Taking It Personally

Taking It Personally

Trigger warning: child sexual abuse

It was no spiritual band-aid.

I know because I’ve had several of those slapped on me throughout the years.

No, I was sinking in a battle of core-deep wounds: abandonment, rejection, worthlessness.

Standing during Mass one Sunday, I sensed, almost intuitively felt, the words at a gut level:

Jesus stood up for you.

It resonated and released some anger and fight. I wore the idea around for a few weeks. Then I read a reflection in my daily devotional which suggested:

Take it personally–this Holy Week.

I know, traditionally, that means to meditate on Jesus dying to redeem my sins…that I sentenced Him to death. I put Him on that tree.

But, this time, Jesus had a different focus for me.

Another layer of my Mass epiphany. Take it personally–how He stood up for me.

Yes, He saved and redeemed me. That I will never diminish.

But He also took on evil face to face. Injustice. Pain. Trauma…

And every wrong done to me through my childhood sexual abuse, its aftermath, and the repugnant tentacles that coil around my spirit to this day.

What if His Passion, death, and resurrection also redeemed my pain?

Wound for wound.

What if His wounds took on mine, cleansed them, and replaced them with truth?

Because, make no mistake…

Though the crimes perpetrated against me were by a man, a relative…and the aftermath addressed by fallible, fallen human beings (including myself), which does not absolve them from taking responsibility for their actions…*

This is, at its core, a raging spiritual battle.

The lies that have gripped me as a result, convincing me of all sorts of ugliness?

They are straight from the pit of hell.

‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ –Luke 22:34

For it is not against human enemies that we have to struggle, but against the principalities and the ruling forces who are masters of the darkness in this world, the spirits of evil in the heavens. –Ephesian 6:12

And so, I wonder…what if that is what Jesus took on for me?

I imagine Him face to face with Satan, with this battle cry:

NO! This is MY child! You can’t have her!

I will take her pain.

The agony in the garden…Oh, how Jesus knew anguish, fear, and turmoil.

‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.’ –Matthew 26:39

Jesus faced an excruciating decision. He was tempted to turn away. He knew what awaited Him. He knew what standing up for me would mean, and He. Said. Yes.

 

Yes, Mandy, I will protect you.

Yes, Mandy, you are worth it–even though it’s hard.

Yes, Mandy, I want to do this for you.

Yes, Mandy, I love you that much.


 

Mandy, do not be afraid.

 

For every moment of my–

Turmoil.

Anguish.

Fear.

Guilt.

Shame.

Paralysis.

Confusion.

Nausea.

 

For every time–

Those sin-sick hands reached for me…

I had to tell my story when I wasn’t ready…

My story was dismissed…

My story was taken too lightly…

My story was made to be about someone else…

Someone catered to the perpetrator…

Someone failed to protect me…

Someone offered harmful advice…

Someone pressured me or my family to do things their way…

Someone rushed me to forgive and reconcile…

Someone made a choice that showed they didn’t understand…

Someone didn’t believe me…

He and his spouse lashed out at me…

Everyone else’s life went back to normal…

I saw how this abuse also crippled my family…

I uncovered a new dysfunction in myself…

I felt alone…

I felt like it was just too much to bear…

 

For every–

Tear.

Worry.

Regret.

 

For the beliefs that–

Loving and protecting me properly is just too difficult…

That I am not worth standing up for…

There is no safe place…

The world is one giant, scary place…

Everything in this life will be hard…

I need to be rescued from my life…

I am invisible…

I will never be free of this…

 

Every. Single. One. Of. These. and more: Jesus wore them, felt them, vanquished them through His own experience of torture, death, and resurrection.

Each drop of blood He sweated testifies to His knowledge of my emotional anguish.

Each moment of  His being–

Mocked.

Scourged.

Spat on.

Disrobed.

Assaulted.

Judged.

Condemned.

Shamed.

Abandoned.

Forgotten.

Bound.

Humiliated.

Reviled.

Weighed down with His cross.

Sacrificed.

Betrayed, with a kiss.

Pierced.

 

Each thorn pressed deep into His skull.

Each nail ripping through His flesh.

Each step on the road to Calvary.

 

The scale of His agonies does not compare to mine, but they do–

Prove that He will not fail me.

Remind that He will love me perfectly every time.


(Subscribers, please click here to watch video.)
 

This Holy Week, He’s teaching me to receive  His love.

I’m taking it personally.

 

What does it mean to you to take this week personally?

Is Jesus offering you healing this Easter?

How can I pray for you?

Let’s chat in the comments, or, if you’d prefer, you can email me at:

mandy {dot} mianecki {at} gmail {dot} com

* * *

*Note: The man who abused me passed away several years ago, so the issues of criminal prosecution and reconciliation are no longer at play. I have been on a journey to heal the crippling affects of the abuse for the last seven or so years. It is only recently that I have been able to embrace this spiritual healing component. Please hear me when I say: I post this for any healing it can bring to others, and it is NOT meant to be a spiritual band-aid or negate any practical steps that may need to happen in other situations. It also does not negate the often messy and turbulent emotions of the healing process.

