When the Scars Begin to Fade
Do you have an incident in your past, when every time you are reminded of it, you get the chills? Do you often have flashbacks of something that happened to you? Are you worried your past might creep up and surprise you? Do you find yourself waking up from nightmares that continually haunt you? If so, you join many of us who have suffered a traumatizing past. May the Lord bless you and may reading about my healing process encourage you.
For me, just watching a father express his love to his little girl would make me go hide and a have a breakdown. You see, not only were my parents divorced when I was fifteen, and not only was my mother abused by my dad, but I also was a victim of abuse from from the time I was seven until I was fifteen. I ran away from home countless times to try to escape the horrible things my eyes would view. I would pray, sitting in the cold, dark dead of night.
My prayers would depend on my mood, but generally they were something like this: “Lord Jesus, why are You making me go through this? What did I do to deserve this?” Or, “God, if You can hear me; if You’re real, please be my deliverer. Your Word says, “He shall call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him” (Psalm 91:15). I claim Your Word and speak it into my life.”
I thought I was being punished for something I did. Therefore, I was being forced to go through the hardest trial of my life. But I learned later that your trials make you who you’re going to be, not a punishment for who you have been.
I specifically remember one night that I was in my closet praying. Yes, my literal closet, because it was the only place I could go and pray without my dad being angry toward me. He was drunk and didn’t think to look for me in the closet. So I was in my closet and my little sister, Emily, came in and said, “Al, I was just reading my Bible and it says that Jesus will be our daddy. So, let’s be His daughters from now on because that means He will love us and protect us, forever!”
She has no idea what that meant to me. Emily allowed herself to be used by God to make a promise to me that would keep me for the next few years. Whenever you feel at the end of your rope, God gives you a promise that ties the knot for you to hold onto. When God makes you a promise, you can bet your bottom dollar that it will come to pass. From that day on, I looked at my situation differently. It went from being an endless cycle of torture to a temporary stage of life that would pass. “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Psalm 30:5b).
For the next few years, sometimes all I had was the fact that Jesus was my daddy. Because of the ministry of Bible Quizzing, I was able to fall in love with Jesus during my trial. Bible Quizzing gave me the opportunity to study God’s Word on such a deep level, so when I needed a rhema—a specific word from the Lord—I already had the Word inside of me. Through this time of trial, I felt like an open wound laying in the display case for all to see. I would try to smile and cover my pain, but sometimes there was just no way.
Sometimes, you’re going to feel like there is no hope. As Job said, “What strength do I have, that I should hope? And what is my end, that I should prolong my life?” (Job 6:11) Instead, we need to have the attitude of David. Although his world was crashing in around him, he said, “But I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more” (Psalm 71:14).
Through your trials and tribulations, you’re an open wound, waiting to be fixed. However, just because your trial is over and the smile on your face is sincere again doesn’t mean you’re emotionally healed. That doesn’t mean you’re healed from the traumatic experience that has taken place in your life. You still have that scar that will be a constant reminder to you. The nightmares won’t stop, the flashbacks won’t go away, and the memories won’t cease to haunt you.
Until you face it one last time and conquer it through the power of the Holy Ghost. My parents were divorced when I was fifteen and I haven’t been back to the house since then. For the past four years, I have allowed fear to consume me in various forms. Such as nightmares, flashbacks and memories – too unbearable to dwell on. I’ve been afraid of the dark, the night, being alone, closets, windows, and any area populated with big pine. But finally, four years later, I was able to drive to that house on February 17, 2011, and claim the authority and the victory over the enemy that has haunted me for those four years—in the name of Jesus!
Since that day of triumph, I haven’t had a single nightmare and I have been able to feel the presence of God in such an intimate way—in a way that I have never felt before. I wish that I would have gone to the house a few years ago and gotten the victory. But, I didn’t. So now, finally, my scars can begin to fade.
How much more suffering will you allow yourself to go through? Even though you think you might have given it to God, if you still fight fear, then you haven’t surrendered to Him completely. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (II Timothy 1:7). Fear is not of God, nor does God have fellowship with fear. He wants to do a complete healing in you, but it might take a little bit of effort on your part.
You might need to have one last confrontation with your past, or you might need to make that final step to deliverance. Whatever your wound is, you have no reason to be reminded of it on a daily basis. Once you make that final step, you can be set free from the nightmares and your scars can begin to fade.
From the Author
“I live in Portland, Oregon and attend Apostolic Worship Center under Pastor Ted Graves. I am 19. I went to Spain for two months on Next Steps. I work at two Home Missions churches in Portland right now and about to start our third!”