Whispersfrommyheart's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘guilt

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“It’s in the past, get over it.”

How many times have you heard that?

Exactly what is meant by “get over it”?

Do they mean:
Stop being so needy?
Quit crying?
Act normal?
Quit being a drama queen.
Stop rehashing the same old story?

Throughout my journey to heal people quoted that exact phrase to me. People, who did not understand the process of healing. Well meaning people who didn’t understand why I couldn’t let go the past. They didn’t understand the underlying issues associated with sexual abuse. I was accused of being a drama queen. Of loving attention. I heard, “It happened such a long time ago, Cheryl, you just need to let it go now.”

They were well-meaning, but they were wrong.

Most of the time, when I heard those words, I became angry. Angry because, no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t “get over” what happened. I couldn’t flip a switch to turn off the internal roller coaster. I tried to get better by reading self-help books– I devoured them. I tried talking to myself positively and ended up berating myself for not believing. I did bible studies only to believe God must intend pain and suffering for my life. I did everything I knew in order to “get over” the years of rape and molestation. Yet, my pain and anguish of yesterday still ruled my today’s.

I couldn’t “Get Over It.”

For the longest time I felt as though something was mentally wrong with me. I thought, “I must have some kind of psychological problem, and that is why I can’t “get over” my abuse.” How many times have we told ourselves that very thing? That has to be the reason, right? Otherwise, I would be strong enough to overcome… wouldn’t I?

Isn’t that what we are taught?

Ignore it, it will go away.
The past doesn’t matter, it’s over.
Don’t talk about it, it just brings up bad memories.
The past is just that; past. It’s over, don’t dwell on it.

Those phrases almost sound like good logic. And there are plenty who talk a good game, but you know what? The past doesn’t stay in the past. It resurrects itself in the present. The past creates problems now. It oozes into your relationships, and spills out into every aspect of your life. In reality, your childhood trauma not only affects you, but it affects everyone around you. Maybe that is the real reason we’re told to “get over it.” If Childhood Sexual Assault stayed in the past, where it belonged, those of us who have been abused would lead happier, more productive lives. But the past doesn’t stay buried, does it? The pain of childhood rape and molestation does not understand it should not show up in the here and now.

You can’t just “Get Over It.”

Childhood Sexual Assault is not an illness one recovers from quickly. There isn’t a prescription we can take to clear it up. We can’t wash it away with a few scented baths. We can’t talk ourselves out of the pain. We can mask it, we can cover it over and think we have healed, but unless we experience true healing, our past will continue to affect us. It isn’t easy to just “Get Over It.” It takes real healing, not to “get over it,” but to overcome every single issue of Childhood Sexual Assault.

Healing is a journey — a series of small steps — lasting years. A journey designed to uncover every issue affecting our lives, and one that must be walked out day by day. One step at a time. One issue at a time. One layer at a time. Peeling back each layer and inviting God to deal with the wound.

My hope, through the things I post here on Whispers, is that those who have never been assaulted at any time in your life, will find an understanding into the heart of the one who has. Maybe a post will help you understand your sister, your mother, your friend, your neighbor or your co-worker. Maybe you will have more patience when you hear their story for the one thousandth time. Maybe, by reading this blog, you will find more compassion for the struggles and set backs those who are overcoming sexual abuse face. If nothing else, maybe the words, “It’s in the past, get over it,” will never be said again.

Cheryl Thompson is an award-winning poet, and author, and single mom to Trey, Charlie, and Brett, and “Gammy” to Dillinger. She’s got a few degrees, but most of her learning came from very difficult seasons in her childhood, and adulthood. Through it all, Cheryl learned an importance for keeping a heart tender for God. She is a freelance writer and blogger, who has been published in the FaithWriters quarterly book, FaithWriters online magazine, the 2009 Christ For the Nations—60 Years of Service coffee table book. She has published articles in Heart Magazine 2012 and WHOA Women Magazine 2013. Cheryl’s first book, Whispers From My Heart – Emotional and Spiritual Healing from Childhood Sexual Assault, was published in November 2009 and awarded the Christian Choice Book Award 2010.

