Finding Healing from Hidden Hurt
Posted on 05/13/2007 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.
Good morning and welcome! Thank you for coming, no matter why you're here. Some of us are here because we're curious, others because we're searching. But one thing is certain, ALL of us are here because God has drawn you here today.
You have a divine appointment with the One who Created you, and the one to whom your spirit will soon return. And his desire today is to reveal to you his thoughts toward you.
No matter what you've gone through in your life, God's thoughts toward you, as he says in Jeremiah, are thoughts of good, not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
So let's put our attention on Jesus, and let him move among us today. Everyone stand to your feet, as we invite God to have his way with us today.
Holy Spirit, you are welcome in this place. Come and blow through our midst. Stir within us. Bring healing and comfort today.
We pray that you reach out to those who have asked us to pray for them.
We pray for Gnat's brother Dan who is in rehab. We ask that you draw him into a close, personal, life-transforming encounter and relationship with Jesus. May he be radically changed during his time there, and may you bring him out a brand new man, on fire for you, and taking the Good News of Salvation to the nations.
We pray for Tom, that you would bring the truth to light in his family situation. We pray for a unity that comes only to a family who is seeking together after you, as you draw them all into your presence. We also pray for Tom's knees and his health, that you guide him in his choices, and that you bring healing and new life to his body and soul.
We pray for the private prayer needs. You know the situations, and you have made way for the answer long before there even was a need.
Touch each one here with your presence, and may none of us leave here the same way we came.
And it's in Jesus' name we pray.
Please remain standing, as we worship God with song.
I'VE GOT A RIVER OF LIFE
I've got a river of life flowing out of me!
Makes the lame to walk, and the blind to see.
Opens prison doors, sets the captives free!
I've got a river of life flowing out of me!
Spring up, O well, within my soul!
Spring up, O well, and make me whole!
Spring up, O well, and give to me
That life abundantly.
YOU ARE THE GOD THAT HEALETH ME
I am the God that healeth thee
I am the Lord your healer
I sent my Word and healed your disease
I am the Lord your healer
You are the God that healeth me
You are the Lord my healer
You sent your Word and healed my disease
You are the Lord my healer
IN THE NAME OF THE LORD
There Is Strength In The Name Of The Lord
There Is Power In The Name Of The Lord
There Is Hope In The Name Of The Lord
Blessed Is He Who Comes In The Name Of The Lord
Thank you Lord for your beautiful presence with us here today. And thank you for what you're about to do in lives here today.
You may be seated.
Today is mother's day, and we wish every mother, every future mother, every mother of the faith, and every other woman of God who has nurtured our souls, a very happy Mother's Day.
Instead of preaching a message about mothers, we're going to hear from, in my biased opinion, the most wonderful woman on the face of the earth. My wife, Mariposa Psaltery.
While she is not a mother yet, she has nurtured the souls of others, seeking to bring the healing God has brought her, to others who have been hurt and abused.
God has placed a message on her heart, which she is going to share with us today.
Mariposa is the founder of Healing Wings Ministries, a ministry which brings healing to those who have suffered abuse.
Some of you have been abused. Statistics tell us that at least fifteen people in this room, not counting the hundreds who will listen to the podcast and the thousands who will listen to or read this message later on our website, have been sexually abused, not to mention others who have been abused in other ways.
But whether you are in this number, the story and message you're about to hear is important for you to take to heart. Even those of us who have not been abused will meet countless people throughout our lifetime who have suffered abuse. And what we're about to hear just might offer some insight into how they feel, and what they need in order to be healed.
And so it is my great honor to introduce to you Mariposa Psaltery.
I had another sermon planned then the one I am going to use. The other sermon was about mothers in the Bible and there are many of those. I wanted to use that information because today is Mother's Day, the day here in the USA when we honor mothers with their own special day. On Wednesday, when I was showering and getting dressed another sermon came to mind and as the idea came, tears filled my eyes. I knew this was God's doing and that I had to respond to what he was saying to me. And so, I am about to tell you, share with you what God has given me. My hope and prayer is that in so doing, you will hear from God, too, and feel his presence here. Before I start, I would like to pray.
Heavenly Father, Thank you for this day and for the chance to meet together in this virtual world called Second Life. Thank you for each person under the sound of my voice and for each person who will listen to this later. I ask only that your words will come forth from me and speak to them all individually. I also pray for any who find themselves uncomfortable to stay and receive all that God has for them. In your precious name, Amen.
I usually teach on a much smaller scale. I lead the women's Bible study here in Second Life on Tuesday afternoons on this island at the women's ministry house and any woman is invited to come and join us any time. My title for this sermon is Finding Healing for Hidden Hurt. I want to pray again.
