Seeing the truth, accepting, forgiving and recovering


This is a part of a series about forgiveness and handling memories, first to last

This post begins here…

You may have read this verse?

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:32

That verse is referring to Jesus as the Truth and His ability to set us free.

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives – Is 61

But it is also a fact that when we see the truth in our lives, we can then be set free.

  • Some people need a lot of truth, because they need to understand why and how before they can accept the past and let go and move on.
  • Some people just need to know enough to be able to move on.
  • Some people (like me) hid the truth from ourselves, need to uncover it, consciously face it, process it, accept it, make some decisions to live differently, make a new life plan and move on.

Sometimes, when I am listening to other people, as they talk about their lives, I see what a normal life is like (an average life) and I sense just how lonely and alone I was at crisis moments in my life.

The truth I have to face is not what happened to me… it’s how it felt while it was happening to me. You see, I was alone in my most painful times. I was alone after sexual abuse. I was alone when I was preparing to commit suicide. I was alone after my motorbike crash (my family went to dinner).

Sometimes I tell people just one of my stories and I see the shock on their faces… and I wonder… was what I went through that bad? The answer is yes. And I only told them one of my stories.

Yes Mark, it was that bad. When I can face that and accept it, I can heal, recover, make a new plan for my life, choose new behaviors… and move past it.

I have come to see what a healthy life and a healthy home environment is like, and mine was nothing like that. Sometimes it comes into full view and I see how close to the edge I always was emotionally. I struggle to believe I made it through.

I can see just how much help God gave me – and I am so grateful.

The solution I learned back then was to be numb… to be a robot and put one foot in front of the other… to hide and deny my chronic pain… to just keep walking… and I got through.

But the good strategy I had as a teenager is now a problem for me as an adult.

Because I lacked comfort in those younger years, I decided “I don’t need no stinking comfort!” and began to consciously deny my need for comfort. But unconsciously (in my imago) I crave comfort and consolation and acceptance.

My conscious mind wants happiness and good feelings and my unconscious mind wants healing and growth. This unconscious need is not a need anyone can actually meet now – it’s too big, too deep. My only choice is to consciously pursue recovery and healing.

So it’s no wonder I have this deep need for comfort and acceptable in me. I was not comforted as a teenager and so somewhere inside I unconsciously crave what I lacked. But no woman or man or friend can match this chronic need inside me. I have to face the problem at the root and soothe myself and forgive, be set free and make new decisions for a new life.

I truly understand why people use alcohol, porn, drugs (etc.) in order to avoid these times, feelings and memories. These things (including sex, coffee, loud music) give comfort or take our mind off some feelings.

I want to be free of this need and these chronic feelings… and the only solution is to

  • keep on learning about God’s intentions for our lives (to prosper, use our gifts, be a blessing to others, have families)
  • keep on building me up into a strong person who is able to raise the next generation of people as strong Christians
  • keep on healing, with His love and the love of His people in my life
  • keep on growing as a man, as an adult, as a future husband
  • keep on renewing my mind
  • keep on forgiving those who did this to me
  • take responsibility as an adult and a man – to plan for a life that I enjoy (with God)

How do I overcome these years? By forgiving those who did this to me and by growing into a new creature, leaving that old man behind and replacing him with the new man… made in His image.

Friends may be disappointed that I’m not 100% better already. Disappointed that I don’t live up to their standards. Friends may have expectations and be disappointed that I still have addictions and dependencies… why aren’t they gone yet?

But I’m just me… I’m walking as fast as I can… I’m growing as fast as I can. I ask God for help every day.

People see my gifts and think I am further along than I am. They see me helping and loving and think I am all done and dusted and cooked on the inside… but it’s not true.

At least not yet. 🙂

dadshand.jpgGod is such a good God.

Where would I be without Him holding my right hand?

He could paper over my healing,
but instead He has plans to use the bad things for good.

I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.

Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand
.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.

Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
Ps 73:22-26

He has plans for a deep healing. He is walking me through, He is teaching me, I am learning all the things He wants me to learn.

I love people, I love to be loved by people… but I know now, through this horrendous process that I have lived through… that God is an incredible and amazing God. Where this world and some evil people in it would tear me apart and use me, He builds, He strengthens, He shapes, He guides.

Growing… it’s a slow process, it takes determined conscious effort. Is there any faster way? No. I don’t see any. There is no other way than to walk through this (not around it). Through means to choose to learn, grow and then change.

