It’s dark on top of our hill out here in the country—miles from any town. Very dark, with no electricity. I love to sleep in total darkness, but I don’t want to live in it. I slip away from my bed and wander outside.
I’ve been interacting with survivors of childhood trauma who are desperate for answers, resources, hope…anything to bring them relief. I think of them, as, high above, myriads of stars shine their glory.
A verse at the front of the story I’m currently writing comes to mind:
“And I will give thee treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.”Isaiah 45:3 KJV
“Okay, Lord God, I’m trying to hear You, but….”
Is there anything darker than the mind of one abused in childhood? Especially abuse mixed with religion that disfigures Your very character? Is there any place more impossible for light to reach?
How can riches be hidden in a heart that has absorbed the evilness and lies of the perpetrator—when the only “secret places” are the secrets one is forced to keep? When one’s personal identity is obliterated with each cruelty, what, please tell, is this name of which You speak?
His stars blink back a silent answer of constancy. Perhaps the morning will bring answers. If only there were a manual.
I text my sister. “Can you recommend a resource I can share?”
Within minutes her reply glows on my phone:
“From my experience, without God, you have no way to really know what you even need. Your abuse doesn’t come with a recovery manual.
“God created you. Only He knows who you were created to be. But you can be certain it wasn’t to be abused. All of us have been lied to because it’s lying people who abuse. And because of that, I knew only God was big enough–was wise enough, was safe enough and true and faithful enough to trust with my story and to write a different ending than the only one I thought possible.
“He was the only one willing to love me enough to die for me, but more important to live for me every day and work out all I needed.
“His promises had power and hope and the outcome only He could create one step at a time. One question at a time. One tear at a time. His love is what has broken down all my walls and fulfilled my dreams better than I could have imagined. And He doesn’t stop! Healing from Him covers all the need and raises me up to more than I knew possible.
“You want a manual? Just walk with Him. He has the pathway all planned and ready. And He will only go as fast as you are ready to go and slow enough to give you all the processing you need. He will only lead you, never push you.”
I turn off my phone and sleep until sunlight rises over the eastern mountain and splashes the tops of the trees outside. Bird song floats through the cool breeze. I breathe deep and, from a grateful heart, whisper a prayer.
God’s healing power to reconcile through Jesus Christ—to restore and make whole—is the a treasure that can shine from the darkness of abuse.
Of course, He uses therapists and those who have studied the workings of the brain, the effects of trauma on a child, but it is His love that does the healing, restores identity, and calls us by name.
Paul (2 Corinthians 4:6&7) refers to this treasure as the “light that God commanded to shine out of darkness.” He said this treasure has been put in the earthen vessels of our hearts to shine and give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, who, it turns out, is an accurate depiction of God’s character.
Through His love and acceptance, God provides healing. He will walk alongside through the fear of remembering. He will call you by name, and you won’t be afraid to answer. His Treasures of Darkness and Hidden Riches are there for the asking.
“The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.”Psalms 4:18 and 19 NIV