Lysa TerKeurst’s newest book title pretty much sums it up. I haven’t even read the book yet, but I know I will love it and that it will deeply resonate with me. Just the few times I’ve listened to her story on how this book came about, I know that she understands the pain and grief that war against our faith in a Good God.
It’s 11:30pm and I couldn’t sleep because I was shaking with anxiety, feeling like I couldn’t breathe, tossing and turning, ugly crying in desperation, “why?” and “how much more?”. It’s not supposed to be this way.
Sleep has been eluding me lately as it seems every night new memories are pushing their way to the surface as I wrestle against them, willing them to stay locked away and let me be, though I’m powerless to stop them. I can’t stop them from coming, I can’t stop the triggers that reveal them, the physical pain my body goes through after they come, the emotional turmoil that’s finally released after being hidden so long. It’s not supposed to be this way.
It’s been four years. 110 memories. Multiple abusers, starting from age 3 through 17. Four years of wondering when this nightmare will end. Four years of trying to live my life as normal as possible while recounting, remembering, and reliving a past more traumatic than anything I ever thought possible. It’s not supposed to be this way.
Two uncle’s. An aunt. Her “friends”. An extended family member. A friend’s dad. A guy from the gym my parents worked out at. “Friend’s” of the family, including one from church. A seventh grade science teacher. Camp counselors. Boys I went to school with. Isn’t pedophilia “supposed” to be rare? How is it actually possible that so many different people could hurt me in the same unthinkable and evil manner? Memories so incredibly disturbing, perverse, and shameful I could never write them online. Not even just the acts themselves, but the psychological brainwashing, manipulation, and confusion that ensued to keep me quiet, which wasn’t even necessary because I dissociated every.single.trauma anyway. It’s not supposed to be this way.
I’m still here, sometimes so overwhelmed by the fact that I’ve even survived the memories, let alone it happening in the first place. I’m still clinging to my faith, still hoping, still believing, still declaring He is good…even though it’s not supposed to be this way.
And I can only hope that somehow, someway, someone out there will see all that Jesus has healed me from. How most people with a past like mine are not living a blessed life like I am. That even though it’s been incredibly difficult, HE has brought me through… strengthening me, putting my pieces back together, reconciling my soul back to Him. That though SO many people in my life failed me, hurt me, abused me, tortured me, took advantage of me…He has never let me go. Every single memory I’ve faced, He’s been there, holding me, comforting me, catching every tear. It’s really not supposed to be this way. But maybe, the beauty from this devastation is that I know Him more fully. My roots have been planted so deep that NOTHING can pull them up. My house has been built on the solid rock, my faith on the firm foundation.
But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.