As she led Bible studies at her church, the mask of a strong Christian woman hid her pain. She felt compassionate towards women who seemed lonely. She could see the injustice happening in their lives, but not in her own, because she reasoned she deserved it.
When Mandy finally decided to share the abuse she was suffering from her “Christian” husband – the constant fear, verbal abuse, degradation, humiliation, rapes of her body and soul – to some trusted church leaders, she was told, “Keep trusting the Lord, and He will make things right,” or “Why don’t you just forgive him?”
Fueled by these insensitive remarks, Mandy assumed she must be an awful person, not even a good Christian. After all, Christians are supposed to be forgiving and happy with their lot, aren’t they? So she continued on for more years of daily chaos, becoming adept at stuffing down her feelings and disassociating from reality. Becoming accustomed to living as one who didn’t deserve any respect or rights.
By the grace of God, a concerned relative encouraged her to see a Christian counselor she knew. Finally someone believed her. She went to therapy for years and during the course of it, she went through divorce and depression. She eventually realized God does not want His child to be treated the way she was. It was a way of deep, raw pain for Mandy, but the power of God’s healing grace nourished a beautiful rose in the ashes of her wounds.
One statement the counselor made that shocked her and took time to sink in was “God sees us as worthy enough to die for us.”
How can our finite minds actually absorb such a mystery? He counts us valuable enough, important enough to DIE for us? Not only to die, but to suffer soul deep, bone chilling anguish so we can be healed? To go through hell so we can be saved from the hell our sins deserve? So we can be healed from going through hellish experiences on earth? Just WOW!
“Just as there were many who were appalled at Him —
His appearance was so disfigured
beyond that of any human being
and His form marred beyond human likeness—”