Today’s story comes from a beautiful young woman whom I have known from a distance. Never would I have guessed that this is part of her testimony. From all appearances, she radiates grace, and she walks in deep love for others. How beautiful to now see that what I have witnessed is the fruit of a transformation worked through the love of people God placed around her in her journey.
Her story is brave, heart-wrenching, and speaks to those who have endured the horrors of physical and emotional abuse. Her journey is most beautiful in its vulnerability, because she has not fully arrived. Her scars are still throbbing with pain…yet she believes that God is real, that He is good, and that He loves her, because despite her childhood experiences, this is what she has been shown by the lovers of God in her path.
You and I have the ability to make a difference for God right where we are, just by loving those He has placed around us. We never know what’s beneath the fabric of their lives, and we never know how God is redeeming – with every smile, with every kind gesture, with every hug and every form of help – what the enemy intended for evil.
This story brings me into wonder at the way God chooses to work – through imperfect people who are just doing life together. It makes me all the more want to take my place in the body of Christ and show up, so that I can both grow and help others to grow, just by being there.
I pray you will be encouraged today to keep trusting God for your breakthrough and healing, and to cherish the love of those He has positioned to be a part of your healing. You can be sure He is up to something good in your journey, too!
“My name is Anne, and this is my resurrection story…
I’m not exactly sure when the beatings started, but when they did it felt as though there was no escape. I was only a little child. I remember always being on edge. I dreaded every morning that I woke up. The little things made my dad very angry and there was no telling what would make him angry next. But it was always something. It could be that the table wasn’t wiped well. Or that I was laughing too much. Or that I was crying from being spanked. That would really make him angry and would guarantee more beating.
Getting beat was really horrible, but I think the most painful part of it were the thoughts that would go through my mind…I would sit in my room bleeding and covered in welts from the beating and I would just feel so alone. There was no one to run to. There was no one to protect me. My mom would always tell me to just humble myself and say sorry. It didn’t matter what it was that made my dad angry. I always had to take responsibility and say sorry.
I remember being jealous of other kids at my school. Somehow I just knew they were more loved, more adored, more cherished. I also remember being uncomfortable whenever I would see my dad interact with people outside of my family. He was nice to other people. He never lost his patience with them. He would always joke around and laugh with them. He was always willing to help others and be inconvenienced by them. It was never that way inside our home. And it was always our fault, never his.
I spent my entire childhood wanting to escape my father’s home. All the abuse, the anger, the yelling, the emotional manipulation, the narcissism..I just wanted to get away from it all. When I finally did, I still could not get away from the anger and pain, but God has taken me on a journey to healing this past decade.
Looking back, what brought the most healing to me was receiving little bits of grace, mercy and love from many people. It didn’t happen all at once. But collectively throughout the years, every little bit made a difference and left an imprint on my heart. Grace was something my dad was not good at. At the end of the day, he would count my mistakes and I would get punished for every single one of them. Imagine my shock when God sent people my way who loved me through my mistakes and accepted me for who I am. It’s all so new to me.
I am now married and have a beautiful little girl. Seeing my husband love and adore my daughter really tugs on my heart. It brings out the wounded little girl in me wishing for her dad to just love her…but seeing my husband’s love for my daughter also shows me the kind of love that God has for me.
The Bible says “What great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God.” To think of myself as as a child who is lavished with love almost sounds unreal and really confronts me with the lack of love in my life as a child. But I am learning to separate God’s perception of me from my dad’s upbringing. I am learning that God embraces me even in my most unlovable moments…that he is not put off by me with the way I act even when everybody else is…that I do have Him in my corner and He has my back. These are lessons I couldn’t have just learned from reading the Bible. It took the hands and feet of Jesus to show me glimpses of his love.
I’m still very wounded. And my soul is very scarred. But I also see beauty in it now. Every time I experience the scandalous love of God, it’s like I can see Jesus at my feet washing my welts with a warm, damp washcloth, and I receive just a little bit more healing. There’s beauty in knowing that Jesus walks with me in my brokenness and He loves me just the same. This kind of love transforms you. And next thing you know, you’re giving that same love to others, too.”