Trigger warning: child sexual abuse
This post is edited from the Hearts Undaunted archives.
I was sinking in a battle of core-deep wounds, including abandonment, rejection, and worthlessness. A mash up of fresh hurts from floundering relationships triggered unresolved childhood issues, leaving me feeling alone and despondent.
It was in the midst of this struggle, standing during an ordinary Sunday Mass, that I sensed, almost intuitively felt, the following words at a gut level:
Jesus stood up for you.
Far from a syrupy sentiment, the words resonated deeply. They immediately released my anger and wrestling. I had marinated in the idea for a few weeks when I stumbled upon a reflection in my daily devotional:
Take it personally–this Holy Week.
For me, that usually meant to meditate on Jesus dying to redeem my sins.
But, this time, Jesus had a different focus for me.
I knew it was another layer of my Mass epiphany. Take it personally–how He stood up for me.
Although He saved me, redeemed me…
He also took on evil face to face. Injustice. Pain. Trauma…
And every wrong done to me through my childhood sexual abuse, its aftermath, and the ways in which it broke me.
His Passion, death, and resurrection also redeemed my pain.
Wound for wound.
His wounds took on mine, cleansed them, and replaced them with truth.
Because, make no mistake…
At its core, my journey was a raging spiritual battle.
The lies that have gripped me as a result of being abused, convincing me of all sorts of ugliness, are straight from the pit of hell.
‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ –Luke 22:34
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. –Ephesian 6:12
Jesus took that on for me too.
I imagined Him face to face with Satan, with this battle cry:
NO! This is MY child! You can’t have her!
I will take her pain.
The agony in the garden…Oh, how Jesus knew anguish, fear, and turmoil.
‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.’ –Matthew 26:39
Jesus faced an excruciating decision. He was tempted to turn away. He knew what awaited Him. He knew what standing up for me would mean, and He. Said. Yes. (<====Click to tweet.)
Yes, Mandy, I will protect you.
Yes, Mandy, you are worth it–even though it’s hard.
Yes, Mandy, I want to do this for you.
Yes, Mandy, I love you that much.
Mandy, do not be afraid.
For every moment of my–
For every time–
Sin-sick hands reached for me…
I had to tell my story when I wasn’t ready…
My story was dismissed…
My story was taken too lightly…
My story was made to be about someone else…
Someone catered to the perpetrator…
Someone failed to protect me…
Someone offered harmful advice…
Someone pressured me or my family to do things their way…
Someone rushed me to forgive and reconcile…
Someone made a choice that showed they didn’t understand…
Someone didn’t believe me…
He and his spouse lashed out at me…
Everyone else’s life went back to normal…
I saw how this abuse also crippled my family…
I uncovered a new dysfunction in myself…
I felt alone…
I felt like it was just too much to bear…
For the beliefs that–
Loving and protecting me properly is just too difficult…
That I am not worth standing up for…
There is no safe place…
The world is one giant, scary place…
Everything in this life will be hard…
I need to be rescued from my life…
I am invisible…
I will never be free of this…
Every. Single. One. Of. These. and more: Jesus wore them, felt them, vanquished them through His own experience of torture, death, and resurrection.
Each drop of blood He sweated testifies to His knowledge of my emotional anguish.
Each moment of His being–
Weighed down with His cross.
Betrayed, with a kiss.
Each thorn pressed deep into His skull.
Each nail ripping through His flesh.
Each step on the road to Calvary.
The scale of His agonies does not compare to mine, but they do–
Prove that He will not fail me.
Remind that He will love me perfectly every time.
This Holy Week, He’s teaching me to receive His love.
I’m taking it personally.
Dreamers, I don’t know what wounds you face or how large they loom over you. I do know this: Jesus fought for you personally. (<====Click to tweet.)
You were on His mind as He He suffered, and each blow He took was to redeem each of yours.
He did it because He love you madly.
Will you receive His love even more during this Holy Week?
What does it mean to you to take this week personally?
Is Jesus offering you healing this Easter?
How can I pray for you?
Shared by: Mandy Mianecki