THREE YEARS AGO, at the age of 70, my life was shattered by the eruption of well impacted memories of atrocious sexual abuse by a church leader. The man was also a Christian psychiatrist who used his power to force me to stay in my loveless marriage and remain the good, submissive Christian wife he decided I should be.
There are no words to describe the torment that took over my life as I tried to make sense of the enormous damage that man had done to me, and the dreadful consequences for me and my kids; no words to describe the terror of trying to regain control of my life when everything had been torn from me—my faith in God, as flawed as I now know it to be, my sense of self, the injustice that my daughters had dumped on me while supporting their father when he eventually told me our marriage was over. I was utterly devastated. I felt cheated by God and completely betrayed by the Church.
When the full force of those memories slammed into me I was devastated and so angry, furious with God for allowing that man to do what he did, in effect robbing me of any choice to get out of that sham marriage and find happiness elsewhere, and anger that he allowed those memories to come at all, at my age. Hadn’t I been through enough without this? Couldn’t he leave me in peace for the remaining years of my life? He could have, but he didn’t. And now that I have moved through this agonisingly painful, confusing and heart-breaking healing journey I am once again grateful that he did not leave me alone. Rather, he loved me enough—and believed in me enough—to take me through yet another incredible phase in my life that has brought with it deep healing and an even greater measure of wholeness.
The full story of this part of my life will be told in another format. However, where I am right now could be summed up in two words “complete” and “liberated”.
Yesterday, after feeling so complete after the final work of healing, I heard again Don Moen’s song At the Foot of the Cross…where grace and suffering meet…At the foot of the cross where I am made complete. https://youtu.be/Z_e9Mzuk-RU
This morning I woke feeling liberated; by chance today’s Bible verse was Galatians 5:1
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
This morning, sitting at the foot of the cross pondering upon all I have been through, I am truly amazed at the awesomeness of my God, all he means to me and all he has done for me. I am grateful that he cares enough for his kids that he wants the best for each one of us and has promised never to leave or forsake us on the journeys he takes us on.
Sunday, 23rd September 2018