“When I prayed, I felt big arms wrap around me”… Do Angels Really Visit Children?

“I will work a work in your days which ye will not believe, though it be told you.”
~ GOD ~

****

(Part 2: The Forgotten Children)

…First a little story that happened in 2015:

angel with child

Had I not been there, face to face with her, and had I only heard it on GodVine or whatever other social media forum out there, I wouldn’t have believed it. I would have concluded someone coerced her, or framed the questions just right. But when it played out in front of me, I had no choice but to believe. I tell the following story with permission from ‘mommy’.

This year I’ve traveled to numerous times to various states in USA, to offer support in difficult situations. Being a Canadian, I go solely to offer a listening ear and spiritual encouragement. I do not tell people what they ought to do, beyond encouraging them to educate themselves with the law, and fight for their children’s best interest and healing, and to get them support, help or therapy they need. Always.

It was on one such trip that I found myself sitting with a little girl…. yet again. Her blonde, fly-away hair caught in her ice cream cone, and she licked it clean, giggling. Her blue eyes sparked with mischief… until that one topic came up…

I asked if we could talk about what had happened, and explained that mommy had told me everything. Immediately, it was as if someone had turned out the light and drawn the blinds in her beautiful little eyes. With great intensity she told me that mommy had explained we would talk about it, and it was okay. Still, I could see the shame.

“What do you feel when we talk about it?” I asked.

She shrugged, then said, “Bad. Like it was my fault and I ruined his life.” My heart filled with sudden deep pain, on her behalf, and immediately I assured her it was not her fault. I told a little story, using a practical example, of a grown up wrecking some precious toy, and asked if it would be her fault. “No!” she giggled, in that ‘don’t-be-so-silly’ way, and shook her head.  The sparkle returned.

“Then, can it really be your fault when an adult hurts you?”

She shook her head, and smiled. “So it’s not really my fault at all, is it?”

“No, sweetie, it isn’t,” I said. Relief visibly washed over her. We talked about many things, and repeatedly her deep thoughts amazed me. And then I asked about fear. I remember debilitating fear surging through my body, so that I could hardly breathe, especially at night, and how there was no one to talk to about it. “Are you ever afraid?” I asked.

“Not very often, any more,” she said, “but sometimes I am.”

“What do you do when you’re afraid?” I asked.

“I pray and talk to Jesus,” she said. I nodded, contemplating where to take the conversation. I asked what she says to Jesus. “I just tell Him I’m scared, and ask Him to help me,” she answered.

sleeping girl

“Who taught you to pray when you’re afraid?

She looked thoughtful. “No one. I just do it.” She went on to tell me how the first time she lay in the dark, terrified, she began to ‘talk to Jesus’.

“Then what happened?” I expected her to call her parents into her room to hold and comfort her. Because they would. They’re like that.

“When I prayed, I felt big arms wrap around me and hold me, and then I fell asleep,” she answered matter-of-factly, as though it should have been what I expected. Whatever emotions I felt in that moment, I pushed them down. I was here to support her, and tears were out of place. So I smiled and told her how beautiful that is, and how it makes me so happy.

“I told my little brother to try it when he was scared. I said, ‘you can just pray, and these big arms will come and hold you’, but he said it didn’t work for him.”

“Have you told mommy and daddy about this?” I asked. She furrowed her brows, thoughtfully, and then shook her head, adding that she never thought about it. “Do you think we can tell them later?” I asked. “I think it would make their hearts happy.” And that is just what she did when we returned. There were tears and relief, at knowing so  that Someone had been with their daughter so intimately all along.

The words of Jesus, “…their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven…” replayed in my mind, over and over. She won’t have an easy road; it never is for victims of molestation, but she will never be alone.

God has an amazing plan for this little girl, as He does for all of us. Being molested will bring unnecessary struggle and pain into that journey, but I know this; God will redeem it. He will turn her into a dynamic young woman whose faith will be a testimony to God’s faithfulness in spite of tragedy.

I do not thank God for what happened to her. I do not downplay the wickedness because of God’s promised redemption. I am heartbroken that children continue to suffer. It should never have happened. But I will never stop believing that God will raise us up, as victims, to be the strongest voice for healing in our land, on this topic.

****

I will share this interview with Boz Tchividjian, on each of these ‘Forgotten Children’ posts, because it is worth watching. Boz is a man of great wisdom on the topic of sexual abuse. He is a Christian and a former prosecuting lawyer in child abuse cases, who speaks with insight, compassion and offers balance. If ever you find yourself wondering if something is ‘sexual abuse’ or ‘normal curiosity’, have a listen.