I have heard that we leave the hardest part of our healing to the end. I know that I am almost at the summit of this climb up “Mt. Healing”. I am almost there. I have one hand on the summit. This is the hardest bit. I have to face the toughest memories, the sadness, the aloneness, the abuse, the feelings.

feet_in_water.jpgSomeone said to me “you’ve been through deep waters” and now I find myself surfacing. Not yet out of the water – and I really want to be out – but soon… soon.

I want this to be over, I want to be done. I want the kitchen oven to go “ping!” and for God to pull me out and say “done!”.

But first, I have to face this deep pain. Face it. Understand it. Accept it. Forgive them. And move on, be the new man, made in His image, not in the image of that old man/boy that I was.

If you’ve been praying for me, thank you so much. I have come a long way. I am almost there. God bless you.

New blog

I now have another very personal, intimate blog http://attaching.wordpress.com and I invite you to read through it, from the start to the end. That page is the end. It’s only 31 posts and each of them is short.

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17 responses to “Seeing the truth, accepting, forgiving and recovering

  1. I thank our heavenly father for given the guidance to reading this website. I was so hurt today and continuously daily. Thank you for sharing your a few of your life experiences and all the pain you have gone thru. Reading your website has lessen the hurt feeling I was going and has made me realize all over again the great love of God for all of us. I am a 4 year old widow that has gotten in a relationship that emotionally and mentally abuses me. In all my 33 years of being married and dedicated myself to love and family and not but to mention with my late husband, I have never experienced so much hurt with this relationship before in my lifetime. Thank you, and please mention me in your prayers.

  2. I was deeply touched by your post. I have a lot more reading to do. You are a blessing. Thank you.

  3. 1. Use God as an example: Jesus said that “I am the way the truth, and the Life.” Some people either accept and face the truth, others will turn away.

    2. Truth from the inside would deal with a persons beliefs, or ideas. Using knowledge,faith,logic,etc. to set guidelines to define truth. Truth from the outside would deal with experiences and circumstances that showed a direct correlation to something physical that describes truth.

    3. Some sociologist believe that we are a product of our environment. The blank slate idea. And that our traits,characteristics,ideas,personalities, etc. are formed by our experiences due to our surrondings. Seemingly a good argument. But, we still have a choice.

    Lastly, None of the mental gymnastics will change the fact that God (trinity) Jesus states That He is the truth. Believing this is comfort to me and takes all of my excuses away.

    Have fun exploring with your essay.
    Brad.

  4. I have an English essay due about truth. I was wondering if anyone could help with the few statements..
    1. Some people face the truth, some turn away from the truth.

    2. Some see the truth from the inside and some see truth from the outside.

    3. People are positioned differently to see the truth from their own point of view.

  5. Not sure how I got here but thankful that I did, I guess the Lord is leading even if at times I don’t feel it. It’s great to meet someone who is there, and some who is real thanks for the courage in sharing your truth and your life story

  6. This story was very encouraging but I still battle with 1) I’m not sure if I want to continue to face my past or #2) if I can just say okay I forgive my uncle and I forgive myself and move on
    I keep hearing people’s stories on how they went back to address the past, but I feel like I already have, I seem to be stuck. Did I do mines the right way? Maybe we all don’t have to confront the person, we can just truly forgive and move on.

  7. Thank you Gina, I regonize my weakness, but I used them against me by sacrifizing my own happines, to ensure everyone in my life will be loved, trust by me unconditionally, know no matter what they did to me I still love and forgive them, but I just can’t forgive my self for allowing and becoming so weak and weary, when I have the knowlege and Faith that our GOD will make me knew again. I’m angry with GOD, how come he allows so much pain to innocent children who don’t know any better, who don’t deserve to be strip of their inocents, just because their is a reason, it make us stronger. I can’t conceived a God who loves us but punish us for the things we had no control over

    Hi Johana. Thank you for sharing your story.

    It sounds like you have had a difficult path and that experience as a young person has affected you. I’m sorry that happened and I’m sorry for the cost it has had. I think it is completely OK to be honestly angry with God, if we are in realtionship with Him – in other words, we can be angry with one another and seek a resolution, and we can be angry with God and using prayer we can seek a resolution for how we feel, what happened and where to go from here. You are not alone in being a sinner – we all are- and you cannot stop doing sin… welcome to the world as it really is. We all are in this boat together, not even one of us can change these things about the world or about ourselves.

