New Hope: Abigail’s Story (Part 10)

These days, when I spend time with Abigail, she is not huddled on a couch, with her feet pulled up, eyes downcast, and unable to speak. I don’t have to draw every word out of her, through deep questioning, just to get somewhere. There are moments, but mostly it isn’t like that any more. Abigail has a sparkle in her eyes, much of the time, she laughs, and engages in conversation, and with people around her. It is so fun to watch Jesus set her free!

The other day Abigail spent some time with our family, in a group setting, and I saw a carefree joy in her that I had not seen before. I told Tim later that I see a little girl in her, just wanting to break free. With a twinkle in his eyes and a smile on his face, Tim told me that I had missed a moment when she ran and bounced into a chair, racing someone to get there first. “She has been suppressed for a very long time,” he added.

Abigail and I continue to meet, to work through her pain and her struggles, because the reality is that knowing Jesus does not end pain, or remove struggle. He strengthens us, loves us, and fights the battle for us, but in our humanity we rise and fall with that battle. From time to time she is placed in situations where she interacts with those who wounded her, and the raw memories trigger struggle, and in our sessions those encounters quickly show, and her spirit still takes the pain in quite easily, but one battle at a time she is learning to give it all to Jesus.

And, realistically, for Abigail the fight has only just begun. The enemy will use anything he can, and anyone whom he can, to try to make Abigail give up on her journey to knowing Jesus. He will try to destroy her faith, discourage her heart and convince her to throw in the towel.

Abigail will have to resist his tactics, and stand firm in Jesus Christ, to overcome, because attacks will still bring the temptation to return to old habits–to cut when she can’t feel or feels hopeless. But one victory at a time, a warrior will rise up in her, and she will help others.

Only a few days ago Abigail awoke in the middle of the night, tempted to find something with which to cut herself. In the dark of that night, she reached for the Bible I left with her–my big, fat ‘preacher sized’ Bible, with notes, underlines and scribbles–and clutched it to her chest. She reached for Jesus–the Word–instead of walking to the knife block, and staring at the temptation.

I am so blessed by Abigail, and thank God for bringing her into my life. In only a few short months she has disclosed deep pain, hurt and trauma. We’re still walking through the ongoing journey of freedom and forgiving people in her life, but she is free in Jesus, in spite of the struggle.

Abigail has given me permission to share her story here, in black and white, so that you will be challenged and encouraged. Few people have the courage to do that, while still in the ‘raw’ battle. Especially when people who know her might read her story, and judge or otherwise hurt her, should they recognize her story.

I am honoured to have shared with you, Abigail’s story. Thank you for allowing her pain to touch your heart, and her victory to cheer you on in your own journey. Your messages to me have been encouraging–some of which I have passed on to Abigail, to encourage her.

Please pray for Abigail. She wants desperately to follow and know Jesus intimately. She struggles from time to time, to hear His voice and know that it is Him, because other voices have ruled for so long. We are getting into the Word of God–the Bible–to learn how to identify the voice of God and the voice of the enemy, to know when it is truth, and when it is attack. She is learning that God’s voice speaks invitation, hope, salvation, purpose, love and deep conviction, but the voice of the enemy is one of condemnation, hopelessness, shame, defeat and oppression.

Pray for courage and strength, so that the attacks do not knock her down, and when she falls, that she will know the grace of God is more than enough.

Above all, I pray that Abigail’s story has stirred compassion in your heart for those struggling, and a passion to move beyond the typical ‘pat answers’ of religion, and take Jesus into the hearts of the hurting. I pray that, when touching hurting hearts, you will do it with the love of Jesus, and do so with a selfless heart, and words of life. Our words carry the power of life and death, and words that condemn and shame–something even Jesus did not come to do (John 3:17)–and they have the power to shut down a seeking heart, and discourage the struggling.

May God give you wisdom to reach out to others, without personal agenda, to bring Jesus to the world around, and to fellow believers who struggle. Because the death and resurrection of Jesus really is more than enough for each of us.


Moment of Triumph: Abigail’s Story (Part 9)

WARNING: This post may contain graphic or disturbing content… If you struggle with cutting, or are sensitive to the graphic description of cutting, do not read this post. The intent is to create awareness in the body of Christ, of a struggle that is relatively common, and tragically hidden, because of fear of judgement. Healing comes when silence is broken.

 Sitting with Abigail in my car, seeing her deep bondage, and knowing her desperate desire to be free, I felt compelled to fight for her, even if it meant getting some backlash. Even if it meant taking on the enemy alone, where I would typically work with a team.

