It’s been said that if you have nothing to say, you shouldn’t write. I agree with that. But what I’ve learned in the last four weeks is that sometimes having too much to say is almost harder.
Each day I want to write, but each day is so full of what God is doing that I don’t have time. And, when I do have time, my heart is so full that I don’t know where to begin. Even now, as I sort through my thoughts, I am ‘stuck’… something that doesn’t happen often. Words typically spill from my heart onto screen or paper, as the case may be, without much pause for thinking. So I will go back to the conference and begin there…
Our ‘Healing for the Broken’ conference, November 23 & 24, unleashed something dynamic, not only in those who attended the conference, but in the spiritual realm. (Kind of like someone yanked the carpet out from under the devil’s feet and he lost a foothold. Yay God!)
At the conference we felt a move of the Holy Spirit in a way that we have seldom experienced before. … Almost as if it gets stronger with every conference. It was powerful! Not an ‘experience’ so much as a transformation and an ‘indwelling’. There is something indescribably powerful that takes place when we invite Jesus into our painful stories, and/or stand in the gap for others who have been wounded.
As always, it was especially encouraging to have couples and individuals present who have not experienced sexual abuse or violence and yet are willing to attend, to learn, to support. It is encouraging for us as a ministry team, but it is also encouraging for victims, giving them hope that the silence and secrecy will not always have the power it once had.
The week after the conference was going to be a quiet week, filled with a lot of ‘nothing specific’… maybe some Angry Birds (okay… lame… but it is my one ‘addiction’ when I have time)… and then the normal ‘life’ stuff.
Instead I had one of my busiest weeks ever that week. And it was wonderful. Doors began to burst open that I would never have believed I’d live to see! Even now, several weeks in, I find myself, at moments, giggling in delight and disbelief.
I have sat with absolute strangers and heard their hearts, told them God loves them, listened to the pain and trauma, watched the tears flow… And in it all I have seen the sweet, sweet love of Jesus come alive.
If I were free to tell the stories, I would, but for confidentiality I cannot. What I can say is that the prayers and cries of my heart are heard, and God is moving. On October 1, 2012, I wrote “I Will Set My Children Free” and even as I wrote it I struggled to believe that, indeed, God will do this. On the one hand I believed, and even felt a sense of prophetic promise as I wrote. On the other hand the overwhelming rates of victimization and bondage challenged that faith and, in my humanity, I couldn’t imagine where it would begin.
What I’m learning about God is that He moves in His time and His way. When He’s ready, and we’re ready, He moves. Sometimes it’s an avalanche that no human force, or any other, can stop. We can stop it in our lives, by closing Him out, but in the bigger picture He still moves. Other times it’s as gentle as a butterfly, without a sound.
That said, we’re seeing both the avalanche and the butterfly, simultaneously, as He moves in the Mennonite setting. It is truly the most wonderful thing I have witnessed in my lifetime, in my culture!
I have had the honour of sitting with more youth and teenagers in the recent past than I’d have thought I’d have the courage to reach out to in a lifetime. It is stretching me and forcing me to rely on God at a whole new level. And that’s a good thing. He is moving me out of my comfort zone.
If someone had told me a few years ago that I would be working predominantly with Mennonites from my own ‘brand’ and background, I wouldn’t have believed it. And if they had added teenagers, both Mennonite and non-Mennonite, I would have said, “You’ve got the wrong girl!”
I wouldn’t have believed that I was equipped, and I definitely would not have believed I would be received. I’m clearly mistaken on both counts. Doors have burst open to do ministry in my cultural background and the silence is shattering, bringing hope and freedom to countless victims. And it’s having the ripple effect. And the teenagers… well, they kind of seem to like me. And then they introduce me to their friends… and the ripples continue. I am developing healthy working relationships with some pastors, leaders, and parents in ways I could not have imagined even a few months ago.
I am thrilled beyond thrilled at this breakthrough. To walk with people through their pain and, more importantly, to invite Jesus to walk through that with us, is the greatest honour in the world. Nothing in life, besides being a wife and mother, has ever made me feel more fulfilled. It’s not all been easy, but when relationships are reconciled, and hearts are healed, it’s worth it.
I’ve been painfully honest about the hidden sexual abuse in my culture, and I want to be just as honest about what is happening as the truth is acknowledged. I’m not so naive as to believe it won’t have a price tag, and some resistance, but the results speak for themselves and it’s worth the fight just to see the light of freedom in they eyes of those with whom I meet.
Revival has come! And with it, deliverance! There is a sacred stirring in the shattering silence, as Jesus heals wounds, and the Holy Spirit reveals the truth, breaking the lies of many generations.
“Look among the nations and watch—
Be utterly astounded!
For I will work a work in your days
Which you would not believe, though it were told you.
We are seeing things we would not have believed if we had been told them! If ever I wondered, I don’t now… I was born for such a time as this. I suffered with purpose. And I embrace that call with reverence, yet bold delight!
© Trudy Metzger
Return to first post in Sexual Abuse Series
First Post in Spiritual Abuse Series