I came out of abuse and I can tell you that God used those horrific experiences to teach me some valuable lessons. Yes, I say God because He is the only One that can set the captive free,if you allow Him to do a deep work in your life. The first lesson that I learned from my past abusers is that I didn’t want to do to another human being the vile,profane deeds that were done to me.
At age five I fell prey to the hands of a child molester who lived in the same house I was living in. I could have remained the victim of his mishandling me for all of my life. It wasn’t until I received God’s forgiveness for my own sins, that I began to pray asking God to help me forgive this depraved man. Honestly,every fiber of my being was crying out for revenge. Even though I was here and he was still in Colombia and I was in my early twenty’s, my soul could find no rest. A friend of mine helped me out one day when she told me that if I didn’t forgive him,then God wouldn’t forgive me my sins.
I was furious with God. “Lord!” I would cry out,”Didn’t you see what he did to me? How he robbed me of my innocence? Don’t you care that he violated me and stole what wasn’t his to begin with?” Then one day, God gave me this amazing answer to my years of pain and torment: ” I was there taking all the abuse for you. You were never alone. What he and all the others did to you,they also did to Me.” I was stunned and without words. I let those healing words penetrate my ice cold heart. The more I let the truth of God in my life,it began to melt the hard sheet of ice that had covered my inmost being.
If I had hung on to my anger and hurt there is no doubt in my mind that I would have become like my abusers. Refusing to forgive is a trap. Not forgiving those who offend us,puts us in the same prison cell that they are in. Not only that,you are shackled to that person in your spirit. Once you choose to forgive,off come the shackles and you become free of them. I was worried for a long time that if I forgave them,that I was supposed to be involved with that person again. That’s when I learned that you forgive primarily for you. I have forgiven my abusers and I can now pray for them.
I married a man who was also abused as a child and I see how his unforgiveness of his abusers tends to rear its ugly head . At times it wants to wreak havoc in our married life. Recently I told my spouse that his abusers were still a power in his life because he was letting them still control him every time he dwelled on the pain. He had never had anyone tell him that. I love this man too much to see him remain a prisoner trapped in a cage he was put in so long ago. God put us together so we could help each other out. The only way you can help someone out of abuse,is if you’ve walked in the same shoes. Also,the other person has to be willing to not live like a victim but instead allow God to love you past the trauma.With God all things are possible. If you are reading this article, I pray for you that God will give you the strength to face your abuse. Forgive your abuser(s),forgive God and forgive yourself. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed and He desires that you be free,healed and restored!