“Trusting God to Heal our Wounds” offered by LWillows…from author Dawn Wilson on Christian recovery from trauma and sexual abuse.

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I found this article on a site called Revive Our Hearts. In times when we are alerted to the incidence of sexual assault, it seemed important to be informed of the truth of our culture and the society that we live in, but also of the Truth that sustains us as Christians.

Dawn Wilson, the author of this article writes with wisdom and a maturity that I appreciated and share with you all.

Trusting God to Heal the Scars, by Dawn Wilson

As with many women, my scars of abuse felt unique. I was confused about what was normal and used a variety of defense mechanisms to get through life.

If you’ve been sexually abused, you may be coping in one or more of the following ways. You hide or keep people at extreme distances, afraid of being hurt again. You remain numb through adulthood. If married, you find it difficult to respond sexually. You fear biblical submission—afraid of losing control.

You may feel damaged, see yourself as a sex object, flaunt your sexuality, and descend into promiscuity and other sexual sins. Or like me, you pour yourself into being “good” or embrace ministry. You may not understand the power of the gospel and focus instead on pleasing God to gain His favor.

You might respond to your abuse with anxiety, depression, self-loathing, self-harming actions, fear of intimacy, homosexuality, indecisiveness, perfectionism, a need to control, eating disorders, or addictions.

Satan doesn’t care how we react to the sinfulness of sexual abuse . . . as long as we don’t turn to Jesus. The enemy knows that when we find our identity, security, and dignity in Christ, we can live in victory.

Twisted Thinking

It took me awhile to get there, though. For years, I felt the need to protect my abuser and not hurt others who loved him. It was twisted thinking, but the enemy delights in warping thoughts. In high school, I had poor interpersonal skills. By college, I felt suicidal and alone. Abuse distorted my image of God and affected my ability to seek and trust Him. My confidence was shattered.

After college, I joined Life Action Ministries and began a journey with God that changed my heart and life. One day as I was singing “Do You Know My Jesus?” on stage with the team, I suddenly realized I knew all about Jesus, but I didn’t know Him. I left the microphone, went to the prayer room, and placed my life in Jesus’ hands.

The most astounding changes came as I learned to trust Him with my past hurts.

Lessons I Learned

God loves me. Deeply and completely. The enemy loves it when I feel shame, condemnation, and self-loathing, but God’s Word says I am precious in God’s sight—accepted and valued (Isa. 43:4).

God saw my abuse and did not condone it. Neither should I. I do not have to stay silent or bury the pain and trauma. The Lord hates all wickedness, including my abuser’s sinful actions (Ps. 11:5).

I can pray for wisdom and entrust true justice to the righteous heart of God. He always has the last word—He brings justice to the unrepentant and great mercy to the repentant (Ps. 103:6).
I know I can forgive others because I have been so greatly forgiven. Bitterness will only make my pain worse and continue to wound others (Heb. 12:15).

I can pray for my abuser’s change of heart and repentance—that my abuser will seek the Lord, turn from wickedness, and learn to live a godly life so God will be glorified (Luke 6:28).
I do not have to live in fear like a victim. Peace and victory come as I study and rest in who I am in Christ (Eph. 1:3–8).

As I run to the Lord who sees, heals, and comforts, I can use what the enemy meant for evil to bring glory and praise to God (Gen. 50:20).

I can learn how to communicate clear, pure boundaries in all relationships and speak truth in love (Eph. 4:15).
I must be aware of the enemy’s schemes to control my responses and defeat me. I must saturate my life with Scripture and remember God’s grace is greater than the condemnation I feel (1 John 3:20).

Knowing my thoughts will control my actions and responses, I must allow God to transform my thinking so I can make daily choices to please Him (Rom. 12:2).

I will grow and heal as I rub shoulders with godly women who model how to respond with the pure love of Christ and trust the Lord to help me stand in dignity and strength (1 Peter 3:3–5).
I can, as a member of the Body of Christ, be a part of holding abusers accountable—especially within the church (Matt. 18:15–17).

I can also encourage those who still struggle toward freedom from the pain and insecurities that arise out of sexual abuse (Gal. 6:2).

Set Free and Healing

Second Peter 1:3 says, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.” I’ve discovered everything I need to move forward in grace and strength comes from abiding in God’s presence and the Word of God.

The path to thriving begins with God-focus, not self-focus. If we continue to gaze inward, we will always see our scars, but when we gaze on Jesus, we see His scars and remember He died to make us whole again. We can trust this One who loved us so completely.

I’ve grown in Christ, but it hasn’t always been easy. I’ve had many questions, and my heart screamed for answers. Satan wants us to believe God is not good and does not care, but our Father God is never blind to the sins that hurt His people. He grieves over all sin and hates it. Sometimes the Lord deals directly with others’ sinful behavior against us; other times, it’s just not time yet. In mercy, God gives even the most evil among us opportunities to turn to Him and repent.

My great comfort is that Jesus understands abuse. He suffered great abuse and even death to give us life (see Isa. 53). He brings hope for today and tomorrow and, most certainly, hope for dealing in victory with hurtful past circumstances.

I am free to love others sincerely and allow the Lord to work in my life and my abuser’s life now that I have been set free from the bondage that chained me for so many years,
Although Jesus said He came to give me abundant life (John 10:10), sometimes I resort to survival mode when I allow myself to feel ashamed. In those moments, I forget who I am—or rather, whose I am. Jesus bore my shame on the cross; I don’t need to bear it for one moment.

