Safe in His Hands…

all things new

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.

This summer, I signed up for the Proverbs 31 online bible study, and am reading Suzie Eller’s book, The Mended Heart. The book has addressed many difficult issues with great wisdom and sensitivity. I have learned a lot. As I read, there is a wonderful sense that Suzie understands me. As if the two of us have spent countless hours sharing stories over cups of tea on her front porch. And this, in and of itself, is healing – the experience of being known and understood.

TheMendedHeart

Suzie shares the story of sweet Melissa, a child full of life and joy. This little girl, who loves to talk to everyone, is lured into a garage by the promise of candy. And everything changes for her too. I can relate to the shame of going back, and mistakenly believing that somehow this makes the abuse my fault.

I cry for myself, and for little Melissa, as I read about feelings of hopelessness, about desperate attempts to ease the pain, and about wearing masks to hide the suffering from an unsafe world. I understand it all too well.

Then, Suzie shares a story that touches me deeply. Fills my heart with hope and joy. She tells about a time when she found a treasure in a little repurposing shop – a small chair that would once have belonged to a child. The chair had been given new life as a charming planter. As Suzie drove home with her treasure that day, she imagined where the chair might have come from…

Perhaps it was put out with the garbage with a ‘take me’ sign on it. Or it might have been salvaged by a dumpster diver. Maybe it sat at a garage sale with a $1 or 50-cent sticker on it. Can you imagine people walking by it? They see only the cracked leg of an ugly child’s chair, or the many layers of peeling white paint. “No one can sit on it,” they say. “It’s worthless. Not even worth a dollar.”

But then the craftsman comes along.

He smiles with joy…the craftsman envisions something different – a new purpose for this throwaway chair. He lovingly picks it up and brings it to his shop. He removes the broken seat and places a rough-hewn planter inside. He applies a first coat of paint, and then buffs and distresses the edges. He adds a second coat, this time a lovely turquoise blue, and then gently rubs sandpaper over the edges until the new paint and the former shades…become an intricate pattern of beauty.

Turquoise. White. Yellow. Old, smooth wood. The crack still displayed, but all of it part of an elaborate story.

~ The Mended Heart (pp 131-132)

Tears roll down my cheeks as I realize the truth that God is the master Craftsman.

I am the little chair – used, broken and discarded. Worthless in my own eyes.

But God.

My heavenly Father looks on me with love, and do you know what He sees? A precious treasure. Worthy of extravagant love. A child of inestimable value. Worth dying for.

The enemy is relentless in his lies and accusations. He knows my weak spots, the places I have been injured. That is where he focuses his attack. But because of Jesus’ death on the cross, we are promised the victory. In fact, Romans 8:37 promises that, “We are more than conquerors”.

So what do I do when old insecurities rise up? When I find myself believing old lies? When I don’t feel safe?

This is a spiritual battle, dear friends, and in these moments we need to “take every thought captive” (2 Corinthians 10:5). We need to stand firmly against the lies, by declaring the truth of God’s word.

So when I struggle with feeling unsafe, I can turn to His word and find the promise of God’s protection. Here is one of my favorite passages…

From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me. Let me live forever in your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of your wings!

Psalm 61:2-4

Suzie shares that in order to heal these places of brokenness we must “peer deeply into the wounded heart”. For those of us who have been hurt, this may seem too difficult. Haven’t we been through enough already? Why subject ourselves to further pain, by revisiting those moments of trauma in our lives?

The truth, sweet friends, is that Jesus longs to restore these places of brokenness. He is willing to take you by the hand, and lead you into healing. He waits only for your invitation. He promises to “make all things new” (Rev 21:5).

For me, the journey has been long and incredibly painful, but also wonderfully freeing. I am not there yet, but I have experienced some amazing breakthroughs. The truths I am discovering are incredibly life-giving.

I am learning that I am safe in His hands, and that He has plans to prosper me and not to harm me. He delights in me, His precious child – I am loved beyond measure.

