Our Mending the Soul class began again last night. Due to absences from the group participants and last week’s rehearsals for me we had cancelled mtgs for two weeks. It was good to be back. The class focus was all about characteristics of an abuser. This was difficult as we started. I have never wanted to look at my dad or my brother as abusers. Yes, I can talk about the abuse they did, but to actually call them abusers? Even as I write this I am able to see that their spiritual description is like the way we introduce ourselves in Celebrate Recovery. For dad it would be, “Hi, my name is Harold. I’m a grateful believer in Jesus who chose to abuse.” His identity was not abusing, that is what he did at times. It is helpful to separate this out now that I’m this far long in my journey of recovery.
The other thing which God pointed out for me this morning in my devotional time is my need to start replacing the memories of my past abuse. I can give them all to Him so He can do what He says He does with sin–“…casts it into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:19) God has been replacing these memories with the way He uses our past to testify to others of His healing powers. These can be our memories, our new memories which show for us God’s love and grace. The memories of past abuse which Satan uses to tempt us to step into sin can and will be cast into the depths of the sea when we have stayed on this path of healing long enough for God to start the replacement of memories with new ones.
Yesterday I had a meeting with the one who organizes the work I do with schools/districts. During the meeting she asked about the recovery work I do. This led into some of this recent healing God has been providing me. Her words were, “Wow Earnie, this is the most touching story I’ve ever heard in my entire life.” It was this and other recent times which God is using to show me this current truth of His Work. He not only removes the sin, He replaces it with value, grace and love. Wow, what a gracious Father we have and we get to serve!