The reason I sought prayer was because I let my anger get me into trouble. Most people thought I had everything going for me in sports, school and friends. I was a straight A student. I had scholarships to on to college. However, not everything was as good as it seemed. I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but I felt miserable all the time. The last couple of boyfriends I had cheated on me and it seemed like no matter how hard I tried or what I accomplished in sports or school I could not shake the feeling that ‘something was wrong with me and I did not matter.’ My world crashed after finding my boyfriend out with my cousin at a party. I walked in and saw them kissing. Rather than confront my boyfriend I focused on my cousin. Within a short period of time, arguing turned to fighting and I hit her really hard in the nose and broke it. Someone saw the blood and called the police. I was arrested for assault and has a restraining order placed on me. Here I was an honor student, with a scholarship for college that would not do me any good if I could not graduate from high school.
When I got prayed with I was asked, “How does it feel that after everything you did for your boyfriend he still wanted to be with your cousin?” At first I felt anger, but, that quickly turned to pain. That was why I worked so hard, to avoid those feelings/beliefs . . . . ‘something is wrong with me . . . . . I don’t matter etc. . .” It seemed no matter how hard I tried to fight back those tears they came anyway. Part of me was relieved because I finally said it out loud. Other memories came to me about feeling the same way for most of my life. It did not take long for my mind to remember starting to feel this way after my parents’ divorce. I must have been 2-3 years old. My dad cheated on my mom with someone he worked with. She was sad and down all the time. At the time I could not understand how embarrassed she was and how hard it had to have been raising four kids under the age of r by herself. When I would go visit Dad we would have pizza, watch movies and stay up late. I though life would always be like this with him so I naturally wanted to stay with him. Somehow Mom agreed to this, however, there was one condition; I would have to wait until Dad his own place and then ‘he would come back for me’. As time went on, he had a new baby boy – his first son. I saw Dad less and less. He would miss birthdays, but he would call with an excuse and I would forgive him. Eventually as you might expect, we gradually saw him less and less and then not at all. Many nights I cried myself to sleep asking myself, “What’s wrong with me? Why don’t I matter?” So later, when someone showed an interest in me, it gave me hope that I did have value. I discovered doing well in school and sports made me feel good about myself, but, but it only lasted a short while so I had to work harder. It felt kind hopeless. They prayed simple prayers: “Lord, did Dad not come back for me because I didn’t matter? Did I cause it? Was it my fault? Was I to blame?” All I heard was, “No! No! No!” I had the sense that he didn’t treat me that way because something was wrong with me; something was wrong with him. It wasn’t my fault. I wasn’t bad because I was treated badly. It seemed like I had been thinking about those memories for so long as they prayed with me, but it really wasn’t that long. The feelings seemed gone.
Because I have been able to cover-up those feeling in the past with some kind of success I was worried that something would happen and those painful feelings would come back. This feeling was different. I was asked to try and find the pain when I thought about having no value or something was wrong with me and ‘I couldn’t make myself feel bad.” Something so painful was gone that quick. I was asked to be away of how I was different over the next couple of weeks. I had a strange sense that I was taller now because I did not walk with my head down all the time. I felt more emotionally open and colors seemed brighter. I dressed up more at school because I felt better about myself. I had less anxiety and more peace because I felt ‘OK’ for the first time since I was a little girl. Another first for me was that I broke up with a boyfriend because I know I deserved better. School was more fun because I wanted to learn instead of always trying to prove my worth. I don’t have lots of tension in my neck and I don’t get upset stomachs anymore.
Prayer has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. However, this prayer experience was different. Many timse I had prayed for God to remove the bitterness and anger I felt toward my husband. Things would be OK for a while and then I would get triggered again and everything I thought I had let go of would come flooding back. To say it was frustrating is an understatement. I just could not figure out why I couldn’t let go of these feelings.
After learning about where these feelings came from I started asking the Lord where the feelings/beliefs were coming from. I kept getting memories of my mother, but, I just pushed them aside thinking they were not related. Once they prayed with me I started to see that I felt the same way in memories as I did growing up with my mother. When I messed up somethings I believed were I was not smart enough and something was wrong with me. I thought about how I felt when my mom treated me this way I began to cry. I never felt like I measured up to her and was just a disappointment. As they prayed for healing nothing really happened at first, until I was asked what made me hesitate to let the Lord heal me. I was a little surprised that I did not want to forgive my mom because I would be further proof that my feelings didn’t matter and I did not matter if I just let it go. The Lord let me know that he gave me value and holding on to the anger would not protect me and he would take care of things. It was then that I could see how I really didn’t let go of my anger when anyone hurt me because I used anger as my protection. Really, all my anger did was push people away.
