I’m Here {A Dream Analysis}

I’m Here {A Dream Analysis}

You’re reading a God–Sized Dreams post. Each Tuesday, a team of God-sized dreamers writes on the progress of their dreams, spurred by the wisdom in Holley Gerth’s new book, You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream: Opening the Door to All God Has for You. For all my posts in this series, please click here. This week’s assignment: share an update with us about your dream. Let us know where you are with it–the happy and the hard. Tell us how we can pray for you and your dream too.

Trigger warning: childhood sexual abuse

Recently, I read an article by a popular, well-intentioned blogger who was trying to bring awareness to the issue of childhood sexual abuse.

I reacted very badly. Anger and anxiety ignited in me immediately, making it difficult to appreciate the better points in the article. I spun out for about half an hour, thinking things like:

Why is she suddenly writing about this?

Where are her facts from?

Why does she think she has enough authority to address this issue?

Did she even pause to think of the weight of responsibility in her word choice?

Clearly, this revealed a few important things.

  1. Our words are powerful. We carry a heavy burden of responsibility in their use. I’m reminding myself here, too. Am I ushering in life or condemnation with my words? Are they covered with grace, speaking truth in love–or are they full of me?
  2. There is much that people don’t know about childhood sexual abuse. Often, the sting I feel from others results from words and actions that reveal they simply do not know. This issue may not have personally impacted their lives, so they have no firsthand experience with it or how to talk about it.
  3. I still have some healing to do. I’m still confronting those panicky moments triggered by things like reading someone’s careless words. Or hearing their flippant remarks aloud. Or worrying whether I will be strong enough to protect my own children. Or realizing I still view much of life through the lens of my perceived worth. These things linger, but I’m not staying stuck in them as long. I recognize it immediately when my reactions start. And I know they don’t get to win.

So, there’s that.

But, there’s also this:

From the start, I made my dream journey harder than God had planned. I attempted to force myself to face issues that I assumed He’d want me to face by reading an intense book. Only one chapter in, the pressure, anxiety, and confusion set in. Anger and fight flared in me.

Because God had a different plan. One in which He ministered to the core of my brokenness–my self-worth. It’s easy to throw around phrases about God’s love and identity in Christ. It’s another to experience them.

Once I released my own idea of healing, God quickly flooded me with a growing understanding of His love and how to receive it.

I was wrecked in a whole new, beautiful way.

He sent me words like beloved to meditate on, study, and explore.

He provided support people in the least likely places to be His hands and feet–and, in some cases, to speak the exact words my heart needed in order to heal.

He asked me to reflect on how He sees me and the memories we’ve made together.

And then Holy Week.

I think deliverance in the word used for what happened then.

I physically experienced a burden lift when Jesus opened my heart to receive the power of His wounds redeeming mine. I wept with the understanding that He stood up for me, took my blows, and won the victory for me.

And now, this:

Unless we attack the root issue by allowing the Father to infuse us with His radical grace, we will either continue to struggle or give up because the pain is too much. …the key to being healed…lies not in “doing” things but “coming to know” the Father’s love. That’s the secret.

–Steve Pokorny in Freedom: Twelve Lives Transformed by the Theology of the Body, page 44

With a title like Freedom, I couldn’t not read this book. As I do, I cannot stop nodding: yes, yes, yes! This.

The theology of the body is a thing of beauty, a series of teachings by Pope John Paul II. Its riches can be mined for a lifetime, but its bottom line is that the body is a visible thing which reveals invisible truths. Being made in God’s image, our bodies reveal God. With them, we give and receive love as God loves.

I’m diving into these books, with their truths washing me clean from the hurts and misconceptions of my past.

And this one too:

It’s coming to this for me: the Eucharist. It’s the beloved, the receiving, the height of self-gift. It’s our bodies, our giving, imaging Christ and the Church…and how all of these are related. This is how I can be His completely, receive His love and rest secure in it…as it heals me from the inside out.

So, there’s that.

Would you pray for me? That I would let the control of this freedom journey be God’s? That I would remain open to receiving what He has for me, believing it to be good? That He would continue to supply the support people and courage I need to continue healing?

Also, as this dream series winds down, I’m thinking about doing a short series on what I wish people knew about childhood sexual abuse: protecting your kids, what to say and not say, healing for adult survivors…What do you think? And would you pray for that endeavor?

Thank you!

Are you still dreaming? What has God been doing in your life?

How can I pray for you?

To read more dream stories, please click on this button:

Comments

  1. I think sharing your points of view and your information would be great. You would be sharing out of your story, and that’s what we need to know. ((hugs))
    Stacey recently posted..Convictions, Goals, Dreams. Individuality.My Profile

  2. I will be praying for you as your journey continues and I am inspired by your bravery!!
    Kristin Smith recently posted..Growth and change and new beginningsMy Profile

  3. Thank you for your courage. I will be praying for you and for your strength to do all that God has planned for you.
    Maggie recently posted..What a Journey!My Profile

  4. Ah, love you so much, Mandy! My heart breaks with the hurt that you and TOO MANY have to continue to deal with. I will definitely be praying about your future endeavor and would love to read more about how to help others and also protecting our kids. I am naive in so many ways in regards to this issue. Your words are a blessing, sister!
    Becky Daye recently posted..Five Minute Friday~ ViewMy Profile

  5. What bravery you have Mandy! I’ll be praying for you as you go on this journey that God is leading. I think doing a series on sexual abuse would be enlightening and informative. Because like you said, unless you’ve been through it, you really don’t know what it’s really like. Praying God’s hand on you as you continue to heal. I’m so glad our paths crossed during our time on the Dream Team! I hope they continue to cross in the future!!
    Alecia recently posted..The Growth-Though Small- Is HugeMy Profile

