God’s Promise of Hope for Victims of Abuse

I posted this story nearly three years ago, but for some reason God brought it to my attention again. I felt His nudge to share it again. Perhaps there is someone who needs a reminder of hope. This is an edited version.

She was standing at the windows covering one wall. A nun staring out the window. As she stood there, a rainbow broke through the stormy clouds and brightened the sky.

The glory of the rainbow drew me to the window next to her. We were hushed with awe for several minutes.

“I asked God for a sign,” she whispered, “Now I know this is where He wants me to be.”

She opened her heart to me and shared her story of devastating abuse from a priest and how afraid she was to be at this retreat (for women victims of clergy abuse).

I was afraid, too. Shame, fear, and hopelessness consumed me, and I had almost run right back out as soon as I entered the building. But now I knew, too, that I wasn’t alone, and I needed to stay.

The rainbow inspired in both of us hope that God was on our side, He always keeps His promises, and He will never, ever abandon us.

Those days were gut-wrenching as we worked through the unspeakable pain of sexual and spiritual abuse from pastors/priests/ministers from various churches. I probably didn’t get as much benefit out of it as I could have if I had dared to open up more, but God still boosted me on the road to healing.

Two women pastors led the retreat, and on the final day, they held communion to whoever wanted to join them. Love, acceptance, and support warmed the atmosphere. One woman stood rooted to the floor several feet away. Her pain was so deep, and she wasn’t sure she belonged. Could she trust the love Jesus offers? Did He even want her? We gathered around her with love and assurance and God broke the chains of shame. She stepped forward with us, and with tears flowing, we together remembered how Jesus offered up His broken body and poured out His life blood for us to free us.

I was still in deep pain, but I had a renewed hope that God held us in His loving hands. Even though the healing journey would be painful, He would be with us every step of the way. And He has been, even though there were countless times when I felt like He had abandoned me. In hindsight I can see He was there even in those dark times of despair.

As one of the projects, each of us were handed a piece of construction paper with our name written in the middle of it and uplifting stickers on it. We were to write an encouragement or praise on each person’s page. After we went home, the leaders sent our page to us. I still have mine 25+ years later.

I want to share with you what one of the other women wrote to me, and I hope you will apply it personally to yourself.

“Keep talking. Don’t allow Satan to take anymore from you than he has. You know where your power lies. In the Creator of the universe, the Creator of you. Call on His healing. He loves you, (insert your name here), and so do I.”

If you have been abused, in whatever way, whether male or female, don’t let Satan silence you or discourage you with his lies. Don’t let him rob you of your God-given voice. His power is nothing compared to God who created you. God has the power and the willingness to heal you. He even finds joyous delight in healing you.

Even when we feel like a bruised and bleeding body tossed to the side of the road, not believed or cared about by anyone, Jesus loves to tenderly pick us up and hold us to Himself, cradling us with His love and compassion.

Yes, the healing process can be long and painful and overwhelming, but He is right beside us longing for us to trust Him as our Safe Refuge, to open our hearts to His love, and to allow His grace to heal us.

God is faithful and always keeps His promises. He will never abandon us. He is beside us even on those days when we can’t “feel” Him or see His signs.

“For every one of God’s
promises is ‘Yes’ in Him.
Therefore, the ‘Amen’ is also spoken
through Him by us for God’s glory.”
2 Corinthians 1:20 HCSB
“Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds,
I will see it and remember
the everlasting covenant
between God and all living creatures
of every kind on the earth.”
Genesis 9:16 NIV
“Be strong! Be courageous!
Do not be afraid of them!
For the Lord your God will be with you.
He will neither fail you nor forsake you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6 TLB


Overcomer
by Mandisa

When God Uses An Unwanted Dog to Rescue a Woman

We often hear how someone rescues an abused or unwanted dog, but we don’t always hear of how a dog or another animal rescues us.

Dogs were often my best friends when I grew up on a farm. They often comforted me with their unconditional love, loyalty, and ability to understand what I was feeling.

Some years ago, I read a book called Blind Hope: An Unwanted Dog and the Woman She Rescued by Kim Meeder and Laurie Sacher. It’s an inspiring true story of healing for both a blind dog and the woman who reached out to save her.

When Laurie went to work for Crystal Peak Youth Ranch, her soul was aching. She discovered an unwanted dog who was broken in heart and body and decided to rescue her. But what a surprise when the dog, Mia, actually rescued her!

When they took a walk, Mia would be fine as long as she listened and stayed near to Laurie’s footsteps, but sometimes she diverted to a different path. Once she realized Laurie was no longer next to her, she became hysterical and ran in circles.  At those times, Laurie’s calm voice was not enough to soothe her.  She needed to bend down and hold Mia in her arms as she whispered, “You’re safe, my sweet girl.  It’s okay.”