May you, sweet one, come to understand the exquisite beauty of a life restored,

Kamea

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28 thoughts on “Safe in His Hands…

  1. Thank you, Kamea. That’s so beautiful. I get so discouraged about all that has been lost in my family’s life due to abuse, but that picture of the broken chair encouraged me. I know that I can trust Him not to waste any of our pain. My counselor continues to encourage me to do grief work and you are so right it’s hard going to those places we’ve been hurt, but it’s necessary to get better. Thanks for sharing your heart. Your blogs always encourage me. Hugs! xxx

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    • You are such a joy and encouragement to me, sweet friend! I am so very glad that God has created us to walk in community with other believers, and that He has blessed me with you for this journey. Having a kindred spirit who understands, and knowing that I am not alone in my struggles, has been such a source of comfort.

      Much love,
      Kamea

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so sorry for what you experienced at the hands of someone else. I hate that the innocent become prey for the depraved. But God. God is meeting you in those broken places and mending you, knitting your heart with his. Praise the Lord for restoration that comes through HIM! Thank you for sharing your story, a difficult one to share I am sure.

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    • Welcome Michelle,

      I am so glad to have you here. Thank you for your heart of compassion and your kind words. And thank you for the reminder of those two little words that change everything – But God. The evil one intended these evil things to destroy me, But God! He is surely redeeming my brokenness for good! Praise His glorious name!

      Blessings and hugs,
      Kamea

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    • How lovely that the little chair still brings you joy! And how wonderful that the story of its restoration can bring hope, healing, and joy to so many others as well. I bet you never imagined that on the day you found your treasure! His plans are always so much greater than even our wildest imaginings!

      You are such a blessing, sweet Suzie,
      Kamea

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    • Welcome Crystal,

      How wonderful to have you visit Incremental Healing! Your words of love and compassion really touched my heart, sweet friend. Thank you. Your prayer for God’s continued healing touch in my life is deeply appreciated. I hope you will visit again soon.

      Blessings and hugs,
      Kamea

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  3. Kamea, I really need to get Suzie’s book. I’ve always “dealt” with pain from my past by just not dealing with it. Try hard not to think about it or if it comes to the surface try hard to squish it back down. God has really been working in me over the last few years to not waste that past pain. Thanks for the reminder!

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    • Welcome Laura,

      The Mended Heart really is a wonderful book, that walks you through different areas of brokenness in a helpful and sensitive manner. There are great questions at the end of each chapter that really help you to go deeper, and allow God to speak into your specific situation. I understand the desire to avoid dealing with the pain of the past. I spent many years stuffing it deep inside and thought that was good enough. It wasn’t. I think I always knew. Even at times that I was coping fairly well, there was obvious brokenness – especially in my ability to trust anyone, or to feel safe. This had a huge negative impact on my relationships, and on my mental health. I am so thankful that God kept pursuing me, by gently encouraging me to deal with my past. It has been difficult, I will never mislead anyone to believe otherwise, but so very worth it. I love how you said “to not waste the pain”, that is such a powerful statement. God will surely redeem your pain for good, if you will allow Him to minister to those hurting places.

      Feel free to email me if you ever want to ‘chat’ more privately. I have prayed for you, my friend. I would love to have you subscibe here, and we can encourage one another along the way!

      Blessings and hugs,
      Kamea

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  4. God is using you, and will continue to use your story in the healing of others. I truly believe this. Thank you for sharing your story in such a way that it brings hope to others. I’m in the Mended Heart study also, and I’m healing in ways I never expected. I’ll be praying for you in the days and weeks to come. So glad we crossed paths today. Bless you, Kamea!

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    • Sweet Julie,

      Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. Although I believe that God has promised to redeem my brokenness for good, I often feel discouraged that I do not seem to see it happening. Your words are a wonderful confirmation that the pain I endured will not be wasted. I’m so glad to hear that The Mended Heart is ministering to you in ways you didn’t even imagine. Isn’t God so good to us?

      Blessings and hugs,
      Kamea

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  5. You are a precious treasure indeed, Kamea. So glad that God has weaved His way into your wounds and is showing just how capable of healing He is. You have a powerful testimony and you share it with such authenticity. Joining my heart with yours in praising our Master Craftsman who truly transforms our lives. Blessings to you, dear one. #testimonytuesday

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    • Awww, so sweet of you, my friend. I am always blessed and encouraged by your words of love! So wonderful to have the support of wonderful sisters-in-Christ as I walk this journey into healing!