Boz interview with CBN

To be Continued….

Love,
~ T ~

© Trudy Metzger

The Conflicted Heart: Forgiving, Releasing and Blessing My Father (Part 3)

It is an unexplained conflict that happens in the heart and mind of a child who is victimized by someone they love and should be able to trust. I loved my father. All I ever wanted, starting in early childhood, was his protection, love and acceptance. I wanted Dad to be proud of me. And I wanted to be proud of him. Instead, I found myself compelled to protect him. To prove my love. To accept him.

I was seven years old. Several neighbourhood boys bullied and teased me. About what, I don’t remember. But I was hurt and angry. In my imaginary world, that strange space I had created in my head, I had a father who fought for me. Protected me.

I put my hands on my hips, squared back my shoulders and looked those little boys right in the eye, “I’m going to go tell my Dad on you!” I said it with all the courage in the world, as if my father would appear with a gun–which I knew he had and knew he was capable of using if he needed to–and scare them away. They would never bother me again.

The boys laughed. Their pointy fingers taunted me. “Oooo… she’s gonna get her dad!” They laughed again. I marched into the house, my shoulders still squared back. I never told Dad. He wouldn’t have done anything. He wouldn’t protect me. It was me against the world. Still, it didn’t hurt to imagine things differently. Somehow it gave me courage.

In spite of the fact that I had not felt protected by Dad as a child, when I left the Goderich hospital, having cried my tears in the parking lot, my warrior/protector instincts kicked in.  Somewhere, in early childhood, I had become the protector. I remember the day it happened. It was the day Dad threatened to kill us. The first time I recalled seeing it in action. The first time he engaged me in the process. The first time the police came in. It was Dad I was going to protect our family from.

Ironically, as I left the hospital, I felt an overwhelming urge to protect Dad. I was furious at my family. Dad said no one else had come to see him. I was the only one. I still don’t know why that made me so angry, but it did. Maybe it was the image of the little boy, lying there, curled up. Broken. Abused. Lonely. It haunted me. Haunts me still when I think about it too long, and draws such depth of grief and compassion I can hardly bear it, even now.

Maybe, in a strange way, I wanted to protect the little boy he once was and change the course of history. I’ll never know for certain. But that’s what my heart tells me now, as I think back and try to make sense of that moment in time.

I arrived at the meeting with the psychiatrist. I listened to what he had to say. I was polite. We asked a few questions. And then we left. It was hogwash. All of it. Dad wasn’t some untamed animal who needed to be sedated. He was a broken child who needed healing. I believed that then and I believe it still.

Flush the drugs and introduce the man to the real Jesus, not some secular assessment of a spiritual situation. Sure, I’d grant it, the years of carrying the trauma had impacted his mental health but I was convinced that if he encountered Jesus, the real Jesus, he wouldn’t need drugs to numb the mind. He wouldn’t have the rage. The desire to kill.

The only thing I see differently now is that the medications served a purpose. I didn’t see it then, but having been involved in enough situations since that time, I recognize that medications are a necessary thing for a time, even for life, in some cases. It is using them to numb the mind that bothers me. And, in any case, I believe Jesus is able to heal. But, just as He does not always heal cancer, He also does not always heal the mind.

We live in a fallen, broken world and the impact of that sin affects us all in one way or another. For my father, it damaged his mental health, though, given the resources I have access to, I think he would have been healed. I, too, was on that path to mental break down when Jesus healed me. Tim is my witness. And my children, if they could remember it, would also speak to that fact. But that’s too long a story to tell here. I will save that for the book.

After the meeting some of us siblings talked awhile. I blew off some steam about them misjudging Dad. I preached a little mini sermon about him just needing love and grace. Maybe if we loved him and accepted him, he would heal. He was wounded. I didn’t tell them all he had told me. I still haven’t told most of them. Which is why I cannot tell it here.

They didn’t understand or agree with me. Which only further upset me. And my way of being angry was quite tame, really. It amounted to a lot of feelings being stuffed down, and speaking my mind in a matter-of-fact way. Then it was over. I drove home, a bundle of twisted emotions. Unsure of what to think of everything and everyone. I realized then how disconnected I had become in six years.

Somehow I had closed a part of my heart. I didn’t feel like it was my family at all. Was Dad really my father? It was strange. That feeling of not belonging. Of wondering if ever I had. Who was I really? Would I ever be part of the family again? Would I know how? Had leaving at fifteen, and never looking back changed me so completely?

To Be Continued….

© Trudy Metzger

Return to first post in Sexual Abuse Series

First Post in Spiritual Abuse Series