You can follow Cheryl on Facebook here: and Twitter here:
You can purchase Whispers From My Heart here:

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I know. It sounds flippant. But, really, it’s not. I really am sorry. I didn’t mean to do it, again. I didn’t mean to give in to a moment of weakness.

But, I did.

I hate when I give in to sin. It is usually followed by a sense of distance between God’s Spirit and me, and a bout of guilt that continues until I break down, confess myself to God, and repent of my sin.

That’s how it went today. Happily, in short order.

Sin is deceitful. It draws us in by constant bombardment. At times, we are able to stand firm against it, and it lessens the pull against us. However, there are those moments of weakness when we give in to that temptation. It seems so exciting, so good, so inviting, when we are being tempted. But once we have given into the sin, and completed the sin, the guilt and shame enter in. The guilt and the shame create the distance that develops between God and our self. Sin always causes us to shrink away from God. Sin and God cannot stay in the same place.

That’s how sin works.

That’s why God tells us to resist the devil and he will flee from you. – James 4:7.

I can hear you saying, “But, you don’t know how hard it is…”!
Oh, yes I do. That is why I also come bearing good news.

We are all human. While we can learn to overcome sin, we are bound to fail. God, in his mercy, has already made provision for us.

The work that Jesus did on the cross, not only provided us with salvation, but total forgiveness of sin. Total. I mean, everything we did in the past, everything we do today, and everything we do in the future. Covered. Taken care of. Blotted out.

“Are you telling me if I let loose of a string of cuss words, I’m covered? I can do whatever I want?”

I didn’t say that.

“But, that’s what it sounded like.”

No, that is not what I’m saying. Otherwise, the guilt I felt when I gave in to temptation is of no use.

When Jesus died he died ONCE and FOR ALL for ALL sin for ALL TIME, Romans 6:10, he took care of sin for ALL TIME for ALL who come to him.

“You mean, me, too?”

Yes, you, too.

However, if, once we have accepted Christ’s payment for our sin, if we continue to live in sin his sacrifice is null and void for us – See Hebrews 10:26.

A Christian who willingly sins hasn’t died to sin – Romans 6:2.
One who humbles him or herself in the sight of God allows God’s Spirit to work sin out; to conform us to the image of Christ.

As one who is overcoming the issues of Childhood Sexual Assault, falling off the sin wagon is huge. Since control is a big issue, loosing control matters. Not controlling my mouth, or my body, or my attitude, brings about huge disappointments. As soon as I give in to sin, the cycle begins: I retreat from God, and as I make that retreat, I remind myself; “You’re so stupid, you can’t do anything right.” “You are dumb.” “God hates you.” These thoughts take me even farther away from God. They increase my distance from him. Thankfully, God’s Spirit also begins his work, reminding me God’s mercy is new every morning -Lamentations 3:22 & 23. Drawing me back. Closing the gap.

You see, God knows we are going to fail.
He has already forgiven us.
Already given us the way back.
Already closing the distance between us, and him.
Already drawing us back in.

The scriptures tell us in Romans 8:39, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Our failures don’t make us unlovable to God. They won’t cause God to abandon us. He won’t run away from us. We’ll be chastised because he loves us – Hebrews 12:6. We’ll have to suffer the consequences of our choices, but God will never turn away or forsake us.

Don’t hold back.
He’s calling you to turn back to him.
He’s telling you, you’re already forgiven. Already covered.
Even if you are enduring tough circumstances because of your choices, God is still there, right beside you. Waiting for you to run into his arms.

We are human.
We’re going to stumble and fall.
But, you are more than…your sin.

(Courtesy 123RF)
You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed
Psalm 139:16 (NIV).

It was a struggle for me to understand.
Before I was ever born, God knew what would take place in my life… and he let it happen. He knew what those men would do to me, even before they were ever born… and he allowed them to be born. He allowed them to grow into men who would sexually abuse little girls.

