I was watching a television show last night about a woman who was abused and beaten by her husband. In one case he had told the daughter she could not have any meatballs unless mommy admits what she did and the accusation was false, but it didn’t matter. The woman wanted her child to eat so she let the guy beat on her with a flashlight while she fed the child meatballs. She endured the beating for the sake of her child. As I watched it I was taken back to my own experiences trying to raise children while suffering abuse and even the churches I attended neglecting what I needed because they were taken in by my con artist husband who deceived them. I erred on the side of love toward him and was determined to endlessly believe for his deliverance and to forgive 70 x 7 and beyond. But I endured beatings; many of them had to do with false accusations, being called controlling, self righteous, “holier than thou” and all kinds of things just because I wanted us to have a healthy and non dysfunctional lifestyle. The more I grew in God the more I wanted that and the more I got beaten down in my quest to try. I took endless advice from church people telling me how to pray and many were good people but they were misinformed about my situation or “not informed at all.” They picked scriptures out of their hats and gave them to me not knowing they were giving me condemnation instead of healing and help.
I remember thinking I would not live to see 40 years old because I could feel myself dying. Because of this I just thought no matter what I have to help my kids know Jesus enough so they can live without me. That was my thinking until one day the Lord showed me it was okay to depart from this marriage. If not for his intervention I believe I would have stayed there and died. The bible talks about beware of a person who can drag your soul to hell. If your right eye “causes you to sin” it says “pluck it out.” Divorce leaves a Christian person who loves God feeling like an amputee. You can’t just get rid of them if you have a born again heart to love everyone and think oh “good riddance” because you are born to love, born to forgive, born to be merciful like God is himself.
People who have lived in abuse and taken the beatings need soul healing. The scripture says the Lord heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds. Healing of the heart happens in layers. God can heal a heart overnight but in my case the healing has come one layer at a time. I know I am healed of what happened when I can expose myself to stories (such as the one above) and I do not cry or feel the pain of it any longer. Abuse victims have a form of PTSD if you will and only the Lord himself can heal it. Tell me how conventional psychology or drugs heals a person and I will relent; but for the most part what I see is society teaches us to “COPE” while God actually does do soul healing. In order to function in our bodies we have to be healed; otherwise we cannot walk or use that limb or whatever is going on with our body that is messed up will not function properly. It’s the same with healing of the soul; until we are healed all the way we will not function as God intended.
The Journey of healing (in God and his power) takes great courage. A lot of people would rather just pretend it isn’t there because it’s embarrassing to break down and cry or go through the messy business which goes with healing. I often wish there were more healing oriented groups in churches where people come in and have a history of abuse. Learning scripture is wonderful; but marching around parading scriptures on large banners and saying Glory to God will not heal people. Healing of the soul takes time; love, patience, study of the scripture on who you are in Christ Jesus and learning that we must unlearn the things which were done to us in times past. I wish it could all be done with name it and claim it or blab it and grab it but believe me I have tried and it just cannot be done.
People who need healing will not always do the right thing at the right time but they are still people whom God loves very much. In the world of Christians there are often many of us who are hurting still and these (old wounds) need to be healed by God so we can make sense and function properly. It’s an ongoing journey and we would do well not to assume we have arrived: either as a minister or as a sheep in the congregation. Father some need more healing than others but we are all in the process of being restored to what you envisioned us to be. Help us Father not to be prideful and realize we are all on a journey to be made whole. Help us to remember we need to apply the scripture that by your stripes we are healed; body soul and spirit. Thank you for pouring in the oil and the wine and healing us Father thank you for making us whole, healthy and strong in you and thank you for giving us patience with ourselves in this journey called healing. In Jesus” name we pray………amen