Mustard Seed

Mustard seeds, Author Dsaikia2015 (CC BY-SA 4.0 International) 

Abuse is among the most depraved and destructive behaviors of which human beings are capable.

Less than Trash

We were taught as children that we were inferior, inadequate, lacking. Victims were cruelly used, abandoned, and discarded. Valued as less than trash.

Those lessons sank in deep. They continue to warp victims’ reality. Now, our inner life is marred by a pervasive sense of worthlessness. Depression is rooted in this. Groundless guilt and shame (rightly belonging to our abusers) are added to the mix.

Whatever we may accomplish in this life, in our darkest moments we see ourselves as devoid of good, and our lives as meaningless. It is not though true that the world would be better off without us.

An Act of Faith

Our supposed worthlessness is the cornerstone in a system of lies which allows us to see only our faults. That fact has enormous significance for abuse victims, for it implies we have a choice in how we see ourselves: either as worthless or as the infinitely precious children of God we really are.

Many of us lost our faith, as a result of abuse. After all, God did not rescue us. We find it incomprehensible that God might cherish us, let alone send His Son, Jesus Christ, to give His life for ours. Yet, astonishingly, that is the case.

So the Lord said, ‘If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, “Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,” and it would obey you’ ” (Luke 17: 6).

The feeling of worthlessness is a link in the heavy chain of sin which binds us. That link was forged by our abuse. In its place, victims are offered freedom. We are invited to step out in faith by letting go of worthlessness.

To do that, we must trust God to be greater than our abusers. In point of fact, He is.

Trusting God can feel dangerous and foreign, at first. The journey of faith lasts a lifetime. But we only need a mustard seed to take the first step.

This post has been modified

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12 Comments

Filed under Child Abuse, Christianity, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Religion, Sexual Abuse, Violence Against Women

12 responses to “Mustard Seed

  1. Thanks, this was well said. Shame is often the flip side of pride, and shame is actually defined as feelings of unworthiness. Often victims have a lot of shame because pride can be like scar tissue that tries to protect us. Something that never ceases to amaze me, in Christ there is no condemnation and in humility there is no pride, therefore no shame either. Freedom in Christ! I love that. 🙂

  2. nessa3

    wow really? It sounds that your heaping guilt on survivors who are struggling to believe God loves them?
    If you have been spiritually abused…it messes up your trust … I know and believe the bible mentally….but emotionally Im struggling to trust and want little to do with spiritual things…..believe me I feel bad enough with the struggle ….dont need this kind of message to heap more on me.
    We cant always understand the struggles of others, by looking threw the lens of our own understanding. What may seem a no brainier to me may not be to someone else.

    • Thank you for making this point, Nessa. I am tremendously sorry if the post suggested in any way that abuse victims should feel guilty. As a victim, myself, I certainly did not intend that. You have my sincere apologies.

      You are entirely right that issues of faith are deeply challenging for victims — especially victims who were abused by clergy. Many victims lose their faith, and never recover it. Others view God as harsh and judgmental. But God, I think, understands that.

      Because abuse keeps us so long in bondage, I hoped that approaching the subject from the perspective of pride/shame might help victims move toward freedom.

      As you can see, the post has been modified, in light of your comment. ❤

  3. Awesome post as usual Anna. I appreciate the way in which the reader is drawn to Christ at the end,as if to say in summary He is our link to freedom from the abuses and sin of the past. How marvellous is our Savior that He loved us in whatever condition we were in,cast down,beaten,abused and discarded like so much garbage. Even more so,His love is an ever present and flowing fountain,from which we can freely drink the waters of healing and restoration. Thanks be unto God that there is no end to his comfort and consolation for all who come before Him.

  4. I would like to share with you Anna, a Poem that the Lord gave me in 2006 about my Childhood Abuse, like my other Poems at the time He anointed it with a Miracle, His Incredible Ink, I have posted about this Ink if you would like the Link.

    In My Arms
    I will lead you gently by the hand my little Child that does not understand the deeds that were done in the dark that stole your innocence and left their mark.

    The cruel and hateful ways of man to hide their pain and cover their shame finding release in an evil masquerade.

    They let you pay the price in your soul leaving you no longer whole and loosing the Joy that Childhood holds.

    Did I not care in the darkened night how I grieved at your fright,

    I wanted to protect you and hold you near I felt your pain and shed your tears.

    Your anger drew you away crushing my Joy within and leading you into sin,

    This anger that was born by fright in the darkness of the night, can only be healed when brought into the light illuminating the darkness and making it bright,

    Bringing my peace as I hold you tight, wiping away your tears and healing the pain within giving my Joy that can’t be restrained.

    No longer to have heartache and strife I set you free and give you My life.

    Never will your sins go on show what you did to cover the pain I bled and died so you would bear no shame.

    You are my Child called by My name no longer to fear or loose your way and in My arms you will always stay,

    My Spirit now dwells within and you will no longer sin.

    So come my Child and take My hand as I lead you to the Promised land.

    Penned by Annie

  5. “God is Indeed Greater than our Abusers.” Abusers of All sorts. Those who are abusing People, and His creation. But He Wins, and Makes US Win too! Praise God. Thanks for this post, and Regards and Love, my Dear Anna! 🙂

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