In life, we experience trials that can make us feel stuck in one place where growth seams impossible; but as mentioned in Genesis 50:20, "God will turn what is meant for bad into good."
After my experience with sexual assult, I chose to be silent because I feared the man who raped me, and I feared the response of my family; who newly committed their lives to Christ. Although, my experience took me through a roller-coaster of emotions, the biggest obstacle that kept me from my own personal-growth in healing, was my own silence.
Everyday when stepped out of my house whether I was going out to eat or shopping, I intentionally hid my fear behind a smile. In that time I had learned that as often as I lied to the outside world about my internally sufferings, I couldn't approach God the same. So in the process, I learned to trust God in order to grow and heal from the experiences I endured. In all honesty, trusting God did NOT happen over night but I often reference Psalms 11:5 which says How "God does not like the wickedness of this world," therefore I understood God never approved of the pain I was going through.
But then there is always the "why did it have to happen to me, why must I go through all of this? ***Skkrrrrt. 🚫🚫 Here, yet again, another road block in my healing growth scale...***
So how did I get past my growing pains?... Ultimately, I owe a lot of growth to prayer.
Of course there were times when I didn't want to pray, and would rather feel sorry for myself, because I was hurting in my own silence.
Romans 12:2 talks about the renewing of your mind; which I had to actively do daily in order to not fall short into my own understanding that would lead to bad actions. In reality, the beginning of my real growth and healing was when I forgave the man who raped me in my heart.
Exactly ..... were my thoughts when I thought the only way to heal was to forgive. But I've learned through these numerous road blocks to self-healing and growth that we forgive others so we may have self peace--not so much because they deserve it, but because without it we leave no room to grow. We need to heal,we need to love, and WE deserve to truly smile again.
I couldn't agree more with a Cristal and how there IS healing power in forgiveness. Her experience brought me back to a time I read in scripture (Mark 2 1:12) of a man who was paralyzed and brought to Jesus to help him. And I can recall in that passage saying " When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Child, your sins are forgiven!”
Everyone around looked puzzled and confused. Like... "homie, we came for healing not to figure out what was wrong with ourselves..." but not long after did the same paralytic walked away from the crowed on his own two feet fully healed.
From personal experience I can attest that unforgiveness and healing (whether physical, emotional, mental...etc.) are very much interconnected.
When I wanted to sit in self-pity for my invalidated pain I made the best effort to insert forgiveness in my thought life(even if I didn't believe it at the time)
Gradually, the weight of my pain lifted along with the bitterness attached to the man who inflicted that pain in my life.
But I think one of the hardest parts of walking in my healing was knowing that once I left my pain, I wouldn't have anything to hold on to...as CRAZY as it sounds...I found comfort in misery.
Okay....so maybe that doesn't sound THAT crazy. But looking back, I can't help but shake my head at the perpetuation of self-Sabatoge and poor decisions I made from me not cutting ties from what wasn't growing me anymore (my dependence on drugs and alcohol, on lust and physical connections that ultimately led to a dead-end street of regret)
It came a point in time, when these "things" were no longer satisfying my deepest hope of genuinely healing from an experience like rape; of having no control over my body, or agency in my decision to leave an unsafe place, or a voice that was heard and respected.
No longer was I satisfied with dysfunctional, co-dependent relationships.
No longer was I content with self-loathing and hate.
No longer was I okay with me not being vocal about my yes's and No's in day-to-day decisions.
No longer was I going to numb a scarring past to the point I ignored the repercussions of MY choices and actions.
I'll never lie and say every day was smooth-sailing.
Like "oh soo you chose JESUS, and your pain and life's unfortunate events makes sense now, right?"
And I SO wish I could better
contextualize with all my background in the field of sexuality and gender, and religion why pain and suffering happen. And as much as you try to rationalize the origins of it through culture or religion... one thing remains true; that trauma, that experience, was REAL. And I finally found a light through the life of Jesus Christ that made my healing REAL too.
To close, Cristal and I realize there are steps in this process and perhaps even different ways one can discover their healing. We also acknowledge not everyone we one across is at the same level of healing or growth, but if we can help by simply sharing what consistently worked for us; maybe it might help someone else along the way
Till next week as we move forward from our growth series..
Love & solidarity,
Cristal Lowe & Devin Marie 👑💗
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