any times in life we have to endure pain, hurt, anger and adverse actions that are no fault of our own. I know far too well about having my life turned upside down due to the acts of others. From the age of 5 until I was 17, I was molested by my father, stepfather, cousins and even the two teenage sisters next door. The actions of those people caused me to become someone that I was never created to be. I began to really resent those people and had reached the point where I hated to see them coming. Molestation is a serious issue that our society or church doesn't really take as seriously as they should. The statistics are astounding and heart wrenching:
- 30-40% of victims are abused by a family member
- Another 50% are abused by someone outside of the family whom they know and trust
- Approximately 40% are abused by older or larger children whom they know
- Only 10% are abused by strangers
Now, those numbers bring tears to my eyes because I know how it feels to be violated and have innocence taken.
Many of us are waiting for our violators to acknowledge and apologize for their actions. We have held anger, unforgiveness and bitterness in our lives for many years because all we want is an apology. My question to you is what if the person that raped you, molested you, physically abused you or verbally abused you never acknowledges or apologizes to you? Will you continue to let them have control over your life by not releasing the past? Will you be held paralyzed and in captivity in your own mind? As I began my journey to releasing my past and embracing my future, the Father began to show me some things that I would like to share with you. I am sure you are familiar with what took place at the crucifixion of Christ as the crown of thorns, the piercing in the side, the nails in the hands and feet are so often depicted to us. But as the Father took me deeper into understanding how terrible and traumatic the crucifixion was, this is what I found.
The Crucifixion of Christ:
1. He was beaten with a whip that had small balls of lead with throngs near the ends. The whip tears deep into the muscles to produce ribbons of bleeding flesh with every lash.
2. A crown of thorns was pressed into His head, causing more blood. The scalp is said to be the most veined part of the human body.
3. They put His robe back on him after they had beat Him and lacerated His flesh only to later rip it off again, reopening His wounds and causing more blood because the robe had started to adhere or stick to His wounds.
4. He carried His own cross, which some theologians say weighed between 75 and 163lbs. This cross was pressing down on his bloody open flesh.
5. They took 5-7 inch nails and hammered them into His hands and did the same to His feet. As He was hanging there, the nails had to be ripping through His flesh. His nailed hands carried the weight of His whole body, which tore his wounds even more.
6. Then, on top of all of that agony and pain, they stabbed Him in the side, piercing His heart.
Isn't that amazing? I know that as you are reading this, whatever issue you have cannot compare to what Jesus had to endure. After all was said and done, nobody came back to apologize to Jesus. Nobody said "aw, man my bad". So if Jesus had to endure suffering, being spit on, beat on, and physically and mentally abused, what makes us think that we are better than Him?
God knew that many would have to go through being violated by others due to no cause of their own, so He gave an example through His Son Jesus on how we are to handle it. After everything that Jesus endured, He became the forgiveness that we need to move forward. "Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins." (Acts 5:31)
The key to overcoming is to make the choice to forgive those that have violated you. Forgiveness is one of the most talked about issues in the Bible. God knew people would do you wrong, and He knew it would be hard for you to forgive them and move on. He knew it would be an especially hard thing to do when you'd done nothing wrong.
As the Father started to deal with me on forgiveness, I had to tell one of my violators that I forgave him. This was no easy task. With tears running down my face as I was telling him that I have to forgive him in order to move on with my life, he said, "If that is what you feel like you have to do, so be it. I have no idea what you are talking about, and I can still care less about you." You see, I could have gotten angry, but God didn't tell me to expect him to receive what I had to say, but to just forgive him and release it.
The 5 Keys to Forgiveness
- No more deceiving yourself that nothing ever happened or that what happened was minor. You must acknowledge that you have been violated and that it wasn't your fault. No more trying to put the ordeals out of your mind. It is time to face your fears.
- We will NEVER forgive if we wait until we feel like it. It's a choice. In all honesty we will never feel like doing the difficult things in life. We would rather do what is easy and say "forget it".
- You cannot forgive without the power of the Comforter--the Holy Spirit. It's too hard to do it on your own, and God never asked you to do it in your own power. If you really want to be delivered you MUST seek God for help.
- The Word gives us a clear description on how and why we are supposed to forgive our enemies.
1) Pray for and LOVE those that have abuse or wronged you. Luke 6:27-28
27 "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you."
2) Bless and do not curse them. Romans 12:14
14 "Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse."
You can't walk in unforgiveness.
Now I know you must be thinking, "She has to be kidding right? I know she isn't serious!" Well, I am only the messenger; I didn't right the rules. This can be a tough pill to swallow, but this is what the Father requires.
- Let go of past hurts and violations FOR REAL and let the renewing of the mind begin. There is so much that God has for you to accomplish that you can't allow unforgiveness and bitterness stop you from receiving everything that He has for you. Why give someone else control over you? That is crazy. If you are reading this, then that means you are alive and have purpose! So come on and "Release the Past and Embrace the Future"!
Don't be afraid and don't worry, because the Father knows your pain and has seen your tears. It is time for a new beginning. Remember to look to the Father for everything and give your burdens to Him. Just be sure not to be an "Indian giver" and take them back.