Was it a Dalmation?
When I was very small we had a dog. My sister and I think it was a Dalmatian. My dad remembered it as a Weimaraner, and my mom said it was a Collie. Four different people with three different memories. The longer I live, the more I’ve come to recognize that our memories aren’t always accurate. They’re often skewed by shame, guilt, denial, input from others, and the simple passage of time.
There’s only One who can speak to us accurately about our past – and that’s the One who created us and has watched over us all of our lives.
While my family used to laugh about the “mystery” dog, there are other memories that aren’t so funny. It’s the painful memories that make it most important to know God’s truth about what happened. Why? Because when God brings His truth, His light, healing, and freedom always follow.
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Set free from past abuse
Years ago I was ministering at a women’s retreat in California. At the Friday evening service, my assistant Joni and I prayed quietly over the women while they remained seated. Joni prayed over a mother sitting next to her daughter, saying, “God wants you to know that whatever happened, it was not your fault. It was not your fault!” The next morning, I shared prophetic words over the women and asked the daughter to stand. I said, “You have the most beautiful blue eyes, and God wants you to know that He loves your eyes. He adores you, and you are precious to Him.” Then she began to cry.
Later that day, the mother and daughter took Joni and I aside to share their story. The young woman had been sexually abused by her father. When he was abusing her, he spoke the same words I had, “You have the most beautiful blue eyes.” I was alarmed until she explained that when I said it, she felt the love of God pouring over her, releasing her from shame and guilt. The daughter went on to say that she never told her mother about the abuse, fearing her mother would take the blame; but when she heard Joni’s prayer, she knew it was time to talk. So they shared, cried, and felt much freedom and peace. And at the center of it all was the Holy Spirit – bringing His truth (John 16:13).
Let the Holy Spirit reframe the event
What we remember and how we frame past events, especially the painful ones, is often erroneous. If there is a memory that burns and stings, even after many years, ask God to come into the middle of it. You don’t need to wait for someone to pray over you or share a prophetic word. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you, illuminate your heart and give you His perspective. When you see things through His friendly, kind, and ever-loving eyes you’ll be set free, and whom the Son sets free is free indeed! (John 8:36)
Every time we pray our horizon is altered, our attitude to things is altered, not sometimes but every time, and the amazing thing is that we don’t pray more.Oswald Chambers
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