Her spirit was closed, lost. I had never done this before. I recalled she had shared a song that had comforted her some weeks earlier, in a moment of trauma, when she struggled to trust Jesus. The song was hot off the press, released only days earlier, as if it was written just for her, for that moment. I started the car and scrolled through my play list… Nothing is Wasted (by Jason Gray)… “It’s from the deepest wounds that beauty finds a place to bloom, and you will see… before the end… that every broken piece is gathered in the heart of Jesus, and what’s lost will be found again… Nothing is wasted, Nothing is wasted in the hands of our Redeemer, Nothing is wasted. Well, hope…. is more than you can bear and it’s too hard to bear and it’s too hard to believe… it could be true… and your strength fails you half way there… You can lead on me and I’ll believe for you… And in time you will believe it too… Nothing is wasted…” 

The words filled the car, singing hope over her. I watched as her spirit opened….

I explained that there is power in the name of Jesus, and we have authority to command the enemy to be silent. “Would it be okay if I did that? I promise it won’t be anything wonky, or loud or frightening. I will calmly and quietly tell him to leave.”

Abigail said I could, so I began to pray, and speak into the darkness…..

I spoke with gentle confidence, quietly and calmly commanding the enemy to leave, in the name of Jesus, to take his hands off of Abigail, to stop tormenting her mind with lies, and get out of my car. I asked God to protect Abigail and speak truth over her–I spoke His truth against the lies in her mind–and invited Jesus to be with us.

When I finished praying, we listened to worship music and, with time, I asked her, “What are the voices saying now?”

“One is getting quieter,” she said.

I cheered, quietly, and waited, as the worship music continued. At length I asked her if she was ready to pray. She said she was, so I explained how it would work, and that there would be no surprises. Knowing that she had not been able to pray much, if at all, for many years, I said I would lead her in prayer, and she could repeat it after me. I would pray only about the things we discussed, and I wouldn’t do anything strange, just a gentle prayer of confession, repentance and invitation, asking Jesus to take the place of those blades, and fill her life again.

In a previous session Abigail had told me she doesn’t believe that Jesus died for her. She believed He died for the world, but struggled to grasp that He did that for her. Unbelief in this area, from encounters I’ve had, is often comes from a feeling of worthlessness, brought on by negative life experience. But believing that Jesus died for me, personally, and you, personally, is the core of salvation, so I spoke into that  lie one more time.

“Do you believe in God?” I asked.

“Yes,” Abigail said.

“Do you believe Jesus is God’s son?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said again.

“Do you believe that Jesus died for you?” I asked.

“I believe He died for the world, but not for me,” she said.

“If you believe in God, and you believe in Jesus, then is the Word of God true?” I asked.

“Yes,” she answered.

“And if the Word of God says that Jesus died for you too, then is that true?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said.

“Do you believe that Jesus died for you, Abigail?” I asked again.

“Yes,” she said.

Lies run deep, and the only way to overcome their power is by replacing them with truth. And if it takes a thousand times, then I am willing to ask the questions as often as it takes for the truth to pentrate.

I explained to Abigail that the prayer would be one of repentance, as well as asking Jesus to take the place of the blades, and giving God His rightful place in her heart in life. When she was ready, I began….

“Heavenly Father…. ” I said, then, after speaking only a sentence, I paused, waiting for her to repeat after me.

Silence. More silence. I peeked. Abigail’s big brown eyes were wide open, staring at me.

I smiled. Maybe she misunderstood…

“Can you pray and repeat after me?” I asked.

“Not to ‘Father’,” she said, matter-of-factly.

It was at that moment I realized what I had done, without even thinking to talk with her about God as her Heavenly Father. In Abigail’s mind, associating God with ‘father’, created an unsafe connection, immediately shutting her down, allowing fear, condemnation and oppression to overtake her.

“I’m sorry, Abigail,” I said, “I didn’t even think about it. I can lead you in prayer without addressing Him as Father, but if I leave it there, I do you a grave injustice.”

I took some time to tell Abigail about God, as Papa–our ‘Abba Father’–and explain that when our earthly fathers fail us, God is our protector. He is the one who carries us through the trauma of what is done to us. He is our shield, our warrior.

I took the ‘big picture’ approach, and showed her how God shows Himself as a ‘Warrior Father’ to His children, His people, throughout the entire Old Testament Story. If anyone messed with His children, God rose to their defence. When they wandered into captivity, He let them run themselves into some dark places, but always He fought for them, and offered redemption.

“You need Him, as your Heavenly Father, the Warrior who fights for you, Abigail,” I said. “To not take you there would be to rob you of His protection, and leave you vulnerable.” When we understand God as our protector, we learn to fall on Him, rather than fight our own battles. And if Abigail was to win this, it would not be on her own strength.

I asked Abigail if I could pray and ask Jesus to reveal the heart of the Father to her, to lead her to Him, to be the mediator and ask Him to reveal His incredible love and acceptance. Instead of asking her to address Him as Father, or falling back on intellectual acceptance, I would pray on her behalf, standing in the gap for her pain, and allowing the Holy Spirit to do the work. She agreed, and I again started to pray.