When I went home I began to notice that my husband didn’t make me feel so angry. I’m not sure when exactly I stopped asking myself what was wrong with me if he came home in a bad mood or was easily irritated by something, that changed. I even started asking, “What happened to you?” instead of always thinking I had done something to make him upset. It seems like a simple thing, but, it showed me how my focus had changed and I had stopped taking so many things on myself. It became so clear that other people and situations affect other people’s moods, not just me! I find myself being more patient and less anxious around my mother as well. I think my mother and I get along better. I use to feel guilty in the past when I would need a break from her and that feeling is not as strong. It really is OK. I am OK
I guess you could say i had a drinking problem. I would work all week and then come Friday i would start drinking and sometimes drink 2 cases of beer. I had so much stress from work i just wanted to be left alone so i would numb myself . Growing up my dad was always negative and world point out all of our faults in the name of making us strong. All it did was the exact oposite. I was always doubting myself and worried that people would find out that i didn't know anything. I always told myself that if i had kids i would never treat them that way. As much as i hate to admit it, sometimes when i open my mouth i know my dad's words come out, so i felt a lot of guilt. In fact the main feelings i had were: shame, anxiety, and guilt. Some days i felt so down i couln't find a reason to live.
When i got prayed with at first i did n't know where to shart. The Lord showed me that i felt like I didn't matter or have value because my dad always focused on my faults. He told me I would never amout to anythign , so why try? He would pit me against my brothers to try and make us tough. As the Lord brought healing to me, for the first time, I could see that my dad treated me this way because he was abused himself and tought to be tough. I remember times that I would see him looking at old picteures when he got drunk and he didn't think anyone was aroungd. He would cry about how much he missded his parents. Eventually our mother left and things got worse. I felt all alone then. The Lord showed me he never left me through all those times. Today when I look back on all those memories they are harder to remember. Since i don't feel like something is worng with me I am a lot more positive with my kids. They do better in school, get better grades and are thinking about what they want to do with thier lives. At that age i couldn't thing aboit life past high school.
I thought being physically intimate was just going to be something I was obligated to do. Even though he was patient and a good man, I never felt relaxed and pleasure. When I would read about how other people enjoyed themselves, I just felt like it wasn’t meant to be for me and, at the same time, I thought something was wrong with my body. Needless to say, my husband could feel my hesitation and he felt like he had done something wrong. I found myself trying to comfort him and that made me feel more empty. As you could imagine all this extra pressure made the experience worse and I did not know what to do. I even talked to my Doctor about it. We tried medications and nothing seemed to help. Once time she asked if anything had ever happened to me. I guess I wasn’t ready to talk about it, and she could tell by my reaction something must have happened. She suggested I look into counseling and that I thought a healing retreat might be helpful.
Initially, I was just going to go to the retreat and just listen. However as other people shared their personal stories and started to feel better, something inside me said it was OK talk about what happened to me. I always felt that if people knew what happened to me, they would know something was wrong with me too. As I got prayed with they asked me how I felt about being abused. He started touching me when I rode in the pickup with him and it progressed from there for about four years from 8-12. He was finally arrested because he had been doing the same thing to two other girls and he got caught. He went to prison. I was confused because he was nice to me, but, I knew what we were doing was wrong. I blamed myself like I guess so many children do. I thought I should have stopped him or told someone, but he said they would think I was bad and dirty and they wouldn’t love me anymore.
When they prayed for the Lord to heal me and for his perspective, I could feel him holding me and wiping away my tears. He let me know that he loved me and it was not my fault. I could see myself in a little white dress like a communion dress and I wasn’t dirty. I even felt a little bit sorry for the guy that abused me. I wondered what had happened to him that made him that way.
Some of the freedoms I noticed since getting prayed with include lots of seemingly little things. My husband used to come up behind me and put his arms around my neck and kiss me. Instead of being relaxed and enjoying this type of connection I had a sense of anxiety and wanting to get away. Now, I can squeeze him back and not hurt his feelings by tearing up. I find it easier to give myself to him and for the first time in our marriage physical intimacy is smoothing I look forward to. I don’t feel dirt and ashamed of my body.
A Mother’s Thoughts
My daughter Shelly had been struggling in school, mainly with test anxiety. She spent lots of time studying and could only get mostly C’s. When I reviewed with her she seemed like she knew the material, but, testing was a different story. After talking with her about this I thought we found the fires. When she was in grade school she a tough time because she was more deliberate thinking through her tests. She had a really hard time with her timed math facts because she should not be hurried. It wasn’t that she couldn’t do them, she just needed more time. Anyway, she had a couple of teachers, that according to her, pushed her. One of the lies that she believed was that she wasn’t smart. She also believed that she was always going to mess up. As you can imagine thinking/believing those lies would make it hard for anyone to concentrate and it was for Shelly.
After getting prayed with, she took a test a few days later and I could see that she was more relaxed and confident studying. She an “A” on the test, maybe the first one in a long time. When she talked to Mike about how well she did, he joked with her and said that by getting prayed with the Lord “made you smarter.” At first Shelly thought he was serious then he said something that really stuck with both of us, “You were always smart, you just didn’t believe you were!” That is really the truth. We live in a world that tends to look at the negative and if we hear that long enough we start to believe it. The Lord really can ‘Set Us Free’.