Turning Trauma Into Trust

trust

By: Christine Baskin

To me, rejection feels like being pushed off a cliff.

I am often reminded of the events which have hurt me the most since my new life as a believer. The most traumatic, were from the people I trusted most. The more I trusted the person, the harder the fall.

After my divorce, entering into a new Church was one of my worst fears. I felt rejected by my leaders, and felt like my sin was too big a burden for any Church to handle. I contemplated staying home, and studying the Bible on my own for a year, to cover my shame, and to prevent having to explain what I felt was my biggest failure.

I ended up in a at a church service where the Pastor was preaching God’s unfailing love for His people. Wondering if I’d be accepted, he spoke these words from the pulpit, “If you’re here today, and you’re wondering if this is the Church for you, God is saying, ‘YES’, you are accepted. This is where you belong.” I got my answer quicker than expected!

But I was still licking my wounds from the last Church. Afraid to trust again. Fearing this Pastor would let me close to him, then push me away like the former. He would see my flaws, and then be disgusted with my sin. I wouldn’t even sit near the front lest I be seen by him. I’d go home and cry my eyes out. I literally didn’t want to ever meet this Pastor, just come late, leave early, and talk to as few people as possible. Then one day, a friend dragged me over to meet the Pastor’s Wife. And I really liked her. She didn’t look down on me because I was a single Mom, with no college degree, no real career to speak of. She didn’t view me as a burden, a failure. Quite the opposite, she welcomed me. That Christmas that church presented me with a gift that really blessed my family, (and all the single moms) during what is normally a very difficult season. I insisted to myself that I still did not have any interest in meeting her Husband. I would let him preach to me, but I wouldn’t form a relationship built on any kind of trust. I wasn’t ready to be pushed off another cliff.

Each week I attended, my heart swelled with gratitude for the Pastor. I knew he was led by the Spirit because of his preaching, and the fruit of it became evident in my own life. I studied the notes I took, and began to grow a hunger for God’s Word I hadn’t known since my initial commitment to Christ six years prior. I began to see the habits of Jesus played out in my own life like never before.

I studied my Pastor, and began to see him walk out forgiveness, humility, and righteousness. He wasn’t perfect (none of us are), but I noticed the way he always made a point to reach out to the people in the congregation no one else seemed to take note of. He wasn’t interested in the popular, the rich, the handsome. He wanted the poor, the humble, the meek. The man who swept the floors was just as important to him as the guest speakers.

One day he noticed me, and I shook his hand. I remember feeling scared, but welcomed. He spotted me each week, and made a point to come over to me. The divorced, single Mom. I often felt I had a big red “D” stamped to my forehead, but he never seemed to notice.

I began to respect what I knew about him, also what I did not know. I know that in some ways, I would eventually get hurt, as it happens with every relationship here on this side of Heaven. I realized the closer we get to people, the more risk for pain is at stake, but also the most reward. The more we invest, the more the return. I began to plant down seeds of trust, willingness to get hurt, vulnerability.

As I grew in my relationship with my Pastor and his Wife, I began to see their strengths and weaknesses, and I’m sure they’ve seen mine. I began to feel comfortable making new friendships in the Church. I didn’t feel judged. Day after day, my trust grew, and I no longer feared being pushed off the cliff. I realize now, I’d been standing on the edge, expecting to be pushed. Who wouldn’t? Rejection is tricky like that.

In the end, His redemption comes. Not overnight, But it comes all the same.

One of my favorite books in the Bible is Job. I know, its weird… But I love a good redemption story! Even when all hope seems lost, Job was recompensed twice what satan had stole from him. Job 42:10b says “..the LORD made him prosperous again, and gave him twice as much as he had before.” v12, “The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first.” I love that Job replied to the Lord in v2, “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.” It wasn’t God’s plan to torment Job, it wasn’t even his idea. God knew that what fails here on earth, what seems lost, can always be renewed if it’s God’s plan. And better yet, if we stick with Him, it will be better than before!

