God, Where Were You? Part 1
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Psalms 22:1
Sexual abuse is rape of the soul. It destroys trust, plants an anger so deep it can easily turn to bitterness, traumatizes the emotions, and robs hope. Such a person struggles with intimacy with others.
I know, because I was molested as a teenager. In the aftermath I bounced between depression, rage, apathy, and the fear of boundary violations. I was terrified of emotional intimacy. I struggled with the feeling that I was dirty; soiled with shame, and had a strong bent toward isolation. This profoundly impacted my relationships with women; I hated and worshipped them. All this emotional confusion and trauma fed fuel to raging fire of the pull to binge on sexual sin.
Those who have been molested cry out for answers: “God, where were you?! Why did you let me go through this?? I hate the person who did this to me, and I hate myself! How do I heal?”
Healing from sexual abuse involves sharing their story and emotions with another, grieving what was lost, expressing anger, forgiving the abuser, and ultimately, receiving God’s healing touch. Part of receiving God’s healing involves answering the question: “Where were you God?” and often, “How can a loving God allow this to happen to me? Is He really as good as He says He is?”
I’ve used my story of sexual abuse, but this applies to anyone who has gone through trauma or endured harsh suffering. Physical abuse, spiritual abuse, or neglect can have a profound impact on our relationship with the Lord. Since He is the one who will provide healing, resolving our relationship with Him is critical.
Perhaps finding these answers is key for you. Maybe you’ve been harboring resentment of the Lord for years and have never come to terms with the fact that you’re angry with Him for what happened. Perhaps drawing close to Him has been a struggle, and you’ve been faking your Christian walk. Maybe you’ve been in full–blown rebellion and have intentionally kept God as far away as you can. Or maybe your faith looks more like doubt than belief, because you’re so wounded that you find it hard to believe that God has ever loved you.
God has taught me that He doesn’t get turned off by our hard questions; in fact, His Word is packed with them, especially in the book of Job and the Psalms. He doesn’t flinch when we get angry with Him. Read Job’s words in Job 14:19: “Water wears away stones, its torrents wash away the dust of the earth; so You destroy man’s hope.”
Job flamed God for “destroying His hope,” yet in the end, God restored Job (after a little repentance on Job’s part).
Gad has also taught me that He is faithful and doesn’t bail out on those who are His (Hebrews 13:15). When I’ve been stuck in a dark place of bitterness and fear, it didn’t take much more than a little earnest seeking on my part for Him to speak, comfort, and provide answers.
Excerpted from Mike Genung’s book, 100 Days on the Road to Grace ; A Devotional for the Sexually Broken
Photo: Copyright : Brenda Carson :Image ID : 303062