April 13, 2015

From Fear to Forgiveness

When I was a teenager I was was sexually abused. I was forever changed. Trust was lost. My faith in Christ wavered for the next 25 years. I believed in a God who loved me and was able to protect in any and every situation. Who else could I go to who had more power to protect than God Himself? I was stuck with this Savior. It was a love-hate relationship. I began doing what I felt He had failed to do – protect me and those I loved.

I studied the Bible, I understood His sovereignty. He had permitted this person to sin against me. I caught glimpses of why in His Word, but my heart was busy making sure it never happened again. I counseled others on the love God. I would see OTHERS living joyous lives. I was a miserable. I knew those things did not go together, but I was stuck.

God brought wounded women who needed to understand the why of their stories into my life. I could see it for them, but held God at arms length. God protected my marriage. My kids experienced my fearful anger- when things were out of control and not turning out as I had so carefully planned. Hurt people tend to hurt other people. My reaction to being sinned against had created very thick walls. It was a lonely safeness. This is not how a believer in Christ is supposed to live. What was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I be ok?

God’s faithfulness endured through my years of anger and fear – all focused at Him. Then a Bible study changed my course and began my healing. In Matthew 18 a king had forgiven a man millions. That man then went out and would not forgive another man a debt of hundreds. I had read this story many times. That day it was going to change my life. I saw how God had forgiven me of more sin than the person who had abused me could ever have sin against me. I had no right NOT to forgive. My sin against God was greater than my abuser’s sin against me. My wall broke and poured out years of hurts, anger, and fears. I forgave and began asking for forgiveness with new understanding of God’s grace.

What walls has the Lord brought down in your life? Who needs to hear what you have learned from that experience? When will you share it with them?

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