Though scars remain, God gives healing grace.

Father God, I ask You to bring victory and healing to those who suffer. Surround them with Your presence, help them see You as You really are, and show them the overcoming power in Your Word. Amen.

© Dawn Wilson
ReviveOurHearts.com

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“My Heart Tipped to Fore”” a worship poem from L.Willows

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This morning I opened to Psalm 23 after praying. I smiled with tears of joy, comfort and gratitude. I felt this praise poem saved in my heart for later,
Linda

“My Heart Tipped to Fore”

When falls the glisten of tears in night mists,
They rise to the gaze at My Shepherd’s near gift.
All gathers, all reaches; from my heart tipped to fore
I feel His presence, approach and a connect of Adore.

Gently, now softly- I open unbound,
Relieved and coddled in the womb of Grace found.
Roots and twines from the past have been freed.
My Shepherd, O Abba, you gladden Love’s intercede!

Gather all to reach; from hearts weight tipped to fore,
Our Shepherd, Lord Abba, approaches with Adore,
There is naught we could do to limit His Love’s Pour.

© 2017 Linda Willows
photograph by Glazinov Nikolay

 

Psalm 23

The Lord Is My Shepherd
1 A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell
6 in the house of the Lord forever.

“The Holiness of receiving”, a prayer from L.Willows

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When we open our arms to receive
we must open our palms upwards
and like children with trust in the one
that we are receiving from
we need faith.

Faith placed in things of this world
can not always be steady;
Some have learned by life’s trials not to trust
and then the heart will guard against receiving.
Our hearts are so gently crafted by Our God.
It must grieve Him to see us wounded.

Even vulnerabilities are pure and soft,
the curve that cups in our palms and hearts turns up
not down, or to the side, especially not down
lest we loosen the gift or not find it at all.

Receiving asks us to lift our hearts and faith upwards.
If we see nothing at first; like a child
we learn the patience of persistent…waiting because
we know our the Giver to be kind, steady and more Faithful
to us than we could fathom for He is the Giver of Faith.

The Faith of Our Lord Christ has that strength.
Our giver answers our upward turned palms
and sees our arms when they open to receive.
Our Father knows our hearts so well that He hears
our prayers even before we form them,
and knows all of our needs before they are spoken.

Becoming like “a child” is to become pure and innocent
in our hearts and minds before him.
In such purity, His Holiness can permeate us-
live to soak our lives and circumstances in His Blessings
and the lavish the Love of all the Good that He wishes
us to receive In His Name.

The Holiness of receiving is asking in His Name and
allowing His Spirit and will to enter your heart
and life, unimpeded…looking up, out and with heart and palms turned up.

© 2017 Linda Willows

“Day calls Glory by Name” a worship poem from L.Willows

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Day calls Glory by Name…
throughout all- our hearts and lives can reach; rest and find Strength in God

When the world quakes with lives that suffer and plead;
Hearts break and unwind, all our buffers recede.
Night whispers do groan from the might of God’s girth.
A moaning that aches in plights of His Earth.

The battle that calls us; the weak and the strong,
to stand up and walk in the fires that grow long:
It defies us to slumber, to harden or to rest
and motions our souls to embolden the quest.

No hunger nor thirst could deny such a call
when lives turn to face the redeem of God’s All.
In the midst of all rumbles and darkened night mists,
We turn to the One that receives our heart’s lists.

When our lives are reborn to the soul of Love’s seed.
Mortal hearts will revive in a Graced intercede.
Blessed then with a dare and the faith to proclaim
Our Lord’s light as day, His Glory by Name.

© 2017 republish; 2016 Linda Willows

Naming “The Glory” is none other than that of Our Lord, Christ Jesus. When we call upon The Light of The World which is God we can walk in that Light. Our lives are reborn to Love.

1John 1:5-7
This is then the message we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in the darkness, we lie and do not (live) the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ Son cleanseth us from all sin.

 

“Propitiation in the Bible”, from Knowing God by J. I. Packer…offered by L.Willows

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Over the past three decades J.I. Packer’s book, Knowing God has become a classic of the Christian faith. This excerpt is from the chapter on The Heart of The Gospel and is the first of two parts that will be offered.(pp 180-181). J. I. Packer / wikipedia

Propitiation in the Bible from Knowing God

by J. I. Packer

In the Old Testament, it underlies the prescribed rituals of the sin offering, the guilt offering (“trespass-offering” in the KJV), and the day of atonement (Lev 4:1-6:7; 171-34); also, it finds clear expression in such narratives as that of Numbers 16: 41-60, where God threatens to destroy the people for maligning his judgement on Korah, Dathan and Abiram: “Then Moses said to Aaron, ‘Take your censer and put incense in it, along with fire from the altar, and hurry to the assembly to make atonement for them. Wrath has come out from the LORD; the plague has started.’…So Aaron…made atonement for them…And the plague stopped.” (vv.46-48)

In the New Testament, the propitiation
word group appears in four passages of such transcendent importance that we may well pause to set them out in full.

The first is Paul’s classic statement of the rationale of God’s justification of sinners.

“But now apart from the law a righteousness of God hath been manifested…even the righteous of God through faith in Jesus Christ unto all them that believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God set forth to be a propitiation , through faith, by his blood, to show his righteousness, because of the passing over of the sins done aforetime, in the forbearance of God; for the shewing, I say, of his righteousness at the present season: that he might himself be just and the justifier of him that hath faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:21-26 RV)