Recently, God reminded me that He has not given me His healing and restoration to keep His truths to myself. I am to share them for the benefit of others. So here is my story…
For many years I have been asked to write my story, and have been reluctant to do so. But, over the years, I have seen many women suffering from the effects of past and/or present abuse. Unfortunately, I’ve also seen that they receive little to no help, encouragement or good Biblical guidance.
I grew up in an extremely dysfunctional home. The neglect, as well as the physical, verbal emotional abuse that I suffered began at a very early age. The neglect was not the lack of food or clothing. It was the lack of proper medical care as a result of the abuse. A short while later the sexual abuse began. The abuse shattered my confidence and self-image. It was during these years that I started digesting and believing many lies about myself, mankind, and God. Some of the lies I learned and believed were:
- God doesn’t really love ‘me’
- I can’t trust God
- I can’t trust anyone
- People in authority are dangerous
- I am worthless
- I must keep secrets
At the age of 14, I experienced another traumatic blow - I was raped. I was told that the rape was “my fault.” Also, that it “wasn’t really a big deal.” My few seconds of informal coaching consisted of four words … “just forget about it!” I didn’t receive any medical attention or help of any kind. This was just another big “secret” that had to be kept. The shock and indignity confirmed the lies that I had already believed and taught me some new ones:
- I am “ruined” goods
- No one, especially God, cares about or will ever love me
- My life has no value
- My life is hopeless
I grew up with these lies becoming stronger and stronger as they took over the forefront of my belief system. The lies, I believed, manifested themselves in my thoughts, feelings, choices and behaviors. By the age of 18 I was an alcoholic; and at 23 engaged in a relationship with a very abusive man. But God … He had other plans for my life.
God brought a wonderful man into my life. After we were married and moved into our home, a local pastor visited us one day. He clearly explained how much God truly loved us. I confessed that I didn’t really believe God loved me because I had undergone too many afflictions. This pastor pointed out that Jesus has a first-hand understanding of suffering and heartache. I came to understand that it was because of God’s deep love for us, that He willingly allowed His Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer and die on a cross as a debt payment for all of our sins. Upon understanding this, real truth became the key that unlocked the door to my Salvation.
Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”(NIV)
John 1:12-13 – “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”(NKJV)
Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.”(NIV)
At this point, my husband and I prayed and asked Jesus to come into our lives. We prayed for forgiveness for all the sinful thoughts, spoken words, and physical actions we had committed against Him. I specifically asked Jesus to show me His love, and to bring His healing and restoration into my heart and life.
I can’t even begin to express the peace that came over me; a peace I had never known before. It was the true peace of God!
In the days to come, I will share more with you about God’s restorative work in my life and truths from some of the materials we have written and present to churches and other organizations. Please contact me if you want information about the workshops we offer. There will be other bloggers that will join me in doing the same. With His help, we will guide you through His cycle of restoration.
In future posts, we at REST Ministries will provide many other articles and resources directly from God’s Word to you. We will also provide poems, devotionals, and other articles of encouragement. Please feel free to send us your comments, thoughts, questions, and prayer requests. We look forward to hearing from you!
Be healed! --- Judy