Do you all remember the child’s poem, “What are little girls made of, made of?” I remember it. After the initial question, it goes on to say that “sugar and spice and all things nice” is what we’re made of, made of.
From time to time, I think about that poem, wanting to change it to “What are women made of, made of?” Here’s my take on three kinds of women: women who are whole; women who are spiritually abused; and women who are cruel. See what you think.
What are whole women made of, made of?
A heart to love and a mind to give
A firm hand to bless
A quick wit to share
A prayer to live
What are wounded women made of, made of?
Have you ever tried to describe the place in your heart where you experience the presence of God? Or define the place from which you pray strong prayers? If you could describe that place so that someone else would understand what you meant, what would you say?
I know that when I think of how to put into words or how to describe that place where I meet Jesus, it sometimes seems like there’s no way I could ever explain it. It’s so subjective to who I am. But I’m going to attempt it here anyway. If my feeble attempt resonates with you, then that’s wonderful. Perhaps you would add to it. Perhaps you would want to say something different. That would be OK also. You would be welcome to enter the conversation.
Here goes: Jesus said that when you pray, you are to go into your inner room, your hidden chamber. Then you are to shut the door and pray to your Father in secret. My experience of that...
I have a confession to make: I’ve never been any good at New Year’s Resolutions – you know – the kind that says I’m going to go on a diet or clean up that messy room. It seems like whenever I make that kind of list or promise or challenge, my determination to accomplish it doesn’t last very long – not even for the whole month of January.
However, there can be a strong extenuating circumstance (such as a spiritual abuse event) that provides enough a motivation (a deep yearning) to make me want to stay the course, and work through the next part of the healing process. I want to be whole and well and healed. I deeply want it. So I work on my own wholeness. And you can work on your wholeness. You just have to want it badly enough.
In my blog of December 11, I listed some areas that any of us could work on, if we wanted to badly enough. I think this year I’m going to work on making...
Today we celebrate our Lord’s birthday. It’s all about love, you know. His love. He was always with the Heavenly Father from before all time. In the fullness of time, He and the Father decided to show us how incredible their love is for us. And so God became incarnate, Emmanuel, God-With-Us. There were many miracles surrounding his birth:
In my post last week, I listed prayer as an important item in the healing process from spiritual abuse. And it certainly is a big one. In fact it’s huge!
Before the abuse happens, you probably had a favorite way to pray, or at least a particular style of praying that was your “go-to” whenever you needed to pray. Like praying for someone else, for example. Many of us who have belonged to a prayer group at our church, have a list of people’s needs and wants that we regularly lift up to the Lord. That's the kind of prayer called "intercession."
After the abuse, who knows if you can access that way of praying anymore. Many, many women have reported a sudden loss of being able to pray at all. It’s like the abuse event itself and your reactions to it have left you in a state of spiritual suspension in which all prayer of whatever the kind, has completely left you. You truly can’t access prayer at...
I’m thinking my way through some steps to healing from spiritual abuse. How do we heal from such atrocities? Is it totally the Lord who swoops in and performs an outright miracle? He certainly could. Perhaps he does in some cases.
But is that how our healing always takes place? Or can we play a part in our healing? What does the process look like? Are there steps to go through? The following list is not meant to be comprehensive. And they’re not in any particular order. It’s simply what I’m thinking about today. See what you think.
In Chapter 13 of Anne Graham Lotz’s book, Wounded by God’s People: Discovering How God’s Love Heals our Hearts, she writes these disarming words about healing from spiritual abuse:
“…when I experience a wound in my spiritual journey, I have to come to a turning point where I want to be healed more than I want to be wounded.” (p. 173)
“Wow!” And “Ouch!” How profound! Have you ever worn your woundedness like a badge? In a weird and perverse way, it’s comforting to keep it around, to keep nursing it. After all, you deserve to be angry (or whatever your emotional response has been.) Isn’t that what we secretly think at one stage of this whole mess?
I know from my experience that when the wound is fresh, we may want to be healed. But the shock and the strong emotions and the deep hurt haven’t been dealt with yet. A certain amount of time...
Thanksgiving -- The American Holiday of Thanksgiving! My Dad always had a large vegetable garden. When Thanksgiving Day rolled around, he would put some grains of raw corn that were multi-colored on everybody’s plate, as he began to tell the story of how Thanksgiving got started. You know – the story of the Native Americans and the pilgrims sharing a meal together of turkey, corn, sweet potatoes – and more. And then of course, he would pray, and we could help our plates to the feast that Mom had slaved over. We would eat much the same food as the pilgrims and Indians – turkey and sweet potatoes and cornbread dressing – and desserts. Oh my, the desserts. Yum!
However, when our heart is still angry or hurt or fearful because of abuse, it’s mighty difficult to truly give thanks. And so for some, we go through the motions with our family, while feeling a heavy heart and not really being thankful at...
There are a lot of Scriptures that mention the human heart. When we do Bible Study – when we are in that “mode,” if you will – we seem to understand that these Scriptures that speak of the heart, are talking about our spirit – a spirit that can think, feel, yearn, make decisions for good or ill. The Bible tells us this, and we believe it. Do you know what I mean?
Stay with me here. Follow my line of reasoning, as I explain what I’m thinking.
How does the aftermath of spiritual abuse affect us physically? In our bodies? There are times when I need to reflect on my own questions, which means I’m asking myself this particular question as much as I’m asking you. These are some of the physical sensations that I remember from the abuse that was heaped upon me:
Psalm 139 helped my stress to lighten up enough to “make it.” Words...