“He reveals deep and hidden things, he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.” Dan 2:22
Father, I pray for those coming to the retreat this weekend and next weekend to allow you to reveal the deep and hidden things so that pain can turn into purpose and hurts can be surfaced for healing. We know it is not your desire for us to remain numb to the pain lying dormant in the depths of our heart. Bring those things that lie in darkness up to the surface where your light can shine and bring forth life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
In a car ride three years ago, the Lord began to surface a need for healing that had been buried deep within my heart. Karen Ellison (founder of Deeper Still), Carla Martin, Kay Smith (team members) and I were traveling to Illinois to serve on the team for the first Deeper Still of Central Illinois retreat. It was exciting to be on a road trip back to my home state. The retreat was taking place between where I grew up and where I had gone to college. It was also only about 30 miles from where my abortion took place. I was overwhelmed with the Lord’s goodness in allowing me to be a part of this retreat in Illinois.
We also had a plan to stop at the abortion clinic in Champaign, IL where I had the abortion to pray over the land. It was a good plan, but God had an even better plan.
Part of my story involves a rape on my college campus. I don’t believe I have ever written about this part of my story, but felt the Lord wanted me to share part of this today. On the way to help serve at the first retreat in Illinois in 2014, Karen asked me how the Lord had healed me of that rape experience. I was like a deer in headlights. I had only recently begun to acknowledge the rape and had never really sought healing for it. I didn’t know what to say. Karen suggested we find the fraternity house where it happened and pray there.
While on the college campus, we found fraternity row. All the houses looked so similar and it had been 21 years since it happened. Not remembering which house it was, we stopped on a corner with four fraternity houses surrounding us to pray. I bowed my head but no words would come. Then from somewhere deep within, sobs surfaced and turned into wails as I stood bent over with violent pain flowing from the depths of my soul. This pain had been bound up, packed away, not given any air to breathe. Now, it was opening, this wound covered in scar tissue, never allowed to heal. It was rising to the surface. I thought the pain might be too much. This pain was more than I thought I could bear. My friends surrounded me praying, like a canopy, protecting me and shielding me as the Healer did His surgery.
The next few times I shared this part of my story, pain and tears continued to come as the Healer continued to heal this area of my heart. However, after sharing this part of my story a few times, it became easier and easier. Now I don’t feel the intense pain I once felt and I’m able to talk about it.
This is how the Lord heals us. First He reveals an area of our hearts that needs healing. Then, he gently removes the scar tissue so the wound is exposed to the air for healing. He breathes life to the areas once dead and numb. This may cause temporary pain. But the pain is only temporary while He does the surgery. So many people avoid the surgery in fear of the pain being surfaced. I am thankful I didn’t avoid facing the pain of my past that day in Illinois. If I would have said, “I don’t need to go there and pray, really, I’m ok”, I would have missed the healing the Lord had for me and that pain would still be lying dormant in my heart festering. And I surely wouldn’t be writing this today—I would still be paralyzed and numb, unable to share this part of my story.
Rape is a real hurt. It is a thief that steals more than can be physically counted. But the Lord wants to restore what was stolen and mend the areas that are broken. I no longer consider myself a victim, but rather victorious. If this is part of your story as well, my heart hurts for you. I pray that you too will allow the Lord access into those wounded areas so He can do the surgery required for healing. Reach out to friends you trust who can stand around you during the healing process, praying for you. If needed, see a counselor. This is only my story of healing, but the Lord heals different people in different ways. I don’t know the process He will use, but I do know He is the good Healer and the Great Physician and He wants to heal you.