Anyone who has suffered from abuse of any kind knows that years of joy, innocence and love are ‘stolen’ from them. Beryl’s life is a miracle, showing God’s power to heal and make us whole again. There is hope!
The pain of abuse
We hear the expression the “stolen generation” so often. For women, in particular, a childhood stolen through abuse causes pain and “woundedness” that robs many of the fulfilment of being a woman. One day I was walking in the park and noticed a young father with his little daughter and how she responded lovingly to him. She snuggled up and looked adoringly into his eyes, then relaxed and fell asleep in his arms. How wonderful for a little girl who can be “daddy’s little girl” and who can be safe in her father’s arms.
Robbed of innocence
As I walked, I thought about the women who have never known a relationship like this. How many have been robbed of the true understanding of a “father image”? How many as adults have experienced the ravages of rape? How many have had their childhood stolen from them? How many have been robbed of their innocence and trust as small girls by a father, uncle, friend or a stranger? The violation of innocence produces a distortion in the understanding of and need for a relationship … particularly with men.
Endless search for love
So often a child or a woman is left to search the wrong places to fill that void, that eed for a Daddy to love and trust … the need for a safe relationship. It’s an endless search for un-fulfilled love. I remembered my own childhood and how my “father image” was so distorted. As a teenager even the thoughts of an older man being near filled me with the feeling of pain and fear deep hurts like ugly unhealed wounds (tender to the touch) would tearfully and painfully surface. The pain of sexual, physical and emotional abuse and violence had stolen the years of my childhood and adolescence.
Blaming myself and unable to tell anyone
I grew up blaming myself for what had happened as I felt so unworthy and so unclean, so full of shame, thinking that everyone else knew I was somehow unclean but I was locked in a prison where I was afraid to tell anyone of my pain. I longed for meaningful relationship but I just couldn’t trust and was always afraid. At times, I hurt so much I didn’t want to live. I longed to be loved, accepted, and needed for myself. What I needed was a relationship with someone who really cared, but with what seemed to be like a driving compulsion, I searched only to be used and hurt again. In the light of my past, how could things ever be normal or right in my life? What was normal anyway? I felt so full of shame, so insecure, and so vulnerable.
Feeling His healing touch
Then a friend of mine told me how she had become a Christian. She told me about going to a meeting and being told about Jesus. She said she now had Him as her best friend. Well things couldn’t be much worse so I decided I’d find out more about this Jesus and asked Him to forgive me and heal me. I started to learn about the Heavenly Father and sense His healing touch. Old fears came rushing to the fore. Could I really trust this “Father God” as He was called? Would He really love me and not let me down? I was afraid again and struggled mentally with the painful images of childhood, but little by little the healing came deep within as I read His Word, the Bible and as He spoke to my heart with gentle words.
His love like gentle summer rain
“I have loved you with an everlasting love, you are mine, you are precious, the apple of my eye, I love you and I do not condemn you.” These soothing words came like gentle summer rain on my hurting and desperate heart, easing the pain. I started to respond back to my Heavenly Father, someone whom I could trust at last. One day in prayer, as I closed my eyes I saw a picture of myself sitting on the Father’s knee, looking into His Face, reaching to Him as He held me close. “Daddy”, I whispered. The words came from my lips and my heart. I knew at last the pain of the past years and lost childhood was over … or mostly anyway. I sat enjoying this wonderful moment that I hoped would go on forever.
The Holy Spirit freeing me
Was I really free from my past? In the years that have followed, there have been challenging moments as I allowed the Holy Spirit to open and to heal the last of those “doors” where I had locked the most painful of my memories. How wonderful and free I was! I wanted to shout from the mountains, “I’m free, I’m healed, I’m a woman and I’m glad!” I could finally say “goodbye” to the shame and grief of my childhood, the stolen years. As I have grown in my relationship with my Lord, I have learned that my dignity and worth, my security, come from the relationship that I have with my Heavenly Father. I am the person He created me to be.
Restoring my womanhood and forgiveness
I have also come to know the freedom of forgiving the ones who caused my pain. The truth is that it is Satan who comes to rob, steal and destroy. He uses people but he is the one who has set himself to try to destroy womanhood, to steal what God so marvellously created. Our wonderful Heavenly Father paid the price through the death of His only Son Jesus not only to deliver us from the horror and results of abuse but also to fully restore our womanhood. Truly my God is my Abba Father, “Daddy God”! Because of my friendship, I am complete as a woman, wife, mother and “Nanny”, just as He created me to be. I live in victory over “something” that happened in my past. Do I remember? Yes I do! But it is without the pain because it’s like looking on something that happened to someone else. The future is His and mine together and I know that He will lead me through it with all the love of a Father’s Heart. He has fully restored my “stolen years”. Thank you my “Daddy God”, I’m your little girl!
Looking to the future
If you have read this story and you want to know more about Jesus, then simply ask Him to come into your life, to heal you from the abuse you have suffered, and to restore your “stolen years”.
1. He will heal you and walk you through the grief of your “stolen years”.
2. He will touch your woundedness and make you whole again. You will be free to be the person you were created to be. Remember you were uniquely created and you are very special. Put your hand in His and He will lead you into the future.
From the Bible
“Long ago, the Lord said, I have loved YOU … with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. I will rebuild you (remake you)” (Jeremiah 31:3,4).
“I will never fail you, I will never forsake you. That is why you may say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper so I will not be afraid of what mere mortals can do to me” (Hebrews 13:5b, 6).
May you feel God’s healing touch,
“What does it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul?”
The Reason (music video)