Forgiving God

Valerie Hayden Dropping Jewelbe still and know

Early in my healing journey, I ran into a big problem. It was something I couldn’t blame anyone else for, it was all mine. I was just too proud to admit I struggled with it. The name of my problem is pride. Not the proper pride if there is such a thing. Mine is the pride that will not bow before Jesus unless I deliberately force it with my will.

The depth of my pride was revealed in one of the two memories I have of Dad molesting me. I  begged God for years to ‘PLEASE make Dad STOP!’ I knew God could. I believed He should because I asked Him to. By the time I was nine or so, I was done begging. I remember screaming at Him in my head, “Fine, God, if you won’t make Dad stop, I’ll TAKE CARE OF IT MYSELF!!!!” Living in marriage number five today shows how well THAT worked for me. However, I will share what I have learned about my Father God after all of these years. Are you ready? Here it comes!

God doesn’t think like we do.

Isaiah 55:8 gives us a very clear picture about God’s thoughts. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways.”

Standing in my nine year old pride I couldn’t see the end of my Dad’s life like God did. I couldn’t see suffering as a child meant I would turn Dad in to the law as an adult. I couldn’t see that after ten years in prison Dad would surrender to Jesus. I couldn’t see God’s perfect timing in restoring the relationship between Dad and Jesus, between Dad and me, between Jesus and me. But God sees my end from the beginning, before I was ever born. His ‘timetable’ is for all  eternity. Yes, there is pain in this world. Yes, there is suffering in this world. Yes there is evil in this world. However, from God’s perspective, evil will be dealt with once and for all in about six of His days. “… beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” 2 Peter 3:8

Somewhere in my healing journey, I chose to forgive God for not stopping Dad. Maybe it happened when I finally realized that God used my suffering to bring one of His children home for all eternity. I also realized that, while shaking my fist at Him in pride, God still loved me. He saw me healed, strong and whole. He saw me writing this story. He saw it going out to you, the hurting woman reading this, to tell you He loves you. It’s impossible for Him to stop loving you because God is love. He wants you to know He has a plan for you, to give you hope and a future, even if you can’t see it today.

Will you let God reveal His love to you right now?

 

 

 

Forgiving the Unforgiveable

SONY DSCMy childhood was so painful that I can’t remember most of it. God, in His mercy, allowed only a handful of memories to surface during the many years of my healing process. One memory I had to deal with was about my mother. The hardest part about allowing this memory to surface was that I had to re-live the pain just one more time. I had to feel abandoned again. I had to cry again. However, my desire for healing was stronger than my fear of the pain. I asked Jesus to come with me, and I let the memory surface. I felt again the devastation Mom caused in me by abandoning me to Dad’s perversion. She knew what he was doing. She saw him hurting me, and she just walked away.

Why did God have me deal with this memory so many years after Mom passed away? I couldn’t call her up to tell her I forgave her. I couldn’t ask for her forgiveness for all the anger I had against her.  I had the answer the minute I chose to forgive her. It wasn’t about my mom. It was about me. Forgiving my mom set me free!

So how can we even think of going back to that place of pain? How can we forgive the unforgivable? Maybe we believe we hurt more than anyone else on earth. I know I did. Or we believe that holding onto a grudge really hurts our those who hurt us and our unforgiveness can somehow make them pay for our pain. It doesn’t work that way, my friend. The truth is we only hurt ourselves when we hold a grudge.

Forgiving others is our choice, it’s not about how we feel.  Does choosing to forgive sound too simple? It is. It’s just not easy. It’s one of the hardest things we’ll ever have to do! Jesus is the only One who can help us face our pain. He not only helps us be willing to want to forgive, He walks with us every step of the way. It’s so worth the struggle because He heals our wounds forever. I can visit my memory of abandonment without any pain, even after all of these years.

God’s Word says “by His stripes we were healed.” His healing is perfect. It is final. It is complete. God will heal you if you will let Him. Or you can hang on to your pain. The choice is yours.

“Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:36

Love for the Lost

loveforthelostMy healing journey began when I reached out for help for my two daughters. I was reeling with the reality of Dad molesting my little girls along with my day care children. In getting help for my children, memories started surfacing in my own mind about Dad molesting me. I remembered that Dad told me I was ugly, that I “made him do this”, and the most damaging, “God will never love you!” Seeing a counselor gave me tools to live daily life while I struggled to heal.

Over a period of five years, one memory started reoccurring. Pure terror rushed through my veins, shaking my whole body. I gagged and choked. I screamed inside my head, “l can’t breathe! NO, NO, NOl” Then everything went black. I was an emotional mess for days after. I was so frustrated to be “stuck” at this part of the memory. I begged God to let it surface, heal me, and let me move forward. I believed this memory was the key to remembering my lost childhood.

My friend told me about her Pastor who was trained in a healing prayer tool called God’s Light. I was cautiously hopeful and scheduled an appointment. We started praying and Pastor Darrel invited the Lord to be with us. I opened my heart to Jesus. Not long into our prayer session the choking memory started. The Pastor knew that this was as far as I ever got. I remember hearing him ask Jesus to keep me from “passing out”. Then Pastor asked Jesus to show me the truth. Jesus “ran” a video picture in my mind. Dad and I were in my bedroom in the basement of our home when I was six. I was lying on the bed, choking, and Dad was standing at the foot of the bed. I looked at Dad, and he became a moving double exposure picture. Dad was standing there, and Satan stepped out of him. When I reported this to Pastor he said, “Jesus, now show her where you are”. I looked up from my bed and saw Jesus standing by my right side. He was holding a “dead looking” little girl. Me. I cried out in the present time “Ohhh!” Truth had triumphed and I was finally able to believe; Jesus loves me. Jesus LOVES me!! Jesus loves ME!!!  I felt His love wrap tenderly around me and heal every wound from that episode.

I did not regain my lost childhood memories. What I received is infinitely more precious than memories of a very painful past. Jesus restored my relationship with my Father God. Nothing is more important in my life today. Jesus exchanged my pain for His peace. He wants to do the same for you. His precious, priceless love is for everyone, especially the lost.

“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this; while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

Valerie

 

Faith for the Falling

faithforthefalling1I was angry at God for years, starting at age nine, because He didn’t stop my dad from verbally and sexually abusing me.  I didn’t tell anyone what dad did to me because he told me not to tell.  I believed with all of my little girl heart that He COULD have stopped dad but He just WOULDN’T stop him. Since He didn’t, I decided to take care of myself. I was all alone and on my own.

I still went to church, read my Bible daily, and stayed out of trouble as much as I could. I wanted to follow Jesus. To be “a good girl” meant stuffing all of the pain deep down inside so I couldn’t feel it any more. It went so deep that I finally convinced myself the bad stuff never even happened. The truth is that all of the pain and misery still boiled inside of me. My pain came out in wrong behavior. I didn’t get addicted to drugs or alcohol, but I got addicted to my own adrenaline. I believed the lie that a man broke me so a man had to fix me. Men became my god, and I pressured them into stopping my pain. They never lived up to my expectations. When I found out that dad had molested my two daughters and my daycare girls, I could no longer deny that something was dreadfully wrong in my life. I didn’t seek help for myself, but I swallowed my pride and looked for help for my girls. What a surprise! Getting help for my girls started my own healing journey!

I believed one of the biggest lies the enemy Satan tells us is that we are alone in our suffering and misery. He tells us that no one will ever care, especially God. The enemy is correct in one respect. We stay alone in our suffering and misery as long as we believe his lie. Satan doesn’t want us to reach out to God. If we take one tiny little miniscule step in faith toward God, if we can believe there is the slightest hope that God has the answer for our pain, the enemy knows his game is over. God already gave us the answer for all of the hurt, for all of the pain. He gave us His one and only Son Jesus Christ, who is willing and able to exchange our pain for His perfect peace.

