I had made great strides in my Christian walk. I accepted Jesus, and baptized in the Lord’s family, life was different. To educate myself on the Word, I began teaching children’s Sunday school, eventually co-leading and teaching adult bible study classes. I enjoyed my time with Christ, be it at home alone, sitting in a classroom, attending a women’s bible study or sitting in worship services on Sundays. The deeper I went the closer I felt- and then one day the terror began.
I had heard it all within the confines of my mind before.
“You’re not wanted.”
“You don’t matter.”
“No one cares about you.”
Just as quick as day turns to night, it all came back to haunt me. I found myself in a mental downward spiral. The sexual abuse had ended years before. I had gained the confidence to move on in my life, and left the humiliation, fear, and pain behind. Therefore, to be sitting in my current life, my renewed life in Christ and be overwhelmed with, what I thought was my past, was devastating. I sought help from a man in the church that was offering free counseling to members, and we began the task of unraveling the twists and turns that make up an abuse victims journey.
As we worked our way back through the maze of details, we came to a point that I mentally could not handle. It was a roadblock that my mind dug its heels into, and refused to move on. As we delved into the very deepest of my abuse secrets, I began to shut down, to turn back, to mentally runaway from having to confront the barrier. I had nightmares that were terror filled, and within those nightmares, I could not walk past the front door of my childhood home. Chased by wolves, I ran screaming and often woke full of sweat, in tears. Eventually anxiety was filling my days.
After some coaching, and receiving some mental tools to withstand the fear of the house- we tried again. While I was alone one day, lying on my bed, I began praying and doing some deep breathing. With each breath, I stepped back in time until I was back in the house. As I walked through the door, I looked around and walked to a corner, and kneeled down. I was crying softly. There was no fear, there was nothing chasing me. I was 14 again; I was alone. I felt peace all around me, I felt safe. I remained kneeled down, and then I said,
“Why did you leave me?”
While I stayed with my head bowed and crying, I felt a hand on my shoulder, and I heard the words of love, so sweetly say, “I never left you, I was always there.”
When I opened my eyes, I was in my house, in my bed, the tears were pouring down, and there was a smile on my face. The experience I had with Jesus that day will stay with me forever.
For those of us that have to battle the demons of abuse, and rise again as a survivor, it is absolutely the most difficult thing to move on, completely. While I was living in Christ, somewhere, in the far recesses of my mind sat a question. The barrier I struggled to face was not about the abuse, the abuser, or anything really related to those many years of torture. The barrier was one I erected, one I had to be willing to confront and to tear down- one block at a time- it was- “Jesus, why did you leave me?”
I believe barriers similar to this hold many back. I felt guilt for believing God left me alone all those years in the house of pain. I was angry with God for leaving me. Why would He let this happen to me? I felt guilty for feeling angry!
God does not want anything to hold you back. He is aware of the confusion, pain, shame, guilt, or whatever it may be for you, and He wants to heal you and watch you break down your own barrier, your own stumbling block, so that you might fully live in Him.
I just need you to know that He never left you. He will never leave you. No matter what your personal story may be, God is right there with you. He loves you. This will NEVER change! You will never be alone!