Today’s story was submitted by a woman I’ve known for many years. In many ways, we grew up together. Through those years, I have witnessed the journey of her faith, and become one of her greatest fans, in the sense that I’ve been able to stand as a cheerleader and encourager to her as she has pursued the promises of God over her life.
She has come from deep brokenness, and has met with some of the most seemingly unfair adversities. But I’ve watched her brave it all with her head bowed low and her eyes fixed like fire on the good that God always promised He would bring out of it all. And I’ve stood with her as God, so many times, has indeed turned her mourning into joy, her tears into glorious laughter.
This woman makes me want to believe God more in my own circumstances. She inspires me to trust the grace and goodness of God when it makes no sense to do so. And her life has been for me a picture of the healing which the love of God brings to a woman who opens herself up to receive it. Once, she was a timid, depressed, wounded girl who only knew how to survive. But I have seen her transform into a brave, bold, beautiful and confident woman who only knows how to believe God in everything that touches her life. She makes me want such faith, and I trust that her story will dare you, too, to believe God for the unthinkable.
“My name is Abigail. I am a woman in my forties – a passionate lover of God, a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend. And this is my resurrection story…
For as long as I can remember – since childhood – there always seemed to be a cloud over my head. There was something fuzzy that hung over me and which I couldn’t shake, no matter how hard I tried.
And try I did. I found Jesus, or rather Jesus found me. I pursued God, and He pursued me. I pursued religion (which is not the same thing as God), and religion pursued me. I pursued boys and men, and they pursued me. I read self-help books and went to seminars and retreats. I tried different religions. I had children. I tried a career. I indulged in hobbies. I went to counseling. I fought depression, fear and anxiety, hoping that might lead me to peace. But none of it touched the cloud, the mysterious shroud of something dark and looming over my life.
Finally, I gave up trying to figure out what it was and just decided to live with it. I hoped that maybe it would fade into the background, and it did – most of the time. But there were still moments when it hung heavy and demanded to be noticed again. All I knew to do was look it square in the face – if you could say it had a face – and wait. It didn’t seem to have the power to harm me, but it haunted me with something I couldn’t recognize, and always left me with an uneasy feeling. Still, I chose to trust God and keep moving on, because what else was left for me to do?
And then one day, in my thirties, that cloud opened up. I was sitting with God, like I love to do, and suddenly the mystery became as clear as day. Clearer, in truth, than I would have thought I was ready for.
In a moment, I was taken from the present into the past, and I saw the face of someone I loved very much, someone I had trusted more than anyone else on earth. It was my Grandpa. But he didn’t look like the same man I had known, loved and trusted. He looked more like a monster, a monster whose eyes carried vengeance and whose hands were reaching for me with violence and hatred and lust. I was no longer a woman in my thirties, but a little girl, maybe two years old. And as he took hold of me, I became a victim of sexual abuse.
Needless to say, I tried to push this – whatever it was – away. Whether it had been a vision or some crazy thought from far out in left field, I was sure it wasn’t from God. And I desperately wanted to return to the place I had previously been, sitting with God. I tried to claw my way back to safety, reaching for God’s presence, but I realized that He was there with me, and that He had led me into that place.
Recognizing His presence stilled my fear, and I set my heart to see this thing through. I knew, and I trusted, that if God had led me here, He had a plan for this moment. So I sat still, and I re-entered the room in the vision, with my Grandpa. I surrendered to being small and vulnerable again, so that I might see what God was trying to show me. And as I did, I saw the most amazing sight.
Some people think, when they hear about such tragedies, that God is either cruel or non-existent. They reason that a good God would never allow such things to happen, and so choose to not believe in Him. But humanity was blessed with the right to choose, with a free will which, when un-surrendered to God, leads us into all kinds of dark and evil things. None of us are beyond the selfish, cruel, ugly things we hear about every day.
