…and all you see is UGLY.
than should have been…
Last week I experienced something that triggered some feelings in me. It was a perfectly safe situation, and I was totally unprepared for what happened inside me.
All of a sudden, I was scared. The kind of scared that leaves fear, anxiety and panic standing on the sidelines like pretty, harmless kittens. The kind that leaves you feeling all hope is gone. That “Run-For-Your-Life”-kind of scared. I thought: Why isn’t anyone coming to save me? and then I thought, why should anyone try to save me, I am perfectly safe, there is nothing to fear.
It was useless to make sense with myself. It was useless talking sense to me.
My feelings wouldn’t listen.
I needed someone to show me that I was safe. To hold me. Convince me that the surroundings I saw around me was what’s real, and not the feeling on the inside that had given up hope to ever be saved.
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned or scorched, nor will the flame kindle upon you.
3 For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba [a province of Ethiopia] in exchange [for your release].” –Isaiah 43:1-3
I realized that the feelings were just as real as the situation I was in, even though it didn’t make sense. It was because what I felt didn’t belong to that situation, or those surroundings that were perfectly safe. I realized that my feelings were just as real, they were just from about 21 years ago. Like they had been hiding out in me or something. Frozen in time.
I realized the feelings -that popped up unexpectedly and out of nowhere in a situation where they did not belong- was from when I was abused. Though I can recall the memories if I want to, there were no memories popping up. Only the feelings.
Which was why it was so confusing.
Previously I’ve written a rather direct post about how I was sexually abused when I was a little girl.
I thought I had dealt with it. That I was done with it. The person who did it to me is forgiven. The pain is just there, but faded. I’ve accepted how my life turned out. I’ve accepted(not the same as saying it is OK) that it happened. That it is past. I was happy with that.
And then I realized something else… I didn’t know what to do with it all. I became angry. Why would that person still have power over me, control me, even long after that person is out of my life? I grieved over the fact that it wasn’t over. I grieved over what was taken from me then, and now.
That the control over my own life was taken from me.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d finally gotten to the point where I dared letting God have the control over my life. I had finally started trusting that God really only had what was absolutely best for me in mind. And I was even happy about God taking control in my life.
But to have a person that does not have my best interests in mind take control over me, a long time after he took my innocence, destroyed my sense of right and wrong, broke my sense of what is love and what is not. Destroyed in me the courage to take responsibility of my life, and hindered me in so many ways in life. And just after I finally with the grace of God, had starting to rebuild the ability to separate right from wrong(and choose right), figured out what is really love and where love comes from, created in me new courage to take responsibility over my life again. That’s just wrong.
It was just devastating.
Then another question popped into my mind:
“Why didn’t God save me back then when it really mattered?”
I couldn’t get peace. I couldn’t get away from the feeling of being in grave danger, even after I knew where the feelings came from. I couldn’t stop grieving.
I still grieve.
I couldn’t even talk to God. I just couldn’t form words. I was so angry with Him. I just didn’t know how to turn to Him, speak to Him, or sing praise to Him.
But I did something:
I believe painting is a gift God has given me. And after last week I believe we connect with God when we uses His gifts, uses the good He has laid down in us.
“God gives you specific talents and then shows the way to use them for good—to point others to Him, to bless the church, to glorify Himself so we’re all drawn to Him even more. God is the giver of dreams and the planner of futures”
Even though I didn’t form a single word in my mind or with my tongue, when I was finished painting, things between my Savior and me was set right again. It was like my soul and God had a conversation I didn’t know about and made things right again.
All the while I felt God’s presence.
And I know in my heart that it was okay not to say anything to Him, at that point. He knows my heart. And He mended the part where I questioned Him, without a word.
I don’t have anymore answers than I did before. But I am convinced deep within me, that no matter what happened or happens, God is only good!
I know that I am grieving what was taken from me. And I probably will for a while.
But God has the ability to heal me from all my wounds and hurts anytime, even those in my heart, even my grief. But whether He does it tonight, or in three years, is up to Him. He is the only one who knows.
His timing is the only right timing.
Even when we don’t understand it.
Meanwhile, I am clinging on to a word that came to me through a stranger, but also a sister in faith, this fall:
“You will become healthy, mentally and physically. You will be free from all wounds and all memories from the past.”
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will direct your path.”
And I chose to believe:
…that God is good
…that God is love
…that God cares for me
…that I can trust God with my life
….despite my unanswered question(s),
…and despite my brokenness.
That is me taking the control back.
And then giving it to God ;-)
It is not UGLY anymore.
It is BEAUTY:
A bout Jesus
Y ears restored
“Away with you, Satan(and “ghosts” from my past)! In Jesus name, Amen!”
And I hope that will bring me one step closer to becoming the godly proverb 31 woman:
“She is clothed with strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future.”
I am not laughing without fear just yet, but I am laughing(sometimes crying too). And most importantly I am clothing myself in strength that don’t belong to me. Because I am nothing on my own.
But in Christ I have all strength I need.
All I have to do is choose to use it.
I want to encourage others that recognizes any of what I described in this post to keep in mind that being brave is not about never being scared or afraid.
It is about what you do with it. I can feel the feeling, but I refuse to let it control me!
Elanor Roosevelt said:
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
“You make it through those moments of wishful thinking and you choose to live, to become, to grow in the place where you’re planted in this season.”
God uses my brokenness and make beauty out of ashes.
He will do the same to yours.
If you let Him.