If you came over from Encouragement Today, welcome! I’m so glad you joined us today. My friend Shana and I sat down and I asked her some of the harder questions. Perhaps some of these are questions you’ve asked about healing when you’ve endured abuse.
S: Shana, thank you for taking the time to be with us today. You and I have been friends for a long time. It’s crazy how the years have passed so quickly, right? I’m thrilled that you are here.
Shana: I am excited you asked me. We have been friends a long time and I am honored to be here.
S: Sometimes when people say that they have been abused, we might not understand what they’ve been through. Today there are women who will visit this site who are still hurting from past abuse, and you do understand. What would you say to that woman?
Shana: I would say you are not alone. Trust is an issue with most everyone who has been or is in an abusive situation. My first step of healing was when I finally had someone to talk to. The best thing I did was accept Jesus into my life. Jesus gives us hope that anything is possible. Jesus loves you and if we allow Him He will take us by the hand and completely change our lives.
S: Is healing a process? And if so, what might that look like?
Shana: I absolutely believe that healing is a process. Even now God is still healing me. Whether our healing is physical or emotional it requires us to put our faith in action (Philemon 1:6).
S: You’ve helped a lot of children through the foster system and adoption. How did your story impact them?
Shana: The past I had helped me with all these kids, because after hearing how my childhood was they felt I understood their situation. I was able to share how God was with me and is with them through everything even when we don’t realize it. Though God gave me the ability to love all of the kids we kept, I want the kids to know no matter where they were or what situation they were in that God would always be there and love them.
S: Scriptures say that God can redeem our past. What did that look like in your life?
Shana: I felt I had no hope, that no one that loved me, and nothing to live for.
When I accepted Jesus He loved me and forgave me. As I began to talk with God and read His word the Holy Spirit began my healing right then. I read in Matthew 5:44 where Jesus said to love my enemies. I was like WHAT!
However, remember I had nothing to live for so why not try and listen to the Holy Spirit and do what He says. I began putting my faith into action. The action Jesus required of me was simple yet profound. FORGIVENESS!!!!!! It was amazing the grace and mercy God showed me by forgiving me of everything I had done wrong. When I really understood that I realized I had to choose to forgive others. My faith in God is what has carried me through everything in my life.
How did God redeem this? Redeem in Hebrew means ransom. In the english dictionary one of the meanings is “to set free”. When Jesus died on the cross for our sins. He paid a ransom for all of our sins once and for all. He also set us free from our past hurts and pain we have experienced.
S: Can you pray for the women who will visit today who just want to know that God sees them?
Shana: Heavenly Father, I first want to thank you for this chance to share with women all over the world about the grace, mercy and love you have for all of us. I pray right now today that whoever is reading this will feel the love of God. I ask that you touch people all over the world. God provide a way for hurting individuals to get out of their abusive situations.
God reveal to them your word with understanding that they can be redeemed and set free from past abuse and they can experience a brand new life filled with love, joy, and peace. Give them the strength to tell someone. Open their hearts so that they may be healed. Cause their faith to grow and give them a hunger for your word. God set us free from everything that hinders us from being everything you want us to be. May the Holy Spirit give us the ability to share, help, and love others.
In Jesus name, amen.
Tomorrow we’ll talk a bit more with Shana about how she was able to forgive, and what that looked like in her life.
Thank you both SO much for this! Suzi, I read your devotion on Proverbs 31 & came to your blog to read Shana’s interview. I so appreciate your truthfulness. Although I hurt inside for your abuse, I rejoice in your healing! I have recently been healed by the Lord of years of verbal, mental, and emotional abuse. God has called me out to share my story, calling me into a ministry to women. They are out there, and they are coming forward. Together with the Lord, we can help them to heal! Thank you for what you’re doing. I pray that God continues to bless you richly and enlarge your territory as well!
Thank you so much for your post. I too, was abused when I was a child. Me and my siblings would all get beat with a belt, or even my dad’s large hand. Consequently, I grew up thinking we must be bad, very bad. My sister went on to marry someone who abused her. She disappeared in 1982 and we never saw her again. Her missing person case was turned to a possible homicide and we went to court 8 years ago for her murder trial. Although the judge did declare her dead, he did not feel there was enough evidence to convict her husband. I believe the cycle of abuse will continue if there is not help to break that chain. If abuse is all a child knows, they internalize it and conclude it must be him/her.
