Doorways of Pain
he best way out is always through.
If someone had told me years ago that God would use the pain of my life to helpother people, I would never have believed it. I personally experienced so much emotional pain during the first years of my life that I grew weary of hurting. I was sexually, physically and emotionally abused from the time I can remember until I finally left homeat age eighteen.Though I accepted the Lord at age nine, I didn’t have a life-changing relationshipwith Him until after Dave and I were married. It seemed my whole married life was a process of trying to get better.I attempted to find healing, but could not understand why the process had to be sotorturous. It seemed every time I made any progress, God would bring me into a new phase of recovery that always meant more pain. As I prayed about it, the Lord gave me avision. In my heart, I saw a series of doorways, one after another. Each represented atraumatic, painful event in my life. God showed me that each one of them—such as beingsexually abused at home, ridiculed at school because I was overweight or betrayed byfriends at church—was a doorway of pain through which I had to pass. I saw that I’d been hiding behindmany such doorways of pain, unable to free myself. To be led intofreedom, I had to pass back through the same doorways of pain to get to the other side.First, there was the pain of the abuse and then the agony from the memory of it.My father was the main source. I was always terrified of him, even as a grownwoman with four children of my own.I was forty-seven years old before the Lord led me to confront him—face-to-facewith one of my doorways of pain. I knew that I could either go back through it and comeout free on the other side, or I could stay behind it, hiding and afraid of him.Finally, I confronted my father, in obedience and by faith, but not without fear. Hesat expressionless, refusing to accept responsibility for his acts or to face how devastatinghis behavior was to my life. He barely responded when I told him I forgave him.Our relationship remained strained and uncomfortable, in spite of my efforts tomend it. Dave and I even obeyed the leading of the Lord and moved him and Mom to anice home near us where we could care for their needs.But God wasn’t done with me yet. He dealt with me about His command to “honor your father and mother.”“For what?” I asked. Though I was willing to obey, I was baffled as to how to goabout it. I visited them, called them and prayed for them. Then He told me to honor themfrom my heart for giving me life and caring for me.Shortly thereafter, I heard some of my family members were encouraging them towatch my TV broadcast. I could not imagine what it would do to them if they tuned inand heard me tell of my abusive childhood. I did not want to hurt them, yet I knew thatsharing my background really helped people. Dave, the kids and I had a familyconference and decided that even though it would risk what little relationship I had withmy parents, I had to follow God’s will for my life.