    May I recommend some posts I wrote and please let me know what you think of them
    What to do when you are feeling empty inside
    Why does the bible say to love yourself?
    Seeing the truth, accepting, forgiving andrecovering

    What do you think when you read these posts? Do they help? Do they speak into your situation at all? Is it just words, or do you feel
    encouraged and liberated to begin loving yourself and planning to do things that you want to do – living according to your desires that He has placed inside you?

    God bless,
    Mark.

  8. I was searching on google the word Believe and your web page came out your are a blessing I have really enjoy reading about your day to life struggles and how you are using them to teah others. I believe your words will help, encourage and blessed others in so many ways. after reading your blogs, I had the urge to write in my journal. I use to write everyday, but I’v been at the cross road for a while and stop writing, I’m still lost, You write with Faith, Confident. as you know the purpose of your life, How do it feel to know your place on earth? I know My GOD and how to seek him but I just can’t get close, I feel what is the purpose when I’m sinner till the day I die, I’m hypocrit when asking God to forgive for my sins, when I continue to do wrong, knowing at the time I should not do it, and plede with God for strength. I’ve been searching for my purpose in life, I keep growing tired and bored in everything I do. No fulfillment and anything I do. I’m so unhappy, and consumed by hate. Read prior letter I sent, That is my life on a paragrah. Thanks You for what you are doing. Jkessler

    Hi Johana.

    Yes I do put myself OUT THERE in this blog and it’s a VERY scary experience for me. I hold my breath each time. People will gain insight into my life and past events – of even current events – and they could look down on me and be critical of me for it. In fact this probably does happen.

    But you know what? When someone comments that my sharing has helped them, it makes it all worthwhile for me. As Christians we are called to love one another. That’s a verb, a doing word. We are not called to be sheltered, but a light to the world. I could hide away, but what good would that do for you and over one hundred thousand other visitors?!

    So I thank YOU for leaving this encouraging comment, because it encourages me to go on.

    God bless you! – Mark.

  9. I remember my dreams and aspiration from when I was still innocent girl, untouched by life’s cruelties. Naive to understand that I was mentally, emotionally, physically, verbally and even sexually abused. I witnessed DEATH right before my eyes, as I watch my friend gasp for his Life until the last breath, I stare in disbelief of what was happening, hoping it was just one of the many nightmare that hunted me, It was real and I couldn’t help or ease his pain. He was never aware his life came to END in a blink of an eye, GONE For Ever, at 13yrs old Never was he given a chance. It seems everything I am and love was all a big lie. Everyone I knew loved and Trust was in it. Like that movie “The Game with Michael Douglas”. Stealing my innocence piece by piece without regret or remorse. I just cannot comprehend the degree of all the wrongs that my life has turned out to be. Reality is so distorted.
    If only I could go back in time and fix it all. I’m alone in a world that is against me. Everyone went on with their lives leaving me alone, defenseless, striped away from all. No one I can count on, No reassuring, encouraging words, Just ME, MYSELF and I. Hiding the tears of rage and sorrow behind my big brown eyes and dark circles underneath telling of the many sleepless nights, fighting in silence the demons in my life who constantly remind me of all my wrongs.
    My life is in my head, like a disease consuming the little hope left inside of me; it is by grace and mercy I still stand… But tears, sorrow, loneliness, despair and agony soon takes over, leaving me weak and helpless. The silent me, no one even notice or see that I cry my self to sleep and drown in misery. Guilt is slowly eating me alive rotting the inside like decaying body.
    Once again I stare at my own reflection in front of the mirror making sure no evidence of grief is visible, dissolving back to my reality. Seeking for that brief moment, on the day I will be FREE; nothing could ever touch or harm me again, as I attempt to escape to my secret place the demons in my head erase all the memory of my life.
    My Safe Heaven, where I become FREE, PURE, ALIVED and LOVED again.

  10. This is a really awesome, deep and special writing that you shared. As you can it see really impacted and brought value to all (including myself) who faced abuse and dysfunction, lacked the love and security that they deserved as children, teenagers and adults and who are seeking peace and comfort in their inner souls.

