NOTE: (Used by permission from client.)
She seated herself across from me, at the coffee shop. If walls could speak, everyone in the cozy little shop would have known her story. We had been there before. Her tears, her pain, her words, had all been spilled in this place, where coffee spills would be expected.
As her mentor, my goal is to help her find her voice, build confidence, and break free from the bondage that has had her trapped for many years.
It is humbling… even daunting, to mentor someone my senior. Some would say it’s inappropriate but I have had a mentor younger than myself, and it was good. Then, some time ago, when a nearly-seventy year old woman told me, “Today you became my mother,” I decided I would mentor people older than myself.
Sitting across from her at the coffee shop, I no longer concerned myself over age. She was stuck and insecure, and I was committed to walking her through that. Mostly we would explore her life story, and her faith journey. She is a believer, but struggling. In opening up her story to me, and by offering her grace, love and no judgement, we would work through the trauma of the past, establishing healthy identity. In her faith, we would explore her belief systems, and replace lies with truth.
“What does God think of you?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” she said, speaking with that, ‘haven’t a clue’ tone of voice. She said she had never really thought of it before. After some thought these words tumbled out…
“Irritating…. not worth the bother…. undisciplined… lazy…. weak… wimpy… ”
Since meeting her a few weeks ago, as a complete stranger, I have learned a few things about her. She has a heart of gold. She loves truth and justice, and has suffered extreme emotional, psychological and spiritual abuse. Though ‘religious’, by all outward appearances, her perception of God when we met was so scarred that I could visibly see her spirit close when I said the word ‘God’. She could not go there. But her spirit was not closed in the sense of wanting help. She desperately wanted to get ‘unstuck’, and have help in her faith journey, by working through the deep spiritual wounds. I asked if Jesus was ‘safe’, and He was. We started there.
But in working through the journey, if we truly want to be free, there comes a time when we have to return to the place of deepest pain, and start healing, and uncovering the core lies. Lies about who God is. Lies about how He sees you. Lies about personal identity. And that is what I was pursing in my client when I asked the question.
Knowing this, it didn’t surprise me when her answers were mostly negative. The one positive she gave me was, “He’d say I’m honest.” Even that answer fit with the rest. She was honest enough to say what she really believes He thinks of her, rather than answering with all the ‘right’ answers. We were talking heart stuff, not trying to pass an exam, and her honesty was key.
I wrote down the list as she gave it. And then I did something I’ve ever only done a few times… I wrote her a note from God:
I think you are irritating. The way you persist, on and on… It’s just not worth the bother. You are undisciplined… lazy… weak… and wimpy. Why should I care about you, or help you?
~ GOD ~
When I completed it, I laid it in front of her and asked, “Do you really believe God would leave you a note like that? She read it. Shook her head.
“I don’t think so either,” I said. “I think it would look more like this,” I said, placing a new note in front of her.
I can’t stop thinking about you…. Long before you were born, I wrote a book about you. I recorded every day of your life in it… It’s going to be tough sometimes. (You already know that!) But I can’t wait for you to get to the end…. then it will all make sense. It’s such a beautiful story.
BTW, I have a son… He thinks you’re pretty amazing too! (Worth dying for, He said!) He asked me to adopt you… So I did!
~ Love, Your daddy ~
Tears filled her eyes. A God she longs for. A God she desperately wants to believe exists. The God of the Bible, whom so many of us have misrepresented–including me, far too often–but the only true God. The loving Heavenly Papa who sees our struggle and, rather than judging us, visits our planet, in the form of a little baby, to experience our pain. All so that He can say, “I understand. I will die for you.”
Slowly… One painful baby step at a time, Annette is getting to know this God. The note didn’t quote scriptures verbatim, but every message in it came from the Word of God. All I did was make it personal, and help her grasp God’s love for her, without the ‘oppression’ of a religious tone.
Freedom comes when we know God. (That’s in the bible too!) When we understand who He really is, apart from religious guilt and obligation. Apart from performance. When all we are, and all we have, is all we give, and He looks on us with love. Because Jesus died for us.
Freedom is being who God created us to be. When we know God, we see ourselves as He sees us, and we are free to be that person. Through Jesus, God restores all things, including our identity.
That’s the journey Annette and I are on. Nothing brings me greater joy than to see God’s children free from oppression and lies, free to know who you really are.
Today I leave you with these questions… How does God see you? What does He think of you? Are there some lies, deep in your spirit, about who God is… or isn’t? Lies about who you are… or are not? Are you willing to get to know Him, to see Him as He really is, so you can see yourself, as you are in His eyes?
© Trudy Metzger
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I started reading “Who Do You Think You Are?: Finding Your True Identity in Christ” by Mark Driscoll this week. I’m only two chapters in and have been blown away. I have determined that when you have suffered pain or struggled with sin, after all the confessing, repenting, seeking and receiving forgiveness, a key element to healing is understanding and owning our identity in Christ. It has been important to finding healing in my life and I feel like I’m only beginning to understand it.
I love this Trudy!!! You are an amazing woman of God!!! I love the way you lead myself and others to The true and living God!!!