God loves to bring healing and restoration! A few years ago, I had the privilege of going on a short-term mission to Kenya and was amazed to see how completely God heals and restores! The stories of each and every child in that orphanage consisted of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. And yet, each child there had a personal relationship with Jesus. You could see the amazing work He does in those smiling, contented, happy faces. I came home thinking, “If God can do that in a life, what can’t he do?”
But in my own story, there were some things that I knew were still hurting and broken. To understand what I mean, you need to know that I was sexually abused as a child. During visits to my grandparent’s place every Sunday afternoon, the neighbour would have me over for cookies. The memories of those experiences marked my life. Over the years, God had worked with me to forgive and heal. However, there were still some dark places in my soul that I assumed would remain with me until I died. Long-standing effects that I accepted as part of my story of an abused child.
This fall, I attended the first residential of Arrow Leadership. It was a focused week dealing with our stories because, as we know, who we are affects how we lead. Before I went, I had my prayer support team pray that God would lead regarding which doors He wanted to open in my past. Too often when abuse is part of your past, it is the first place that people want to go, but it is not always where God wants to go. I went with open hands for what God wanted to do but I admit, I was wary.
I wish I could capture in words what happened that week. My leadership partner was a woman with a prayer warrior heart. Through a time of prayer and listening to the Holy Spirit, God did a work of healing and restoration in my heart and mind that I did not even know I could ask for! It’s been almost too much to grasp! Every day since I have noticed another way that the brokenness is gone and I praise God for it!
I have wondered many times why I had not asked the Lord for this healing before. I had seen it in those orphans but never considered I could ask for myself. In my mind, my abuse was nothing like theirs.
We do that don’t we? We look at our hurts and wounds and see them as part of who we are or assume they are not “bad” enough to ask for healing. I think it might just break the Lord’s heart that we are choosing to live in brokenness when He would love to heal! He is just waiting for us to ask. From one wounded believer to another, ask! And see what the Lord will do!