Why?

That question plagued me for years. It was the source of my discontent with God. The wall that separated us.

Why? God seemed distant. Cold. Uncaring.

Why became the reason of disbelief.

Why? You must not love me. If God loved me, he wouldn’t have let this happen. He would have protected me. He would have answered my pleas for help.

Why became my reason for rebellion.

Why? If you don’t love me enough to keep me safe, then I won’t love you. God doesn’t deserve my devotion. I will live my life for myself. I will do what I want to do. I will use men the way they used me.

Why became self preservation and protection.

Why? Since you don’t love me enough to protect me, then I will live for myself. No one will get close enough to hurt me that way, ever again. I will keep relationships at an arms length. I won’t be vulnerable again.

Why became the fuel for my anger.

Why? You don’t care! God doesn’t care, so why should I? God doesn’t protect people, he is a distant, angry, uncaring deity that doesn’t deserve me. In fact, I hate him! If I could, I would slap him in the face for tricking me into thinking he did care about me.

Funny, even in my anger I didn’t deny God existed…

It’s hard to reconcile a loving, caring, personal God with the bad taking place our lives. One who knew everything there is to know before we even existed. We associate love and protection together. We love our own children and we protect them… or, we love our brother, sister, spouse and we protect them. We do everything we can to make sure they do not suffer. So, when bad things happen to good people (especially) we can’t wrap our minds around it. It is almost unfathomable to us that an All-Powerful God, who certainly has the ability to stop bad things from taking place, doesn’t.

It’s taken me the majority of my life to come to terms with it. Why? no longer haunts me. Sure, I still have questions, but those questions don’t stand in a gulf between God and me. God really doesn’t mind the questions.

In all of the days God saw for me, before even one of them began, just as our verse states, some one else was making plans. Someone who did not have my best interest at heart. Someone whose plan was to destroy my life with God before that relationship ever had a chance to begin.

The scriptures tell us, in 2 Corinthians 4:4, Satan is the god of this world.

Look at what I John 3:7 & 8 says:

GOD’S WORD® Translation
Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you. Whoever does what God approves of has God’s approval as Christ has God’s approval. The person who lives a sinful life belongs to the devil, because the devil has been committing sin since the beginning. The reason that the Son of God appeared was to destroy what the devil does.

By his Word, we know those who are not following God — obeying his commands — follow Satan, whether they accept it or not. Those men and women under Satan’s power are influenced to behave as he would have them behave, to accomplish his end. He [Satan] used those men, in their sin, to create havoc in my life. The ultimate purpose was to destroy my relationship with God (See John 10:10). To thwart the good plans God had for me (See Jer. 29:11).

God gave those men in my past a choice. They chose to sin against God by disobeying his command. And, they chose to sin against me by giving into their sin. Their choices had no bearing whatsoever on God’s intention for me and my life. Not then, and not ever.

Does that make sense?

One of the greatest things God gave us, other than his Son dying for our salvation, is the ability to make choices. We aren’t robots. We have a conscience that should help control our actions. But, when sin has such a grip on us — and child molesters are definitely held in the grip of that sin — personal control may or may not be that easy.

In my opinion — and this is just my opinion, I haven’t done any research to back this up… yet — Sexual sins are harder to control because of the physical pleasures they produce. The chemicals exploding in our bodies during sexual pleasures are very intimate and personal, and once they begin, are hard to get back under control. This is how I view my rapist, and my molesters. Men, so deeply trapped in their sexual sin, unable to resist the urges that plague their minds and their bodies.

Even though I understand what happened back then, it neither excuses their behavior, nor does it absolve them. I believe, with every fiber of my being they will be held accountable, and if the blood of Jesus has not covered their sin, that particular sin of rape and molestation will be the nails securing the lids on their coffins. They will have to stand before the Living God and answer to him.

Yes, God saw every one of my days, including the ones where terror and pain existed, before even one of them ever came into being. He saw them and provided the way in which those days could be overcome.

