My word for 2023 is RESTORE.
I started healing from Childhood Sexual Abuse in 2012 and will celebrate ten years of freedom in May. Hallelujah!
I’ve spent a lot of time and money on healing, and while I have made significant progress, 2022 did a number on me. Several things poked the bear, including the mama bear, in me. I discovered there are still places in my body, mind, and spirit that need to be healed and restored by the Lord. I know that only His touch can restore, but it was painful to realize there’s more healing needed. Does it ever end?
As I struggled with my body, mind, and spirit, I asked, “What would Michelle be like if she were never sexually abused?”
That was a loaded question, and while I don’t fully have the answer because we can’t go back in time, the words that kept coming to my mind were:
TAKE BACK THE LAND.
So, I started searching and reading about that in the Bible and came across this verse:
‘The days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will bring my people Israel and Judah back from captivity and restore them to the land I gave their ancestors to possess,’ says the LORD. Jeremiah 30:3 NIV
There were more verses, but these were the two that stood out, and both had the word RESTORE.
When I think about that question now, I frame it differently. Instead of asking, “What would Michelle be like if she were never sexually abused?” I ask, “What has the abuse taken from Michelle that GOD can restore for her?”
That question is a game-changer because it acknowledges that trauma is a thief, but GOD can restore.
The Merriam-Webster definition of restore is:
1: give back, return
2: to put or bring back into existence or use
3: to bring back to or put back into a former or original state
4: to put again in possession of something.
My simple definition of restore is to take back the land or take back what was stolen by sexual abuse and assault.
You can only take back what you know is missing.
The trauma from sexual abuse takes away joy, peace, innocence, identity, and so much more. It robs the body, mind, and spirit. Thankfully, Jesus restores all.
Instead of being upset that there is more healing ahead, I am thankful that He brings deeper healing and lives out His promises in Isaiah 61.
He binds up the brokenhearted.
He sets captives free.
He releases prisoners from darkness.
He comforts those who mourn.
He provides for those who grieve.
He gives them a crown of beauty (instead of ashes).
He gives them the oil of joy (instead of mourning).
He gives them a garment of praise (instead of a spirit of despair).
He calls them oaks of righteousness, a display of His splendor.
They receive a double portion (instead of shame).
They will rejoice in their inheritance (instead of disgrace)
They will inherit a double portion in their land and have everlasting joy.
What about you?
If you have ever experienced sexual abuse or assault, insert your name and pray about this question:
“What has the abuse or trauma taken from ___________ that GOD can restore?”
I would love to hear your responses. You are welcome to message me or comment below. Please join us to uncover the answers to that question and take back the land (body, mind, and spirit).
Trauma is tricky, and sometimes recognizing the impact is the first step.
God, we are clinging to and believing your promises in Isaiah 61 apply to us personally, and we are excited to see you restore us and help us take back the land in 2023.
Happy New Year to you! Do you have a word for 2023? I’d love to hear it. Please share in the comments.