Rock of Offense (Day 3 from Cleansing Thoughts)

     As a child, I was a victim, as a young adult I was a survivor, but as a child of God, I am an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony [taken from Revelation 12:11].

    Abuse does not always leave scars that can be seen when we look upon its victims, yet they are there nonetheless. For some, they leave outward scars that stand as a constant reminder of their past; that was the case for me. As I was growing up, the ugliness I felt inside caused me to dig at my skin, trying to get the ugliness off. As a result, I have scars covering my arms and legs. For years, they never let me forget my shame, holding me captive to the past. I would try to hide them, or when asked what happened, I would lie. That night, I learned it was the lying to others and myself that fed the secret. It wasn't until I was thirty-three that I remembered the sexual abuse that I had buried since I was five years old. I had never told anyone, not even my parents, what had happened. When I finally told my mother. she said one day I just stopped playing and withdrew to myself, and my parents never understood why. It was easy for them to rationalize away because of all that had happened in such a short amount of time. My father had died, and when mom remarried, we moved away from the only home I had ever known, but I would adjust; after all, I was young and would quickly forget. But what they did not know was my life was never the same again. Too many years, too many scars, a broken heart, and a horrible secret; all that led to a life of fear, and trusting no one.

    The Word of God tells us that He knows the secrets of our hearts and that He wants to bind up our wounds, leaving us with His peace, which passes all understanding. So, my friend, it there is anything hidden in your past that causes you pain, give it to Him, open up your heart, and let Him in, allow His love to set you free. Remember, God has also promised to give you "beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness"  (Isaiah 61:3, NKJV).

    It was not just the shame I felt from the abuse that held me captive that night; it was also fear. All my life, fear controlled me, until one day several years after this incident happened the Lord removed the fear from my life once and for all. It was during a Sunday morning service. Suddenly, for no reason, I was so frightened I could not move. As I stood there, I could see a large wall in front of me, and then a beam of light appeared and cut under the foundation of the wall and rolled it away. The fear I had felt so strong was now gone! I can't express what it like for me after that. I felt as light as a feather and as free as a bird set free from its cage But what is even more wonderful is the fear has never returned. That next Sunday, during evening services, I gave my testimony. With each word I spoke, I felt more confident and a sense of inner peace I had never known before. Oh yes, there are times when it has tried to return, but the Lord always reminds me of that morning, and I don't allow it to get a hold on me. That is the key; I don't allow it. Now instead of fear controlling me, with the Lord, I control it!  The Lord has shared with me the beam of light I saw that morning, that cul the foundation of the wall, was His love. I  that never truly accepted God's love for me until then. You see, I had accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, and I had accepted the Holy Spirit as a teacher and comforter, but I had never accepted God as a father. The Word says in 1 john 4:8 (NKJV) that God is love, and in verse 18, it says, "There is no fear in love, but perfect love cast out fear because fear involves torment." Most of my life, I felt such inner torment that scarred my perception of what love was; therefore, my understanding of a loving Heavenly Father was just something I could not comprehend.

    If you have allowed fear to take control of your life, stop right now and give it to God. Let His love set you free from a life of torment. What He has done for me He is waiting to do for you. Won't you let me pray with you right now . . . "Heavenly Father, I lift this precious child before You and ask that You place Your everlasting arms of love around them. Allow your peace, which passes all understanding to fill their heart and mind, release them from their self-made tomb, and set them free from the griping hand of fear. Right now, Father, release them from the shame of their past and make them a new creature in Christ Jesus. Turn their sorrow into joy. Place within them the assurance that You will never leave them nor forsake them, that nothing can separate them from your love. In Jesus's name, I pray."


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