Once at the height of frustration, Laurie wanted to shout, “How many times are you going to move away from me and then freak out because you think I have left you?  How many times will I have to walk back and scoop you up before you simply learn to walk with me?” 

Then the truth pierced Laurie’s heart – “God has been asking me those same questions!”

Through Mia, God taught Laurie deep spiritual lessons of true acceptance, unconditional trust, and authentic love. 

Isn’t this story a picture of our lives?  When we want to follow Jesus, we often get distracted by the clamor in this world or in our minds. Or we decide our way is better. Or sometimes because of past hurts, we are afraid to trust. So we wander away on our own and eventually realize we no longer hear the footsteps of our Master. Then we get frantic and assume He has left us alone.

Even when we wander away, Jesus lovingly and patiently waits for us to cry out to Him. Then He hurries to us and holds us as He whispers, “You’re safe, My child. It’s okay.” 

Jesus will always rescue us and again bring us onto the right path. To listen for and follow His footsteps. Not our own or another’s. Just His.

“He led me to a place of safety;
He rescued me because He delights in me.”
2 Samuel 22:20 NLT
“Put all your trust in the Lord
and do not rely on your own understanding.
At every step you take keep Him in mind,
and He will direct your path.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 REB

Kim Meeder owns the Crystal Peak Youth Ranch,
a place of hope for abused horses and children. 


“Thank You”
by Jesus Army

“So many times,
You reached out to me,
But I turned my back ’cause I didn’t think you had what I need.
Now you’re everything,
You’re everything to me.
I can’t be without you God,
You’re everything.
And I want to say thank you,
I was lost and you found me,
I was dead inside,
And you breathed into me,
And you brought these bones to life.
I want to say thank you,
Thank you for saving me.
Thank you for loving me unconditionally God.
But I ran away.
‘Cause I was scared of the pain that came with trust.
But I came running back,
Into your embrace…”

Reflections: Past, Present, and Future

Looking to the Past, Present, and Future

As I reflect on this past year, often my heart was so deeply troubled about things that are happening in our nation and in this world. The truth that often kept me going is that God is still in control. He always has been and He forever will remain the King of the World. We don’t always see visible evidences of His love and grace, and it sometimes seems that evil prevails. But God will always be the ultimate Victor. He’s got us. He will never abandon us. He is always with us, working towards our good.

As I gaze into the new year, I know God will always remain faithful. He has helped me this far and He will hold me up through whatever happens this year. My desire is to more deeply trust Him and His plan and to fully embrace His unconditional love. The more I embrace His love, the more naturally love will pour out to others around me.

As for the present, I want to embrace every moment. I want to open my eyes more to the blessings right in front of me, the beauty God gives each day.

Past, present, future. No matter what happened or will happen to us, God’s faithful love endures forever. We may not always “feel” like He loves us, but this truth still stands. May we hang onto this hope each day!

“Jesus Christ is the same
yesterday, today, and forever.”
Hebrews 13:8

Most Visited 2018 Blog Posts

Sometimes when people hear I write blog posts, they ask, “How many followers do you have?” I shrug my shoulders and say I don’t know.

Years ago, I was too concerned about numbers, and I still fall into that trap sometimes. People approval still lurks in my heart far too much. I remain a work in progress…

Though I don’t check anymore how many followers I have, I do once in a while check which posts are read the most. It’s evident there are many hurting souls who need hope in this broken world. Who long to feel like they matter. Who long to feel understood and not feel so alone.

This 2015 post has been the most read post for the past three years. We may feel so broken, like we’re not worth anything, but God loves cracked pots. His love can shine through our brokenness!

God’s Love Can Shine Through Our Brokenness

This next 2014 post has been the second most read post for the past two years. In 2018, it nearly tied for 1st. Questions I still sometimes ask God. It seems I daily need to be reminded of His whispers of reassurance to these doubts and fears that trouble me. I love God’s compassion and patience with us! He invites us to ask Him anything, and He never condemns us! There is no one who knows us and understand us like He does!

God Knows Us Better Than We Know Ourselves

My Hope For Each Of Us
May We Remind Each Other Often

He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands

On New Year’s Day, a song came to my heart – “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.” I listened to it on YouTube and found another rendition of it. I still love the traditional song, but I love this one even more, because it speaks of how good God is, how His love will never stop, and how every person of every color is wonderfully made and precious in His sight.

I have watched and listened to this song several times since then, and every time it makes me want to dance and sing with these young people. I’d do it if I could without getting short of breath or coughing. 🙂 But I still do it in my heart! And each time, God breathes strength into my soul. Yes! We are in His hands of love this year and always! What better hands could we be in, right?