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Something Big God Has Done In My Life

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[dropcap]I[/dropcap] was abused as a child. Emotionally, sexually: someone who should have known better, who should have cared for me, took advantage of their position. It was not a positive experience, and it left a lot of hurt. I suffered from depression for a long time afterwards, and I didn’t trust people enough to get close to them, except a few very close friends.

I don’t want to write about what happened then. I want to encourage you with what occurred more recently. I want to share my story of healing and breakthrough.

It all started when I was at a conference. Someone shared a testimony of how they had been similarly mistreated as a child. They had never shared about it in public before, and they did not really know why they were doing so then. Afterwards, I took the opportunity to talk to them and have them pray for me.

I waited until most other people had left the auditorium. This was a very secret part of my life that very few people knew about. I had kept it hidden. One of the reasons I felt that I could speak to this person about it was that they were a relative stranger – I had never met them before that conference and I might never meet them again.

They prayed for me. As well as sharing an encouragement, they prayed for my healing. One thing that they said was that my healing would be a process. As they prayed, I felt my heart go heavy like a lump of lead. Then it felt just a little bit lighter. The load had started to be taken off.

That has been my experience since then. It has been like taking the onion layers off.

A few months later, I spent some time with a friend. We had been sharing some pretty deep and personal things, and it seemed right to reach out to them and let them know what I had been through. They were sympathetic, and they really understood the effects that the negative experience in my childhood had had on me. They were able to listen to what I had to say, and they gave me some advice that changed everything.

The real breakthrough came when I realised that what had happened was not my fault. That person in my childhood had done something they should not have done – in the eyes of the law I was a victim, and not an offender.

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That realisation broke me. For the first time in a long time, I cried. I was an absolute wreck for days. My inner being was grieving the childhood I had lost.

From there, it was a next step in my healing process to write down everything that had happened. I took a notebook and a pen, and I wrote for hours about my experience. I then asked two of my closest friends to meet me the next day for a bonfire, and we burned my written account. My friends prayed for me, and I felt a huge relief. As the paper burned on the crackling fire, my heart was fluttering and I was free. That symbolic act helped me to move on.

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The real breakthrough came when I realised that what had happened was not my fault.

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Now, I am starting to explore the possibility that I might actually be able to seek a relationship with somebody. The thought still terrifies me a little bit, but God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of ‘power and love and of a sound mind.’ (I Timothy) My experience has led me to rely more on Him, and to realise that purity and wholeness can only be achieved through trusting in His grace.

My encouragement to anyone who has gone through a similar experience is this: Realise that it is not your fault. Seek the help of a trusted friend. Pray with somebody. Forgive your offender. Take steps to move on. It won’t come all at once, but even when you are partly healed from a deeply negative experience it is a huge relief. God is a God who can provide lasting healing from deep pain. He has done it before, and He can do it again. Trust Him. You’ll be glad you did.

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