I am so happy to introduce you to Wendy Munsell in this next post in the Standing Against Satan Series. I am blessed beyond belief with her powerful and honest words of pain and healing. This post offers a tremendous amount of truth into a very difficult situation. Read on to hear Wendy's beautiful story of redemption.
In order to stand against something, you first have to acknowledge that it exists.
This becomes problematic if your go-to method of dealing with unpleasantness is to ignore it. In my case, the years of abuse I endured as a child reinforced my tendency to hide from the awful truth that all was not well.
For three plus years, my father - the one I looked to for love and protection, came to me during the silence of the night and hurt me.
As a result I learned:
That I could do nothing to protect myself, so don't bother.
To fear what I didn't understand.
To remain silent despite wanting to do otherwise.
So I dealt with my feelings of pain and helplessness by simply pretending that they didn't exist.
My coping mechanisms were helped along by the outward appearance of my middle class family's life. Dad worked, mom stayed home and took care of my sisters and me. And while finances were tight sometimes, we always had enough to eat and clothes to wear. We had a nice house, we lived in a good neighborhood, and for the most part, everyone got along just fine.
In fact, my ongoing denial that anything was wrong fit in perfectly with the enemy's desire to destroy me.
By refusing to admit that I was in pain, I unwittingly collaborated with Satan's scheme to keep me from crying out to God for deliverance.
Because if he could keep me from acknowledging that I was hurting and needed help, he could keep me from crying out to my deliverer, Jesus.
But here's the good news... Jesus delivered me anyway! When I was twelve He broke through the murky confusion in my mind and heart that had kept me unaware of my plight... and silent. I spoke up and from that day forward the abuse ended.
End of story, right? Not so much. While I am grateful more than I can say that I was rescued from my father's deviant behavior, in many ways, I continued to live my life from a place of fear and helplessness. And why not? Nothing else changed.
My life went on as though nothing had ever happened.
There were no counseling sessions to help me process my trauma, no apologies to acknowledge I had been wronged, and no outward sign that anything had ever been amiss. Dad continued to go to work, Mom went on taking care of us, and we all continued to act as though nothing was wrong. It was as though I had woken up from a bad dream and now that it was over what was there to say? It was over.
Initially I embraced the concept of being a victim. It helped me to cope with what had been done to me.
But as the years passed I began operating from a victim point of view all the time. It had become my identity.
After all, I reasoned, that's just the way I am... I can't help it. Seeing myself as helpless reinforced my fearful tendencies.
There was a seductive quality to the word "victim" that made me comfortable with remaining passive in the face of difficulties.
Operating from a victim mentality defined who I thought I was... and I was okay with that for decades.
But through all those years, Jesus has faithfully continued to draw me to Himself. He has set me free from the bondage caused by wounds from the past as well as the lies that I had swallowed hook, line, and sinker.
In later years someone described me as being a survivor. I liked the sound of that. "Survivor" brings with it a sense of pride in having made it through an ordeal. It made me feel strong despite knowing that any strength I had displayed had come from God.
But even better than making it or surviving is knowing that through Jesus Christ I am a conqueror! In fact, according to His word, I am more than a conqueror!
"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:37-39 ESV)
Nothing and no one has the power to separate me from God's love! Not even the lies of the enemy that made me believe that I was a helpless victim... always going to be unable to give or receive love.
I no longer have to cower away from my pain because I know that the One who is Truth loves me just as I am.
And believe me, at times I am still confused, wounded, and fearful.
But the amazing wonder of it all is this... Jesus holds out His arms to me, inviting me to come to Him for everything I need. Why?
Because I am His beloved.
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