Hi Anne, I’m so sorry for your loss. My heart hurts with you. Today I pray with you for continued healing, for freedom, for God to fill the gaps left by those who should have nurtured you.
Hi Shelley, it’s amazing when our stories become avenues of healing for others, instead of pain that keeps us stuck. My prayer is that God will lead you to those who you can come alongside and encourage them, cheer for them, and walk with as they find their own story of freedom, in spite of the past.
I read this with tears running down my cheeks. I was sexually abused many times as a child by my father. What secrets there are hiding in Christian homes… I was also brutally raped at the age of 23 by a co-worker and never told a soul about either abuse until about two years ago at the age of 36. When you grow up believing that you don’t matter and that you are just there to be used, it is so easy to internalize everything. I am on the road to healing and recovery but have a long way to go. There are times I just feel so alone. Yes, I have hope and life in Christ, I would not be here today without him. But I am also broken and angry at a God who allows such things to happen. I long for freedom from my past. The pain is overwhelming. Would you pray for me?
Thanks so much for the Encouragement Today & this interview. I grew up with a mostly absent father (overseas or not emotionally involved when he was home)& and verbally & emotionally abusive Mother. I also have some physical limitations & learning disablities. For the longest time I thought only my grandparents really loved me. Due to being naive & not believing I has worth, I started a pattern of relationships that involved date rape & my body was all the guys were really interested in. I thought I had found a godly man to marry however, realized there were problems, but then still went through with the wedding. He tore me down to the point I believed I was totally worthless & then became very physically abusive. For a while attributed great control to him (always stopped just short of serious injury or killing me). However it was really God at work. Everytime he was especially violent I later found out that my nephew was praying for me that night (he was 3 – 4 at the time & didn’t know what was going on). I believe some how God will use me to help others but that has not happened yet, probably because I am not ready. Still struggle with trust (even of God at times). This weekend there was a story on the news about strangling & an article in the paper. Even though I changed channels & stopped reading the story, they still triggered flashbacks. For now have to look at how far I have come & chose to trust God & allow Him to complete the healing process He has begun. It is a blessing & encouragement to hear how God has healed others.
Holly, I’m so sorry for what you have suffered, and yet so amazed at the strength and faith I hear in your “voice”. You are a survivor, but more than that you are in the healing process, choosing to trust God and choosing to see where He is leading you. Powerful!
Diana, yes I will pray with you. Father, thank you for Diana. You grieve over those who are broken at the hands of others. You came to heal the brokenhearted, to set those free who feel bound, and to help us see a new way of living. Diana is angry, Father, and you are not afraid or ashamed of anger, for you have burned with anger as orphans were overlooked or harmed, as children were neglected or abused, for it’s not your plan. But thank you that you step in and heal, that you take the bad and somehow allow it to be used for good, and that even in her anger you hold Diana close as your daughter, just as you have me, just as you did Shana. May healing flood her heart and thoughts and the present and the future, in the powerful name of Jesus, amen.
My heart goes out to all those physically abused especially the little children…it is so sad. I went back to the posting of the devotions about healing…. and I am asking for prayers for Matt who was in a bad accident over the weekend Please pray for him I know it is not the same kind of healing, but I know God can heal everyone and anyone from healing of all kinds. Please pray for Matt he is the father of two small toddlers and his wife was also in the accident, but thank God she is healing slowly and will recover.
Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us who have suffered such abusive childhoods at the hands of parents who knew no better than to take their frustrations and shortcomings out on their children. I was unwanted and hated by my family from birth to this day. But it doesn’t matter anymore. I’ve forgiven them and asked God to heal me and make my cracked jar a source of light for others. I have reached out to many hurting friends and support them with lessons I’ve gleaned from sites such as this. Suzie you have been such a help to me in so many ways, through ups and downs and I thank you so much for your love, thoughts, cares, and support through all of it. Thank you for supporting me so I can reach out and support others. I have so far to grow, but with your help I know I can do it. My roommate is near suicide and I don’t know how to help. She is a strong Christian woman of 64 but is at the end of her rope with intractable pain from a broken humerus. She goes to bed every night praying she won’t wake up. She is going to OD on B/P meds one of these nights and I won’t be able to wake her up. Please pray for her. Thank you.