(**Originally posted to cathyterranova.com on 7/21/13**)
The work of God in my life can most easily be equated with waves eroding a cliff. Eventually, the rocks will succumb and the cliff will fall violently into the water below. I am really no different. Everyday God is an ever present force which is little by little breaking down my sharp edges and tough clay parts and allowing them to settle in the calm of His care.
My story isn’t one that starts badly, gets worse, and then is happily redeemed. I am still doing the hard task of healing. I will be healing from my past for a long, long, time. This is the life that God has asked me to lead; but He doesn’t ask me to do it alone.
Just about anything that can happen to a person has happened to me. Some people who hear I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder immediately ask which branch of service I was in. I just laugh and tell them what my doctor has told me, I’ve been through my own war.
Neglect, physical and verbal abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and assaults, rape, shame, denial, blame; I have experienced it all. It has taken the better part of my life to realize:
THESE THINGS DO NOT DEFINE ME
MY TRAUMAS DO NOT DECIDE WHO I AM
MY IDENTITY CAN ONLY BE FOUND IN WHO GOD SAYS I AM
My hope for my healing is not just to bring Glory to God through my survival, but to bring Him Glory through discovering who He has made me to be and what He specifically has chosen me to do for Him. Sharing my story is just part of His plan; a plan I can’t really actualize without genuine transparency. You have to tell the whole story if you’re going to tell it at all.
Trauma robs you of not just being in touch with your feelings, but early childhood trauma steals from you time that you are supposed to be using to develop your personality, your likes and dislikes, the things that make you, you.
One could say that the battle isn’t just for things that have occurred, but also things that haven’t. The time you’ve spent not being loved, the things you didn’t get to do, the feelings you weren’t allowed to feel: the journey that was stolen from you of becoming a unique person.
I have to start the journey a little later than most. But in the way that water that has been dammed up will crash through when the dam cracks, God has blessings that have been building this whole time that He cannot wait to lavish upon those who choose to include Him as part of their healing.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/88608090@N07/8110686439″>Dunnottar Castle</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>