Tag Archives: Bible

Where it Began

The realisation that I must have been sexually molested when I was very young came to me late in life.

Like so many people who are unhappy for no apparent reason, I felt drawn to helping others, and so began to train as a counsellor in the late nineties, when I was forty five, thereabouts. There was something very familiar about the descriptions of how people who had been sexually abused as children behaved. I proudly thought my understanding was an extra dose of compassion and supernatural gifting invested in me by the Lord!

One day a description of a case study I was reading was just too apt, too close to the bone.

‘This is me!’

I let the realisation rattle around my psyche for many months, arguing to myself that it was a figment of my imagination. I lived with someone who told me regularly that most of what I thought, discovered or discerned was pure imagination, so it was easy to think this idea must be too. But it persisted until I decided to fast, and seek the answer from the Lord. My parents were long gone, and there was no one to ask but God.

I can’t now remember for how long I fasted, but I remember the day clearly. I was alone in the house, so it must have been a Saturday. I got into familiar position before my Lord, and simply said,

“Show me, Lord, show me what happened.”

And He did. Not all of it, but enough for all sorts of pieces to click into place. I was four or five, and it took place in a hut in the police camp next door to our house. A witchdoctor was involved – it was a demonic harvesting of innocent blood, as is most abuse of children. The bible tells us that every sin committed is outside your body, except those involving sex. So sexual abuse is an onslaught against the very essence of the target, robbing them forever of that which should be theirs alone, leaving in its place a feeling of loss so intense nothing but the love of Christ can fill it, and of course, a wracking guilt.

The devil is very real, and he is the sole architect of pain and suffering. It gives him pleasure to wreck a life, as much pleasure as it brings pain to our Father in Heaven, who ultimately is the One Satan is aiming at. I believe the devil himself is present when a child is molested, and his involvement grants him influence over that life that never goes away. Fighting the effects of childhood abuse, be it sexual, physical or verbal, is a life-long battle.

This does not mean to say it is a losing battle. The opposite is true and each victory brings with it the sweet reward of release.

We have chosen not to to talk about Satan, to pretend he really is a myth, his deeds some sort of mumbo jumbo that only certain fanatics recognise and talk about. We have watered down his power until we are quite comfortably riding along the bus of our lives with him sitting next to us. In the same way, we do not talk about abuse. It’s uncomfortable, and if we play it down maybe it will go away. The news is constantly reporting accusations against icons of entertainment, sport, the church, society in general being disclosed now, and all the cover-ups that have gone on for years – the devil’s plan is perfidious, subtle and clever.

I get so angry when paedophiles are given light sentences: they deserve a life sentence for each child they have fiddled with because they have murdered in a far more invidious manner than if they had slowly strangled each one, choking the life out of them.

The first question I believe every single person who has suffered hardship, tragedy or abuse asks is: Where were You, Lord? The second is: Why? Why did it happen? Why did YOU allow it to happen? Then, much later: How do I deal with it?

When I was a child, no one knew how to deal with abuse, you certainly wouldn’t discuss it with your friends or neighbours, chances are you wouldn’t even involve the police, especially if it was a neighbour or friend, because the shame of anyone knowing what had happed to your child would be overwhelming. My parents certainly hadn’t a clue how to deal with it, they did talk it over with the local doctor who advised leaving it be to minimise the trauma. That was the general trend those days, the child is young enough not to remember, and so everything would be alright.

We know better now, thank heavens, but we still have a long way to go in preventing abuse, and then dealing with the awful consequences.

Sadly, everything is not alright, no matter how young the child is. When a person has been violated, there is always an imprint that stays with them. Not only is he/she left feeling bereft, but also consumed with guilt and shame. I don’t know how the devil does it, but he does – he puts the shame of the perpetrators onto the victim. I don’t like the term victim, I prefer target, but at times victim is the correct term.

Your view of yourself changes, you see yourself as ugly, as bad, your fragile infantile self-esteem lies shattered amidst the gore of shattered virginity, and what happens on the inside always manifests on the outside.

