Dear Broken Beyond Repair,
Dear Word Washed Wife,
I was sexually abused as a child by a family member and then again later by a middle-aged woman in the church I attended. I struggle with sexual confusion. I am now married and have two wonderful children and a solid husband, I admire. My problem is my lack of emotional intimacy and connection with them or anyone else for that matter. I struggle believing God loves me and often feel He has turned a deaf ear to me, and most the time I don’t blame Him. My question is two part: what does a healthy emotional connection look like, and at 35 am I too old to start developing this kind of relationship? Help me please I am afraid my marriage is broken beyond repair.
Broken Beyond Repair
Dear Broken Beyond Repair,
Nothing is impossible with God! You are not too broken or too old to have healthy emotional connections with God, your husband, children and friends. I am so sorry for the loss of your innocence at the hands of people who were charged to care for you, love you and protect you. The hurts made by our family are extremely painful and often very deep. Nevertheless, if you allow our comforter, who is the Holy Spirit, to heal your wounds, know that He is ready, willing and able! I hope that you are seeing a professional Christian counselor and that you are actively involved in a caring church. You need to be inundated by God’s love through study of His Word, prayer and fellowship with believers. Spiritual growth and healing happens best in a healthy body of believers. God designed you with the need for deep, emotional connections and He will not put a need in you without first equipping you. Keep reading, friend and believe that God loves you enough to heal your heart and wipe away your past.
Let me also encourage you in your walk with Christ. Though God is not surprised by what happened to you, it was not His plan for your life. We live in a broken world and Satan is on the prowl for whomever he can destroy. I am so very sorry that you got caught in his grip, but know that what happened to you does not define you! The moment you accepted Christ you took on a new identity. You became a joint heir with Christ! (Romans 8:17) As a believer and His sister, you entered a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9). The sins committed against you and the lies you believed about yourself are all covered in the blood of Jesus. As soon as you either confess a sin or forgive a person of the sin they committed against you, the matter is out of your hands – you have given it to Jesus and He has it covered by His precious blood. Do not pick up the sin or the hurt again. Leave it with God. It is too big for you to carry anyway. I am reminded of a beautiful illustration in a book my Mom read to me as a child. It is The Hiding Place, by Corrie ten Boom. In the story, Corrie asks her Dad, a clock maker, questions too difficult for Corrie to understand herself. So,her Dad shows her why she couldn’t understand the answers to her questions by asking her to carry his big heavy bag filled with clock parts. Corrie tries to pick up the bag, but it won’t budge. Then, her Dad easily picks up the bag. He then says to her that there are some things that too big for her to carry and that she has to trust her dad to carry them for her. There are some issues just too heavy for the human heart, we need to put our faith in God and trust He will carry them for us. And, He will! Hallelujah! This applies to your situation too. Your past hurts are too big for you to carry, my sister. Turn them over to God and trust in Him to handle them for you.
Let me further encourage you that God is definitely hearing your prayers! (Psalms 34:17) God loves you more than you will ever be able to comprehend. Take the love you feel for your two children and multiple it by 100. Then you will have a small glimpse of how much God values you! God states in His word that He hears our prayers. (John 5:14, Psalms 66:19, 1 Peter 3:12) Since God has never lied, we must believe Him. Most of the time when people say that they do not feel that God is listening it is because there is not enough of the word of God buried in their heart for the Holy Spirit to call to their mind. Sister, savor the Word of God. Read a verse, meditate on it and memorize it as often as you can. The more of the Word you know, the more you are able to hear from God! Your connection with God is deep and secure.
Stay in fellowship with other believers. Sin not only separates us from God, but often from each other. Allow other Christian brothers and sisters to know and love you and your family. In time, I believe you will become a valuable part of the body of Christ, and the body of Christ will be glad to have you in fellowship! Additional deep emotional connections will be made within the family of God.
Last, do not listen to the voice of doubt, but instead believe God at His word. When you do, you will feel deeply connected to your husband, kids and friends! Sometimes that connection is best felt as we actively love our husband and children through domestic service, have honest conversations around a dinner table or link arms and serve God together.
When Satan whispers in your ear that you are “broken beyond repair” remind Him you are a “Daughter of the King of Kings!” (Galatians 3:26) Stay washed in the Word and keep reading, my beloved sister!
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world did not know us is that it did not know him.
1 John 3:1
DISCLAIMER: In the interest of all reading, and with an intent to simplify some questions, I have taken the liberty to edit some letters. Because every marriage situation is unique and multi-faceted, I have personally reached out to each person who wrote me an e-mail to offer more specific details that address their needs.