    Without faith, I honestly would probably be without any quality of life. It has sustained me through the hardest of times. I really identified with the fact we numbed ourselves for so long not to feel. We really were stripped of the richness of our lives over the time that we were unaware that we deserved better and the people who hurt us had no right to blame us! Yet, it is so important to forgive, because those people who abused us are living in a nightmare because they choose to continue to live in pain (falseness) we choose peace, love and god. I do understand that sometimes we are unhealthy when we are getting healthy when we deny that we have a right to feel all that pain, all those feelings we finally are feeling. If anyone reading this is interested in a great healing book “a return to miracles” is one of them. To continue to promote my healing this is the way I look at it “when we were being abused, we were jesus who selflessly took that pain for knowing how that pain feels, so we can join in those who also shared that pain to heal and bring peace as a whole”… in the process of our healing we meet and reach so many great people who are there to help us. Its hard sometimes and it hurts like hell literally… but life is unfair. I look around me and understand that just because people grew up in great family homes, that doesn’t guarantee them a pain free life… loved ones die, trageties happen… they have their own god given lessons and paths just like us. It wasn’t pretty what we went through and I think most of the pain lies in not seeing the truth and when we do… it makes us free… its the BEST feeling. I numbed my pain of abuse in my childhood and part of adulthood from my parents by sex, ciggs, weed and drinking until my life felt so miserable… it took me to surrender and that’s when I found the courage to change and see the light one step at a time. This is my recipe towards healing to start simple:

    Thank god every day outloud and be grateful for what he has given you.

    Go for a walk in nature every day and soak in the natural beauty of life.

    Go to church once a week, it builds structure, disipline and promotes responsibility.

    Ask god everyday to help remove your vices and addictions.

    Those are a few things that have helped continue to help me on the journey towards healing.

    I could probably go on and on… but god bless everyone and lets love ourselves like we’ve never been hurt… we deserve it.

  11. This is a really awesome, deep and special writing that you shared. As you can it see really impacted and brought value to all (including myself) who faced abuse and dysfunction, lacked the love and security that they deserved as children, teenagers and adults and who are seeking peace and comfort in their inner souls.

    Without faith, I honestly would probably be without any quality of life. It has sustained me through the hardest of times. I really identified with the fact we numbed ourselves for so long not to feel. We really were stripped of the richness of our lives over the time that we were unaware that we deserved better and the people who hurt us had no right to blame us! Yet, it is so important to forgive, because those people who abused us are living in a nightmare because they choose to continue to live in pain (falseness) we choose peace, love and god. I do understand that sometimes we are unhealthy when we are getting healthy when we deny that we have a right to feel all that pain, all those feelings we finally are feeling. If anyone reading this is interested in a great healing book “a return to miracles” is one of them. To continue to promote my healing this is the way I look at it “when we were being abused, we were jesus who selflessly took that pain for knowing how that pain feels, so we can join in those who also shared that pain to heal and bring peace as a whole”… in the process of our healing we meet and reach so many great people who are there to help us. Its hard sometimes and it hurts like hell literally… but life is unfair. I look around me and understand that just because people grew up in great family homes, that doesn’t guarantee them a pain free life… loved ones die, trageties happen… they have their own god given lessons and paths just like us. It wasn’t pretty what we went through and I think most of the pain lies in not seeing the truth and when we do… it makes us free… its the BEST feeling. I numbed my pain of abuse in my childhood and part of adulthood from my parents by sex, ciggs, weed and drinking until my life felt so miserable… it took me to surrender and that’s when I found the courage to change and see the light one step at a time. This is my recipe towards healing to start simple:

    Thank god every day outloud and be grateful for what he has given you.

    Go for a walk in nature every day and soak in the natural beauty of life.

    Go to church once a week, it builds structure, disipline and promotes responsibility.

    Ask god everyday to help remove your vices and addictions.

    Those are a few things that have helped continue to help me on the journy.

    I could probably go on and on… but god bless everyone and lets love ourselves like we’ve never been hurt.