“For God so loved the world (that means you, dear reader) that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

May you be faithful to God…even if you fall,

Valerie

The Silent Abuser

1 Corinthians 13

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

katrinahunterquote2Lord knows I have had my fair share of broken relationships and attempted ones, but by far, a couple of relationships stand out because they remind me why knowing my value in Christ is always essential and relevant (meaning, it’s important and I can never set my identity apart from Him). It also reminds me of what can happened whenever two broken, wounded, and incapable persons get together and “call” themselves to be “committed.” It can be disastrous in so many areas. It can be damaging when both of the people are confessing to know Christ, yet living in complete sin. It can be even more damaging when one is on the receiving end of emotional abuse and not even be aware that it’s happening to them. I know first hand that it can cause confusion and dare I say – make you feel like you are losing your mind. Those feelings are signs of what I will refer to as…the silent abuser.

You don’t know something is wrong until your partner let’s you know something is wrong. I remember how one guy would get mad at me for stuff he did. Then, he wouldn’t call for days at a time, yet I would be calling him. He eventually would return my calls and would always tell me he didn’t answer because he needed time to deal with his issues. This guy pulled these disappearing acts occasionally and when I would say that it hurt my feelings, he brushed it off as me being needy.  He would say things about other girls in front of my face. When I would bring up how I felt, or try to explain something that was important to me, he would say things like, “It’s not about you, Katrina. It’s about Christ. You just want to be selfish.”

One guy wasn’t the best at being emotionally supportive. He didn’t want to hear about me “complaining about my life”  when things in his life wasn’t the best. “Would you rather be me?” is what he’d ask when I wanted to talk to him about my problem at that moment. Eventually, I learned to not ask him for stuff and I shut down. Then another guy would be driving on the road, I would hear background noise, and if I asked him where he was going, he would get defensive or tell me he wasn’t doing anything. This same guy later told me that he would always answer “nothing” when I’d ask him what he was doing (when I heard him driving) because I didn’t ask the right question.

I think by now you get the point. I was a victim to this silent abuser of emotional and even mental abuse. I was always wondering if I was doing something wrong to make these guys not love me or appreciate me. I was always plagued with, “Am I going crazy because I know you said this but now you say that?” I had a hard time discerning the truth. I was overcome with shame and guilt with the thoughts of being the one causing the problems in the relationships.

When I look back on those times, I’m heartbroken that I put up with the things that I did.

However, now I understand why I did it.

Beloved, let me state here now that I do not believe we ask for or deserve abuse. However, I will say that sometimes, because of our mindsets and where we are, we have a tendency to gravitate toward people and situations that match whatever shape of our current spirits/emotions, etc. We will, at times, unknowingly seek those things out, regardless of the matter, shape, or form.

For me, I was really desperate to be loved, accepted, and paid so much attention that I saw unhealthy signs in these men, yet I chose to stay.  Why? They were available. I wanted a huge void to be filled by any means necessary and they filled it.

Filled it with hurt. Filled it with rejection. Filled it with manipulation.

They knew what I needed most and was able to use it against me…to hurt me.

As I reflect on those times in my life from years ago, I rejoice now knowing that I’m not that same person anymore.

The person who willingly entered and stayed in those relationships no longer exists.

  • Because I am forgiven and I have forgiven those who have hurt me in those relationships, I am free from the burden of regret, guilt, and shame.
  • Because I know who I am in Christ, I no longer find certain things, behaviors, and certain types of relationships acceptable. I’ve raised my standards.

Finally, because I know who I am Christ, I know that I am always loved and passionately pursued by Himthe one who loves me most! Therefore, my propensity now leans toward true, patient, and kind love – found in Jesus Christ and the Godly relationships He places in my life.

Remember:

It is possible that you can truly BE LOVED, Beloved!