We see things from an earthly perspective, God sees from an eternal perspective. God sees the rejection, and pain from your past, and He’s saying to you right now, “I am bigger than the hurt. I am stronger than rejection.” No matter how much pain your past has brought you, my God says that love truly is the strongest force in the universe. God IS love, and His son (Jesus) accepts you! That’s the gospel! Every pain, every scar, every gaping wound is redeemable by Jesus!

The Savior of the world doesn’t want you to run away from Him, rejected and pained by the weights of this world. He wants you to come to Him: the brokenhearted, the rejected, the shamed. No shame is too heavy for him! No sin is too big! He already carried it with Him to Calvary. He already died for it. Your rejection was no surprise to Him, but He desires to restore you, and turn those ashes into beauty. If you’ll come to Him, and ask Him, over time, He will restore your soul.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.[a]
3 He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness[b]
for his name’s sake.

4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,[c]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely[d] goodness and mercy[e] shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell[f] in the house of the Lord
forever.[g]
A Psalm of David 23:1-6

It always comes down to our faith in God, not man that thwarts us into God’s will for our lives. Because I trust God, what can man do to me? The next test of my life will surely be harder, as each stretch of my faith takes me closer to His glorious Kingdom. But I know that as God has redeemed me once, He will surely do it again! And He will for all those who Believe…


forever.[g]
A Psalm of David 23:1-6

It always comes down to our faith in God, not man that thwarts us into God’s will for our lives. Because I trust God, what can man do to me? The next test of my life will surely be harder, as each stretch of my faith takes me closer to His glorious Kingdom. But I know that as God has redeemed me once, He will surely do it again! And He will for all those who Believe…

A Psalm of David 23:1-6

It always comes down to our faith in God, not man that thwarts us into God’s will for our lives. Because I trust God, what can man do to me? The next test of my life will surely be harder, as each stretch of my faith takes me closer to His glorious Kingdom. But I know that as God has redeemed me once, He will surely do it again! And He will for all those who Believe…

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WHY Women Stay In Abusive Marriages

1) Nowhere to turn.  In most, if not all cases of emotional and physical abuse (including rape), women report they had no support system to get out of the relationship, and stay out. 
2) They feel trapped financially.  As was my case, the home my husband and I shared was (according to Illinois laws) “premarital property”…I was married and shared a home with my husband and two children for seven years, and had NO rights to my own home…literally leaving me and my kids to the street the day I chose to leave with whatever was left in our joint checking account (assuming he didn’t withdraw every last dime online the second I left).  With no job, prospects, or college education, most moms have the overwhelming responsibility to care for the kids. And sharing a home with her abuser is never an option, as the abuse will certainly get worse should she draw the line. 

3) Guilt & shame.  When women are in any type of abusive relationship, there’s NEVER just bruises. Don’t believe that lie. Behind the disguise of makeup and a fake smile, are wounds of emotional guilt and shame. When men beat their wives they never just walk up to them and punch them in the face. They pick and choose women with low self-esteem, body insecurities, and the ideal is a woman with no standard for what she will put up with in a relationship, let alone expectations from her man.  The added guilt of sex as the abuse has ensued adds to the stew of guilt.  So knowing she has already stayed too long…given her body and soul to this “man” for years or even decades, the guilt has repeatedly drilled her with the age old accusation: “If it was really so bad, you should’ve left already.”  Now this woman is being accused by her own mind, not just her partner.  

4) Her trust is already seared.   I remember not even trusting a single person with my secret because my family knew, his family knew, and they didn’t help. At all.  So how was I supposed to trust anyone else?  I even called the police one time that my husband trapped me and my son in the house, and they said if he didn’t hit me, they couldn’t arrest him.  Press charges, nada. “Just leave” the one officer suggested.  I felt faint. Where would I go?  How would we survive?  Which leads to my next reason:

5) Isolation.  The same reason most suisides occur, is that humans; when we feel we’ve exhausted every option, isolate.   We stop talking (no one will listen), we stop seeking solutions (there seems no end in sight), and we decide we are the only person who won’t reject us. Which is also a lie, because that shame and guilt from staying in the abusive relationship festers, and as the abuse continues.  We are alone with the abuser, who only confirms our guilt and shame, that we are not worthy.  

Part 2 Will examine what happens “when a woman stays” and how her family will be affected.