At Monday’s counseling session, God really did work. I am amazed every time He meets me where I am, and amazed at how patient He is with me.
When I got to Tricia’s office, she was walking out her office door as I was walking into the reception area. She greeted me and told me to go on back, and as I was getting settled, she walked in and said that she felt like she had been with me already the past five minutes. When I asked what she meant, she told me that she had been on my blog (!!!) and read my most recent post… which happened to be the one where I was asking you all for prayer for this particular session!
It was really neat because she had the background of the things I was dealing with, before I even came in, so I didn’t have to go over them too much with her, and I was blessed to know that when she had a little bit of free time (and she doesn’t have much of that!!!) she took the time to read what I had written.
As we talked about the parts of the attempted date rape that still really stood out at me, it created a lot anxiety, and made me start feeling sick to my stomach some. We started the EMDR therapy, and worked around the specific point that was so painfully vivid. That particular moment made me believe, and reinforced several lies:
I am trapped. I will never get away.
I am only good for sex.
I am damaged goods carried over from the last time too.
I can remember thinking at the time of the incident, that if this is what love is, then I don’t want any part of it. I can remember being in the session and feeling so scared and like I couldn’t breathe at all. Finally I think God broke through and I started to cry some. After some encouragement from Tricia (and prayers too I think) I was finally able to just let go and cry.
I sobbed. But I was finally able to mourn and really let the pain out as I did.
Tricia had me stop the therapy and I collected myself and tried to stop crying. Then she asked me to do something new. She asked me if I could take the memory of that incident, and the lies associated essentially, and make it something tangible.
I didn’t understand at first. She explained that she wanted me to imagine the incident, feelings, etc as something I could touch and see.. like before I saw a black box changed into a white gift box, the pain in my heart had become something tangible. So, once I understood what she meant, we started up the EMDR therapy again.
I know that God was facilitating all of this up to this point. I knew it was God who finally helped me break through the wall I had put up against the emotions and pain of that time. It was He who helped me finally cry and let out the pain.
But now it was almost visible. I got this image in my head. It may have come from reading through the “No other gods” study that I have been doing. But I think God used that example to help me visualize something tangible.
I saw Jesus handing me things out from under my bed. Lifting out the words, Dirty, Ashamed, Used, Damaged Goods, Trapped, Good for nothing but sex… all of it. I had to put those in a garbage can. Just get rid of all of them and move the can out to the street.
Only, I couldn’t move the can. It was too heavy, and I realized that I was never going to make it out to the street before the garbage truck came. I turned to Jesus, desperate, and He came and moved the can for me. I had my hand on it, but like a 4 year old without his parent helping, there was no way I could budge it or even guide it. Jesus helped me get it out to the street. Then He made me stand there, watch the truck pick up the can and empty it of all my junk, and drive it away. All I could do was cling to Jesus, feeling the stuff almost being pulled from me, off of me, out of me.
I remember crying. I don’t know whether it was out of relief, feeling lighter, or the pain of something that has been a part of me so long, finally leaving.
I was able to tell Tricia about it. I think I was still in shock. It’s taken a while to sink in. I am still letting it sink in and soak through me at how God worked things out for me to be able to let go the hold this situation had on me.
Tricia asked me to revisit the moment that had been so vivid, one more time. This time she wanted me to try to overlay the truths over the incident. The truths I want to become a part of me, even though this all happened to me:
I am free in Christ.
I am worthwhile.
And, in Him I am complete.
As I focused in on the moment that had so tortured me over the past weeks, and tried to think about the truths, I found it extremely hard to focus in on that memory. I found that my thoughts just kept jumping to my “safe place.” My safe place is a spot out on my in-laws farm, on a lake, under the trees, where I sat last fall, watching a blue heron in the water, hearing the wind in the trees, and the waves on the beach… resting in God’s presence. That is where my thoughts kept returning to every time I tried to focus on the attempted rape, with the positive thoughts.
All the while the words “free” and “worthy” were alternating with each other in my head.
When I told Tricia what had happened, it was a moment of victory. It meant I had finally made a break with this memory. Right then and there, she asked me on a scale of 1-7 (1 not at all, 7 totally know and believe it) how much I know and believe that I am free and worthwhile. I told her about a 5 or so. Another victory! At the beginning of session I told her a 2. That is the biggest jump up the scale I have ever had. Usually I don’t move up at all until later in the week.
Did I mention that God is so good?!
I can hardly believe just how much Jesus has changed my thoughts and feelings in this area. The memory is there, but the emotional intensity is gone, and the whole thing has sort of faded into the background, the color is washed out of the picture.
The healing that He has done in my life, in my heart, blows me away. Even though it is painful, it is so worth the pain of facing difficult memories, hurts, and situations to let Jesus into them. Let Him help you see things from His perspective. Let His healing love flow over it, and give you peace.
That is what He wants for all of us, we just have to let him do it.
Fighting Him just makes the pain worse. Stuffing it all down without working through it at all makes it worse. Worse is where the enemy wants us. He wants us limping, hobbling through life, wrapped in chains.
Then we will be so hampered by the lies we believe.
We will never step out and be the person God created us.
We will never take chances, follow where God is leading, especially when it seems to make no sense. We will never know the pure faith it takes to believe that He will do as He says He will do, because we will never experience Him intimately healing us. We will never fully trust God’s Word, because we will never see it worked out in our lives, tested in fires of trial, pain, difficulties.
There have been so many times where I have read over the promises of God, and never ever seen them. I have read them so often they became rote readings. Only in the last 2 years or so has God’s word become rich, alive, to me. Not since I was a new Christian have I gotten this much out of His word. He has opened my eyes to see how He is fulfilling promises He has made to me personally, and to all of us who believe. It is never in our time. It is always in His time. And whether we believe it or not, it is always for our good.
I pray that God will open your eyes, and hearts to see and perceive His word, His truth, and His active work in your life. I pray that He will do for you (and me) more than we could ever ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us. Amen.