You know that feeling when you discover you have more healing to work through? When will it ever end? Will it ever end?                 

When I was editing my memoir last weekend, I came across a section where I shared how I felt about my body and how my counselor challenged me to think differently about my body. She encouraged me to see it and treat it as a temple.

That was seven years ago, and I still struggle with my body. I have always struggled with my body.

I spent my life avoiding mirrors, bathing suits, and changing in front of anyone. 

Body issues are just one example of what a survivor has to work through.

The other day I listened to a random podcast.

It wasn’t random.

God is gracious in His timing, and as I listened to this podcast, it clicked, and I realized for the first time one of the reasons I struggle with my body. We talked about it before in counseling, but this time it clicked – there was a breakthrough.

I will give you a hint: Dopamine.

Sexual Abuse may not leave visible wounds, but there are layers and layers of physical, mental, and emotional destruction.

Thankfully, God is a God of Breakthrough!

The beginning of BREAKTHROUGH is awareness.

I am aware now, and I know God is going to deliver me. As I read through my memoir last weekend, I realized my story is evidence of God’s faithfulness to bring BREAKTHROUGH over and over again in the devastation and heartache.

I am still a work in progress, but he has healed me in so many ways. I will celebrate every breakthrough.

How has He delivered you, and what breakthrough can you celebrate today?

If you are feeling that knot in your stomach from realizing there is more work ahead, take a moment to celebrate the work you have accomplished and how far you have come!

*The podcast if you are interested is Waist Away with Chantel Ray, Episode 323.

*This song is my breakthrough jam: Breakthrough by Eddie James.

This is why I wait upon you, expecting your breakthrough, for your word brings me hope. Psalm 130:5 TPT

Baby Steps: He Protects Me


The Basement

In my next session, I went into the basement where the worst memories and deepest hurts were hidden.

I sat for a moment and opened that file. If this memory were a color it would be red/orange.  Red for the Rage and Anger, and Orange was the color of the gown that I had on that was too big for me.

As I described what happened to her, I felt crushed again.

She said, “Take a deep breath.  Catch your breath for a minute and think back to red/orange and find God in that room with you. What do you think? What do you see? Where is God in this?”

What? I couldn’t even imagine God being anywhere near!

I said, “I really don’t understand how God could be anywhere near that room, but if he was then I imagine he would be weeping.”

She quietly said, “Find Him in the room. What was God doing with you in that room?”

I paused and finally said, “Well mostly allowing me to escape I guess. Which is why I probably felt smothered and suffocated. I wasn’t all there.  I would look to the corner of the room and escape and go somewhere else in my mind and leave my body behind.”

She said, “So, looking back can you see He was with you?”

I assured her I didn’t see it then, but looking back I could see where he was with me and protected me a bunch. He provided buffers and safe, encouraging people for me.

She said, “Breathe, let’s go back to red/orange again.  Where do you see God in that room for him?”

As I tossed a rock back and forth in my hand, I shared “Well, I am sure He was upset, angry and disappointed.”

She said, “Jesus was torn and battered into shreds to save us and make a way for us … but the same God who is able to love – has wrath that is withheld because of that night on the cross. He has both – anger and wrath and grace and love.

In that room – Wrath.

Absolute wrath, but by his grace and mercy he withholds that wrath – but he hates sin. God is able to perfectly balance what we struggle with…he balances anger and grace and mercy and justice. Can you see his wrath in that room?”

I paused to take in all in. “Yes, but that is really hard for me. I get it, but sometimes it is simply easier to take the blame and responsibility. To think Red/Orange for what it really is just breaks my heart.

I whispered, “I never expected red/orange. This was different. It was awful.”

My shoulders hunch over and I shrink a bit and sob. I took deep breaths and made my way back into the window.

She asked me if she could pray for me. She stood by me and put her hand on my head and prayed the sweetest prayer of love, wrath, justice, and mercy.

I left feeling okay considering everything.

I had moments of sadness and tears throughout the day. There were times when I felt like “This file is too heavy to shut and I don’t want to see it anymore. It’s too much!”

I knew I couldn’t climb out of the basement yet because if left it would be too hard to come back.

Like a bird protecting its young, God will cover you with His feathers, will protect you under His great wings; His faithfulness will form a shield around you, a rock-solid wall to protect you. Psalm91:4 VOICE

This is post #16 in the Baby Steps series.  To start at the beginning, click here.