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Overcoming the Past

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Overcoming the Past

Healing the Hurts

Daily the media reports violence and abuse, especially in the home–child neglect, sexual violence, rape, abandonment, and on and on.

Victims often continue suffering pain long after the actual abuse has ended. Memories haunt them. They still feel the shame, fear, anger and grief brought about by painful events of the past.

Overcoming Fear

Are you or someone you love a surviving victim of abuse? If so, you may be allowing fear to rule in your life. The fear you experienced when you were being abused has become a fear of everyday life. Fear of committing to a relationship. Fear of rejection. Fear of failure. Fear of intimacy.

These feelings of fear often cause victims to put up barriers to God and to relationships with other people. Fear is an extremely powerful emotion that we don’t know how to control. It attacks our ability to trust. It compromises our ability to relax in relationships. Fear of becoming vulnerable, of being betrayed by others, or even by God.

One of the first steps to overcoming fear and tearing down the barriers it has built between you and others is to ask God’s forgiveness for your failure to trust Him. This will open the door for you to begin building a relationship with Him. To know Him better by spending time talking to Him and reading about Him in the Bible. Only then can you begin to know how much He loves you. Only then can you grow to understand His character. With that understanding you will know that you can trust Him, and He will help you build closer relationships with those around you.

Children reared by an abusive or neglectful father often have an incorrect view of God, picturing Him like their earthly father. The good news is our Heavenly Father is perfect and fair. Perfect love drives out fear. God’s love is perfect. And He wants to set you free.

There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown
(complete, perfect)love turns fear out of doors
and expels every trace of terror! (1 John 4:18 AMP)

Who Is In Control?
If you were a victim of violence or abuse, you no doubt felt totally out of control in the situation, whether it was child neglect or abuse, sexual violence, rape or any other form of mistreatment. You never want to feel out of control again, so now you try to control every situation–and relationship–in your life. You probably don’t even trust God to be in control.

None of us can be free to become all we were meant to be until we recognize that God is in control, that He loves us and wants to care for us. We are fooling ourselves when we think we can make it on our own through this life. We need to lean on Jesus. On His wisdom. His strength. And His love.

Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don’t try
to figure out everything on your own. Listen for
GOD’s voice in everything you do, everywhere
you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to GOD!
Run from evil! (Proverbs 3:5-7 MSG)
Jesus loves you. He is inviting you to put your hands in His and let Him guide you and help you through the circumstances of life. Let Him love you. Let Him help you reach your full potential and accomplish all the good things He has called you to do.

The Key
Victims of verbal abuse suffer constant criticism and condemnation from their abuser. They often continue suffering the effects of this abuse long after it has ended. They tend to criticize and condemn themselves and others, a behavior they learned from those who criticized and condemned them.

Repentance is the key to breaking this destructive pattern. You are never called to repent for the abusive acts that happened to you, but you do need to repent of the self-destructive behaviors that have developed in your life. Only through repentance can you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong
to Christ Jesus. For the power of the life-giving Spirit has
freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that
leads to death. (Romans 12:1-2 NIV)
Self-condemnation leads to a miserable and ineffective lifestyle. Unjust criticism and condemnation of others hinder the development of relationships. Repentance involves bringing your failures to the cross. As you receive Christ’s forgiveness, healing of the past can begin. You can begin to understand how special you are to Jesus. And you can learn to see others through His eyes of understanding and love.

If you have not forgiven someone who has hurt you, remember that real healing cannot take place until you let go of all bitterness and unforgiveness. Forgiveness is a process that may require considerable time and much prayer. You have a choice. You can choose to continue as you are. Or you can choose to forgive. Forgiveness will allow you to experience Gods peace and all the good He has planned for your life.

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not
condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive,
and you will be forgiven. (Luke 6:37 NIV)
I encourage you to choose forgiveness today. It won’t be easy, but God will make it possible. Ask Him to forgive you for the bitterness and anger you feel. And then trust Him to help you forgive your abuser and move on to the joy and fulfillment God has provided for you.

Help for Life’s Problems

Five Love Languages of God
Dr. Gary Chapman
The love languages in human relationships are a reflection of divine love. If man is indeed made in the image of God, then we would expect to find all five love languages (and more!) expressed in the character and nature of God. A great book to help the reader more fully understand the magnitude and perfection of God’s love.

Restoring Families Facilitator’s Guide
This study is wonderful for individuals and families who have been affected by abusive relationships. It deals with wounded emotions as well as control and intimacy issues. This small group study presents a strong message of Christ as healer of abusive relationships.

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