Abigail prayed after me, speaking truth over the lies, repenting, confessing Jesus as her Saviour, and asking Him to fill her life again. It was a moment of victory, a moment of triumph.

I handed her my Bible. “You’re going to need this,” I told her. “Find places I’ve underlined, or just hold it when you’re struggling.” I assured her that God will continue to heal her and, with time, she will be able to read and understand the Word of God. I remember well how hard it was, to a time, and also know how much I love the Bible now.

In the wee hours of the morning, I hugged Abigail good night, after hours and hours of battle.

It was a night well spent, on the heels of an amazing retreat with the women from Milverton Mennonite Church. I should have been too exhausted to fight, having lost sleep in the days leading up to that night but, instead, I felt exhilarated and ‘alive’, doing exactly what God created me for–worshipping Him, and spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ that breaks chains of addiction, religion, sin, and every other bondage.

Abigail walked into the night, a smile on her face, and joy in her heart. I knew that she would be okay and, regardless of the battle ahead, she would make it through.


The Struggle of Good & Evil: Abigail’s Story (Part 8)

WARNING: This post may contain graphic or disturbing content… If you struggle with cutting, or are sensitive to the graphic description of cutting, do not read this post. The intent is to create awareness in the body of Christ, of a struggle that is relatively common, and tragically hidden, because of fear of judgement. Healing comes when silence is broken.

As the worship music played, I prayed silently. I thought about the place the blades had in her heart, in her life. They way she relied on them to feel anything at all. If only God could awaken her heart, and restore her soul. Then she would be able to feel without needing to inflict pain on her body, physically.

What inspired me to say it, I don’t remember, but it was significant. “You know,” I said, “it’s a funny thing how many times a song will start playing that totally fits to what’s going on in my car, or what I’m talking about with people.” 

“Abigail,” I said, “would you be willing to ask Jesus to take the place of those blades? Will you surrender to Him”

No more had a spoken it, than the lyrics in Believer, by Kutless filled my car, “…When will you surrender to His grace….”

We both laughed. “See, what did I tell you?” I said. “It just happened again!”

The lyrics continues, “… He promises He’ll never leave you, to bring you freedom from the past, Cause that’s the sacrifice He’s made, He can be your shelter and your strength…”

“Will you ask Jesus to take the place of the blades?” I asked again.

She contemplated awhile.

“I want to, but I don’t know how,” she said.

“Just pray and ask Him,” I said.

“I don’t know how to pray,” she said.

“I’ll lead you in prayer,” I offered.

“If I do,” she finally said, “will it just be that much harder tomorrow? Will the battle be worse?”

“Is that what the enemy is telling you?” I asked, “that’s it’s just going to get worse?”

Abigail nodded.

“I can’t tell you that it won’t, Abigail,” I said, looking her in the eye, “I can’t promise that it won’t get worse. It might. But what I can tell you, is that Jesus will be enough. If the battle is harder, He will be with you, and He will be enough. That I can promise you.”

It is in those moments that I would wish to declare all kinds of promises, that the battle will end, or lesson, and that life will somehow get easier, but I can’t promise those things. Life is a battle, and sometimes it seems that the more trauma we experience, the harder our battle. How I wished at that moment that I could take her battle for her.

“Abigail, would it be okay if I did something I don’t usually do alone?” I asked.

Earlier, in the coffee shop when I asked her if it was her or the enemy smirking at me, I had told her that I wouldn’t take authority over the demonic, even if I could. This surprised her, as it seemed I was content to leave her suffering and oppressed.

“There’s a reason Jesus sent disciples out two by two, to cover each other spiritually,” I had explained. I went on to tell her that the heart must also be ready, or it simply creates more room for the enemy to come in, bringing yet more darkness into her life. I told her I would rather teach her who she is in Christ, and how much more power she has than the darkness, so that it cannot oppress her that way. I would rather equip her, than to ‘clean house’ and leave her vulnerable the next time, not equipped to fight off the enemy.


Only moments after that statement, just as we started exploring the book of Galatians, and God’s message of freedom, she had retrieved the blades….

Abigail sat quietly, most of the time, holding the blade in her hand, and toying with it. She ran it across her skin, the sharpness teasing flesh, daring her–even inviting her–to go deep.

I saw it, but gave the enemy no power. It wasn’t what I was here to talk about. The timing of when she had seen the blades and snatched them just as we went to the Bible, was significant–clearly a battle between good and evil. It was obvious that the enemy wanted to distract me from the message Abigail needed, of hope in Jesus, and get me talking about blades, and begging her.


I felt it, and made a conscious decision to not go there. This night was about freedom, truth, and Jesus. It was about Abigail’s freedom, not the enemy’s taunting. I wouldn’t entertain him by acknowledging his tactics…

…To be Continued…

© Trudy Metzger

Return to: Abigail’s Story Part One

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