  12. I think the things you said were so beautiful in relation to God awesome power to transform suffering into peace and enlightenment. It is through adversities and problems in which we grow in character that enable us to emulate the truth in his love. God bless you

  13. It’s hard for me to face the truth that things that happened to me in the past weren’t all my fault. I can also deeply understand what it feels like to be all alone in the most crisis filled times and I want to say in my heart I wish we were there for each other as sisters and brothers in Christ then to be able to console one another. One thing I do believe is pain we feel really gives us empathy for others and enlarges our hearts. I believe Heaven will finally fill all those empty and bottomless gaps in our hearts. I long for Heaven and I know it’s a real place. Sometimes I just wish I didn’t have to wait to go there. Even the christian friends I have don’t REALLY understand. If anyone has an idea of getting like-mined people together please reply ………. So we don’t have to keep suffering in silence. LOVE< MUCH LOVE< AND A NEW HEALING TOUCH FROM THE LORD

  14. Hi Scott-
    I have been so busy I have haven’t time to read much but glad I came across this one. I so understand how you feel. I spend 4 and 1/2 years in a Christ centered recovery program going back to all the broken and hurt parts of my life. I knew that I was a new creation in Christ the day I gave my heart to Jesus but I still had to go back and deal with all the emotional pain I had inside and caused other people.
    The healing process hurts but I tell you, I would not be the woman I am today had I kept all that garbage stuffed inside of me. I remember a season of weeping and lying prostrate on the floor and wondering if joy would ever come in the morning. Then one morning I woke up and that is what happened. The tears I cried were cleansing and very freeing.
    The really cool thing is that you know that one day, you will be through this. Can you just imagine what the Lord has in store for you? How exciting to see where your life will lead because you are doing exactly what your Daddy wants you to do. Hang on for dear life brother because He is holding you up and His grip is strong and He won’t ever let you go!
    Praying for you-
    Rachel

  15. Wow…I think I could have written this exact post…thank you for being so open and honest. I, too have told only a few of the things I’ve been through to most people and yet, I wonder if I make a big deal out of all of it. Yes, it IS a lot and we have to keep telling ourselves this. But, like Neva says above, what we have been through helps us to relate to others…we are not alone, and neither are they. We just don’t all know it. It’s time we minister to those going through similar and you are doing just that. God can and will use the experiences to touch lives.

    I am praying for you right now…with Him we can make it! Keep pressing on…

    I always think, when I was in tough times, how much did I need someone to just TELL ME THE TRUTH. Not happy happy stuff, not “try harder”… just the truth. Tell me how it is. So I try to do exactly that. Say it the way IT IS for me. Then people can go on from there. That approach may mean the reality is LESS romantic than we hoped for, or more difficult… but at least we know what we’re facing! I think that’s a good thing. I also try not to write problems without solutions. If I have a problem, I pray and pray and try and try to find a solution. Whewn I find it, I write honestly about the problem and honestly about the solution. God bless you Rindy!! Mark.

  16. Mark,
    The pain you have faced has done more than wound and scar you. The pain has expanded and created for you a ministry. Sometimes those of us who are wounded look around at people who are “normal”, who have never been hurt, never been wounded, and wonder why them and why not us?

    Those on whom life has never left its mark have a very limited ministry. They can pretty much offer comfort only to those who have had no greater burden than a flat tire, or a bounced check. But there are so many people who have deep wounds, deep scars, who still hurt–these people need ministering to also, they need to know that God can heal folks who have been hurt just as much as they have.

    Perhaps in order for healing to take place in our hearts, we need only to use the experiences to minister to the hurting. Perhaps that ministry then becomes like a healing salve and a soothing ointment for our souls.

    These are just my thoughts,
    and I am praying for you
    Peace and prayers
    Neva

    THANK YOU Neva for those encouraging words. People who have not experience things have a different calling and talk in different ways, that is true. He sues them differently. True. God bless you! Mark.

  17. Might I just add a bit of emphasis to a single part of that verse? The NKJV of John 8.32 says “the truth shall MAKE you free” not SET you free. I like to use this translation of this verse because it describes the battle we often have to fight with ourselves in order to become free from our iniquity. It’s like this: I am in a jail, and someone comes and unlocks the door, slides it open–I am set free. But if I am in jail and someone comes and begins to cut one of the bars off–now i can get an arm through–now another bar…I can now get my torso through–I’m being made free. I believe it’s a very important part of why Jesus came and died for us–not to just forgive us, but to eliminate the atmosphere for sin. Quite literally, to MAKE us free so that like John 8.36 says, “If the Son makes you free, you are free, indeed.”

    Great post. Just thought I’d chime in with that little tidbit.

    That’s really interesting Micah. Thanks for sharing your perspective. God bless you – Mark.

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