Forgiven

We have been going through a list of Bible verses called:  Who am I in Christ?

My favorite translation for Colossians 2:13-14 comes from the Amplified Bible:  “[The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in Whom we have our redemption through His blood, [which means] the forgiveness of our sins.”

Photo: by Jinx McCombs – Rescue Training

When I first read this verse, it was a challenge for me.  As an abuse survivor, I found it easier to forgive others than to accept forgiveness from God. Perhaps it was because my abusers waged a psychological campaign to wear down my resistance to them. When my father first came into my room to sexually abuse me, I was seven.  He told me, “You are so stupid, dumb, and ugly, no man will ever want to marry you so I’m going to teach you to put out so you can at least attract a man.”

I was under no illusion that my father loved me or thought I was special.  He underscored this message with beatings and frequent verbal abuse. I learned that, if he said, “I love you,” it meant he wanted something from me and it would hurt.  By the time his abuse turned to rape, I was fully enmeshed in his world of darkness.  I was certain I was wrong, unloveable, and had tremendous guilt.  I used to look at other kids and wonder what made me different from them that my own father couldn’t love me.

It wasn’t until I became older that I learned about the incredible statistics of abuse: one in four have been sexually abused – women and men.  And I suspect that the numbers are even higher.  Psychological abuse kept me isolated, shamed, and afraid to tell.  My father threatened to kill me if I told and I believed him – he had already tried a few times.

This Bible verse was difficult for me to comprehend in many areas.

Father – I wasn’t certain I wanted another Father.  As I said in previous posts, it took a long time to learn that God was a loving Father, nothing at all like my earthly father.

Being pulled out of the dominion of darkness was a challenge – I was used to being a victim, felt comfortable in that role, and didn’t know any other way to be.  It took a long time to realize that I didn’t have to live in emergency mode, ready for the next attack. I also didn’t have to react in negative ways to my past abuse. I didn’t have to give my body to any man that wanted it so the person would love me.

The father’s love – the Son of His love – that was a tough one. Before I knew that Jesus willingly made the Sacrifice of His life for my sins and began to know more about Him, I thought it peculiar that God, the Father, would let His Son go through such horrific abuse. I really believed that God was another abusive father, just look what he let happen to His Son. It took time to realize just how much love that act encompassed. The sacrifice is mind boggling.

We spoke about redeemed a few posts ago and realized that it meant, according to Strong’s Concordance – (a book that gives us meanings of words in the context used at the the of the Bible),  means to redeem according to the Oriental law of kinship, where the next of kin (Jesus) buys back a relative’s property, marries his widow, redeems from slavery.  It means avenger, ransom, deliver, kinsman’s part, purchase.  The basic use of this term has to do with deliverance of persons or property that has been sold for debt.  In Biblical times, a poor person could sell himself into slavery to pay off a debt.  His kinsman could buy back the slave, pay off the debt, and restore the property to the poor person.

Forgiveness of our sins – Oh, that was the tough part.  Forgiving others easy – forgiving myself almost impossible.  I knew the sinful things I did in rebellion to my past and I was certain God couldn’t forgive me.  Why would He want to?  I counseled with my pastor on a weekly basis and brought in the sin of the week.  God can’t forgive me because I did (fill in the blank).

The truth is, we are forgiven. That our sins are fully washed away.  We may still face repercussions from our actions, but God does not look at us with disgust.  When He sees us, He sees us washed as white as snow by the blood of his Beloved Son.  The sacrifice of Jesus covers all sins.

I want to discuss this more in the next post.  But right now, realize that we are forgiven. That God loves us.  What we did or didn’t do, God knew in advance.  He sent His Son two thousand years ago to settle the issue of our sins once for all. But what does forgiveness mean for us?

Questions for you – are there areas in your life where you are still not believing God can forgive you?  If you have accepted God’s forgiveness, how did you deal with those tough areas?

Please feel free to share how you finally came to terms with God’s forgiveness?  How were you able to put those tough areas of sin in His hands and move forward as one who is forgiven?  Your ways of doing this will be a blessing for us.

Have a wonderful and blessed day.

Heather

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About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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9 Responses to Forgiven

  1. Deborah says:

    This all sounds so familiar.
    My view of “father” was definitely colored by the two I had here on earth. Why would I want another? And yet, God in His infinite mercy, stayed by my side, using other people and circumstances, and then finally His Word to show me of His love for me.
    The Word says He wants to “lavish” His love on us. Incomprehensible, since my earthly fathers only lavished pain. His Word also tells us what He really thinks of us. We are not mistakes, He knew us from before the beginning. Psalm 139 says it beautifully:1 O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. 5 You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. 7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths,[a] you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
    11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
    13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
    15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

    • Deborah, I am so glad you found the Father who is the only one who can lavish love on us. I am so sorry you had two fathers who caused so much pain. As I continue in this blog you will see how God used many unconventional ways to preserve my life until I can come to him. Thanks for sharing from your heart.

  2. Nowhere Man says:

    Well, since you ask.. my life is so riddled with corruption that I am practically drowning in pollution. If there is a heaven, they will not open their gates for me, and to be honest I don’t blame them. There is no redemption for a lost soul trudging knee deep in sin.

    • Checked out your WordPress page, and see that you are agnostic – seeking testimonies, reading the Bible and asking some of the same questions I asked years ago. I had a hard time dealing with many of the things Christians believe, and a hard time dealing with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Forgiveness and love escaped me as well. I figured I was one of the unforgivable ones too, given many of the things I did. It is not true – there can be forgiveness. I am glad you are asking questions. Ask God to show you, and be receptive to hear what He has to say. Keep reading the Bible – check things out. Might want to read the Case for Christ by Stobel – he was a lawyer and went about to prove the Bible untrue – might have some answers to your questions. I do wonder what put a wedge between you and God. Happy to listen :). Heather

  3. Deb Wolf says:

    Heather, I am so sorry that those awful things happened to you. It breaks my heart when I learn of someone who had their childhood taken from them through cruelty and abuse. I grew up with a great sense of fear. I have never known why completely, but it definitely caused me to make some unfortunate choices in my life. How wonderful to have a Lord who has persisted in healing my heart and freeing me of fear. It wasn’t an easy or for that matter a pretty process, but one that I can rejoice over today. Thanks for your courage in sharing your story.

    • Deb, thanks. Abuse is abuse is abuse, what happened to you also broke my heart. Kids need to know they are loved. I made many unfortunate choices, and God preserved me through them. I have an incredible testimony of how God saved me and drew me to HIm. I too rejoice over what the Lord has done. Please keep me in prayer as I write my story, I really want it to reach out and help others. God can restore even what the locusts ate.

  4. Ahh.The power of forgiveness…a wonderful thing…Blessings Darrell

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