanced mind. Turn to Him today.

Blessings – Lisa