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Beautiful You Devotional ~ Oct 2021 / Q4 Vol 2

The wonderful brilliance about the Gospel is that our past is swallowed up in the transforming grace of God. This is a beautiful picture of redemption and the way God designed grace and salvation.

2 Corinthians 5:17 | Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Yet, we still live with the memories of our “before Christ” lives. Just as I imagine the apostle Paul did because of statements he made calling himself the chief among sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). Paul was a murderer of Christians before Christ saved him and called him. I would imagine he had moments when he remembered those days.

Salvation cleanses away our guilt but not our memories and it’s those memories and images that we must contend with along our healing journey.

The best prayer I ever prayed, and I invite you to do the same, is, “Lord, break every stronghold in my life and mind that was created by the trauma and abuse I’ve suffered.”

Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@gaellemarcel?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Gaelle Marcel</a> on <a href="/s/photos/love?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a>

The Bible teaches us to cast down arguments and every thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:5) and it’s this practice we must master to deal with a past that continues to taunt us.

Every human being on the face of the earth deals with trauma and abuse of some kind. And these traumas impact our history as we grow up and mature. We have informed psychology that teaches us how to deal with the mind, neurological information about the impact of trauma on the brain, and ultimately we have the Word of God that transforms our minds with the truth.

All of those may work together to aid us in healing.

Photo by Jasmine Coro on Unsplash

But the question remains, does our history define us?

Journal entries from my healing journey

I learned to fear everything. I lived in an environment where hurt and pain was the norm and hope was in short supply. I was afraid everywhere, home, school, and social situations terrified me. School was very difficult because of shame inside me. I lived in a constant state of shame and embarrassment. I always feared being called on in school because I wanted to be invisible. I thought the abuse I suffered was written all over me so I wanted to hide.

I believe the answer to that question is yes! How can it not. How can we remain the same person we were before a trauma or abuse as we are after. It’s not possible. Trauma and abuse marks us permanently. It not only changes our brain chemistry, it changes how we view the world and ourselves.

For example, a seven year old little girl lives in a loving family and is carefree and innocent. One day an uncle comes to visit and showers the little girl with presents and love and takes her for a walk, takes her out to the forest and rapes her. She returns home a very different girl. No longer innocent and care free, but frightened, confused and trying to integrate that trauma into the life she had BEFORE it happened when that life no longer exists for her, so she cannot reconcile the event.

The impact it has on her when they return to the home and everyone is laughing and her uncle acts as if nothing ever happened is unimaginable. She is traumatized deeply and that one incident will mark who she is forever.

Photo by Rubén Bagüés on Unsplash

This, of course, is an extreme example. You can fill it with whatever experience you’ve had but the result is the same. Tremendous impact, nonetheless.

Most trauma is so deep that memories are buried but impact is still registered which keeps many of us running away from our past with a vengeance and many times, it’s that running that turns our lives inside out.

I want to establish, in this week’s devotional the truth that trauma and abuse mark us even as new creations, and it’s God’s desire to heal and bring wholeness to us. Part of that wholeness, however, is accepting the whole of our lives including the traumas and with God’s healing, we learn to honor and celebrate our story even with those parts.

This is possible because then our story becomes His story in us and that is what makes it worth celebrating. We honor ourselves by acknowledging what happened to us and how it has marked us. Acknowledgement brings freedom and I’m going to touch on that next week.

Your action step this week is to do some “acceptance” work.

#1 -That means accepting what happened to you, not as God’s plan, but with trust that God can make something beautiful out of it for your life. Make sure to write the things you discover in your journal.

#2- Try to remove yourself from any responsibility for the trauma or abuse, because that trauma says everything about the person who inflicted it upon you and you bear none of that responsibility.

#3- Last but not least of all, always remember to do this work, in prayer and in the Presence of God (who is with you always). Invite Him into these moments because He longs to be with you, no matter how deep the pain is. Find solace in the truth that He loves you and wants to bring you freedom.

Much love always, Crisie💕

Isaiah 61:3

To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.

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[DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed counselor or therapist of any kind nor is this devotional an attempt to provide those services. The contents and suggestions in this devotional are results of my own personal experience with these issues and are not meant to be professional advice or therapy. This devotional is not a substitute or replacement for regular therapy or the use of mental health resources. If the content here causes triggers, please see your regular mental health professional. Any content applied to your life along with any consequences is of your own volition.]

[If you or someone you know is in a domestic violence situation, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, available 24/7. or visit https://www.thehotline.org/ ]

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Copyright (C) 2021 Crisie Hutchings. All rights reserved.

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