I’ve been reading Steve Brown’s book called Approaching God. It’s an amazing book on prayer that I highly recommend. Prayer is something that I’ve struggled with for a long time, and this book is HUGE encouragement to me.
Ambivalence is one of the most devastating effects of sexual abuse. Dan Allendar says in The Wounded Heart, Ambivalence can be defined as feeling two contradictory emotions at the same moment.
Should I send the email? It might be interpreted wrong? What if they think you are a freak?
But I only wanted to be encouraging and let them know how much they helped me. I definitely don’t mean any harm.
But you better be careful, they might reject you when they see how needy you really are. What if they think you are after them? You just want attention, you just want what’s wrong, because you are bad.
Bad? I’m not bad. I am covered by Christ’s righteousness and I am now doing what I believe God put on my heart to do.
Welcome to my world. Sometimes it happens over which can of soup to buy.
It causes me at times to feel like Gollum on the Lord of the Rings.
It started when I knew what my abusive father was doing to me was really bad, but because my body was created to experience pleasure I experienced it even when abuse happened. The shame and confusion this brought is indescribable. It resulted in me feeling like a really bad person who brought out bad in others. And it has caused me to question even the good things in my life now that bring me pleasure.
Second guessing, third guessing and on and on is ingrained deeply in my nature and it wears me out, especially on the bad days when I’m tired or PTSD has taken hold of my brain. Maybe you know how that feels.
The self condemnatory voice has pounded me for so long. I’ll spare you the details of describing any further how confusing it gets inside my head sometimes. If you are an abuse survivor, I suspect you already know.
I think that was another reason I was so susceptible to manipulation. I desperately longed to hear that I was not a terrible person. That I was lovable. I was willing to pay any price to hang onto this feeling, and I paid a high one indeed.
But I’m tired of fighting this voice, tired of seeking approval from others, and my deepest desire today is just to rest in the knowledge that I am a child of God and trust that He’s got my best in mind. He doesn’t see me like I see myself. He loves me unconditionally, because I’m covered in the righteousness of Christ. I don’t need to keep second guessing, third guessing and getting lost in a swirl of worried thoughts. He’s got me and He promises that no matter what I’m gonna be OK, because I belong to Him.
He’s got you, too.
Steve says, We pray not to get what we want, but to want what God wants, and we do that with the awareness that he is sovereign and that he knows best.
His words bring me comfort and inspire my prayers this morning.
I want what you want, because what you want is what’s best for me and everyone else. It’s not about me doing it all right. It’s about Jesus who has already done it all right, so I don’t have to. Thank you for the healing you’ve done in my life. Thank you for being the perfect father, the perfect lover of my soul, and an ever present help that never leaves me. Silence the voices inside my head that tell me its up to me to do it all right, that I’m gonna screw it up, and that I’m bad, and let me hear your voice and fill me with the peace and rest that only your Holy Spirit can bring. Thank you for loving me even when I’m ambivalent and filled with doubt. You are an amazing Father. You are truly all I need. I want what you want, because this isn’t about me or my goodness or badness. I want what you want, because You love me. Let me rest in that truth today. Surround me with it. Let it be like the air that I breathe.