Recovery from Abuse and Life’s Hardships Workshop – Transcript

note: Members can discuss this workshop in the Message Boards HERE

Jan Coates is our guest speaker this evening. She is the author of
Set Free: God’s Healing Power for Abuse Survivors and Those Who Love Them

After she is finished speaking we will open the floor up to questions from the audience. Enjoy!

My father took us to church regularly. I accepted Christ as my Savior at age nine. But by the time I was in my teens, I felt too ashamed, guilty, soiled from all the years of abuse that I turned my back on my faith.I got married young and had a baby. I didn’t pray for nearly 15 years and lived a life not so pleasing to God.I rededicated my life to Jesus Easter 1983. Six months after my only child was killed by a drunk driver.I wrote Set Free because I want to share with the over 50 million men and women that God doesn’t care who we were or what we did yesterday- The only thing that matters with God is that he wants to do
something with our lives today And throughout the Bible we see that indeed God does choose
the improbable–including you and me. When others look at the way we used to be compared
to the way we are today all eyes are turned heavenward! And, God gets the glory. Amen Done

[Obie-host] Many here may have past experience with abuse in their own families…

[Obie-host] GA OlCatCBC

OICatCBC> I was raped by my brother for years….still feel the shame.. what was it that set u free?

setfree> Me too, OIC. Brothers can be possessed. What set me free? I lived with the shame and guilt for years.didn’t.A counselor asked me, “Jan did you ask for your brother or uncle to molest/rape you?” I replied, “No” The counselor replied, “Then why do you place that iron anchor in your heart with all the guilt? “God says, “NOT GUILTY” and you know what, I’m taking God’s word for it. Like you, and my friends here tonight, we did not ask to be raped We did not ask to be negledted, beat, boiling water poured on us, called ugly names made to feel like trash Therefore, we do not own the sins of our abusers.Done

OICatCBC> ty will enjoy reading your book 🙂

setfree> Pray the Lord pours out abundant healing OL

[Obie-host] Jaynelle, you had your hand up. Go ahead

janyelle> did you turn to addiction to try to cover the pain from your abuse and if so have you been healed from that

setfree> most everyone in my family is an addict of some sort.I drank and smoked for years. I have now been healed from those addictions. However, I think because of my past that I will always have an addictive personality.You know, do something once and it’s habit My baby sister died last year from a drug/alcohol overdose. She was only My sister died last year 52 years old. CFO of the Pentagon. It tore me up The same weekned that Bethany House Publishers agreed to publish Set Free. See why I’m here? We’re all in this together. I’m supposed to pour
out the love to you that the Lord has poured into me. done

janyelle> ptl once I put the truth (God’s Word) to the lies satan had me believing for so many yrs God healed me too

[Obie-host] bj you are next.

bj> one of the first questions i hear many survivors ask….is…where was God when this was happening? how could he love me and allow this to happen to me? how have you worked through this?

setfree> Oddly enough, I have never been angry at God. I felt too unworthy to be angry or question where he was. But, I see now that God was right beside me the whole time Abused children are prime targets for Satan to whisper lies into their ears.DONE

[Obie-host] GA Connie

Connie> Now that you are where you are in Christ, do you ever find yourself feeling the “old” feelings?

setfree> Sure do, Connie. And, I have to remind myself of who I am in Christ. That I’m not that same soiled little girl. I cover myself with prayer and praise. Satan would like nothing better than for all of us to fall down. But we’re going to help one another through Christ and
beat Satan and his minions.Scripture keeps me straight as well..Done

[Obie-host] Who would like to ask Jan a question?You can ask questions more than once.

[Obie-host] GA Connie

Connie> Did you always remember your abuse? and what is your view of repressed memories?

setfree> No, Connie. I buried my abuse very deep. I knew it happened but I couldn’t think about it or face the truth.It wasn’t until my mother’s funeral that I actually faced truth–nearly 17 years ago. I believe God allows truth to come out so we can be set free. Whether
it’s a bit at a time or all at once. We have to face truth before we can begin the healing journey. done

[Obie-host] GA F

F> why do we..act out behavior that ties in with our abuse…i have only started doing this late in life..but i still have much buried.. done

setfree> I’ve been told that it’s a generational issue.I have not abused my children. But I sure did a lot of acting out sexually with men We tend to look for love in all the wrong places when we have experienced sexual abuse Acknowledging our behavior and pouring out
our hearts to Jesus is a great beginning..done

[Obie-host] GA F

F> but my issue is with something i have never done myself.. i woke up doing it..after waking i realized i slept beside someone who did it for years..would awaken me this is bothering me because I wonder what i will do next…done

setfree> Give this to the Lord in prayer. Write God a letter. Sounds like you have some internal issues you may not be conscious of do you have a small group?or a counselor?

