Life is going great. Ministry is great. And then BAM…CRUD happens.
This is a response I received from my website.
“I have been holding on to some CRUD. I don’t know how to get rid of it. Is it weird that I don’t want to get rid of it? It’s almost like holding on to it is what makes me feel “safe”. My father touched me often as a young girl. He would take pictures of me naked. I would cry and tell him no but he would always say that he loved me and that this made him love me more.
My family didn’t believe me. So instead of standing for myself, I just swallowed the lie. I have been with so many men, I can’t keep track. No matter what I do, I can never connect deeply with a man. I need to forgive my father. It’s killing me. But I don’t want him to think that what he did was okay. But I know that it’s eating me up inside.
I’ve also been really angry with God. If he loved me, how could he allow this to happen? I need to know how you forgave your mother and the man that hurt you.”
Every time I get a response, the Lord uses it in my own life to grow me and to shine light on any areas that need some CRUD dealing. It’s not fun. In fact, I whine quite loudly about having to deal with any crud. (Yes, I’m THAT child of His!) But I’ve learned to push through fear and anxiety and deal with WHATEVER it is that keeps me from moving forward and living the life that Jesus has made for me.
And then something happened and all talk of “Deal with your CRUD” was gone.
I recently received some pictures from my past. I’m staring at pictures of my life and it was sweet one moment and bittersweet the next. Picture after picture scrolled across the screen and all of a sudden there was a picture of me with a man.
All the blood drained out of my head. I could feel my heart beat in my throat (it’s that breath of fear I’ve described before) and every memory of my torture came flooding into my brain. As more and more pictures came up, I remember crying out and I ran out of the room.
When I was able to return to the computer, the final picture was a man lying half naked in bed. The picture I was looking at was of the man that sexually tortured me and sold me to other men for money. He was lying in that bed – the BRASS BED that he had tied me to so that he could hurt me and others could rape me. Over and over again.
The only person who could have taken that picture would have been my mother. So there in that hideous brass bed, she had made love to the man that raped and tortured her own daughter.
I’ve talked about this many times. She confronted me one day about him hurting me and we never saw him again. She KNEW he had hurt me. She made me tell her some of the things that he had done to me. So she KNEW. But even after knowing the truth, she beat me for seducing him and ruining her life. He was the great love of her life. She beat me, burned me, pulled my hair out, punched me, strangled me, whipped me because in her mind it was my fault that he did all of those things to me.
But here is the worst betrayal of all. Even knowing, what he had done to me, she had kept all these pictures of my pain and shame as if they were treasured possessions. Because in her eyes, they were. Once again, she chose HIM over me.
I can’t describe that kind of pain to you. It was as if the betrayal, beatings, rape, happened ALL over again. The smells. The sounds. His facial hair. That brass bed. Everything was vivid in my mind. The words he would say to make me do sexual things. His hands on me. The blood. The tears. The terror. The more fear I had the more he smiled. He chewed spearmint gum. I HATE the smell of spearmint gum.
I asked the Lord, “Why are you doing this to me? Why do I have to look at this? I’ve dealt with my crud. Why would you do this to me now?”
I felt compelled to look at the pictures. Really look at his face. Why? Because I don’t want him to have any power over me. I am a strong, confident woman of God and the only power in my life belongs to JESUS CHRIST. In this moment, facing down this pain, I soon realized that I AM strong. I AM whole and okay.
God always knows WHAT we need WHEN we need it. God knows that I need to DEAL until I HEAL.
I needed to know the power of Jesus Christ in my life as one more affirmation that I belong to JESUS. In the horrible pain, was the GREATEST revelation. I AM HIS! I AM LOVED! NO question, no doubt, forever.
What have I always said my greatest desire is?
TO KNOW THAT I AM LOVED.
As if dying for me on the cross isn’t enough, Jesus knows my heart, knows how I think, how I feel and my deepest desires. And He cares about each one of them.
God always knows what we need when we need it.
The crud has PURPOSE.
I know you don’t want to hear that. I don’t want to hear that either. But it’s true. It allows an opportunity to deal until we heal. Remember that Jesus loves us enough not to leave us where we are. It’s in dealing with this recent crud that allowed me to understand once again that God truly loves me. Jesus knows me and understands that I needed to KNOW this and will always need those reminders from Him until I’m in heaven. It’s my ache from my past and my deepest desire to be loved. What a merciful God, to allow me opportunities to LEARN this truth over and over again. He could just get sick of “having to remind me”. He could say, “Isn’t the cross enough for you, Sonya?” Instead HE meets me where I’m at and meets my deepest need. That is love. He loves me. What about you?
CRUD. To deal or not to deal? That IS the question.
When we don’t deal with it, layer upon layer of nasty stinkin’ CRUD develops until the truth of who we are is so buried that all we have left is the lies that we’ve created. Dealing with hurt and anger is really hard. The cost of NOT dealing with our crud is catastrophic. Most people have no understanding of HOW to deal with our CRUD. I’m so thankful for Jesus – the ultimate COUNSELOR. HEALER. DELIVERER! I’m also thankful that He has allowed us to have professionally trained physicians, therapists and counselors who are trained to listen, sort through and encourage us towards healing and positive behaviors.
We are masters of the SELF DIAGNOSIS. Able to self medicate, eradicate and dictate all treatment plans for our miserable lives. We are really good at lying to ourselves, too. You may not be putting a pill in your mouth, or a needle in your arm. Maybe you spend money you don’t have. Maybe you eat more than you need. Maybe you hold on to anger because that feels better then the pain. Maybe you look at images that take you away from dealing with real human relationships. Maybe you lie. Maybe you’re jealous cause everyone else gets what they want. Maybe you sabotage true relationships so that you can prove that you are not worthy to be loved, keeping your heart away from hurt. CRUD! CRUD! CRUD!
How is that working out for you? Are you happy? Are you fulfilled? Are you free?
Jesus loves you. It cost Him everything to love you. And that NEVER stopped Him. Nothing you have done, will ever stop Him from loving you. When you have a relationship with Jesus, that means that you admit that you are a sinner and you turn away from that sin. You ask Jesus to be the Lord (the boss) of your life and you place your trust – your heart – your everything in Him. Then in faith, you walk with Him, learning all you can about His word (the bible) so you can know His heart.
When I was 12 years old I gave my heart to Jesus. Best decision I’ve ever made in my life. No matter what I face, He is always with me. Rejoicing in the victories and crying with me in the darkest moments. Even the BRASS BED moments. As crud comes, (and it will) Jesus is more than able to handle anything. And I’m never alone. He forgave me and He gives me the courage and the strength to forgive others.
I have forgiven my mom and the man that hurt me for what they did. It was HARD.
To forgive them, I had to release them from the debt that I think they owe me. HARD, HARD, HARD!
But, in order for me to truly forgive them, I had to deal with my crud. All of it. Once that was cleaned out, true healing took place. Because they deserve it? No. None of us deserve forgiveness. I want to be free. Because Jesus forgave me, I must forgive others.
Don’t let CRUD stop you from living. CRUD has a purpose. Deal with your crud.