“Do you have to know for sure, to continue to heal?”
My counselor and I had been talking about abuse flashbacks and the challenge of traumatic childhood memories. There will be missing pieces and unanswered questions. Which prompted my counselor’s question. “Do you have to know…?”
“No, I already know enough to continue to heal.”
That answer wasn’t the one I necessarily wanted to give. I have obsessed about being abused. Years of believing that I deserved bad things and pain made it easy to accept an identity of ” Abused”. I thought I had to know everything that was done to me, in order to know who I was.
But some time ago I began praying “Father, I’m trusting You to reveal what I need to know about my abuse, and to conceal the rest.”
As I drove home from my counseling session, I realized that anxiety about the details of my abuse has decreased significantly. Considering the reason for this change filled me with joy:
I may not know everything that was done to me. But I am learning that what was done does not define who I am.
My experiences have helped shape my life. And yes, abuse has been a part of my experience. But my experiences do NOT define who I am. “Abused” is NOT my name!
My identity comes from my Heavenly Father. And He says this about me…
- I am a man named “son”, deeply loved and accepted. (1 John 3:1)
- I am a man “chosen”. (Isaiah 41: 8-10)
- I am a man chosen for GOOD purposes! (Jeremiah 29:11)
- I am a man totally forgiven by Jesus through His death and resurrection. (Ephesians 2:4-7)
- I am a man loved and accepted by my friends. Even by those friends who see beneath the surface.
If God allows new information about my abuse to surface, I will experience pain, tears, anger, and sadness. I will need to forgive. And I will heal. But if new information does not become known, I will be OK. Because I am who my Father says I am. And THAT’S what I need to know, in order to continue to heal!
Have past experiences dictated your sense of identity? How can you use God’s truth to free you from being falsely identified by those experiences? If you would like to share, please click here.