F> just cir

setfree> You’re in good hands. Ask God for deliverance from evil and perhaps read Neil Anderson’s book Who I Am In Christ

F> ty..i have done his steps to freedom..DONE

[Obie-host] GA Doc

DocDevelopment> You mentioned above: We have to face truth before we can begin the healing journey.Regarding my abuse that I was exposed to during years 0-2?. A different shaming abuse years2-13?. And sexual abuse at age11?. But not really dwelled upon during adolescence?? could
you clarify the word ?truth? you mentioned above ? ?.. is it the truth of the details of the abuse? The overall gist that the abuse existed and it?present affects??.. the Truth of Scripture?or what combination of the above? done

setfree> Yes–truth of abuse. Yes–truth of receiving God’s love. Truth of believing God. Truth of rededicating our lives to Jesus. Truth of who we are and God’s plans for us.Truth that the abuse was not our fault.done

[Obie-host] If you are struggling with some pain in your life…about something past or present..this is a great time to speak up…

[Obie-host] GA dlcnea

dlcnea> i was a Christian 5 years when i got involved in SSA…I immediately felt that i contiued where the abusers left how do we heal with abuse when it is our fault? done

setfree> Confess our sins to Jesus and repent. When we ask Jesus about our sins after confession and repentance He says, “What sins?” He washes us white as snow. When Jesus looks at us He does not see our sins, He sees us as beautiful children–permanent members of His family done

[Obie-host] Who is next?

[Obie-host] !

[Obie-host] At what point do you think that authorities should be brought into a situation? and…what point we should just let it go.. many times molestation is done by a brother or sister…who is quite young. done.

setfree> Teachers have the legal responsibility to report any suspect of abuse.Professionals say we should always tell someone. I told my mother about my uncle but she didn’t believe me. I believe we need to encourage children to talk and tell and not keep it inside.done

[Obie-host] GA Janyelle

janyelle> I had a real struggle with the decision to tell authorities or what to do I prayed about it and God gave me the opportunity to confront my abuser over the phone and now I just feel like I should continue to pray for him doesn’t mean he is off the hook, because God
is the final judge but I do believe this is a personal decision and I did not want him to hurt anyone else.. done

setfree> Confrontation is a tricky issue. Based on my lay counseling experience and personal experiences, 90% of the abusers deny any wrong doing.I too confronted my brother and he denied it. In God’s perfect timing, we all will be stirred to pray for our abusers. But, I don’t think it should be a legalistic deal where we force people to forgive and pray for them. It’s a real personal issue between us and God.I’m proud of you janyelle for relying on the Lord to lead and guide you. You go girl!DONE

Connie> !
[Obie-host] GA Connie

Connie> I just wanted to share that I am going through a particularly rough time right now…with memories of my father forcing sex, and then continuing the abuse by offering me to his friends, and taking pictures of the resulting abuse… I started my journey to healing almost 20 years ago…but remembered only the surface stuff…shocking hurtful.. confusing… but bearable… two years ago my dad died, after a long illness, and denying that he ever abused me…and saying that if he did, I surely forgave him… just before his death(about 2 months) he accepted Christ as his savior. It was not until three or so months ago that I felt safe enough to approach healing in Christ again. I knew there was much more to work on…but I did not really want to know. Now, the confusion, the pain,the horror of what happened is coming to the front, and I am working on it.The BEST thing that I know…is that God is sovereign in His love, His grace, His healing hand It is only by God’s strength that I continue this. Having said all of this,I want to thank you for giving your time and talent to allow God to work through you in your writing and for being here tonight. done

[Obie-host] GA F

F> my abuse made me very detached my family is detached still and i find even tho i have been in churches all of my life this has greatly affected my function in a just doesn’t happen so after over 3 0years i church…trying etc.i quit and decided to just try and get
the communication with God going… oppression was so great i couldn’t hear him anyway cir gives me more church than i ever have known the thing is…i kow we are to be in a local body..but ppl just don’t want to relate..understand or help…oh…i guess i should have a question. …what do you think of this..done

setfree> I can relate as I’m sure others can. Try a church where there are other people like us. Perhaps Calvary Chapel? A non-denom.?A contemporary worship? The Salvation Army?The Bible says we are to worship as a body–that encourages me to attend and try to be active done

[Obie-host] Who would like to ask a question next?

DocDevelopment> You mentioned above: setfree> Oddly enough, I have never been angry at God. !

[Obie-host] GA Doc

DocDevelopment> In my experience I grew angry with God and simultaneously very ashamed of my anger toward Him ?In your experience and through talking with others ?.. can you comment on quenching the Holy Spirit so much that He cannot grant you much peace ( that passes
all understanding) in daily life ?In my experience I was granted peace only after 15 years during my growing and subsiding anger with God According to the above,have you experienced the state of anger against God is ?one of the top 5? for withholding of peace ?.. how about anger with others ?. Fear ??DONE

setfree> Yes, Doc. The Holy Spirit will stay after us until we totally surrender, refining us by fire! When I’ve got unresolved anger, unforgiveness in my heart and more I find that I’m totally out of sorts.That’s a good thing because for years I didn’t feel anything.Now
I realize that when the Holy Spirit is on a mission to get me “right” I better acknowledge the situation and get on my face. No peace, no nothing until the Refiner’s Fire does His work in me done.

[Obie-host] Who has a question?

[Obie-host] Again, if you are struggling with anything in your past or even the present…this is a great time to share…we are all here to help one another.

