Many people have asked the question, ͞”If God exists and is so good, then why does He allow terrible things to happen to good people, especially innocent children?” This question has been debated and asked for a very long time and it has caused many people to not even believe in God’s existence. I first must tell you that I am not a theologian. I have studied the bible in depth for almost thirty years and have come to understand that God’s actions cannot be explained by human wisdom but by experiences, His Word and His Spirit. When bad things happen and we begin to ask these types of questions, we will find ourselves at a crossroad. We can either adopt the world’s wisdom and allow the “bad” things to hardened our hearts towards God OR we can allow the “bad” things to soften our hearts, run to God and allow Him to teach us His wisdom and compassion.
I can say this because I was an innocent child, who experienced unspeakable pain and trauma from the moment I was born. The horror of those experiences made me feel empty, unworthy and a shell of a person for a long time. I have felt led to share one particular experience to allow you to see a side of God that is rarely seen, to help you ponder God’s mercy, grace and wisdom over the cruelty of this experience.
As I mentioned in my first blog, “History Introduction”, I was sexually abused by my older half- brother. Now I wasn’t just “touched”or “fondled”, I was forced into sexual acts by my brother. Being “touched” or “fondled” is in itself a horrible thing to happen to any child and I certainly do not want to demean or minimize anyone who has experienced such pain, but I need you to understand the depth of these horrible acts. I discussed that I experienced flashbacks as an adult from these traumas and could not explain why I had these flashbacks. My mind had buried these traumas deep inside because, as a child, my mind could not process what was happening to me. I finally decided to go to Christian counseling to get help dealing with my anxieties, fears, the flashbacks and depression. I know a lot of people refuse to go to counseling, especially Christian counseling, because they have had bad experiences or they don’t see the need in counseling. All I can say is that it helped me tremendously, but I had to find the “right” counselor and have had my share of bad ones before I found a truly Godly one.
During one of my sessions with my counselor, I had had a very bad flashback a few days before. My counselor began the session in prayer and then asked me to close my eyes and recall the flashback. To describe what I was experiencing, feeling, etc. The counselor did not want me to describe what was happening to me but what I was experiencing. I can’t tell you how grateful I was that I did not have to describe the gory details, but only describe the experience. I remember feeling horrified, fearful but at the same time numb. It was like I was telling a horrible nightmare that someone else had experienced. Then the counselor asked me something very odd, she asked me “where was God when you were going through this?” I had never even thought to ask that question. I don’t know why I never thought to ask that question but I didn’t. I mean after all He was God, who was I to question Him? But at that moment I felt safe to ask it. “God where were you when I was going through this? We’re you there? Did you even care?”
I was so scared to ask it not for fear of questioning God but I had the overwhelming fear that if He did speak to me, He would tell me it was because I deserved it, that I was not worthy to be loved. I had certainly felt that as a young child, but I didn’t want God to confirm those thoughts and feelings. But in that moment I was ready to hear whatever He wanted to tell me. I was ready to know the answer and by knowing, I hoped that the flashbacks would stop and I would finally know how God truly felt about me. I half way expected that He wouldn’t reveal anything, the enemy was working overtime telling me that this was nuts, that nothing would happen and that I was stupid to expect God to reveal anything to me. But out of hope and faith, I waited and the counselor waited patiently, to see what God might do. Quite a bit of time passed as we waited and then I had this sense of something in my mind’s eye. I sensed God holding me in the corner of that room. What was weird is, I still sensed my body going through the trauma on the bed while God was holding me. I couldn’t figure out what I was sensing and then I heard this whisper in my spirit. I heard Him say to me, “I was there. I was holding your soul while your body was going through it. I love you and guarded your soul from being damaged”. I fell to the floor and wept.
I eventually gained the ability to speak and told my counselor what I sensed and heard. I thought I had lost it and that the counselor was going to start writing a prescription for my delusion. Instead the counselor expressed joy over what God had revealed to me. I honestly can’t remember much of what the counselor and I discussed after that. I was in such awe of God loving and caring for me. I felt a flood of joy, peace and relief like a huge weight was gone! I knew at that moment that God loved me, that He had always loved me and protected me, even through the most awful experiences. He was with me in those dark places and was there every moment. In Psalms 23 David describes this kind of love and faithfulness that God has towards us. Particularly in verse 4 “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me”.
I believe He is with every child, because they are innocent. Evil occurs through man’s free will not to love, obey and serve God. It is by man’s choice that evil is in this world. I believe that when we experience evil in all it’s forms, whether it is through acts of violence, lust, greed, selfishness,etc.. It is because we have allowed our pain to harden our hearts towards God and out of that pain, we can hurt others. I don’t hate my half-brother for what he did to me. He did those things out of his own pain and selfishness. Who I hate is the enemy of our souls. Every evil thing he does to us is for one purpose, to get us to the point of rejecting God.
I also must make this point. God is not here for us, we are here for Him. He did not protect and heal me solely because He loves me and desires a relationship with me and wants me to feel good about myself. Although this is true, this is secondary to the main purpose. He did it because He desired to stop the generational curses that were so prevalent in my family. He did it so that I would love, obey and serve Him, that once I was healed, I would testify to His goodness and glory. This choice to give Him my life, to honor and obey Him and give my whole life to Him, is and will always be to glorify Him! To point the way to the truth through His son Jesus Christ. Once He pulled me out of the pit, He asked me to go back and pull others out of the pit. But the only way I can do that is if I am still holding on to Him because I can not do it in my own strength. I can only do it through His love, grace, mercy and will.
I am a flawed person who still is walking out my faith in fear and trembling. I make a lot of mistakes everyday but through the grace of God, I am drawing closer to Him and being molded, sometimes painfully, into the image of Christ. I am not where I should be but thank God I am not where I use to be. I am no longer in that pit, in that darkness. My hope is that once you read this, it might help some to find hope out of the darkness.
#IfGodIsSoGood #childhoodabuse #darkness