It isn’t that God can’t stop evil from happening, or even that He doesn’t desire to. But God leaves the choice of good or evil with each man, woman and child. And He pours out His love and His presence to equip us with what we need to choose good. He will not violate our right to choose, because He is not a dictator. But He will empower our right to choose, when we turn to Him. And far from being absent or silent in times of darkness and evil, He is very present, fighting for those who have placed their trust in Him. I know because I saw Him that day.
As I returned to the place of my victimization, I saw, between me and my Grandpa, the person of Jesus Christ. He stood between us, pushing back my Grandpa, and keeping him from having all of his way with me. His eyes were like fire, jealous for me, His daughter, and fiercely protecting me in that moment. As I saw Him fighting for me, I sensed the moment of opportunity, the window of forgiveness had been opened. I was able, both as a woman in my thirties, and as a little girl who had been violated, to forgive my Grandpa, and to surrender that moment of tragedy to God, to do with it whatever He would choose to.
When I landed back in present reality, I was a bit stunned by all that had taken place. In one fell swoop, I had become aware of a life-changing event and been healed from it all at once. I struggled to gain some kind of clarity, to get my feet back on solid ground. But the ground on which I stood had never shaken. In fact, God had nothing but more strength and a more firmly established stance in mind when He led me into that revelation.
I sat still and quiet for a few moments, wondering what was next. And that was when I discovered the gift: the cloud was gone. That thing that had hovered over my head for so many years was no longer there. I felt free. My tears literally, in that moment, turned to laughter, and I rejoiced at the goodness, power, and very real presence of this amazing God Who calls me His own, and continually demonstrates His great love for me.
But there was still one more piece of freedom to be discovered from my experience that day. I went back home, to normal life, and began to immerse myself in my daily routines as wife and mother. But something about what I saw in my Grandpa’s eyes that day continued to trouble me. Why was he so angry and full of hatred toward me? Why did I see vengeance in his eyes? I wasn’t haunted by it, but it lingered, for some reason.
And then, God brought clarity, and more healing. For years, my intimacy in marriage had been hindered. There were some obvious issues related to our marriage, which we simply had to work through. But there was something deeper, darker, which I could never put my finger on. Counselors over the years had always asked if I had been sexually abused, and I said no, because I never knew that I had been. But now I had this piece to try and fit into the puzzle. I was sure it must have had some kind of effect on my intimacy with my husband, but I wasn’t quite sure what it was.
Until the moment God opened up my eyes to see. I was sitting in a parking lot, preparing to go into the store, and suddenly I saw a flash of my husband’s eyes and a moment of intimacy between us. I was, in this vision, as that same little girl I saw in the vision with my Grandpa. And when I looked into my husband’s eyes, I saw the same vengeance, hatred , lust and violence that had stared at and reached for me in my Grandpa that day. Again, I tried to shake it off, thinking I must be having violent imaginations. But again, it was God, setting me free.
What I came to understand, and to weep over, was that those spirits of violence, vengeance, lust and hatred were attached to and empowered by occult activity in my Grandpa’s past. They had been after me all my life, trying to destroy me. My husband, through some of his own past choices, had opened himself up to their influence, and they had gained room in our marriage to wreak devastation. Because I was wounded and carried the trauma of that sexual assault with my Grandpa, I became an unconscious victim every time I became intimate with my husband.
That day, I was set free from those spirits. Their influence and power came to a halt, and I have never been the same. My marriage has never been the same. I am not a victim. I am a woman set free. I am a woman fought for. I am a woman healed and delivered. I am a woman with a resurrection testimony. And I am a woman who can’t help but believe in the amazing grace, power, and love of Jesus Christ! I am 100% convinced that there is nothing impossible for Him, and that He causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him and who are called by His name (Romans 8:28).
I pray that you, too, will discover all He wants to be for you, and all you are to Him, in and through your broken places.”
“Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imaginations! He will outdo them all, for His miraculous power constantly energizes you!” Ephesians 3:20 (Passion Translation)