Last night’s Celebrate Recovery large group time was a testimony from one of our participants who has a background of abuse different but similar to my own. As I was listening to it I felt emotions and hurt like I’ve never felt before. Her story kept bringing memories of my own to the surface where I could no longer suppress them. One of the guys at my table said, “Wow, that is a powerful testimony.” I couldn’t speak in response to him or I would break down in sobs. I just nodded my head.
As I got to small group I was able to talk about this and its tie to the present recovery class we are doing on Abuse. I’ve already written about its impact on me. Yesterday afternoon I began the lesson’s work for next Tuesday’s class. I thought it would be easier since it is about the abuser and not me–the abused. I was so wrong! Yes, indeed, it is about the abuser, but the processing questions are all about the impact of the abuser and their makeup on you (me), the victim. As difficult as all of this is to handle, I now know God is wanting me to stop the stuffing and start the confronting. I’ve faced these memories many times in the last 10 years, but each time I have, I have followed up with stuffing any remaining part back where I had it before, saying things like, “That didn’t really bother me.” I need to confront all of it and allow Christ’s healing work to cleanse all of me from this wretched ugliness I’ve housed.
This morning as I’ve been processing/journaling, Kathy walked into the den. I hadn’t really opened up to her about the depths of this, but I needed to. We talked for an hour or so. At this point I haven’t suppressed or stuffed anything for today. In fact, when I was journaling all of this and writing to God about it I felt Him saying to me to now write what I know He had created in me from the beginning. It wasn’t enough to know the lies of my past are seen as such, I now need to recognize the genuine strengths He gave me. It is not arrogant and egotistical to have strengths as my dad had made me believe. These strengths were gifts from God to be used by Him and not to build my ego. This was dad’s fear somehow.
Well, this is late getting out today, but I do feel much better having some grounding on the present part of my journey. God is never done completing His work in us. I’m finding that I can “be” who I am without shame and guilt. And, instead, I can be glad for who I “am”. I am a creation of God, on purpose, and working with Him in Kingdom Work. Thank you Father!