Welcome back Queens and Kings,
We are continuing the narrative around gratitude post-trauma. Is it possible? And how do we get to a place of sincere thanks amidst struggle and pain? To speak more on her personal experience post-trauma and the journey towards healing through gratitude is cofounder, Cristal Lowe.
People would tell me, “Come to church and He will heal you from the pain, and the diabetes,” but all I could think was "No He won't. " I gave my life to Christ and got baptized after I became diabetic. I often wondered, “How can the God you speak of ‘being a healer’ allow this to happen to me; near death experiences, sexual assault, and now becoming diagnosed as a diabetic?
Months after being raped, I wanted to take my life. I wondered “is living even worth it, continuing to trust a God that in my mind had failed me. It took me about a year after being raped to actually go to church even though in private I never stopped reading my bible. For whatever reason, it just felt like it was right. However, I could not bring myself to be surrounded by people worshiping when I was mad and confused whether or not God really loved me.
Symptoms of my diabetes got so severe, I began to lose my vision. I could only see 20% from one eye and 30% from the other eye. At this point I was convinced God didn't love me, I couldn’t help but feel He hated me at his point.
I wondered, “where is this BIG and mighty God that people say heals the sick, where is this God that people say protects you and covers you? Does this God hate me?
Not long after my vision slowly deteriorating, I went to see a doctor after our consultation, he responded saying, "something is telling me I need to help you, I will get your lenses donated and perform free surgery as long as you allow me to record your surgery for my class demos.” My face must of light up and said "of course you know I don't have money for this kind of procedure or worry my parents with the financial burden especially with my mom being on dialysis. He simply replied, "God is good.”
I remember waiting in the room to get my eyes measured, becoming overwhelmed with gratitude. The moment I got home, I locked myself in the room and prayed to God for forgiveness for ever questioning him and his plans.
The grace shown through that doctor was he catalyst for my praise to a God I was still confused by. I felt the urgency to ask for forgiveness and also forgive others that have done wrong towards me. Matthew 6:14-15 says’s “your Father in heaven will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive the wrongs you have done.”
I soon learned that God couldn’t bless me while I cursed and wish wrong on those who hurt me..including my rapist. Yes, what he did WAS wrong, yes you were broken, but as you hold anger and bad towards those that do wrong by you, you are hardening your heart towards loving, healing and ultimately BEING all I have called you to be.
My worship was no longer focused on wishing bad on him or wondering does God love me,. I had began praying by faith, a different kind of “spiritual blindness” that forced me to say “thank you, God for keeping me, though I can’t see what my life will look like or who I will be because of what I’ve gone through.
For me, praise looked like forgiveness before I could muster-up the strength to see God as good again. I would pray God forgive me for all the bad things I wished on rye man who raped me, to cover him with the blood of Jesus, and allow me to truly forgive him so that I may be able to love and be truly happy. Praising God through the pain taught me to honor Him even when I don’t understand what He was doing.
Sometimes God is ready to bless you, but we must forgive those who done wrong by us. I know it's not easy, but it's worth every blessing God has for you and while God never wants you to be hurt He will use your hurt to help others, He has proven In my life that He will turn the bad to good and bless you! Trust God and never for a second think he does not love you.
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