Scared, she ran to her father’s room. Thunder, lightening unsettling her world. He invites her into his bed, wraps his arm around her, explains how to judge the distance of lightening by counting seconds between the light and the thunder. She falls asleep only to be awakened by a crushing weight rocking on her, feeling a hose moving up and down between her legs. She keeps her eyes shut, the weight on top moans and rolls off and starts snoring. The thunderstorm is over.
But not for her. Childhood sexual abuse is a constant storm internally of shame, guilt, grief, anger.
How do we heal from childhood hurts? from wounds to deep for words?
How do we find that peace that passes all understanding when our internal lives feel so chaotic?
How do we feel truly loved when shame keeps us feeling so unloveable and dirty? How do we feel worth while when experiences in life have caused us to feel so worthless? What are the prerequisites for growth? for healing?
How do we apply God’s Word to our emotional messiness?
It’s easy to spout verses like in all your ways acknowledge Him (Proverbs 3:6) or bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5) or do not worry about tomorrow (Matthew 6:34) but how do they become practical realities in our life?
How do they become truly the natural paradigm of our life?
It takes tenacity – a form of the word tenacious – which means: 1 : not easily stopped or pulled apart : firm or strong 2 : continuing for a long time 3 : very determined to do something (Merriam-Webster online dictionary https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tenacious accessed 1/26/22).
It takes patience. Just like a child grows from baby to adult little by little, so we, too, grow in God’s Wisdom and grace little by little, one step at a time.
Making God’s Word real in our lives is a tenaciously patient setting of one’s mind, will, soul and body on seeking Him first in all our ways. Making God’s Word real in our lives takes a daily determining to set one’s mind on things above. This does not happen all at once. Viewing life through His lens happens little by little, precept upon precept.
We will fall and fail but we can get back up (Proverbs 24:16 – A righteous person falls seven times and gets up again. Matthew 12:20 – a bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not quench, until He brings justice to victory;)
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God remains for ever” (Isaiah 40:8). The Word of God is powerful indeed. Not only the Jesus Prayer but many words from the Scriptures can reshape the inner self. When I take the words that strike me during a service into the day and slowly repeat them while reading or working, more or less chewing on them, they create new life. Sometimes when I wake up during the night I am still saying them, and they become like wings carrying me above the moods and turbulences of the days and weeks. Henri NouwenBut He answered, “It is written: ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ “MATTHEW 4:4