Arise: No Shame in Scars – Part 2
This is a continuation of the testimony of Emma Nation. We learned in the first part of her story, the struggles leading up to abuse and attempted suicide. God showed Emma that He loved her, by sending help just at the right time to pull her from the clutches of the devil, God had better plans for her. The image depicts the surgery that the Lord performed in bringing her out of bondage.
Jesus saved my life in more ways than one. But the pain in my heart was very real and very alive. By that point it had already taken over me and cut deep holes in my spirit. I had already learned to use food in so many ways other than what it was intended for. Food was my connection to my mother as many happy memories with her from early childhood centered around food. Food was my constant companion and friend, reliable and trustworthy. Food was the only hunger I could control to satisfying the hungers in my heart for love, acceptance, approval, etc…none of those was I capable of filling. Food gave me a physical armor and protection against the lustful eye of another man and really the attention of anyone.
I loved Jesus, but my first love remained food. I went off to college far away from any family and flourished in the freedom. I went to a place full of God’s love and God’s loving people. I studied my Bible, made my first true friends, and met my husband. It was a time of blessing. But my heart was still divided, at my core I did not believe I was a lovable person so my only explanation for any love people gave me, was that they felt sorry for my pain. I did not accept love on any other terms. My relationship with Jesus and others grew, but so did my relationship with food and my pain and broken heart.
My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. Song of Solomon 2:10
Last year, God stepped in again. I signed up for a Bible study at my church where I met one of his most faithful servants, my Bible study leader, D. She is also a Biblical counselor. I pulled her aside one morning and asked her for advice. My step father had just passed away and my mother who had been completely removed from me for over 10 years suddenly wanted a relationship again. I needed help. We began meeting and God began a powerful work in my life. We carefully talked through and prayed through the deep pains of my heart. It was a very painful process as we started opening up all of these scabs and taking them to Jesus.
We would look at a particular pain, hurtful memory, or devastated piece of my heart and ask Jesus “Jesus, do you care? Do you care about this little girl? Were you there Jesus? Do you care about my pain?” Often with desperate tears and anger and fear I would cry out to God and ask Him these hard questions, expecting that He desired to answer me. The Scriptures say that God is near to His people, not far off! They say that God is our refuge and comfort and hope and joy that Jesus wants to take all of our pain in exchange for His inheritance. So, we asked Him these questions and as we waited silently before Him, He spoke His healing. loving, kind, gentle, peaceful power to my heart. There is a verse in Isaiah 61 that speaks exactly of what Christ did for me.
To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. Isaiah 61:3