Isaiah 61:1 Jubilee Bible 2000
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me because the LORD has anointed me; he has sent me to preach good tidings unto those who are cast down; to bind up the wounds of the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those that are bound;

That is the message today. God saw every one of your days, before they ever began. He knew the pain and terror that would fill some of those days, and he provided the way for you to overcome. He provided Jesus, not only as salvation for your soul, but as healer for your heart.

Be Blessed and #WalkInTruthToday

It’s just not fair!

How often have you said that? Me, I’ve said it so often I own the copyright! Not really, I’ve just said it many times in my life, especially when life became hard.

Why is it that things in life can be going along just fine, and suddenly, one thing goes wrong, like too much month at the end of your money, or the loss of a job and not being albe to pay the bills. I’ve experienced both quite recently.

The very first thought to run the gambit of my mind is how unfair life has been to me, (I have a masters degree in the college of hard knocks, and working on my Ph.D. in strugglenomics). I question why God allows me to continue to squeak out a living throughout life—I’ve been a single mother to three boys since October 1989 and life hasn’t been very easy raising three boys alone. I question why God wouldn’t help me rise above the poverty line. I question why everyone I know seems to be doing well and I continue to struggle just to make ends meet.

Why me?

That’s another question that worms its way into my thoughts. Why is it always me?

When I’m in the middle of a particular hardship, it’s hard to see past the turmoil to the other side. I can’t see the strength and character this particular trial will produce because I’m wrapped up in the here and now. I’m focused on the problem I am facing and not on what that problem will accomplish in the spiritual realm.

Let’s face it, no one likes to face difficulties. Wouldn’t we rather have life happen to us with ease, with little discomfort and have every day filled with happiness? Of course we would, but life isn’t like that, is it?

No. It sure isn’t.

Life is full of struggles that won’t seem very fair, and it will continue to be so. God allows hardships in our lives to strengthen our walk with him. To break our dependence on things, and turn our dependence onto him and him alone. Trails are never to punish us, but to prove us—to provide evidence of our faith in God.

If you or someone you know is facing a tough situation right now, hold on! And remember, God is still in control. He is faithful and will not leave you on your own. He delights in watching your faith and character develop.

He is with you.

Image

Photo taken in front of Parliament, Hull, Quebec, days after 9/11

I am 7 years old and it happens.

There isn’t a thing I can do to stop it.

I am too young.

Too weak.

Too frail to stand my ground.

Too afraid to call for help.

Afraid of getting in trouble.

Tears fall hot onto my cheek. I silently scream.

I am 15 and it happens.

I feel so alone, like no one in the whole world will help me.God doesn’t rescue me, so why would anyone else?

I am not worthy to receive help.

I can’t tell anyone; who would believe me?

They would think it is my fault; that I started it. They will blame me.

Tears fall hot onto my cheek. I silently scream.

I am 40 years old and it happens.

I kept it bottled inside for too long. The turmoil kept me defeated.

I wanted to die.

Does God care?

Where was he?

Why did he let this happen to me?

Why can’t I just get over what happened?

God must be disgusted with me.

Hot tears fall on my cheek. I silently scream.

I am 50 and it happened to me.

It wasn’t my fault.

God was there the whole time. What happened grieved him deeply.

He held me while I cried.

He soothed me in my anger.

He understood me in my frustration.

He heard my heart, when words failed.

He gave my abuser the choice to obey him, or reject him.

His Spirit comforted me by taking my mind elsewhere. To help me cope until I found his healing.

He guided me to the path where true forgiveness is found.

He redeemed me from my ruined past and began to rebuild my heart and life.

He delivered me from the prison of emotional and spiritual abuse..

He saved me and called me his own.

He called me worthy.

His child..

I belong.

Tears of joy fall on my cheeks. No more silent screams.

You knew him once upon a time, so many years ago; He offered you his friendship but, Dear Daddy, did you know?

One night he led me into hell, with terror to bestow; And stole your daughter’s innocence, Dear Daddy, did you know?

