The first words I heard my eldest grand-daughter speak were, “Stink-stink all gone!” I had just changed her pamper, and she repeated what I had said to her. Needless to say, I marveled at those cute words coming from her precious lips.
While cleaning my house one day, I thought about those words and how they may relate to the pain of life that we often experience. When we are going through heavy trials and tribulations, it doesn’t feel good, and we want them all gone – get to the other side – and feel good again. We want the “Stink-stink all gone” – NOW! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could wrap the stink of our lives in a soiled pamper and discard it forever? It would be nice to put our stinky troubles behind us that easily – but would we really learn anything from our mistakes?
The stink of violence, abuse, molestation, murder, and many other social ills plague our minds and hearts daily; causing many to despair of life itself. A woman enduring domestic violence and abuse lives with the stink of dominance and control – day after day. If she is fortunate to survive and free herself from the violence, the painful stink will be a part of her life forever.
Since we cannot run away from our memories, and the triggers that remind us of the stink we desire to forget, how do we move on? How do the abused get on with life, and put the abuse behind them? Is it easy to feel good about yourself ever again – if you ever did in the first place? Is it possible for children who witnessed domestic violence to live “normal” lives? By the way, what exactly is “normal?”
As a survivor of domestic violence, spiritual abuse, economic injustice and growing up with violent drunks, I can honestly admit, the road to recovery isn’t an easy one. By the Grace of God, each day I strive to learn more about myself and my feelings, and try to put the stink behind me. I have also concluded that the stink of child molestation will never leave me, however, I believe that God can transform the “stink-stink” of my past, and trade me beauty for ashes:
“He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the LORD’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.” (Isaiah 61:2 – New Living Translation)
”To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:1 – King James Version)
And what is the key? “Blessed is the man [or woman] who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD.” (Jeremiah 17:7 – New American Standard Bible)
The only way to the other side of the stink is by trusting God. But know this; you can’t trust the God of heaven if you don’t know anything about Him. By reading His Word – the Holy Bible, this is where we learn His true heart; and His desire for an intimate relationship with each and every one of us. Start with the Psalms, and see how King David learned to lean on and trust Almighty God:
“I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.” (Psalm 91:2 – KJV)
It took me a while to learn to trust God. Growing up in my mother’s house, I could trust no one – not even the woman who gave birth to me – she betrayed me for alcohol. My trust in God led me to search online for a place where I could pour out my heart, and receive the healing that my heavenly Father was offering to me. Adult children of alcoholics, abused, neglected and betrayed adult children need a safe place to heal – a place where they can speak of the horrible things that happened to them without judgment. I have found such a place, ACOA.
In my safe place, I am allowed to wallow in the ashes of mourning for as long as I need to. The pain is very deep, and it won’t be overnight that it will heal. And yet, I can taste the “beauty” that is replacing the “ashes”. I can honestly say that I am experiencing God’s Divine favor; I leave my enemies to His care. By forgiving them, I open the door to my own forgiveness, and ability to move on. And let me just say this, forgiveness doesn’t mean that you have to continue to deal with those who hurt you. You can love from a distance. But we must ask forgiveness for any pain we may have caused as well.
It is God’s desire that we experience “the oil of joy.” We live in a fallen world, but even so, we can experience the joy of the Lord. I don’t believe this pertains to shouting, singing, dancing and jumping over church house pews. No, this joy is a joy that is deep within our souls – a joy that testifies with our spirits that “it is well” with our souls. This is a joy that reminds our souls that a better day is coming. And that we have so much to look forward to on the other side of life.
We can trade in “the spirit of heaviness,” knowing that “the garment of praise” testifies inwardly that we have come to know our Redeemer. It is through the blood of Christ that God plants “trees of righteousness” for His glory. Our inner healing may seem a long way off, but know that our heavenly Father is faithful.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4 – New American Standard Version)
Whatever the source of our “stink-stink,” God is in control. He isn’t the cause of the violence and abuse, or other sufferings, however, He can heal our wounds and set our feet on higher ground. We can’t change the hearts or actions of other people; we can only change our own course in life. And what better Guide down the dark avenues of this world than our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Why not give Him your stink today, and allow Him to make something beautiful of your life? All things are possible, but you must believe!
God bless you.
- Q&A – How Do I Forgive My Abusive Ex-Husband? (lifescript.com)
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