He listens

Amy hated her drinking and hated waking up in the arms of men who told her what she wanted to hear.

She hated her choices because she knew the difference between right and wrong.

After all, she had heard it her whole life. 

Eventually she ended up in a counselor’s office. The more she told her story, the more that a picture of a central character emerged: her father

He was a pastor and the church people thought he was delightful.

However, his smile and good-natured public persona was different from the man who lived behind closed doors.

Amy learned early that her father was God in her life.

That became clear the day she told him that she felt God leading her to a short-term missions trip. She was 16 and her fear of her dad meant she rarely disagreed with him, but she tried to explain that God was leading her to this specific trip. With a red face and veins bulging in his neck, her father backed her up against a wall and screamed, “To you, and in this house, I AM GOD!”

This taught Amy a couple of very deeply ingrained lessons:

  • She couldn’t think for herself, much less hear from God.
  • Her voice and personal power was the price of faith.

Sadly, neither of these are scriptural.

1st Samuel 3 tells us that God does speak to us. 

So, today this is permission to begin to listen again.

To trust that when you are still and you listen, that you will hear from Him.

To know that God does speak to you, and for a reason, to know that you are on His heart. 

What about your voice or personal power in faith?

Amy felt that she would never measure up, so why try? And yet she hungered for God. She was sick of being sick, and not knowing why. It is what led her to a counselor. It is what led her to not only heal, but to begin to lead others out of spiritual abuse and into healthy relationship with their Savior.

Not everyone takes the same path when faith is distorted. For Amy, it led to a destructive path. For others it leads to striving to please God. Or deeply ingrained anger at God.

Regardless of where it leads, it’s key to look toward truth as we mend.

Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath! Psalm 116:2  (NLT)

Imagine this scripture. Make it real. God Himself bends down to listen to you. He knows you. He created you uniquely and with a purpose. That’s our personal power and it’s not about us at all. It’s surrendering to the knowledge that God knows you so well that not only will He listen, but invites you to talk with Him.

To be honest about the distorted truth that lead you far from where you wanted to go.

To invite Him into those hurting places to scoop out lies and replace them with truth.

To see yourself as He does, and to give flawed humanity their proper place in that equation.

Read 59 – 66 in The Mended Heart. How do you identify with Amy’s story?

Write down Psalm 116:2 (or print out the jpg above) and place it where you can see it every day for 21 days. Let it soak in until it becomes truth.

If you have not talked to God, or have been angry at Him, or your fear has kept you away, initiate that conversation today. He’s bending down. He’s listening.

Thank you for helping me share this study with others.

{Click to tweet→} Amy believed that she couldn’t think for herself, much less hear from God. Neither are scriptural. #themendedheart www.tsuzanneeller.com

{Click to tweet→} Today I gained freedom from spiritual abuse. #joinme #themendedheart www.tsuzanneeller.com

Tomorrow I’ll share a 25-minute radio interview with Debbie Chavez where we take this topic, and others about mending, deeper. On Friday we’ll look at how we begin to heal from spiritual abuse.