For healing to begin, you need to have an accurate view of what your particular abuse has created in you, the false persona, the cover-ups, the hidden guilt. How do you defend that inner child that was so cruelly crushed? Are you the life and soul of every party? Are you overly religious? Or have you withdrawn to a quiet, introspective lifestyle.

Climbing out of the pit of wickedness caused by abuse is a long, hard journey, and you have to give your consent for every stage along the way. You have to agree to the fight, get down and dirty with God so that He can cleanse you, strip you of all you are, so the devil no longer has any influence over you. There is no miracle cure, as so many would have you believe, because getting free involves confronting the very essence of who you have become, and you have to agree to release those defences in order for God to bring you to a place of peace and stability.

If you are following this because you are plagued by the effects of abuse, take time this next week to seek the Lord, ask Him to begin showing you the walls you are hiding behind, the lies you believe, and make the decision to begin your journey to freedom and healing.

“He aint heavy……

Complete opposites
I’ll support you, thorns and all

I stopped dead in my tracks. The thought and the sighting fused simultaneously in a moment of glee and awe: “He aint heavy, he’s my brother”!
This past week the tide has been full at around six when I go walking. My temperamental feet don’t allow me to walk too far on a soft, sloping surface, so on these mornings I head off into the dune forests which have their own special attraction.
It’s amazing how a heap of sand and some undergrowth totally deaden the interminable hush, roar and pound of the sea. Here there is absolute quiet, and a sense of peace that is sublime. You have no choice but to walk as quietly and reverently as you can in this Edenic paradise that must entice God Himself. Your ear soon tunes into the sounds around you: little rustlings in the bush; birdsongs; a twig cracking as monkeys, guinea fowl and not yet seen red duiker and suni move out of one’s way.
With the advent of spring and some good rains a couple of weeks ago flora is erupting, and there are new treasures every morning. A thicket of wild jasmine bushes erupted into vestal white, perfuming the air all around; a small bush sprouting showers of pansy blue; a little yellow rose-like flower delicately adorns a robust shrub.
At the end of most of the tracks through the forest are glorious vantage points from where you either look out on pristine dune vegetation, or onto the beach and miles of Indian Ocean. There is a fallen trunk, conveniently placed at a point where it is politic to pause a while, that is a most comfortable seat. I have named it “The writing chair”. This is where I put the thoughts that crowd my mind from all the stimuli around me into a notebook.
It was there that my heart stopped one morning as I saw a human sized shadow silently stalking the bush! What great relief when it evolved from shadow into Scott, my neighbour and fellow scribe, barefooted, coffee carrying and intently pursuing what he firmly believed was “the duiker”. These early morning perambulations must have something to do with being writers.
On one of these mornings on a stretch of what passes for road in these parts, that I have been on countless times, I suddenly saw the sight that stopped me in my tracks and made me want to reach for my camera. A small, white trunked tree, forked a third of the way up its trunk, in which nestled the remains of a huge branch. There was no other interpretation than the cribbing of the song title. This little tree was supporting, for no visible reason, a tree three times its size. There has to be a lesson in that, and my mind took off running to the tune of the song.
I needed to look more closely at these two entwined friends. They bore absolutely no resemblance to each other: the one had pale, smooth bark, was upright and had full leaves; the other wore rough, drab, dark bark, mean leaflets and large unfriendly thorns.
What truths can be gleaned from this conjoining in the natural!
That we live in a world of opposites was so clearly highlighted. The restfulness of the forest a sandbank away from an ever busy sea, a strong and peaceful friend to a prickly overweight brother, the emotions that swirl beneath the still façade of a small beachside community.
I can put it no better than Solomon writing in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12:
Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up.
Again, if two lie down together,
They will keep warm;
But how can one be warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered
By another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Paul tells us in Galatians 6:2 to “bear one another’s burdens…” Again in Romans 15:1-2 he tells us that “we who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak……”

How many times have I tried to go it alone and failed dismally? How many times have I turned back from supporting a fellow human simply because the look of them was not to my liking? How many times am I deaf to a friend’s silent cry for help because I looked at the thorns instead of the need?

Once again I am humbled by the simplicity of the lessons taught by my Creator and my God in this place, at this time in the journey of this life He has given to me.

©GMS October 2012
All Bible quotations from the New King James Version