Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Overcoming pain

I am currently working through the Bible study "Breaking Free" by Beth Moore.  It is amazing, hard, and liberating.  As I opened my workbook this morning and saw the title of the day, I shuddered.  This was the title:  Hearts Broken in Childhood.

As I worked through the lesson, I cried and stopped to pray often.  I know, without a doubt, that my Savior loves me.  However, I still carry around a great deal of pain in my heart due to things that happened to me as a child.  Thankfully, Jesus shows up everyday ready to work through things with me.

He knew exactly what I needed to hear from Him today.  I tend to still feel shame over my childhood.  I tend to still wonder if I did something wrong.  I sometimes feel condemned and believe that I am a bad child because I don't allow my parents to guilt me into taking blame and responsibility for their behaviors and actions.  

I know that I am not the only one who has ever suffered through pain, rejection, and abuse.  Therefore, I want to share with you what I learned in my lesson this morning.

  1. "God does not minimize the things that break our hearts.  He is not looking down on us thinking how petty we are because some things hurt us so." (p. 107 Breaking Free workbook)
  2. "Based on the contexts of Matthew 18:6 and 10, I believe we can assume that He was saying not only, "What you do for a child, you do for Me," but "What you do to a child, you do to Me."  He obviously takes harm to children very personally." (p. 109)
  3. "The Bible teaches us that some hardships are specifically ordained by God for the purpose of our growth and refining. Child abuse is not one of them.  When you are trying to discern whether God or satan is the author of a hardship, one of your best clues is whether or not sin is involved." (p. 109)
  4. "Shame is satan's stamp of approval." (p. 110)

Romans 8:28 tells us that God WILL work ALL things out for good for those who love Him.  He can take our pain and turn it into something amazing.  I know for me, He has used my pain to teach me how to truly love my family.  I am overly aware of the world and what is in it.  God uses my experiences to protect my children from what the world wants them to dive into.  He speaks to my heart about His love and urges me to share it with my children.  Praise God, they know what it feels like to be unconditionally loved by me, their dad, and especially their Father.  My pain is being used to raise my children in a home filled to the brim and overflowing with God.  May the chains of abuse and rejection never take hold of my children, grandchildren, and so on.  
Exodus 20:6
but showing faithful love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commands.

"God's good from life's bad is one of the most liberating concepts in the entire Word of God.  We'll never be free until we truly believe that God can do something with anything.  God has promised to bring good out of anything we encounter as long as we love Him and if we allow Him to use it for His purpose (Romans 8:28). (p. 110)

God can turn pain and suffering into something beautiful and rewarding.  Invite Him to work miracles into your life and your ministry.

My love to all of my sisters in Christ who have suffered and are suffering.  Together with God, we can overcome pain and experience His great love, joy, and peace.  Let's run this race of life and show the world that Jesus is the victor and we are His forever.