Where does sin fit in the life of the one who has been abused or neglected, regarding the very abuse and neglect they have suffered? Clearly there is no sin regarding the matters of transgression against them, but is it possible, that, in holding these secrets deep within they haven’t trusted God enough to share these burdens, and therefore they have not yet been released.
They may remain seemingly irreparably and irredeemably broken.
Such was the case of an older man I knew who had suffered three separate incidents of sexual abuse at the hands of three separate men as an early teenager. Having filled a counselling role all his adult life he had struggled with an inner demon – unreasoned anger – without ever knowing why. Then it occurred to him when he was 50, in the process of facilitating training on the subject of brokenness, God brought before him the matters of his own brokenness – which he had not been able to share for three decades.
In an instant he was shattered. He drove home and his wife called him on it.
She knew something was wrong. Still reticent to trust God enough to share these matters of abuse – to surrender the guilt, the embarrassment, and the shame – to trust his wife with these deeply private matters – she gave him no choice. “I won’t sleep with you tonight,” she said.
He broke down. He wept the tears of a boy who had been so vulnerably contravened. His anguish was palpable, as he uttered words he thought would never be spoken. “They took advantage of me and did things to me that I didn’t even know the meaning of, how they would affect me. I trusted these men, and for so long I have thought at least part of it was my fault. I was angry with Mum and Dad for not protecting me, but I knew deep down it wasn’t their fault. I’ve held this for years and it’s destroying me. I can’t help think that I’m partly to blame – like, why did three separate men want to do these horrible things to me… did I bring it on?”
“It was not your fault,” his wife said to him.
It could not have been his fault. Suddenly he could see it.
The solitary tear became a stream from both eyes, as he knelt in her arms and just simply sobbed his heart out. No more words were required. That embrace was the healing of God.
That single embrace – this wife’s abiding to the truth that it couldn’t possibly be her husband’s fault – to affirm him in it – was the single transition from a seemingly irreparable and irredeemable brokenness into the acknowledgement of brokenness that thrust him into a serene field of trust in God that would release his anger overnight.
Overnight this man, this big burly and beautiful man of 50, found his anger dissipated. From the constancy of an 8/10 on an anger register it went to 3/10, overnight. Freedom abounded within his heart. He had at long last experienced the very healing that he had facilitated in hundreds of other men for decades beforehand.
The reconciliation of brokenness is found in the simple matter of trusting God with any details of guilt, embarrassment, and shame. Sharing with one other person, these very things, opens the pathway of release instantly. Abuse and neglect were not your fault. Trust God by sharing with someone trustworthy, the truth of matters, and healing will be yours!
The reconciliation of brokenness: to come in one instant to accept and to love the state of healed brokenness; to be happily content as a broken person who has been healed enough to know that brokenness is beautiful.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.