Before I begin, a reminder, that the Between Season’s Summer Challenge has begun! There are a few people who said they were in, that I am waiting on starting weights for, but all in all, it is not too late to get in on this. So far, we have 13 people challenging/spurring each other on to the finish! Let’s DO this Thang!
I was back in GR this weekend and had an absolute fantastic time, of course!! I was about to write “But here was the absolute best part…” and 4 things (or more) come to mind. SO let me rephrase. There was one part of the weekend that probably has the most significance in my journey and that happened Friday Night.
Here is some background.
Exactly 1 year ago, this week, I was at a retreat center where I shared my story of sexual abuse in all of the detail I can remember, for the first time ever. It was painful and hard, but oh so powerful. While at this retreat, I felt very clearly like God was inviting me to look at my abuse story, very intentionally, through a program called Retelling. I have resisted this invitation for a few years at this point when friends have invited me. This time I felt like God was inviting me and that He was saying to me, “Kim, if you would look at this part of your life, in this way, there will be something big and beautiful in it for you, and I want you to do this. However, no matter what you choose, My heart and My intention is to heal you anyway.” It was such a tender invitation, not a demand or an expectation or a challenge. I said yes.
I had to wait until September for the next session of Retelling to begin, which is really a 12 week class. However, that did not mean that I was not thinking about this subject all summer long. This past year has been incredible despite continued unemployment, despite really hard stuff, all because I knew I was not alone.
God has been such a gentleman this past year. Always encouraging me and inviting me further than I FEEL like I want to go. Never putting pressure on me when I am CERTAIN I don’t want to go somewhere. Always assuring me of His love. Simply sitting with me when I need to stop and assess. Always leading the way but never dragging me along. He seems to be able to lead while staying right by my side. And for the last 7 months, He has allowed me to fully feel some pretty intense feelings of anger and betrayal that have put me in a place of not feeling like I can fully trust Him. He has been ok with that. It is not a problem for God for me to have honest feelings or to express them honestly. He doesn’t get angry or frustrated. He doesn’t walk away and give up. If anything, He moves in closer and says, “When you are ready to talk about this, I am here.” Then He waits. A gentleman I tell you. A true gentleman.
I think I wrote about this about a month ago, about how I feel like God was saying, “we are no longer going to walk on this road with distrust between us, it is time Kim.” I knew then, it was time to really deal with this issue and I, too, wanted to be done with it. I was ready to move on, but I didn’t know how. What does forgiveness look like, when you are looking at a person who has not been in your life for 27 years and you will never see again? What does trust look like? How do you make those 2 things happen when neither is something concrete?
Well, here is the conclusion I have come to. Forgiveness for me is about letting the man go that abused me. Letting go of my hold on what his punishment may be by God one day. Letting go of any expectation of God to “deal with him” in any way. It means knowing that God IS pursuing his heart as much as He pursues mine and allowing that to be ok. It means trusting that whatever God does, He ultimately knows best, and I do not have to try and play God or tell God what is right and just and true. And all of this still does not mean that God is any less sad or angry about what happened either. He simply has better perspective than I do.
So, while talking one night to ABS about all of this stuff, we decided that he for his reasons, and I, for mine, should take a symbolic Leap of Trust into a pool. ( I don’t jump into pools…I don’t jump at all!) So on Friday night, I went to GR, and ABS and I both shared parts of our stories and what this jump meant to us. I made a declaration of trust. A choice to trust God fully and completely and to really give this man to Him. Then we jumped, together, while holding hands like school children, because in our minds, no one should ever have to jump alone!
It was cold! It was significant. It was far less emotional than I thought it would be. It was significant. There were just a few present, Coach, Aaron, Adam, ABS, and Phil ( a pastor friend/mentor of ABS and Coach) and Scottie showed up in the middle, not knowing WHAT was going on. But here is the really significant thing. God is soo amazingly cool in this. I had read that wounds happen in relationship. Therefore, what better place to have healing take place than in community, in relationship. My wound, my scars, are from the hands of a man and his twistedness. My healing, my provision from God has been a community of men, strong men, trustworthy men, honest men, men who have walked with me, cried with me, cried FOR me, who don’t judge me, men who find me beautiful, men who see what I don’t, men who call me to greatness, men who believe in me. Friends. I am beyond blessed. Beyond understanding. I can look back over my life, especially the last year, and see all the ways God set me up for Friday night. How can I not trust this Gentleman God of mine?