August 15, 2016

Let Yourself Grieve What Was Lost

“The abused child has much to mourn. She grieves the loss of the family she would have wanted, and the safe, warm love that family is supposed to represent. She grieves lost hopes, lost safety, lost innocence. She grieves her childhood. And she grieves the view of the world as a safe place.”

“Secret Survivors” by E. Sue Blume

This quote is so powerful to me. So many verbal, emotional, and/or sexual abuse survivors have lost so much. Family was not a safe place to find out who they were or what they wanted to be. The encouragement was lacking in relationship and the boundaries were crossed, making them doubt their voice, lose what made them special, and create a guarded fear of what COULD happen next. This is great loss at the very foundations of our womanhood, leaving us vulnerable to the lies of Satan, the manipulation of people, and the doubting of our dreams concerning a mate, future children, and our purpose in the greater world in which we finds ourselves.

Mourning is an acknowledgement that something great was lost and can never be recovered – you cannot live backward or re-do life. It wasn’t under our control – it happened to us at the freewill of other people’s choices to make their needs greater than our own. It is a death of “what if”, “normal”, and “healthy”. Skipping over it is as devastating to our souls as not attending our closest friend’s funeral because it hurts too much. It is not allowing the loss to hurt, to sink deep into our souls, and let the Lord do the heart work necessary to heal and really move forward to the abundant life His Word speaks of.

He made us for more than the brokenness forced on us. In His mercifully, loving way, He will use this grieving process to purge the need for the approval of others, and help us to embrace HIS accepting, unconditional love, grace, and truth found in Him alone through Christ. It is an acceptance of the reality that the earth is a broken place in need of His salvation. This acceptance enables us to release the hurt and entrust it to Him who judges justly, restoring His original image in us as we trust Him to do so.

So do not listen to those who glibly say, “You are saved in Christ, the past is gone, the new has come.” The statement itself is true, but it can only be truly embraced and lived out of when you have walked the valley of death with your Lord and let Him touch the hurt with His holy, healing power. Christ calls us to live out of His grace AND truth.

Step one: Make a list of everything lost that has handicapped you for living the life you wished had been.

Step two: Let yourself grieve all this – sit with the Lord and cry. He cries with you. He knows. He cares.

Step Three: Stand up and walk forward with Him, finding your voice and discovering who He created and saved you to be.

Then, and only then, will you be able to confront broken things with courage, learn to establish healthy boundaries with others, and let Him show you what is next as you emerge from grief into His healing present and hope-filled future.

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Want to know how to do this? Let me walk the valley with you, showing you how to grieve and then embrace all He has for you from your ashes to HIS beauty!