That night I pleaded, terrified, ‘Oh please, don’t make me go’; You said ‘Enough! It’s settled now.’ Dear Daddy, did you know?

I didn’t want to go there but, I went there any way; Endured the pain and agony, Afraid of what you’d say.

I didn’t call when he was done, nor think that you would come; Or want to save your little girl, now broken and undone.

I’ve often wondered through the years, why Daddy didn’t see; The fear that was so obvious, and cries that came from me.

And, how could Daddy never see, His daughter’s soul had died; Behavior, attitudes that changed, was evidence denied?

I’ve held this anger in my heart, since I was only eight; I’ve blamed you dad for everything, and given in to hate.

Realities of what you said that echoed through my mind; Became the ache of memories transcending years of time.

But Daddy there is something else, I want for you to know; Despite the pain and suffering, compassion’s seed has grown.

My Daddy’s Who’s in heaven has redeemed my ruined past; He taught me how to love; forgive, and walk through life at last.

There’s one more thing that you must know, straight from your daughter’s heart; if I’m to bridge this gap at all, today’s the day to start.

I’ve chosen to release you from, responsibilities; That once demanded justice for the shame inside of me.

And with release I now forgive your words from long ago; The secret of my troubled past, Dear Daddy, now you know.

Copyright Oct 2009 ‘Whispers From My Heart‘ By: Cheryl A. Thompson

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When God created the human race, He included the fact that men would one day become the shepherds of little girls.  That relationship, between father and daughter, is an important one.  A father is supposed to be both the provider and protector to his daughter(s).  By his example, he teaches his little girl what the manly value and worth is that is placed on her life.  His actions, as well as, his re-actions to her become the perceptions of the life lessons she will carry into adulthood.    His life is a reflection, an earthly representation, of how her Father in Heaven loves and accepts her.  What she learns from her father here on earth becomes what she will believe about her Heavenly Father.

A little girl trusts her daddy implicitly from the moment she wraps her little fingers around his and understands the concept that he is with her.  To a little girl, her daddy is strong.  She isn’t afraid when he is near.  And, when she does become afraid, he is able to calm her.  When she is sad, he comforts her.  A daughter looks to her father with trusting eyes because she has faith that her daddy loves her, and would do anything within his power to help her.  A father not only represents God as his daughter’s Heavenly Father, but this earthly man also becomes the representation of what kind of a man his little girl will eventually marry.  Interestingly enough, daughters learn a lot from the relationship they have with their father…

In the summer of 1970, my father invited a friend, his wife and their daughters over to our house for dinner.  Somewhere during the course of the evening the oldest daughter asked me to spend the night with her.  I immediately replied that I didn’t want to, and thinking the matter settled, never gave it another thought.  Little did I know, but arrangements had already been made for me to spend the night, and when they were ready to leave my father told me to get my stuff.  I can still recall the look I gave him and the absolute terror that filled my heart.

I don’t want to, I want to stay home.”

I’m not sure what transpired between that statement and what I remember next, but the next scene that plays through my mind is one of me running through the house screaming and crying, begging my father not to make me go.  I assume my behavior embarrassed and angered my father, but the words he said to me that evening became the sentence of a prison term that would last for 35 years.

Stop acting like a baby; you’re going”.

There it was.

I didn’t matter…

That night, while his daughters slept in the bunk above me and his wife asleep across the hall, this so-called friend of my father’s raped me…

The message my little girl heart received that night was, “Cheryl, you don’t count”…

Satan accomplished what he set out to do; he convinced that little girl she wasn’t good enough for her father to care about, much less God.  He succeeded in his attempt to twist her perception of her earthly father, and ultimately, skew the perception of her Heavenly Father.  Satan had successfully separated her from God…

Every one of us needs to have an understanding of who our enemy is and what he is trying to do.  The scriptures tell us that Satan’s main purpose is to steal, kill, and destroy (see John 10:10), and that is exactly what he did in my heart…

From ‘Whispers From My Heart’ Chapter 5