Day 22: Wounds that Heal -- Invitation
By David Halliburton Member of the Living Waters National Council
Sexual abuse led me to believe I needed to be secretive to survive. Jesus invited me to tell the truth and live.
My life began to shatter at the age of 9 when an older male friend groomed then guided me into years of sexual abuse and porn use. Evil, forced touch planted seeds of gender confusion as abuse aroused my body. His influence triggered addictive behavior, self-sabotage, and self-hatred.
Hiding my addiction infected my wife and our marriage with heartache, mistrust, and isolation. When my porn addiction was exposed, I was asked to resign from a pastoral position but asked to stay at our church with support and love to stay the course of recovery.
Fearfully, I invited my wife and four trusted friends into my shameful secrets. Jesus asked me to trust Him as He invited me to lay down my secrets and receive the gift of being known. As I stepped into this new light, I dealt a brutal blow to the power of evil and was embraced by God’s love.
At my first Living Waters national training, the small group gave me a safe place to unmask; my brother advocates invited me to revisit the trauma. Through sensitive listening prayer, Jesus poured His living water into my dry fragmented soul.
Regrettably, I am broken as I write this. Recently I viewed inappropriate images, which has hurt my wife, her trust, and compromised the integrity of our current Living Waters program. Ferociously and in weakness, I am finding my way back to honest, daily communication with my wife and monthly with two trusted friends, where I am invited once more to bring everything into the light.
Jesus is inviting me to heal, and to see my most meaningful calling; to heal the hurting. My own brokenness, driving me into Christ’s, is exactly where I serve the brokenhearted. Our most meaningful purpose can be found in our most painful brokenness. Then He invites us to become brokers of healing, right where we have known the most brokenness.
‘But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him and by His wounds we are healed.’ Isaiah 53:5
‘Jesus, rouse the gift we are. Help us to attend to the treasure you summon from the trash. Free us from our constant faultfinding and free us for vestiges of paradise in our memories and in our lives today. We refuse the liar who tries to rewrite Eden out of our histories. Unite us to the home of our original dignity.’
‘Jesus, have mercy on us as Your Church. We have abused weaker members, including children, and protected ourselves. We have violated the most vulnerable. In Your mercy, free us to superabound with justice. Grant us Kingdom discernment and courage to reform ourselves. May our repentance grant us Kingdom authority to strengthen the weak, discipline violators, and restore the violated.’