Where is God in Healing Our Woundedness
“Let the past be the past.”
When memories and intuition brought forth the fact that I was sexually abused as a child, this is what I was told. It’s clearly the easier answer and is certainly the most socially acceptable: silence the pain and push down the hurt… and I couldn’t do it. My survivor-self knew repression would only keep me stuck with woundedness festering inside my body.
Strong evidence has proven that ignoring past trauma is not a healthy approach. I would even say it is not the life-giving approach. When I was introduced to the book, The Body Keeps the Score, by Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk, I finally found an ally. Dr. Van Der Kolk gave scientific data to what I intuitively knew: I needed to take healing steps for my mind, body, and spirit to thrive.
We all have choices:
- To heal or not heal,
- To grow or not grow,
- To ultimately bring good or harm from difficult situations.
Being in charge of your life and knowing you have some ability to shape your circumstances starts with awareness of subtle sensory, body-based feelings.
The greater the awareness, the greater our potential to control our lives.
Knowing what we feel is the first step to knowing why we feel that way.
Believing we have control over the direction of our lives is critical.
I may not have had control over what happened to me as a child, but I have control over how I move forward. I have control over whether I stay stuck in survivor-mode or if I move into a thriving life that God would want for me. My internal GPS is saying, “recalculating,” so I can get back on course.
Dr. Van Der Kolk states, “The greatest sources of our suffering are the lies we tell ourselves.” My abuse left me with the belief that I was unworthy. In my work, I find that this is true for many survivors of abuse. It took two things to break my belief: first, examining the woundedness with the guidance of a therapist, and second, allowing God to support me and love me unconditionally. That was the healing combination I needed to find and claim my truth… and my intended path.
“Where do you think God was when the abuse was happening to you?”
I believe God was there, crying for God’s beloved child. I believe it broke God’s heart.
However, God’s nature of uncontrolling love means that God could not single-handedly prevent the abuse.
- God could not stop the abuser from passing on the abuse he experienced as a child.
- My abuser did not choose to do his own healing work and instead allowed his woundedness to harm others.
- Instead of transforming his pain, he transmitted it.
I believe God cried for him, as well. While I believe God’s nature could have guided my abuser in choosing a different path, God could not force him. This knowledge was critical to my healing.
- There was no malice or oversight by God.
- I was not less important to God and my sense of unworthiness was false.
- My trust in a loving God kept me close to the One who is the ultimate comforter.
I could feel God’s spirit supporting and loving me, even when I didn’t feel lovable.
As a child, I always had a sense that God was with me. I would stand outside in the backyard looking up into the stars believing God was somewhere out there. I felt God’s presence, and in some ways, I thought God might be smiling down on me. It took years for me to believe that God would actually draw near to me, but God became so near–the spirit within me–that I just needed to acknowledge it.
Knowing that something better awaits and that God is present, wanting each of us to know peace, love, and kindness, is the foundation for my healing.
Combining the knowledge of God’s uncontrolling, unconditional love with our own will to heal and take control of our lives is what enables us to take steps toward healing and thriving.
I hope this perspective helps you if you struggle with God’s role or seeming absence in the pain in your life. On the 15th we will explore what is your part in healing and what is God’s part.
Who am I?
I am Tambry Harris, Founder of Going: Forward Survivors to Thrivers.
- I seek to be a voice bringing truth into the space of secrecy, silence, and shame that surrounds this topic.
- I encourage each survivor to sense a God who wants them to thrive and to see the “Going-Forward” chapter that awaits them.
Trauma and abuse are often surrounded by shame, and as a Spiritual Director and Transformational Coach, I see many people stuck at the point of seeking to understand their worthiness and other limiting beliefs.
By sharing my healing story, I hope to encourage you to embrace yours.
Here’s to Thriving!
Talk To Tambry
I am glad you have taken the time to engage with this blog. Sometimes it is helpful to process new insights that emerge. If you would appreciate brief time with a someone who understands, our Talk to Tambry offering is for you. For 30 minutes, you can receive support from Tambry who is a certified life coach, spiritual director and a survivor who has been on the journey as well. This is offered at a reduced rate of $50.