Heavenly Father, I come to you again for this time of sharing and telling of things that are precious and very sacred to me. I ask that I would use words and phrases that are from you and that I would use discretion and discernment with your help when needed. In your name, Amen.
There are many ways that I could begin with the topic at hand. I am going to begin with this. Healing is not a one day occurance where the balm on a long-time hurt is placed and it is fixed in one day, though this can happen. It usually does not occur this way. Healing is usually a process that takes years, maybe a whole lifetime. We have to be conscience of this fact when we are around people that we know have past hurts and they don't seem to be healing fast or the way society wants them to heal. Every person heals in their own way. I will show this in my own experience later in this sermon, but I want to share some scriptures with you.
"He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds." This verse is saying 'Yes, God does heal us and bind our wounds.' Sometimes it takes much longer than we wish or want for healing to begin or even end, but that is the way God works.
With the healing process, I believe there are verses in the Bible we can cling to that give us promises from God. Verses like Deuteronomy 31:6 "Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” I love the verses, and there are many, that tell us that God will not forsake us. We have to remember that when we are in the process of healing. Everyone feels alone at times, but God tells us over and over that he will never leave or forsake us. We have to trust and believe that what he says is true.
Another verse is Matthew 11:29-30 which states "take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Isn't it a relief to know that when we feel burdened with life we can take the yoke that Jesus has and it makes what we are dealing with lighter and easier to carry? I know that I am very relieved and glad for this burden lifting verse. Just reading it, makes me smile and know that whatever I may have that is weighing me down now, Jesus' yoke is easy and can make my burden lighter.
Isaiah 40:31 "But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." This verse speaks of mounting up on wings, running, and walking because we wait on the Lord. Waiting on God, is sometimes very hard, but when we are in the prcess of healing it is the best thing we can do. Running ahead of God when trying to heal, can cause more hurt than the situation we are trying to heal from.
Now, I want to you close your eyes. I am going to describe something to you. I want you to just listen and just be.
You are hurt in some way by someone you know or do not know. You are left to handle whatever happens to you. You are not yourself. Your mind takes you on journeys. You physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and sexually lock yourself away. You hide every part of you that you can so that no one knows what pain you have gone through. You can not look at people in the eye. You can not get the hurt out of your mind and you have nightmares about the person who has done the hurt to you. You feel victimized and you don't know how to get away from that feeling. You hate the person who hurt you and you hate yourself for letting them hurt you. You feel trapped and you feel like you are suffucating under all of this. You feel ashamed, guilty, worthless, and you don't know what to do about it. You feel broken. Sometimes you even feel dirty like you did something wrong. You think it is your fault.
Open your eyes. If you listened to what I said, you knew what I felt like not too many years ago. I felt all those things and sometimes still do. I am going to tell you why now. This is actually what you might say is my testimony. Some of you know it, but I believe God wanted me to share it this Sunday and I am doing his bidding. Also, I am not trying to hurt my family in sharing this. It is something that happened to me and it has to be told. Things like this are usually kept hidden and keeping it hidden helps no one. So, here is my story.
I was born on June 8, 1981. I am the oldest of a “mixed” family. My parents got divorced when I was really young. I grew up with my mom for a time, until I was about 7 or 8. I am not sure what happened first, but I was saved in the backseat of my grandparents’ car and also molested by my own grandfather when I lived with them for maybe a year or so.
My dad remarried in 1989. My step mom was really nice and she helped me through puberty, because I couldn’t call my mom every time something happened. I started to drift away at this time. My step mom didn’t know why, neither did my dad. When I was about 10, I blurted out that grandpa had molested me and my dad talked to him, but that was all. Nothing else really happened. I got baptized when I was about 11 years old by my step grandpa. It didn’t really change my feelings toward my grandpa, who had hurt me so much, or myself! I still felt guilty, ashamed, and alone. I think I thought that if I got baptized somehow God would take away all those feelings I had that I deemed “bad”.
For a while, I walked around like nothing was wrong, but at home, I had changed. I stayed in my room a lot and kept to myself more. I didn’t talk a lot at school or at home. My mind was always thinking about my hurt and I didn’t know what to do about it. I was just a little kid. The problem was that I thought everything was my fault. Also, it didn’t help that my dad was physically abusive. He would hit my siblings and me. My dad and my step mom had four children together, but at this time not all of them were born yet. I felt like nothing was going right. Everything was going wrong.
My life didn’t mean a THING to anyone. I thought about killing myself, but that seemed a bit too easy. When I was about 13, my grandpa (the one that molested me) came to get me to help clean these big houses. There, he molested me again. I thought, this isn’t right. Before I didn’t know if it was or not because I was younger and in shock, but now I knew that what he was doing wasn’t right. I wanted to scream, but my voice didn’t seem to work. I felt trapped, alone. It was like my grandpa knew how vulnerable and alone I felt. He wanted to keep doing it so that he had control over me. I didn’t want it. I hated him for what he was doing to me!
