It was an unremarkable Monday evening, back in May of 2013. A young couple, Tim and Sharlene Bosma, had just tucked their little girl into bed for the night. A hockey game was playing on the television, and the Bosmas were waiting for a potential buyer to show up to look at the Dodge Ram diesel pickup truck they had posted for sale online. It was getting late. It seemed strange that someone would come to look at a vehicle after dark. “When they come, should I go with them?” Tim asked.
“Yes you should because we want the truck to come back,” Sharlene replied. Words spoken innocently. Words that would come back to haunt.
Two men arrived shortly thereafter, walking down the long rural driveway, no vehicle in sight. They claimed a friend had dropped them off and was waiting at a nearby coffee shop.
One man smiled and appeared friendly, while the other hung back in the shadows. The men barely looked at the truck.
Tim smiled at his wife. He said they were going for a test drive and would be right back.
As the truck slowly pulled down the driveway, Sharlene and her downstairs neighbour agreed the situation was ‘weird’. “That might be the last time we ever see him”, the neighbour joked.
My dear friends,
I am so sorry that I have been absent without explanation. I feel badly about that. I do care deeply for each of you. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
The past month has been incredibly difficult for me. I’m not even sure why. There has been no big catastrophe in my life. No logical reason for this downward spiral.
But I have entertained the lies of the evil one. And that has brought devastation into my life. Shame, self-loathing and despair have wormed their way into my heart, draining me of life, leaving me longing for eternity in an unhealthy way.
The words of John 10:10 are vividly real in the midst of it all, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy”.
And yet, dear ones, there is a second part to that same verse. A beautiful promise. Jesus has declared His truth, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
Please pray for me. That I would turn to Christ as my strength in the heat of the battle. That “no weapon forged against [me] will prevail” (Isaiah 54:17). And that God would take that which the enemy purposed for evil, and redeem it for good and for His glory.
Please forgive me if I am not as active here as I would like to be. I will try to at least check in and share with you how I am doing.
Blessings and hugs,
I’m honored to share these insightful and healing words, shared today at Truest Voice – a blog devoted to helping survivors of abuse share their sacred stories. Sharen Watson has done a beautiful job of creating a gentle place to be heard and understood – an important first step in the journey toward healing…
I am excited to introduce my dear friend and guest blogger – Lucille Zimmerman, LPC. Her vulnerability (of sharing her own sacred, Renewed: Finding You r Inner Happy in an Overwhelmed World) and wise counsel of others (as they share their own in her counseling practice) are wrapped in her passionate desire to help hurting people. Thank you, Lucille, for taking some time to share a bit about some dynamics of childhood sexual abuse and ways survivors can care tenderly for themselves during their healing journeys.
When I was earning my Master’s Degree in Counseling
I was forced to examine my own story. Toxic family dynamics, boundary violations, and abuse weren’t the only parts of my story. However, they were definitely mixed in with the good parts of my childhood, and I had to acknowledge what hurt me.
From the opening paragraph of the introduction, I was captivated by the words of author Danise Jurado. She demonstrates our need for God, and His gentle and compassionate heart for those who are hurting.
She shares her experience of coming to God, recognizing her need for all that He has to offer. “It’s my favorite place,” she says, “because I am safe here. In the arms of unconditional love…”
These powerful words speak directly to my heart. For much of my life, I have struggled with feeling unsafe. The promise of safety in the loving arms of my Savior touched something within, sparking hope for discovering deeper levels of healing and freedom.
It was as if my heavenly Father commandeered the meeting – a tactical move to push the enemy back from trespassing on my freedom, from invading territory where he was not welcome.
As my husband and I prayed with our Pastor that day, a new question was posed – to enquire of the Lord if there was a particular verse or passage of Scripture that He wished for us to read together.
2 Corinthians, Chapter 4 immediately came to mind. The Pastor was familiar with the passage. It speaks of our treasure being held in jars of clay, and promises that, “We are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair…” (vs 8). He could see why the Lord would lead us to these verses.
Or so he thought.
I have to admit, I was a little discouraged.
The prompt for #livefreeThursday was “nothing holding me back” and I immediately felt a heaviness inside. A sense that I was somehow ‘less than’. That I didn’t measure up.
I felt a longing deep within for those words to be true of me, but I knew that this just wasn’t my reality.
There are, after all, things that I know still hold me back…
Feeling safe has been a lifelong struggle for me. My capacity for trust was stolen at the tender age of five, along with my innocence. My friend and I were left in the care of her two older brothers. Two little bundles of life, all pigtails and giggles, without a care in the world.
One afternoon forever changed all of that.
I was too ashamed to tell my parents what had happened. I was afraid of how my father would react. He was unpredictable at the best of times – prone to outbursts of anger. I was sure that he would never be able to love me again, if he discovered the truth.
So I carried dark and heavy secrets alone.
I have a confession.
Although I’ve loved sharing my journey of learning to discern God’s voice, and my passion for reaching my new friend Jeffrey with the truth of the gospel, I have also been avoiding.
Avoiding the pain of pushing forward on the journey toward healing. The pain of inviting Jehova Rapha, the God who heals, to expose the next layer of my brokenness, and to dispel the darkness with His glorious light.
I have been untrue to the mission of Incremental Healing. I have failed, for the past while, to share the hope that I have found as my heavenly Father leads me on the path toward healing. I have not offered reassurance that you are not alone, or encouraged you to persevere.
For this, I am deeply sorry.
While I will still share on other topics from time to time, I do not want to lose the focus of this place.
So, with all that said, I am ready to share another chapter of my story…
I know it has been a while since we “chatted” on Twitter. I am not usually one to jump into theological debates, and am certainly not an expert on apologetics, but felt I had to interject on that day. It saddened me when the professed ‘Christian’ you were talking to claimed that there is no love apart from God, and that you were not capable of love, not even for your son.
I felt a heaviness in my spirit. It bothered me that you were being unfairly judged, and that my faith was being inaccurately represented. I replied, “This saddens me. Of course you love your son – we are all made in God’s image – capable of love”.
I am on a journey.
A healing journey, yes, but also a journey of learning to cultivate intimacy with God.
This journey captivates me.
Hearing my heavenly Father speak words of love into my life has been life-giving and freeing. There is such joy in communicating with the Father in this way – in a relationship that is truly reciprocal.