Overheard:

“I always knew I should feel anger over the evil that was done to me; but until now, I’ve never been able to!”

The following is being reprinted with permission from the author, a multi-level abuse survivor:

“I really need this message to penetrate my heart like never before!

I have gone to counseling several different times over my lifetime. Six days ago was different though.

The premise of the counseling is transforming your mind with the Truth, God’s Word.

The root of my need always seemed to be about the consequences of my inability to process certain areas of life and each time inevitability the counseling session lead me back to when I was sexually abused as a child.

Over the years when it came to discernment of character I would feel that the wires in my brain were not connected like others. I don’t remember ever hearing that term but I did feel that was my reality. My counselor actually used those very words as what happens in the brain of someone who has been abused, specifically sexually.

I thought I was just somehow a little more understanding, loving, empathetic and forgiving than others. You know how God would want us to be. What a fool I have been.

O how the enemy has deceived me, masterfully for most of my life.

Well somehow through the grace of God I left my counseling session not only with my eyes open but something that had been seared in my brain for all these years reconnected. Oh God..I have believed the lies of a sexual perpetrator for more than 30 years.

This week the anger I have felt has been so intense I could have easily taken revenge without remorse at any moment.

Reflecting through the night I wake up feeling utter disgust unable to put into words at this sexual perpetrators behavior, lies and manipulation even to this day. Grooming anyone he can exploit, sexually, emotionally, or financially for his own selfish gain. For years this has been his behavior and continues to this day. How does he keep this going, he is very cunning and manipulative, full of lies and deceit.

One of his ways is to masterfully tell you what you want to hear, divide and conquer, he stops at nothing.

The destruction he leaves behind as he moves onto his next victims is deplorable.

Yes sadly enough he could be sitting beside you in church, raising his hands, using the right Christian lingo as someone who loves God, quoting scripture, even playing an instrument in your worship team. But all the time looking for his next victim.

A monster I would say, YES. God please stop Him in his tracks.

If you have been abused in your life seek connecting what was broken, don’t give up until you can feel and connect to the reality of the abuse. The emotion is intense but the only way to wholeness and hopefully the way to stop these sick souls. God help me to keep calm and let You serve the justice due. But please do it quickly!”

A Dad-ness Not Worth Celebrating

Overheard:

“Happy Father’s Day!!”

Standing and looking out the sliding glass doors overlooking the pond our back, a strong message resonates in my mind: “Yours is a Dad-ness not worth celebrating.”

Some will immediately run to chastisement, admonishing me that, “That kind of negative self-talk is unbecoming a child of God.”

Probably so. But this is not a message that I’ve dreamed up on my own. God has brought me down a very long path of healing. The Toxic Shame messages of my growing-up years have pretty much subsided.

No, the message that resonates so powerfully in my mind and heart today is due to the very poor job I have done as a Dad.

Granted, the years of abuse I suffered at the hands of my own father somewhat handicapped me in a lot of ways. But I’ve had a hand full of good examples over the years, men who loved God, cherished their wives, adored their children.

Too selfish – that was the greatest handicap I had to being the kind of dad God intended for me to be.

Too busy trying to prove I wasn’t as worthless as I felt.

Too focused on accomplishing things that would improve my image that I neglected to invest in the most precious moments of my children’s lives.

And too selfish in my need to feel loved that I couldn’t see the love they had for me that was free and unconditional – which was exactly the kind of love I needed and couldn’t receive.

The children have turned out pretty well in spite of my inability to sacrifice my selfish wants and needs to love them the way they needed and deserved to be loved.

They are strong of character, long on integrity, and their work ethic is par excellence. People like and enjoy them, consider themselves blessed to have them as friends. They are looked up to and admired. I like them!

What was missing were enough of the picnics, the fishing, the popcorn and movie nights. Missing were enough of the long walks along the river, teaching them a skill that would be worthwhile, and not anywhere near enough laughter!

What I did invest in them was a love and reverence for God and His Word that I trust is true enough and deep enough to be sure we will walk with Jesus together one day.

If I could go back and recapture any one of the lost moments, any one of those missed opportunities, any of the bad choices and turn them into good ones, I would do it in a heartbeat.

But I will never regret that they know and understand the nature and character of God to such a degree and such an extent that they have long known the He loves them more than I ever could –so much so that they realize His greatest love for them was shown them when He sent His Son to pay the penalty for their sins.

Jesus Christ is their personal Lord and Savior, of that I am sure and for that I am deeply and eternally grateful.

My life may not be much worth celebrating this Father’s Day because of what I got wrong, but I got the most important thing right: My children each know God as their Heavenly Father and rest confidently in His love for them.

I love them; I’m proud of them; I know I will see them in Heaven one day…

I can smile and know that, despite my worst, I done good.

Soli Deo Gloria