Two and a half years ago, I faltered under the weight of anxiety and depression and couldn’t imagine a life where moving beyond fear was possible. My marriage teetered on the edge. Night terrors and flashbacks due to childhood trauma and sexual abuse plagued my nights and crept into my days.
I mothered my children out of unseen fears.
At the end of myself, I contemplated removing myself from this world.
I was falling apart in every area of my life. The dam had broken, and I felt doomed. Fear consumed my life.
The Holy Spirit whispered in my ear, “I have a better way for you.”
He knew my burdens were heavy, impossible for me to carry alone.
With that slightest hope, I signed myself into a Christ-based psychiatric facility. I leaned into the God of the universe because there was nowhere else I could rest.
Fear ruled my life for over forty years. I believed in the goodness of God and the sacrifice of Christ, but my pains were too much even for Him, or so I thought.
It’s easy to look back and realize how simple it was to reach out to Christ, but simplicity does not equal easiness. In desperation, I took a step of faith and joined a Christ-centered recovery program for women seeking healing from sexual abuse and assault. Terrified, but exhausted from living in fear, I pushed into the unknown arena of faith.
Joining the group wasn’t enough to heal the brokenness inside of me, so I trusted the Lord to provide the strength it took to share with these women who eventually became like sisters. I shared my memories and hurts then examined the impact they’d had on my life and each of my relationships. The damage was extensive.
The enemy had grasped onto my hidden shame and guilt and whispered so many lies into my ears I didn’t know how to trust, how to believe. In my brokenness, he told me there was no way out for me except suicide. With God’s strength and His word, I combated the enemy’s lies.
I was not responsible for my abuse.
I was not unlovable because of what others had done to me.
Even the ways I’d acted out in the wake of my abuse did not exempt me from the hope I had in Christ.
I was not too far gone.
We serve a God who pursues us relentlessly. He tracks us down in those dark places and offers us hope.We serve a God who pursues us relentlessly. He tracks us down in those dark places and offers us hope. Click To Tweet
We serve a God whose “power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV). The clarity in which the Holy Spirit reached into my darkness and showed me the love of the Father transformed my life and the lives of those closest to me. Like Paul, the scales fell from my eyes and Christ’s truth stood before me.
He wanted to restore those years.
He wanted to exchange my ashes for beauty.
It didn’t happen overnight or without work on my part. Choosing Christ’s light over the darkness that plagued me for decades was not painless. Reaching beyond my fear into the faith I was developing terrified me, but choosing faith sparked a hope and joy deep within me I’d never felt or known.
I chose to push beyond and work through my abuse biblically with other women of God who had walked their own paths of darkness.
Offering forgiveness to those who had wronged me because my Father asked me to do so gave me indescribable peace.
Examining my brokenness through the lens of scripture filled my heart and mind with God’s word.
My friends, God gives us the choice.
He allows us to decide whether we follow His narrow path or the wide road.
The beauty is in the choosing.
The beauty is in the trusting.
His beauty is waiting for you too. Your story may be like mine, but it may be completely different. He still wants peace for you!
Which will you choose?
Will you join me in the space beyond fear?
You are not alone.
The God of the universe will reach into those dark areas of your life and imbue them with His supernatural light. He wants good for all of us. He wants all of us to move beyond fear.
Trust in the God of hope.
Please share how I may pray for you in the comments below. Blessings to you!
Originally published June 2018
Alynda Long, Founder and Editor
Alynda lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband and their two youngest daughters. She has a heart for God’s people who struggle with fear and anxiety. A redeemed survivor of sexual and physical abuse, she loves sharing God’s healing story with her brothers and sisters in Christ. She is a writer, blogger, encourager, editor, wife, mother, and grandmother. Intensely passionate about helping other women achieve healing from sexual abuse/assault, Alynda serves as a lay leader in a recovery ministry at her home church. She loves speaking with women about the healing the Lord has for them in all areas of their lives. She adores making friends (sometimes to her introverted husband’s chagrin) everywhere she goes. In addition to writing, editing, and maintaining faithbeyondfear.com, you may find her at alyndalong.com where she writes about understanding God’s great love for us. She contributes monthly to the website, A Wife Like Me. Along with other women with a heart for ministry, she encourages women Seeking God in the Hard Places on Facebook. A member of ACFW, Word Weavers, International, and Roaring Lambs, she is completing her first manuscript.
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