“Just like a mother bird takes her babies when the storms come and just lifts her wing and puts her babies underneath, that’s what God did for me.”
Abuse throughout her childhood caused Esther to seek love and acceptance anywhere it was offered. The result was loneliness, an inability to connect with people and the pain of two divorces. By attending Divorce Care and Celebrate Recovery groups, she found the hope, healing, and love that she had been searching for.
Two important ideas helped Esther press her way through to wholeness:
1. God is the one who heals us, and we cannot heal ourselves. Esther realized she had to stop trying to heal herself in her own strength. She had to put her trust in God and allow him to work in her.
2. God will bring key people into our lives to help us on our journey. Esther found love and acceptance when she began to connect with other divorce and abuse survivors who had experienced God’s restoring work in their own lives. Their love, wisdom and encouragement were part of God’s healing process for her.
Share Your Story:
Like Esther, many people struggle with pain from child abuse. We encourage you to draw closer to God and discover his plan for your life. God doesn’t demand that you get all cleaned up before you come to Him. If you choose to draw near to Him, He will meet you, love you, and help you see how important and valued you are to Him. We would love to hear from you! Please consider sharing your story with this website.
Words to Live By:
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’ He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge” Psalm 91:1, 2, 4 (NIV).
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” Isaiah 41:10 (NIV).
The destructive cycle of child abuse affects many people and occurs to both boys and girls of all ages. Most children are too confused, frightened and ashamed to let an adult know what is happening to them. Often abusers will also use threats to scare children into keeping the abuse a secret. This can cause children to hide their secret even from trusted adults and family members. They may suffer in silence for years or even a lifetime. Regardless of the type of abuse or the relationship between the victim and the offender, abuse can have long-term emotional effects. Some of the common effects of untreated sexual abuse are post-traumatic stress disorder or anxiety, sexual anxiety and disorders, depression, thoughts of suicide, poor body image, low self-esteem and destructive behaviors like substance abuse and eating disorders. If you are a victim of sexual abuse, know that you are not alone. Recovery can begin when you take the first step of admitting it happened and start praying for healing. In 1 Kings 19:1-15, the prophet Elijah is so depressed that he asks God to take his life. Instead, God sends an angel to tell Elijah to get up and eat. In the depths of his despair, Elijah encounters God’s grace. God is sending ministering angels into your situation too just as he did for Elijah, Esther, and many others. Ask Him to open your eyes so you can see them operating in your life. You may choose to seek the help of a professional Christian counselor or join a recovery group as Esther did. You can be sure that God will give you what you need to take your journey of healing. By God’s grace and with the help of His messengers, renewal and restoration are available to all, one step at a time.