This is a repost of a blog I wrote on my old blog in June 2014. It was written about a Story Writing workshop run for practitioners working with people caught up in prositution and trafficking during an ICAP (International Coalition Against Prositution) conference in Wisconsin, USA.
I’m sharing this now at the event of the movie The Heart Of Man being released in Australia because it features Dan Allender and stories of people, just like me, who have been on the journey of healing through the telling of their stories. I encourage you to not only go watch the movie, but to share your story in a safe and healing place.
I’ve been wanting to write this story for SO long…
It’s a story of heart break and betrayal.
A story that bears the scars of an inner wound that stings as if it were freshly made, yet it had sunken so deep; buried under piles of rubble and debris of years gone past. Rubble now named “contempt”, “shame”, and “denial”.
Who knew that a work to heal a broken heart would take so much longer than a year? And that the revelation of the damage that was done would be discovered amidst the motion of writing…and then sharing with strangers, as if dividing it apart to distribute and expose the secretly written to an public audience.
The exposure resurfaced the wound yet it allowed it to heal a new.
Like it had never been healed before.
Actually, in the resurfacing I discovered it had NEVER been healed before.
“Will you grow in tenderness towards the child that has been contaminated by harm?” Dan Allender asks us.
A room full of people working with people who have experienced harm. As children and as adults, yet they have never found the healing or the hope. Yet WE offer them that hope and that healing but we were now being challenged to experience it for ourselves.
We broke up into groups of five and shared our stories (true tales of trauma we had experienced as children) out loud. In an uncomfortable silence we awaited feedback from those around us. Soft tender hearts were there to bear the pain.
“Redemption happens when you allow people to dwell in your heart and grieve and fight for you.”
And then in their grieving they saw a perspective of MY story I never saw before. Like discovering the key to the treasure box that held my healing. But the healing still demanded something from me.
Again he challenges…”You have to give up a lot to write your story. We have to give up our loyalties. It is true that we have a great loyalty to Jesus UNTIL we are asked to give up other gods. So where do your loyalties lie?”
Loyalties and honor. Both touchy subjects that were covered to bring light to the battle that raged in not only our minds but in our world views. In my world view. So slowly my loyalties shifted and the loyalty lay in the healing that needed to be done for me, for my family, for my ladies. My loyalty lay in the Healer.
So I clung to the process and endured the pain again of the sacrifice.
In the sacrifice and in the honesty that surpassed the desire to dwell with the wound any longer there was a loneliness that begged for me to search deeper to find where God was in that place of pain.
“In beauty there is brokenness. All beauty bears brokenness… God intends to use the scars to bring Him glory.”
Last year (2013) I wrote a blog about God wanting to heal my broken heart. It coincided with a tumultuous time for me and my family. At that time, I felt a need to drop down, a picture of a falling flat on my face. So I did it- literally. Nothing changed.
As we drew near to the end of the story writing workshop I was reminded of this falling down. At the beginning Dan challenged us with this question- “Can you enter into the stories of death in your own life? When our lives are meant to tell the story of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.”
Entering into death is not easy. It was exemplified in others in my group who had the courage to do so in the company of tender hearts. Yet I did it in the quietness of my room- I finally found the falling down, the dying.. and as it caused the tears to flow again, I opened my little pink Bible and found solace in the words from the pages that have held my heart afloat for so many years.
“For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you have received the Spirit of Adoption, whereby we cry ABBA Father. The Spirit itself bears witness with our Spirit that WE are the children of God. And if children then heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, if so be that we suffer WITH Him that we may also be glorified TOGETHER.” Rom 8:15-17 (emphasis added)
So I am comforted by the fact that I am an ADOPTED child who has been chosen by LOVE (which perfectly casts out all the fear that had taken up reign in my heart) and that in turn allowed me to not suffer alone but suffer WITH Christ, so that we may be resurrected in glory together.
A story that waited to be written for so long to bring healing to my heart was finally inked onto paper as an expression of the pain. A pain that I had tried to physically express as a teenager by taking a craft knife to my hands; a pain I had tried to spiritually express as I confessed sins of my own reaction to the pain but never assigned responsibility to those who inflicted it, pressing on but not entering in. It was a pain that I had let control my emotions more than I had realized as my trying to keep my distance from it turned my face to re-enact it over and over again.
Yet it was a pain that desired to be entered into like a tomb with a stone that had rolled away, calling out to reveal the light of the resurrection that could only happen upon the entering in- the falling down into the grave that needed to happen for real resurrection and ascension to occur. And in that ascended place, I am able to reach down again and help to pull those who are still fighting the death.
The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,- Jesus Christ (Luke 4:18)