I had started to come out of my shell before the second molesting period started, but I backed into my little “protected” space again. My step mom must have thought something was terribly wrong, which of course there was. I couldn’t tell anyone. Grandpa told me to never tell anyone. What was I supposed to do?
I had started going to youth group at my church, but after the second molesting period, I stopped going. I felt so out of place. Then, I started going again. It was like God wanted me to go. Like He knew I needed whatever the youth group could give me. The youth group was going to the Brethren National Youth Conference, and I decided to go. While there, I told my roommate about what grandpa had done. She was the first one I told other then family. My roommate in turn told our youth leader. My youth leader, Deb, came to me and said that my roommate had told her about something that had happened to me. I spilled everything. I didn’t go into full detail about what had happened, but I told her more than what I had told my roommate. I cried and cried after I told the full story. She comforted me and hugged me. The most important thing she did was tell me over and over that is wasn’t my fault.
That idea and knowing that someone cared for me and that I could talk about it gave me strength. Deb went to Children and Youth services. I had to tell my story to policemen and to my lawyer. I had to go to a gynecologist, which wasn’t fun. I had to testify against my grandpa at two court hearings. I know though that what Deb had said went with me, but not only that. I also know that my grandma went with me, too. The wife of my grandpa, who had molested me, had died about the same time I was to testify. I could feel her presence with me and that gave me much needed strength.
Deb showed me a kindness that I will never forget. She helped me see that it wasn’t my fault, that I was loved, and that God could do something with me. She also taught me that speaking up about something like this is the best healing anyone can ever receive. It is hard to know when to talk about this, but I know that talking about it heals me. While I was still in college, I told my testimony many times. I read my testimony in classes, to two youth groups, and told some friends as well. I am not ashamed anymore. I am willing to speak out and say yes this does happen. I will not put it under the rug and hope it goes away.
I have learned that even though I couldn't see Him, God was there with me through this all. Now, when I tell my story, I don't cry like I used to. I feel the pain still, but it seems that God is saying "Jen, I love you. I want you to rise above this and help others." That is why I tell people. To let them know they aren't the only one. Who wants to be the only one in any situation? No one. But who thinks they are? The person going through the situation.
and now..now I'm 25. I am married and have a great relationship with God and my husband. The relationship with my grandpa (the one who molested me) never became healthy. I forgave him, but I didn't get a chance to say that to his face. He died about two years ago. My relationship with my father is getting better, but it will take time. That is why healing is a process. My healing is taking years. I still have scars and I will have them probably until I die. There is something though that is giving me a smile and joy, knowing that God has been with me through all of this. I remember those verses I shared with you earlier and I think of the people I can help when I speak about my story.
Every person has a testimony, a story that is theirs alone. No one, but themselves can tell it quite like they can. I know that my story isn't exactly like everyone's, but I know that some people have been abused by a parent or someone who they looked up to. I know everyone hurts from past experiences. I ask that you look in your heart and see what your story is. Is there hurt that needs to be healed? Is there healing already started?
I am sure there are those of you itching to know how to start the healing process. I went to God. I asked him to take all my hurt away. Now, he is slowly doing just that. It takes time. It takes effort. It takes going through pain, sometimes nightmares, flashbacks, and anything else satan digs up to scare us off the healing process path. Start by looking to God. Maybe even forgive the person. You will get mad, very angry even, at yourself and the person who hurt you. There are stages and that is just one of them, which is called the anger stage. I would advise talking to someone about your hurt. Lay it all out on the table. Don't hide it in your closet in your mind or under a rug. Bring light to the dark part of your life. Where light is there can be no darkness. Let God light up the hurt and help you heal.
Some people go to a counselor. I went to the Wonderful Counselor, Jesus. I also talked to people. Cry. Weep for what the hurt has done. Maybe it took something from you. Cry for that, too. It is okay to cry, to show emotion when you have been hurt. God understands. He will hold you in his arms and protect you under his wings. Let him.
The Ministry Team can come to the front. I don't know if you have a hurt or not. If you do, please come and ask one of the Ministry Team to pray with you. If you are not a believer, have not received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, please come and do that. If you need prayer for any reason, please come to the front. Otherwise, go in peace and may God bless you and keep you. May his face shine upon you.
After this time of ministry, we'll all meet next door for fellowship, so please stick around and head over there when you're ready.
I know many of you can relate to what you just heard. You've been broken and bruised, and many of you lay bleeding and empty. And whether this is because of the abuse of others, or the abuse of a life away from God, there is healing here today.
Reclaim your life. Take that first step forward, and come meet God here today.