Only Jesus. Only Jesus – Trusting Jesus in the Hurting
It will be easy for you at this time to feel utterly forsaken, because the abuse, that is the reality. You have been forsaken in an awful manner, and your perpetrators haven’t even begun to see what they have done. That makes it even harder…. Don’t forget the awful, blinding power of sin when it goes deep into a life, and it goes deep into all of our lives. Such sin cannot endure suffering. They have admitted that they cannot endure suffering, and they have made you suffer so terribly. So now you suffer for them, and we suffer for them. We die at the sight of their blindness, and yet in all of it is so profoundly rebuked by the same blindness in ourselves to God’s surpassing love in Christ.
The whole thing makes me hate sin, mine, your dads and everyone else, as I see what it did to my Lord on the cross and in Gethsemane.
We do not mean to urge you to take your identity from your suffering, and having been made a victim…. That is what has happened to you, but that is not your identity. Your identity is defined in Ephesians as being in Christ. You are first of all forever defined by your being in union with your most faithful friend, even the Son of God, who saw you perishing in your sin and blindness and then gave His precious life for you. He sees all of us as betrayers of His love, grace and laws. And yet He found it in His great, loving heart to die for the treasonous, faithless ones. For me and for you.
Do remember your identity. Soak in Ephesians if you will. See yourself as a new person. Hurt and wounded, yes, but not controlled by that hurt, but controlled by your Savior in whom you live and move and have your being. I don’t have any great counseling formulas, only Jesus. Only Jesus, Cheryl. Only Jesus. Remember Jesus and see yourself, your dad, your family, and all of the rest of us from that standpoint. See the abuse through Jesus’ eyes as you pray for them. See how desperately needy they are….
Only believe, only believe, says Jesus. Dear sister, we love you. Pray for us.
adapted from: C. John Miller’s The Heart of a Servant Leader, 288-289.
I changed and personalized that letter because it spoke to me. It’s not really any different than anything Emily has been saying. A year ago, I never would have guessed I’d be at this place with an identity problem. I had made it my prayer to not be content in my current place, spiritually speaking, so that I would not grow immune to the need for Christ – and yet here I am. I don’t believe I am immune… just unworthy? No, that’s not the word. Perhaps I am too ashamed. Guilty, beyond acquittal.
I’ve picked up the identity of having been made a victim. I’ve sat, and watched with horror, over and over some of the things done to me. I’ve felt it all over again. I’ve seen things I had forgotten, or didn’t quite understand. Now, I understand all too well. I understand why I chewed tacks and staples when I was a kid. I understand why I always wet the bed, why I sucked my finger through middle school… why I knew of sexual things in the first grade. I understand why I felt so alone, and why I felt so sick all the time. I get why ice cream trucks freak me out… and why I’ll never ever be able to forget the smell of scotch.
Your identity is defined in Ephesians as being in Christ. You are first of all forever defined by your being in union with your most faithful friend, even the Son of God, who saw you perishing in your sin and blindness and then gave His precious life for you. He sees all of us as betrayers of His love, grace and laws. And yet He found it in His great, loving heart to die for the treasonous, faithless ones. For me and for you.