As we study Breaking Free, The Journey by Beth Moore, we’re now half-way through our bible study lessons. This week we focus on how Jesus ministers the brokenhearted. We learn about the flaming arrow and God’s precise aim as he pierces our hearts. We learn about binding wounds that are hemorrhaging. I thought about the wife who’s husband has an affair, the obvious broken heart, and the resulting hemorrhaging. Or the Mom who tragically lost her son, and the unbearable grief she suffers. Life is about suffering and pain. God is about what we do with the suffering and the pain, allowing Him to heal our wounds, or drowning in our sorrows.
This week as we study hurts and betrayal, we’re removing the bandages (or duct tape) and allowing the Father to heal. Give yourself a gift of solitude, alone with your workbook, and allow time for His presence as you break free. For those not participating in the Bible study and reading the post because of past hurt, continue reading the article. If you find healing and comfort in the words, then join the study or contact your women’s ministry at your local church and seek healing. Let’s clarify that childhood abuse is not only physical, but also includes emotional abuse or neglect. While there are various degrees of child abuse from mild to severe, in each case the spirit of an innocent child is deeply wounded and the child wears the badge of hurt throughout her adult life. You’ll see hurt by destructive behaviors-such as alcohol or drug addiction, gambling or sexual addiction, eating disorders, depression, and many other physical signs of her childhood abuse. What you cannot see is the spiritual wound, because she hides in shame from God and from herself.
In Breaking Free by Beth Moore, we’re peeling away the bandages that cover her shame. These bandages include:
- A cycle of shame
- A veil of fear
- A heart of stone
- A voice of anger
- A will to control
Her unbearable shame leads her to the darkest corners of her life. She’s trapped in the four corners of a hard cold wall, shutting her heart to pain, unable to release it, fearing more abuse and shame. She is terrified of her past, fearful of her abuser, and angry at the abandonment of her security. Many women live their adult lives with this burden of shame, a spiritual bondage and yolk she is unable to break. She explodes in anger, she cries in hurt. She medicates with anti-depressants, food or addictive behaviors. She struggles with the one question that bleeds inside her heart: Why Me? As a child, her only answer is “I deserve it. I did something to cause this. I must be my fault.” Her heart is broken by childhood abuse and she is to ashamed to seek God’s presence and comfort. Her badge of shame removes her from the safety of her church, the pages of her Bible or the fellowship with other Christian women. Her spouse doesn’t want to hear it, her family continues to deny it, and her heart continues to deteriorate in the unyielding pain. Christ hurts too. Christ has accompanied this child from the abuse, through her walk of shame, and into her journey of restoration and healing. He knows what happened, he saw her pain, and he waits for her with His arms open. He knows it was not her fault. Christ hurts when children hurt. She is safe in the arms of Jesus and a father she trusts, God. She seeks Him diligently…and without shame. He restores her soul (Psalm 23)
Our week five study seems long and exhausting, because we’re reaching into our reserves for the courage and strength to deal with broken hearts wounded in childhood. Lesson One brought us right to the heart, lesson Two peeled open childhood wounds and lesson three examines a mending of these wounds. From these spiritual truths comes an opportunity to mend from past victimization and find glory in the presence of Jesus. We learn that some level of child victimization will probably continue throughout the world and we find the source of the abuse stems from Satan, the prowling lion, seeking his prey. Once abused in childhood, the enemy knows his opportunity exists to shame, punish, degrade and isolate us. We turn towards self-medicating sins, such as promiscuity, addictions, affairs, and scandalous behaviors. The trap has been set for us by our abuser and captivity is reinforced throughout our adult life. Satan takes us captive to to his will, not God’s. Until now, as we participate in Breaking Free and seek freedom from our captivity!
When we face betrayal, we assume that something must be wrong with us. We blame ourselves and isolate ourselves from further hurt. Jesus was betrayed by Judas and the disciples fled. A perfect son of God, tempted by Satan, walking in obedience and fear of the Lord, was deserted by HIS friends. Jesus did not respond with anger, temper tantrums or gossip-he responded with love and understanding for God’s perfect will. Next time you face betrayal, don’t turn towards self-analysis, destructive habits or bondage. Look up, at Father God, and seek glory and peace in His Presence. You always have One True Friend-Jesus.
Assignment For the Week
- Read Week Six in your book.
- Listen to Audio Session Seven or Video Session Seven (optional due to cost)
Group Discussion- Answer one question or as many as you like
- What was your most memorable heartbreak in childhood? Please do not share anything you want to keep private.
- Why do you believe child victimization will continue to occur in our world? (page 113)
- Have you ever faced a season where you seemed to face one loss after another? When and what was involved? (page 121)
- How do you think the loss of faith can turn into a form of bondage? (page 122)