Beautiful in His Sight

“Figure of Christ” by Heinrich Hofmann (1884), Source (PD-Art, PD-old)

Abuse frequently destroys the faith of victims, undermining our capacity to trust.  While we may reject God or despise Him, He loves and values us.  It can be difficult for us to reconcile God’s love with our experience.  But that love is real.

Let me try and explain what I mean.

Self-Worth and the Cross

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3: 16).

As abuse victims, we were taught at an early age that we were worthless.  Our needs were insignificant.  Our feelings did not matter.  Our bodies were not our own.

These were the inferences we drew from our experience with those who rightly should have loved and cared for us.  God, however, sees things differently.  To Him, we are of infinite value.  He proved it by giving His Son, Jesus Christ over to a death on the cross for our sakes.

Our value is not governed by a predator’s opinion of us.  It was established for all time at the cross.  No one need add to it.  No one can detract from it.

God’s Unconditional Love

Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies” (Ps. 36: 5).

God’s love for abuse victims is limitless and unconditional.  The concept of unconditional love may be foreign to us.  We were taught that love was unreliable.  It had to be earned, over and over again.  Most of us paid a high price for a counterfeit version of love.

Sin and Our Relationship to God

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8: 1-2).

God’s love is not withdrawn when we make mistakes or fall short.  We grieve His heart at such times, but He does not turn away from or reject us.  We are His beloved children.  Even when our relationship with Him is rocky, He continues to love us immeasurably.

Fear of Rejection and Failure

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4: 18).

The scars of abuse frequently include fear.  That may manifest as a fear of rejection and/or a fear of failure.  But our worth is not determined by other human beings; it is not dependent on our productivity or status.

Our worth is actually separate from our function.  For abuse victims, this means that we are fully loved and accepted by God, but all have different assignments in life.  The piccolo is no less important to the orchestra than the tuba.

People pleasing is unnecessary.  We may even get to the point where we recognize it as an obstacle to a closer relationship with God.

Our True Selves

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11: 28).

Lies accumulate in any area of our lives that we do not turn over to God.  We may believe that we are undeserving of love; that we have been irreparably damaged; that we will never find happiness.  But those are lies we absorbed, along with the abuse we endured.

“The more we enter into His rest, the more we are truly free to be who we were designed to be…[We are] home in Him.”

-David Murry, “The Mind of Christ”

Feelings of worthlessness and self-hatred have no place.

God’s Tenderness toward Abuse Victims

“A bruised reed He will not break And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice” (Isaiah 42: 3).

God understands better than anyone else our suffering.  He was there when we were beaten, ignored, violated, and betrayed.  He caught every tear we shed.

God asks us to allow Him into our lives, broken and bloody though we may be.  His love heals and ultimately transforms us.

“Choose to accept what His Word says about how lovely He sees His children.  We are accepted in the Beloved.  We are beautiful in His sight.”

-David Murry, “The Mind of Christ”

Originally posted 5/7/17



Filed under Child Abuse, Child Molestation, Christianity, domestic abuse, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Religion, Sexual Abuse, Violence Against Women

24 responses to “Beautiful in His Sight

  1. Lady Quixote/Linda Lee

    Anna, I never understood the meaning of Isaiah 42:3 before. Thank you for this!

      • Abby

        Love is difficult to conceptualize as a survivor. It is a word. Experientially it is foreign. I struggle with understanding it on a deeper level, let alone experiencing God’s love. Intellectually I can define the word, I see it throughout scripture, but struggle with its concept.

  2. “God asks us to allow Him into our lives, broken and bloody though we may be. His love heals and ultimately transforms us”. – I just love this line. Thanks for sharing your insight.

  3. As we sit, many idled, because of virus, may we refrain from proclaiming ourselves bored; rather, spend the time to reflect deeply on what matters. We have been given this wonderful opportunity even though it is from a position of distress. Thanks for this post.

  4. Anna, each day in our country, the dictatorship cuts deeply on all but the wealthy. Thereby scaring all hope for healing ourselves and our democracy. However, there may be hope if and only when we unite to remove Putin’s puppet government. Thank you for keeping the light burning- it is a glimmer of hope. Blessings.

    • I share your concern for this nation, Lance. It breaks my heart to think how many died for the principles on which the nation was established, and how readily we are discarding them. The Founding Fathers would be astonished how far we have strayed from their intentions…and their faith. God has not, however, abandoned us. He is fully capable of healing our nation. But we must turn from evil, and return again to Him.

  5. Allan Halton

    Thank you, Anna, it is right on the mark, as you have said, that the measure of God’s love for us is the cross upon which His Son gave Himself for us. It may not be all that easy to comprehend this (and I am not sure that even after all these years I do) but it is nevertheless true, and to be embraced by faith while we anticipate greater understanding.

    Further to this (that He died for us) is that we died with Him (we who have believed in Him and have been baptized into Him.) Paul’s words to the Galatians come to mind:

    “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me…” So, here is the end of that old sinner I once was, and the beginning of an entirely new creation man whose very life is Christ!

    Paul continues, “…and the life which I now live in flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).

    Gave Himself for whom? Yes, I know, for all. But… “for me.” Paul knew that Christ died for him. Even so may each of us know that He died for each of us individually. What love!

  6. Amen, Anna. This is a wonderful post.

  7. I think this teaching might have ministered to me above all others so far, Anna… and I am edified in every one always.

    Thank you- this was just so spot on and uplifting while teaching and reminding me of some crucial truths and points to minister on.

    Be safe and in health, always.

    Your brother,

    David NY

    • You are always so kind to me, David. May God keep you and your family in His care. “He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge…” (Ps. 91 4).

  8. Francisco Bravo Cabrera

    Anna, thank you for such a beautiful post with such truth…the words of Isaiah are real and true and God does understand our suffering and has mercy on us…you have most beautifully expressed the blessings that we need in these times…

  9. Anna this is so beautifully put as Francisco said. Such an amazingly loving way of describing the way we feel as sexually, mentally and physically abused victims. The scripture you picked and the way you explain God’s love for us and you are so right, “Feelings of worthlessness and self-hatred have no place.” So true dear Anna, thank you so much for this beautiful and loving post and reassurance of our Loving Savior’s unconditional love. Have an amazing evening my dear friend. I love you. Joni

    • I am so glad you liked this, Joni. As you know, I was an atheist for many years as a consequence of my own abuse. That Christ found me again was miraculous. It was only in retrospect clear that He had sustained me all along. I try to share my faith so that other victims, too, may have hope. Much love, A. ❤

  10. It’s not so long ago, that I startet to pray for the problem of abuse nearly every day. It just breaks my heart to think of it. May God sent angels to bring the children to save places and may he sent his healing power. Love, Tina

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