      Much love,
      Kamea

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Kamea,
    Thank you for sharing your story so bravely and beautifully. I pray God will use your story to encourage many who feel broken so they can know God the Master Craftsman can restore and redeem…Praising God with you and praying for God to continue to be your refuge and healer…((hugs))

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    • My dear friend,

      What a joy and delight you are to me! Thank you, once again, for encouraging my heart to persevere. I am so thankful for your prayers, and for your friendship.

      Love and hugs,
      Kamea

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  7. God bless you. I think this is an incredible testimony. I know it is never easy to share past pains and I can only imagine how difficult your process is. So many of us have to go down this road unfortunately, but I have to agree with you on the part of becoming free. That is the piece that makes this all the more better. I was so drawn to this writing just by the image and quote you used. Throughout my storm, I kept repeating to myself…maybe this is a masterpiece of a disaster of my life but Dear God… You make ALL THINGS NEW! Thank you for sharing this.
    ~Christina

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    • Welcome Christina,

      I am so glad to have you here, in this place. I hope you will always feel safe and welcome here! I am deeply sorry for the brokenness that you have experienced, but am thankful that you have turned to God in the midst of the storm, and are trusting in Him to make all things new! Such a beautiful promise – and what He promises, will surely come to pass. I look forward to getting to know you as we journey together!

      Blessings and hugs,
      Kamea

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  8. Oh I love this so… I have a little chair that I turned in to a planter as well and it is still one of my favorite things… one of the most satisfying projects! I will never look at it the same again! Thank you for being brave and vulnerable and sharing your story… Praise God for our Creator who makes beautiful things out of us!

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    • Beautiful, Karrileea! I am so thankful that your little chair will now be even more meaningful to you – reminding you of the Master Craftsman, who restores the broken and makes all things new!

      In His love,
      Kamea

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  9. Thank you for your beautiful words and willingness to bravely step out so others may know and be healed. Jesus is the Master Craftsman and I am praying that your broken heart and spirit continues to know that deeply. Visiting you from #TellHisStory

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dearest Mary,

      You are the second person, whose comment I have read today, to see bravery in me. That means more than you know. I believe that God is calling me to step out of my comfort zone, not only here, but in my everyday life as well. He has used you to encourage me – reminding me that in His strength, I can do all things!

      Blessings and hugs,
      Kamea

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  10. Suzie speaks sound sense here: “peer deeply into the wounded heart” because unless we are willing to look back and unearth the pain, the harder it is to have the deep festering wounds healed and move forward into a freer life. Dear Kamea, I feel for you and for all our sisters in suffering who walk this path beside us. And I love how God is slowly peeling back the layers of your life, all the while whispering soft of His great love for you and His desire to set you free from a painful past. It is possible, tiny step by tiny step. The image of the broken chair will stay with me as I continue to pray for you (and others) to know how precious you are to God and how much He is always at work in your life. May you experience deeper levels of wholeness and healing to come by His grace! Blessings and love. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • So much beauty flows from your words, sweet Joy. Our loving, heavenly Father has truly blessed you with the gift of poetry. I love the phrase “whispering soft of His great love” – how beautiful! You are a treasure, my friend. Thank you for your prayers and for your encouragement.

      Much love,
      Kamea

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  11. I don’t think we realize how much not feeling safe impacts our lives. I know because I grew up with an abusive Father and that set into motion a life time of feeling unsafe with men. Then I met the one who would never abuse me and knew exactly how broken my heart was but kept pouring His love in and little by little I trusted Him. the world may hurt me again, people may hurt me again but never my Savior. And now I know there is coming a day when all the heartache will be gone and sin will reign no more. Just knowing that gives me courage to be bold with my faith. Great post.

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    • Welcome friend,

      I am deeply sorry for that you were subjected to abuse as a child. It always saddens me to hear of others’ suffering, and of the brokenness that results. What a wonderful blessing to have someone in your life who was gentle and patient – what a gift. I, too, was blessed with such a man in my life. God is so good! Thank you for the reminder that “there is coming a day when all the heartache will be gone and sin will reign no more”. I love how believing this truth is giving you the courage to be bold in your faith! So great to meet you. Please stop by again soon!

      Blessings and hugs,
      Kamea

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