Hey OBSers! It’s great to be closing out this week with you!
This week, we read in Chapter 4 about treasures we find in the darkness. For me, this was a turning point in our study. Moving from our pain to a greater purpose. This made me think of a treasure that came out of the darkness I experienced years ago.
In Monday’s video, I shared the heartbreaking story of the sexual abuse I experienced when I was 7 years old. For years I struggled with issues such as fear, insecurity and shame. Although it hasn’t been easy, I have come to a place of peace with my past. However, I also learned this experience wasn’t just about me. God used it for more.
Back in 2009, I wrote a devotion titled “Stained and Ruined” (recently it was re-published with the title “Hope in the Dark Places in Life”), in which I shared my abuse story and God’s healing that came later.
A few days after “Stained and Ruined” ran on the Proverbs 31 website, I received an email from a woman who was desperate for the healing of her young daughter, Hayley. Hayley had a similar experience to mine. She shared Hayley’s story and asked if they could meet me. She thought that if Hayley saw the life I was living today, it would give her hope. As it turned out, they only lived a few hours away.
To say I was shaking in my boots the day I met Hayley would be an understatement. I was scared. It was scary to relive my story. It was scary wondering if I had anything to offer this sweet child who was so confused, lost and had no faith that life had anything good for her.
As it turned out, I shared with her the only thing I had to share, which is what I knew from reading my Bible (John 12:12, Romans 8:28, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 2:10). I told her, “You have a beautiful identity. You are a child of God. Daughter of the King. That makes you a princess.” To which she smiled because, let’s face it, what girl doesn’t want to be a princess?
I also shared Isaiah 53:5 (NIV):
“But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.”
Read the last part of that verse again. “By his wounds we are healed.” We are healed. That turned out to be the truth she needed to hear and the truth that would sustain her over the years to come.
Hayley and I continued a relationship that’s still strong today. In fact, just this year, I had the honor and joy of attending a retreat where she shared her testimony. And it included the verse from Isaiah 53:5. I have tears in my eyes now just sharing this with you.
If you have pain as a part of your story, hang on! There really is life-changing power in God’s Word, and that’s where we are headed next in our Hidden Joy journey.
Reflect and Respond:
Do you have a treasure you’ve discovered in a dark place in your life? What have you learned this week that will help move you forward?
Don’t forget, all comments will be entered into this week’s giveaway!
For Your Weekend:
Here's the next Week at a Glance to help you plan ahead for Week 4!