Experiencing the Resurrection
"Jesus Is Different"
by Nancy Edwards
(**Please note that this article is the third one on the page of the link supplied above)
Whenever someone hurts us it is helpful to go through a process that involves acknowledging the pain, holding the other person responsible for their behavior, grieving our losses, and then taking responsibility for responding to what has happened in a way that promotes health and life. When the painful deed is done "in the name of Jesus" there is at least one more important step to take: we must separate what happened to us from who Jesus really is. We must come to know in our head and our heart that Jesus is different. We must not let people who bear His name or use His name keep us from really knowing and enjoying Him. If we do we have lost more than our innocence, our dignity, or our security. We have lost the hope of getting it all back and then some—we have lost the hope of being brought back from the dead and being intimately connected to the only One who will ever love us enough.
If you have been hurt or abused by someone who either through word or deed confused what they were doing with who God is, you may struggle in some unique ways.
You may have a hard time trusting God.
You may have difficulties relating to God either as Father or Son depending on who hurt you.
You may feel angry with God, afraid of God, or have a hard time having God seem real.
You may be uncomfortable in many church settings and feel as though you are different from most people.
You may have left church or left God.
As Linda mentioned in the last issue, each person’s healing is unique. I cannot tell you for sure how to see Jesus more clearly and separate Him from what has been done to you. I can only say for sure that I know He is different, and that He is worth getting to know. Here are a few things that may or may not be true of your own personal journey.
You may need a season of withdrawing from a formal religious setting to spend time alone with just God.
You can expect and invite a time of real honesty with God, pouring out your hurts, your anger, and your fears. If you are to experience God as different you must know that He can handle all of who you are in a way no person ever has. His unconditional love for you is rooted in who He is, not what you do. He is safe. The Psalms are great reading for this time of your healing.
If you have a hard time reading the Bible, be assured that God both understands and that in time He will restore your ability to find life, joy, and hope in its pages. Try picking a short simple truth to focus on during the day (Jesus is different) until you are able to spend time in the Word again.
Choose to be with and share with people who understand and accept your journey. People who are not afraid of your need to pull back for a time so that you can embrace God anew.
When you are ready, seek God earnestly with a conviction to know Him as He is. Take a fresh look at the Jesus in the gospels, at His message of grace, and at what He says about you as His sister and God’s child. We have resources at the SPM office to help as well as volunteer mentors available to support and guide you along the way.
No matter where you are in the process, try to remember that God understands, that He is patient, and that He yearns for you to come as quickly as you can so that He can be to you all that you need and want. Be patient with yourself, but do not delay in finding and enjoying Him for who He is. He is who you have been looking for all of your life.
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