Early in my journey of recovery from childhood trauma I found myself asking angry, anguished questions of God. I protested. I lamented over my own suffering and the suffering of children everywhere.
One of the things I share in this final video is that it is my belief that our anger matters, that our protest and lament are important, that our anguished questions need to be given voice. I believe that God wants us to bring our protests and anguish directly to God. I believe that it is God’s desire to respond to our anguished questions—-not with academic answers-—but in a way that speaks to the depths of our distress.
In this final video I also talk about the wound that childhood trauma inflicts on the child’s developing sense of self. As we have seen, the child comes to believe terrible things about himself or herself. Most commonly, traumatized children who are not assisted to heal as children will carry with them into adulthood beliefs that they are unlovable and without intrinsic value. These beliefs, whether conscious or unconscious, form the basis of the person’s identity. Letting go of these beliefs, therefore, may feel like annihilation. It may feel like letting go of all there is of oneself.
But as we experience the kind of healing love we have been discussing, we begin to experience ourselves in new ways. We begin to experience ourselves as loved and valued.
What I want to leave you with more than anything is this: no matter what has been done to us, those events do not tell us who we are. We can let go of our despair and shame because they do not define us. They are not who we are. Who are we? We are children welcomed by Jesus into his loving arms. No matter what happened to us, no matter what we came to believe about ourselves, no matter what we have done, we are, and we always will be, God’s much loved children.
The audio meditation for this final session invites you, again, to rest in a peaceful place with your younger self and with Jesus. It encourages you to to listen as Jesus speaks words of blessing over you.
Thank you for allowing me to share this video series with you. It is a small offering from my heart to yours.
Cliff O. says
I want to thank you for deciding to share your insights back in 2001 at the Steps Conference in Seattle. I did not hear you there but my therapist gave me the tape of your session. Your simple presentation of our brokenness and path to integration became a light to my path of integration in those early years of healing. I want to thank you again for the simple but deep insights that I have lived out and I hope that others too can experience the ongoing healing and freedom that is unbelievably wonderful.
Juanita Ryan says
Thank you for taking the time to share this, Cliff. I am so moved that this simple recovery model (which is so challenging to walk through!) has been a gift to you in your healing work. As I shared at the conference, and shared again in this video series, the model felt very much like a gift from the Spirit. It came to me in the middle of the night one night. As I looked at it, I realized it was a kind of picture of the healing work God had been doing in my life. It is pure joy for me to be able share this gift I was given with others who were wounded as kids. Blessings on you as you continue to walk in the Light of God’s love for you.