Reconciliation of spiritual confusion is an essential part of the recovery process for many survivors of sexual abuse and domestic violence. People tend to view God the same way they do their earthly fathers. If their earthly fathers are cruel and punishing, they assume God is the same way. If their fathers are distant and uncaring, so must God be. If their fathers are demanding and cannot be pleased, that also transfers over to their expectation of God.
On the other hand, if people are blessed with loving, kind, involved fathers, it is natural for them to believe that God is a kind and loving heavenly Father. They will go to Him with their problems and know that they will be received with open arms and a compassionate heart.
Healing with God
Abused children (who grow into wounded adults) fear authority figures. This can include teachers, police officers, employers…anyone who has power over them. God is the ultimate authority figure; an unseen force they cannot touch. It is therefore understandable that they may feel distanced from God.
Maya Angelou said, “Of all the needs a lonely child has, the one that must be satisfied, if there is going to be hope and a hope of wholeness, is the unshakable need for an unshakable God.”
We are created for three kinds of relationships: with ourselves, with others and with God. If any one of those three is out of sync, it affects the other two. Abuse affects all three. Tragically, a survivor may struggle with relationships their entire life.
More often than not, survivors of abuse must reprogram their thinking and beliefs about God. They need to “see Jesus with skin on.” Other believers who have been wounded and have fought their way back to a solid footing with Christ can best help those struggling with spiritual confusion. We seek to show Christ’s love in a personal way, without criticism, judgment or expectation. We seek to show God’s love in a way that is understanding of where a person is in their spiritual life and with patience and prayerful support as they struggle through the confusion.
If you have been the victim of sexual abuse or other acts of violence, please contact our Counseling Specialists today and get more information about our counseling services and five-day restorative retreats.
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Dr. Karen McDonald
Dr. Karen McDonald is the author of Racheal’s Rest’s BLOGS. These BLOGS are thoughts, tools and experiences that Karen wanted to share with you and are in no way “counseling”. If you, or someone you know, has been the victim of sexual abuse, sex trafficking and/or domestic violence issues, contact us today to get more information about Racheal’s Rest private counseling, workshops and retreats to begin your journey to emotional health.