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

We Will Be Rescued Because God Is Faithful

God-is-faithful

“Peep! Peep! Peep!” The fluffy little ducklings cried out. They had fallen into a sewer drain. A deep, dark, damp dungeon with no hope of getting free. And yet they kept crying, hearing their mama answer them with distressed quacks.

Mama Duck could not rescue them, though her limping gave evidence of how she must have tried to.

My husband discovered these trapped ducklings just a few feet away on our condo driveway. Through the grate I could see at least three of them, but we were helpless to reach them.

I called Animal Control and asked if they could do something. They came quickly. A man looked through the grate on one side of the driveway while a woman was on the other side. They coaxed the ducklings to one end or the other, then reached nets into the openings at the sides of the curbs. They managed to rescue a dozen of them! They reunited them with Mama and brought them to a safer place.

At one point the woman asked me to hold one. He was quivering so badly. I could just imagine how afraid he was.

Have you ever tumbled into a dungeon of despair? Helpless. Hopeless. Afraid.

The ducklings kept crying, but there are times when we become so weak and discouraged that we can’t cry anymore. We can’t lift up our heads. We can’t grasp onto God’s promises to deliver us.

As the apostle Paul says in a time of crushing, overwhelming troubles, “We expected to die.”

“We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters,
about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia.
We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure,
and we thought we would never live through it.
In fact, we expected to die.
But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves
and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.
And He did rescue us from mortal danger,
and He will rescue us again.
We have placed our confidence in Him,
and He will continue to rescue us.”

2 Corinthians 1:8-10

But like Paul, we didn’t die. Why? Because there is a Rescuer who is always willing and ready to pull us up again. Out of darkness and despair. He knows where we are and what we need. He hears our groans. He even hears our silence.

Sometimes we have to wait a while and it seems He will never come for us. But that doesn’t mean He doesn’t care, doesn’t understand, doesn’t love us. He has His reasons for not always answering immediately. Reasons for our good. In His time and way, He will come.

Troubles actually make us realize how insufficient we are in ourselves. They push us into the need for a Rescuer. They help us to grow more dependent on God.

God is faithful. He will do what He promises. Three times Paul assures us of this. He did rescue us. He will rescue us again. He will continue to rescue us. And each time He comes, He will gather us up into His safe and loving arms and breathe courage into our fainting hearts to keep taking one step at a time.

“Jesus gave His life for our sins,
just as God our Father planned,
in order to rescue us from
this evil world in which we live.”
Galatians 1:4 NLT

“Even to your old age and gray hairs
I am He, I am He who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”
Isaiah 46:4

“It is because of the Lord’s lovingkindnesses that we are not consumed,
Because His [tender] compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great and beyond measure is Your faithfulness.”
Lamentations 3:22-23 AMP

A Child's Trust

“Rescue Me”
by Selah

“Rescue me, my God and my King
Water’s are rising and I cannot breathe
Wrap your arms all around me and
Carry me over, carry me over
(Rescue me)”

God is working

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