  6. Mandy, I am praying that God gives you comfort and you progress towards healing. I also pray that He gives you clear direction on your dream of writing the child abuse series. I know there is so much that society does not understand about child abuse. Thank you for speaking up so openly for those that have not yet found the freedom to do so on their own.
    Amy P Boyd recently posted..Yet He Keep Running {God-Sized Dream}My Profile

  7. I’ll be praying for you, friend…and yes…use your voice loudly for His glory. He’s given you a story to share that points to Him {HUGS}
    Nikki recently posted..On How We Should Love to Tell Our Story {Of Blessed Assurance}My Profile

  8. Mandy-
    I will be praying for you as you continue down the God-Sized Dream path in your own special way. God does that. He carves out the hearts of each of us for greatness, for love, and for healing. I will pray for you as you listen to His still small voice and His Word for direction.
    Jennifer
    Jennifer recently posted..Intentional Living in AmericaMy Profile

  9. Dear Mandy,
    You bring up so many great points here about healing and about experiencing God’s love…praying that God would continue to allow you to experience His love in greater measure so you may experience freedom…I am on an analogous journey to greater freedom…Cheering for you :)
    Dolly@Soulstops recently posted..Where I am in my dream process….My Profile

    • Your words bring tears to my eyes, Dolly. Thank you! What I really desire most of all is to experience God’s love in greater measure, so that prayer holds a special place in my heart. I would love to hear your story. Cheering for you too, dream sister!
      Mandy recently posted..I’m Here {A Dream Analysis}My Profile

  10. Go slowly as He leads you and the path will be clear. You have such a beautiful encouraging heart!! Write on
    Lani recently posted..FMF {The View From Down Here}My Profile

  11. I teared up reading your post, and I am so glad you were “wrecked in a wonderful way”. These six months have been so transformational, so incredibly different for each of us, and yet so amazing.

    I will pray for you as you continue to move forward in your dreams. I do think a series like you suggest would be great. It might remove a lot of the over/poor reaction from those of us who have never walked in your shoes.
    Kim recently posted..Exclamation Mark LivingMy Profile

  12. First, yes, prayers for you. My friend, you are brave and inspiring, and I know I’ve said that before, but I truly mean it. God is taking your heart and life and using it in a powerful way to impact others. I am so thankful we “met” through this dreaming journey, and I’m so looking forward to all He’s going to do in both of our lives! Blessings and love. :)
    Mel recently posted..My God-Sized Dream: I Dreamed Some Dreams…My Profile

  13. Mandy!!!!!! If I could, I’d be running to you right now for a great big joyful hug! I have loved, loved, loved watching you walk this journey and now to see you stepping again in faith. Only God! You know, I’d really like to be doing a great big girly happy dance with you right now. Wow!
    Tereasa recently posted..Summer ReadingMy Profile

  14. You’re very brave to share about your abuse, Mandy. And I hope you’re able to share more of your healing. I’ll be glad to pray for you as you move forward in your dreams, and as you train up your children to dream big dreams too!
    Susan Stilwell recently posted..A Monday Pause ~ Bearing FruitMy Profile

  15. Mandy, I am so inspired by your courage. I can relate to how God wanted to get to the root of your brokenness – your self-worth. I feel like God is working that same thing out in me. I will be praying for your series. I know women need your words. I am more than confident that He will use them and be glorified and women will be healed. May God get the glory! :-)
    Brenda @TripleBraided recently posted..Motherhood Makes Me Question My FaithMy Profile

  16. I read your heart on a page today and my heart is ready to burst for all God is doing in and and through you. You, friend, are such an inspiration and I am so blessed to be on this dreaming journey with you but even more blessed to call you friend. Love you much.
    Wendy recently posted..The LORD’s Child in The Orbit VillageMy Profile

  17. Oh wow, Mandy, such powerful words here. And yes of course I will be praying as you walk down that path of words to share. What a miraculous journey He’s taking you on dreaming friend, will contineu to be in prayer for you over it.
    Gindi recently posted..The Dreamer’s UpdateMy Profile

  18. Mandy: I am sorry you were hurt by the words of another. Whatever the intentions of this particular blogger, there was a negative impact on you and that’s yucky. I’m sorry that happened! Everyone’s path to healing is different. What works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another. And depending on how far into healing you are, things that wouldn’t trigger one, do trigger another. You are so right that our words have a huge impact. I pray that those who choose to write (me included) will have the wisdom to choose their words carefully, especially in the area of childhood sexual abuse. It is a huge responsibility — to be willing to share your voice, without inadvertently hurting others.

    I think you are right on when you leave the process and the healing to God. And I will pray for you, as you’ve asked. Because writing about CSA is hard, but an important voice to be shared, if you’re ready and God’s leading it.

    Christy @ A Heartening Life
    http://www.ahearteninglife.com

  19. I really value your words, Christy. You are so right about triggers, how far into the journey people are, and responsibility. Thank you so much for your compassion and continued encouragement!
    Mandy recently posted..I’m Here {A Dream Analysis}My Profile

  20. This is something i would never want to write about; and not for lack of experience. But the Father is committed to bring His work to completion. It’s a comfort so deep it’s nearly scary! I fully empathise with how the lid seems to go off but it’s better now; we can spot it earlier and it doesnt have to get so dark or ugly. this is the body here, in blogsphere – as we speak truth – that also brings healing. Thank you!

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