**I am not a theologian or a scripture scholar. This reflection is purely what I sense the Lord speaking to my heart.

Comments

  1. Wow – this is so powerful and beautiful. Thanks for having the courage to post it. I have tears in my eyes – God really is the answer to all of our hurts.

    • Thank you, Rosanne. I am so glad that you stopped by to read and leave your thoughts. He is the answer–if only I would remember to run to Him with all my hurts:)
      Mandy recently posted..HallelujahMy Profile

  2. Crying so hard…I had to get it together before I could type. Yes, yes, yes. All of it. This was just incredible. You are incredible.

    When I read this, “I imagine Him face to face with Satan…” Do you know what came to mind? That scene in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe when Aslan was walking through the enemy camp to be sacrificed for Edmund.

    Your desire to share your walk, so others can find healing is amazing. What joy you must bring to Jesus, friend. Thank you for your brave heart.
    Christine Wright recently posted..The Sunday CommunityMy Profile

    • Oh, Christine. I just love you so much! Our dreamers community has been beyond a blessing–and you have so enriched my life. Thank you for these words. You encourage my heart!
      Mandy recently posted..HallelujahMy Profile

  3. Seeing Christ’s death as personal is really the heart of Easter. He died for each one of us. Once. For. All. I hope you continue to heal and hope others along your journey.
    Jenn recently posted..My Hope is in You All Day LongMy Profile

    • Amen, Jenn. He is really impressing on me to live as though I’m perfectly loved–because I am! When I keep that in mind, oh the joy… Thank you for your kind words.
      Mandy recently posted..HallelujahMy Profile

  4. Oh my heart. Oh my sweet, brave sister. How I love your words and heart shared. I am so very proud of you for sharing how He stands for you and how you are standing for others by sharing your story. I know He is using you in such a mighty way. Lifting you up to Him as you continue to heal and share the process with others. Love you much.
    Wendy recently posted..10 Must Read Kidmin BooksMy Profile

    • Wendy, sweet, sweet friend–you are such an encouragement to me! It is easy to get lost in this process and doubt what I’m hearing and where I’m going. Words like yours keep me pointed in the right direction, and I so appreciate them, and you! Love you tons!
      Mandy recently posted..HallelujahMy Profile

  5. Mandy, I am so proud of you and my heart weeps for you, for innocence lost.
    Tereasa recently posted..Why I Celebrate the Resurrection EverydayMy Profile

  6. Just…can I come over and have a good hard cry? ugh.
    The blood sweat in the Garden…I get it. it’s no wonder.
    so proud of you for putting Him first. for that’s what this post does, friend.
    To think…that’s what He did for me. and oh my yes, I take it personal.
    love you.
    Nikki recently posted..The Cost of Much Forgiveness {Fed Up With Flat Faith}My Profile

    • Nikki, thank you is not enough for these words. As I get tangled up in the emotions of this journey, I worry that I am making this all about me…but perhaps it is about letting Him do His work? Love you oodles:)
      Mandy recently posted..HallelujahMy Profile

  7. Yes, I take it personal. Mandy this is beautiful, brave, encouraging and so true. Thank you for listening, and sharing with us!
    Katharine Barrett recently posted..Zoom outMy Profile

  8. It should be personal and yes, it is a lie straight out of hell! YOU are a daughter of the KING of KINGS and he LOVES you!

  9. Mandy, you are so brave, sweet sister. I am proud to know you! I pray you will continue to find beauty and meaning throughout the rest of this Holy Week.
    Elizabeth @seasonswithsoul recently posted..Bundle of the Week: Bible StudyMy Profile

  10. This is powerful! And you are so brave to confront this hurt and the hard healing that comes. I pray that this Easter will bring you even more healing and more courage.

  11. Thank you for this powerful testimony, my friend. Crying with you but also in awe at the healing He brings, and I am praying that for you. You are brave and you inspire me.
    Mel recently posted..My God-Sized Dream: How I LiveMy Profile

    • Oh Mel, you squeezed so much into your words! Your kindness and compassionate touched me since we “met” as dreamers. Those are Jesus-qualities, my friend, and I am so grateful for the gift of you!
      Mandy recently posted..HallelujahMy Profile

  12. Wow, Mandy. What an amazing testimony of your perseverance and your undaunted heart that continued to seek after the Savior. May He continue to cover you with His healing presence so you can bless MANY.
    Susan Stilwell recently posted..Jesus in the PassoverMy Profile

    • Susan, just..thank you. I love how you phrased your comment. As my next post elaborates on, I started this journey for my healing, but I really want to bless others. I so appreciate what you’ve written.
      Mandy recently posted..HallelujahMy Profile

  13. So brave to take it personally. Well done, friend. I pray God continues to bless your healing process.
    Kristin Taylor recently posted..{#TellHisStory} Jesus’ Dirty ShirtMy Profile

