When Our Pain Is More Real Than Jesus
I recently have felt God leading me in a specific direction. I fought Him with all my strength, knowing that the path wouldn’t be easy. In the end, I gave in. I entered this journey with my heart in full gear—all in. I knew there would be obstacles to be overcome, and I was ready to face them. But then came the one thing I was not ready to conquer—vulnerability.
I found myself in a situation that caused me to feel a lot of emotional pain. At this point in my life, I know that God wants to bring healing to me when I have this kind of unsettledness. I have learned to honor my emotions and follow them until clarity enlightens the darkness I feel. God indeed showed me where the pain came from; it wasn’t a pretty picture.
Sadly, my childhood was marked by abuse and lack. As a protection mechanism, my brain had shut down many of the memories. I don’t know how I would have survived all these years without that. I have slowly recovered memories that I didn’t know existed. I thought I was done with this memory recovering thingy, but I was wrong.
The memory floodgates opened again recently. I remembered more parts of the day when the abuse first happened—gory and sick—not worth sharing the details. After the person was done with me, I went to my mother and burst out crying. I told her what had taken place. She yelled at me angrily and told me to get over my stupid self. So I did. I went into the corner of the room where the abuse happened and squatted down. I cried myself out until I had no more tears.
Crap. Couldn’t I have remembered something else? But that one?
Astonished, I laid in my bed. What else could I have done? I knew I had been abused and dealt with that pain before. There was never denial about that. I had released forgiveness to my grandmother, who allowed the neighbor to come in and did nothing to protect me. I had released forgiveness to my mom, who knew what was happening and never told my father. She feared my dad would kill the guy and go to jail, leaving us destitute. My mother couldn’t walk and had many health issues. Unfortunately, her fears caused the gift she waited for a long time—me—to be continuously abused by a predator. So confusing. Lastly, I had released forgiveness to this man.
But I see that despite all this forgiveness I had released previously, my world changed drastically that day. Sadness and shame invaded my little soul. Lies crashed into my inner being and shattered every single happy place in me. I was like the Titanic, sinking into the bottom of the ocean.
I was all alone. Nobody came to my rescue. The ones who were supposed to love and protect me didn’t care and, mostly, God had forgotten about me. He didn’t lift up one finger to avoid the whole deal.
The horrid memory struck me down, but I understood the parallel. I’m a forty-year-old woman in a vulnerable place in my life and I’m a five-year-old girl in a vulnerable place as well. The feelings and experiences are the same. If God didn’t come to my rescue then, why would He come now?
My pain was more real than God.
That’s where the rubber meets the road. Why would I trust an absent God?
I do not believe it was His will for me to be abused nor do I believe He was in control. If He were, He wouldn’t have allowed that to happen. It was a broken man’s free will that instigated him to prey on me. Still, all this knowledge and understanding do not take away the pain and the fact that I see myself in the same situation that requires me to trust God in the present time in another place of utter vulnerability.
You can give me all the scripture in the world defending God, but I will throw the Bible back at you because I’m so angry. Experience will always speak louder than knowledge. And my experience dictated that God wasn’t interested in saving me, so I really don’t care how many times He saved the Israelites. My issue is personal. He can do that for other people, but He won’t do it for me.
My pain is more real than God.
I so wanted to cuss. Honestly, I did—in every language I knew. I let God have it. It was that kind of anger that spread up inside of you like cancer and destroyed every single cell that kept you functional.
Still, in spite of this internal ordeal that almost drove me insane, I never felt He left me. He actually said. “I can take all the punches.”
Christianity wants to fix people as if human beings are electronic devices needing to go to back to the manufacturer when malfunction happens.
I don’t even know if God is Christian anymore because Jesus behaves differently than a lot of Christian people and organized establishments. I’m only saying this because I believe that God is more interested in nurturing a relationship with us rather than making us follow steps and how-tos of any organized religion.
During these few days, I never felt I had to pray or read the Bible. I never felt pressured to pursue anything Christian. I didn’t want to get fixed, I wanted to be heard and understood. I wanted a shoulder to cry on and grieve that fateful day. I needed someone to walk with me with no pressure of finding resolutions or requirements to be sanctified. I. Was. Done. And. Undone.
Then, it dawned on me that God wasn’t trying to push anything on me. He was just there, on the sidelines, watching and waiting. I certainly wanted my pain gone, but that kind of wound takes time to heal. There was no way of avoiding the time my soul needed to process my mother’s betrayal and abandonment.
I feel like I’m in emotional/trust therapy now. My trustmeter on people is so low that is definitely ridiculous. How I was able to function through the years, get married, and have children—only God knows. The rehabilitation process is painful, but I’m hopeful that this “open-heart surgery” is a landmark to a new season for me.
I don’t have answers for my pain. I still feel it as I am writing. I came to the understanding that I’ll likely always have a scar. My past is my past, and instead of running from it, I’ll embrace it as part of my life. I don’t feel as if I am a victim, but I’m ready to love on that lonely little girl squatting down on the corner. I’m ready to tell her that she is beautiful and powerful. That she is not alone, and it wasn’t her fault. I’m ready to hold her tight and tell her of the God I know. The God who is my best friend and gave me an amazing man as a husband.
Then, one day, this little girl and I, as we reach the end of the rope and hold on tight, we will look at each other and smile. And then we’ll let go of the rope, not knowing where to land. No matter where we land, we’ll know that God’s hands will be much bigger than ours.
We will know that Jesus’s love is more real than our pain.