Healing The Hurts from Your Father

with 10 Comments

Yesterday was Father’s Day. For some, Father’s Day, triggers memories from childhood hurt. I understand. Most of you know my story. While my father did some wonderful things and preached Jesus, he also sexually abused me. The sexual abuse left an indelible imprint on my life and faith. I didn’t deal with the scars from the abuse until well into my adult life, when I could no longer run from the truth. So how did I find healing from the hurt?

 

Healing was a difficult and long journey but along the way there were some intentional choices that I made. Each choice took courage and honestly, I didn’t always stand firm. At different times in my healing journey, I experienced setbacks. Sometimes, I faltered and wanted to quit. The reason I persisted was because my relationship with my heavenly Father was and is the most important relationship in my life. The bottom line is that God wanted healing in my life. In order to find healing, I had to cooperate.

 

My prayer for you is that these choices will be helpful no matter what your relationship with your earthly parent. None of our earthly parents were or are perfect. All of them are flawed.

 

Intentional Choices of Healing that I Made:

 

  1. I separated my earthly father from my heavenly Father. I remember the day I sat by myself with a folded sheet of paper. On one side I listed the characteristics of my earthly father. On the other side I listed the characteristics of my heavenly Father. Creating that list was extremely helpful for me. God is never in favor of sexual abuse or any other kind for that matter. In order to re-build my broken trust in God, I needed the reminder that God was good, pure and holy and not in favor of the abuse.
  2. I praised God by faith for His love for me. I put reminders of God’s love for me around my home. I underlined key verses and memorized scriptures that taught the love of God. I listened to praise music that reminded me of the deep love God felt for me. I saturated my mind with the love of Christ. As I faithfully praised God for His love, the Holy Spirit was able to move the truth of God’s love from my head down into my heart.
  3. I looked for characteristics of the Father heart of God in the men I respected. My husband, Steve and my father-in-law, Don Harling were incredibly helpful to me. Both of them are men of integrity who model a consistent loving walk with Jesus. And they love me!
  4. I practiced pouring out my heart to God. Sexual abuse silenced my voice. As a child, I didn’t have a say in what was happening to me. But God invites me to have a voice. I learned to come boldly into God’s presence and pour out my desires and God listened. The more I poured out my heart, the more the Holy Spirit strengthened my trust.
  5. I forgave my earthly father. Forgiveness is never an easy journey. It’s usually not a “one time” for all deal. It’s doesn’t excuse the sin or set your perpetrator free. While it’s an excruciating choice, in the end it sets you (If you’d like to read more about my journey towards healing and forgiveness you’ll find more in Rewriting Your Emotional Script and Freedom From Performing. Both books are published by Navpress.)

 

Friend, I’m not sure what your relationship was like with your earthly father, but I know that your heavenly Father loves you more than you can imagine. “I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have the power, together with all the Lord’s holy people to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” (Ephesians 3:17-18).

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Responses

  1. Heather Butler
    | Reply

    Oh, this is so good. Thank you.

    • Becky
      | Reply

      Thanks, Heather!~

  2. Lynne D Ross
    | Reply

    Great article, finding a PERFECT father in God!!!!

    • Becky
      | Reply

      Thanks, Lynne! Love you

  3. Brenda
    | Reply

    Oh, this is REALLY good and helpful, Becky! SO thankful for you and your willingness to be open and vulnerable and share your story with us. YOU continue to inspire and motivate me toward increasing faith and healing toward our good, good Heavenly Father. Grateful!! Thank you! And Thank You, Father/Son/Spirit!! 🙂

  4. June
    | Reply

    Miss Becky thanks for the opportunity to reflect on the love and power of our Heavenly Father and give Him praise.

    Praise and thanks to my Heavenly Father who gave me an earthly father who believed and came and rescued me before the attempts of sexual assault by a relative became actual.
    Thanks to my Heavenly Father who protected me when as a child I wrapped myself in the sheet at nights when I was alone with my perpetrator and hoped that my aunt would never be out of the house at night again.

    Looking at things now as an adult Christian, the joy I felt the day I opened the door to a knock and it opened to my earthly father who had received my snail mail and came from his home in another country to save me was the joy provided by my Heavenly Father. What I day it will be when my Heavenly Father comes back to take me with Him. All praises to my Heavenly Father. June

  5. Martha
    | Reply

    Becky, do have any advice for the wife whose husband abuses? What if he claims to be changed and forgiven?

    • Becky
      | Reply

      Hi Dear Martha!

      If a man is abusing you – you need to get away. Please seek counseling for how to do this safely. The Lord does not want you in an abusive situation. Blessings and prayers to you! I also would recommend reading, Rewriting Your Emotional Script.

      • Martha
        | Reply

        Many years ago he abused our daughters. He was abusive in many ways (verbally, emotionally, sometimes physically with our little boys, but always “walking the line” so that I remained confused). I never suspected the abuse against our daughters. Although I see it looking back, the revelation took me completely by surprise, left me reeling, and now, 2 years post-disclosure, I am uncertain how to proceed.

        Our statute of limitations runs out in a year. My youngest daughter would bear all the burden of reporting and testifying. At present, our children have a decent relationship with their dad. “We” are in counseling. I say “we” because it’s mostly me going alone and him going a time or two and quitting every time the counselor/therapist wants to work with him alone. (We’ve been going to Agape in Penfield.) He says he doesn’t need “psychology” and doesn’t need to go back into the past. He only needs to move forward, and that “God has forgiven, cleansed, and changed” him. He is “no longer that person.”

        You are the daughter of a man who abused. Do you have any advice for “your mother” years down the road. We are separated at present. It’s been 4 weeks. I don’t know how to do life this way, never sure how to think or proceed. The past is not going to go away. It is what it is, but I desperately want the chains of abuse to be broken. As a mom I can only do so much. My children are all adults. As a wife… How do I go back to a marriage relationship with a many who abused my little girls? Even if it was years and years ago? Is that even possible? Does God want me in the relationship or out of it? How do we remain “friends”? Should we? What do I tell inquiring minds? I understand forgiveness is imperative but what that entails is still up for debate. At least in my heart and mind. I do not hate, I do not wish ill, nor do I want everyone in the world to know his sins. I only want clarity in how to move forward.

  6. Martha
    | Reply

    I suppose you have seen my last rely by now. I know no one can tell me what to do or give me answers to my questions. It would be easy if he didn’t appear repentant, because I just want to run away from this nightmare I can’t wake up from. It’s not so much about forgiveness as moving forward. I wish him no evil, I do not hate, I only want my own heart and the hearts of my children to heal.

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