  14. This is one of those posts that deserves a hug and shared tears…
    I am proud of you and it’s impossible to miss the way God is working in your life and heart right now. This one was clearly an overflow of words that He was pouring in. #thankfulforyouandencouragedbyyoumyfriend
    Kara @ The Chuppies recently posted..Connecting Church and HomeMy Profile

    • Welling up with tears…thank you, Kara. One day, God-willing, I will take that hug in person, and the tears will be happy ones. #feelthesewordsdeeploveyou
      Mandy recently posted..HallelujahMy Profile

  15. Mandy, I’m so proud of you for being obedient to God’s call to write this down for all of us. I so often think of the Cross as carrying all of my sin, but I don’t really think of it as carrying all of my pain, my wounds, too. Like you said, Jesus death on the Cross is His battle with Satan for all of us. And that includes all the ways we hurt. Thank you for helping me to see this for myself and make it personal, too. Many hugs to you my friend. What a blessed Easter gift you have given us!
    Brenda @TripleBraided recently posted..What Life’s Like Now in My Small Room of the World Wide WebMy Profile

    • Thank you, Brenda. I so appreciate your words and encouragement. I struggled with this point…Jesus taking on our wounds–because Satan so easily twists that into a selfish feeling. It’s important for us to know though. Jesus wants us to be free from our brokenness, and the cross is about that too!
      Mandy recently posted..HallelujahMy Profile

  16. Terese r.b. says:

    I hav an experience in my past, as well, that still causes serious issues for me. God bless u for speaking about this and empowering others. You go girl! On the days when I’m feeling really low, in my prayer I imagine myself dancing with The Lord. I know it sounds strange, but in those moments He laughs with me and let’s me know that I am beautiful, worthy of love and we laugh, so that I know joy is possible again. I always end up with a serious consolation, so I know He is really there on some level.

    • Wow, Terese! You’ve given me so much to ponder! I am truly sorry that you had to experience a pain that no one was ever meant to, but I love your image of dancing with Jesus. That is beautiful and powerful! I so appreciate you sharing your thoughts.
      Mandy recently posted..HallelujahMy Profile

  17. Before I started to read this, I had just said to myself, today, Good Friday is not about me. Thank you for reminding me that yes, it is about me.

  18. So proud of you for writing this. It’s so brave. So proud of you for seeking the heart of God in your wounds. I would do well to model you in this area. Your growth… beautiful. Keep sharing grace, sweet, brave sister.

  19. Lauren Huss says:

    Amen and God’s many blessings to you!
    He stood up for me, too. The only One who ever would. How can I not take this personally. No bandaids here! Just pure glorious Grace.

    • Love these words! I am sorry He had to stand up for you, but I’m praising Him that He did, and that you shared it with me. Thank you, Lauren! Happy Easter!
      Mandy recently posted..HallelujahMy Profile

  20. What words really can I say? Other than I LOVE the work that God is doing in your heart and your willingness to honor Him through your words. Because you did- so eloquently, so beautifully! I am so thankful to know you, sister!! And I am so sorry for this hard road that you have had to walk down. Praying that you are sensing how very much you are loved today!!!
    Becky Daye recently posted..Five Minute Friday~ BrokenMy Profile

    • Becky, the enemy is so good at attempting to obscure in my mind exactly what God is accomplishing here. It is the beautiful words of people like you who hold a mirror up for me, so I can see the truth about what He’s doing. Thank you, my friend. You are a gift!
      Mandy recently posted..HallelujahMy Profile

  21. WOW, Mandy! What courage it must have taken to write this and so beautifully portrayed. Hugs to you my friend…BIG hugs. (And some tears too.)
    Mary recently posted..When the waves come crashing downMy Profile

  22. we have much in common sister in Christ. My healing came through CRHP when I wrote my witness on this very topic and had the very same experience. It is as if I just read my witness over again. Oh the immense LOVE I felt when Jesus wrapprd me in His arms and said “It is time to let me have this pain/hurt/rejection that you have been carrying around…PLEASE GIVE THIS TO ME”…and when I did so much more went with it and then HE FILLED ME with all that I never knew was there for me…xoxo…

    • Denise, I am marveling at how God is working right now! I have often thought how this blogging thing is like writing a CRHP witness:) Thank you for sharing your experience. It is such an encouragement to see how others have healed, at what God has done. He just keeps revealing new layers for you and me, doesn’t He? Again, thank you so much, and hugs to you!
      Mandy recently posted..HallelujahMy Profile

Trackbacks

  1. [...] reveal a love that moves me from debilitating to thriving. My now…when you convict my heart that Your agony on the cross conquered my anguish from abuse. My now…when Your love reveals that Your wounds heal mine. You continue to faithfully reveal Your [...]

  2. [...] write down how Jesus saw me. What would He say about me? And during Holy Week, He revealed some pretty hefty truths that changed everything for me. God isn’t who I thought He was. And I’m so [...]

  3. Wounded says:

    […] instance, I imagine Jesus thinking of me personally as the sharp ring of thorns pressed into His scalp, each prick redeeming the blows I fielded […]

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