[Obie-host] GA dlcnea

dlcnea> i used alcohol for many years to deal with the numbness. now i am sober 2 years and still numb. how do u deal with numbness?it feels i am not living life fully cause of this.I think it gets between me and God and me and others. i want to know God fully. done

setfree> God is the same yesterday and today. The good news is that He never changes. We do. The numbness you speak of is mentioned numerous times by David in the Psalms. I’ve found just reading the Psalms, praying them helps release the numbness in me. I don’t think any of us
can truthfully say that we abide with Christ 200% of the time. I try and fail.I’m fine until I get out of bed.But being aware that what we are going through is only temporary gives us hope. Hope to press on through Scripture, prayer, fellowship right here at CIR and seek God’s
face. done

[Obie-host] Who would like to share?

[Obie-host] GA OlCatCBC

OICatCBC> As I said in my 1st q.Being raped by brother from ages 8-11 & telling on him in my teens …No one believed me and so I got no help and develped same sex issues myself…Later married and raped my own son as was done to me..He never told anyone but I did and got help… Now we have a great loving father & son relationship but …I am concerned what will later happen with him …He says he cool and doesn’t need help I’m not sure … What is yr thinking? DONE

setfree> Have the two of you gone for counseling together with a trusted counselor?

OICatCBC> No just me We talk

setfree> I guess my concern, based on experiences, would be does your son have children?

OICatCBC> No he 19 now and has a normal life

setfree> Is he a believer?

OICatCBC> yes

setfree> You know what? I think the Lord is way ahead of us here. Praise God!

OICatCBC> loves me and tells everyone how great I am!

setfree> With God we can resolve these issues and it looks like your son and you are in the right hands, my friend.

OICatCBC> ty I so want to agree but do worry sometimes

setfree> Aren’t you glad you have been set free to discuss these issues with your son?

OICatCBC>It was the most difficult thing to do . but had the best results in my life and his Praise God!

[Obie-host] We have time for another couple of questions] Who has some thoughts they would like to share?

[Obie-host] GA Connie

Connie> I know I’m tripple dippin here…smiles…but I was wondering: Setfree, are you married

Connie> now, and if so, how did you share the information about your abuse with your husband. My husband is this kind and gentle man who has NO clue about the pain associated with my recovery work now…I want to help him understand, but am not sure how. done

setfree> Yes, I’ve been married for 23 years to the same man. A record for me. Early in our marriage I alluded to certain dysfunctions in my family. But, it wasn’t until after my mother’s funeral that the lid flew off Pandora’s Box.No more dancing around the issue. I literally came undone. Both of my sexual abusers were at my mom’s funeral. My whole life played out before me during the funeral as if in video mode My husband supported me and encouraged me to seek counseling which I did for five years

DeeDee> I missed the beginning of this discussion and also I have not yet had the chance to read this book. I think that the church needs to become more open and compassionate towards victims. When my ex-husband molested our nine year old daughter the Pastor of the church I was attending told me it was my fault that I was not right with God or this would never have happened. It has taken me years to find counse

setfree> For me, counseling helped me deal with the issues that I had
buried for so long. done

[Obie-host] DeeDee you can speak now if you like Go ahead DeeDee Perhaps DeeDee is new and not familiar with our protocol…..

[Obie-host]setfree would you care to address what she has typed so far?

setfree> DeeDee, find another church. Legalistic church people can burn us badly. We can only hold the blame for our own personal sins. And for me, that’s quite enough. What is the situation now?

[Obie-host] I am not sure what happened to DeeDee…..

[Obie-host] GA Doc

DocDevelopment> speaking of legalitic people ..the mother of my children was a middle child of 7…an alcoholic family althought she was very very close to walking in Christ …she did tend to be more legalistic and when confronted with my abuse and self abuse…I don’t
think she was capable, in retrospect,to see into the heart and intention and lean on it rather that was obvious before her do to my actions my family dissolved…the children suffered … so in my experience … only a reasonably health mate can handle that kind of a
share and from a man’s perspective …. that fact that 99% of us get ingrained with dwelling upon the “ideal” woman for us when confronted with the obvious opposite ….and since most of us men are soooooooo immature about that .. great caution is advised…we just can’t handle
the expectations of what many women want deep understanding..during the revealing of abuse ..done …. just my perspective

[Obie-host] Thank you Doc Our time is running out……

setfree> Hey, Doc, don’t you love our hindsight? Seems like when we look into the rear view mirror, we see things so clearly.

[Obie-host] GA Doc

DocDevelopment> do you find most men hear the abuse of the spouse …. and put it in some kind of denial … and act as though it really didn’t happen to the ONE we chose to marry ……. the mother of my children had been also raped before I met her so our responses are not quite authentic and loving .. ?? and boy the women “somehow” pick up on that 🙂

setfree> A wise person once told me that my husband could never be my “girlfriend”

[Obie-host] This meeting is coming to a close. At this time we pray for one another and CIR as a whole. Who would like to say the closing prayer? Feel free to stay and chat informally in room #VISIT afterwards. If you have not been to the Message Boards today this is a
good time to do so. Just click on the link above this screen (to the right).

[Obie-host] GA Connie

Connie> Father God, Holy One, Healer of all of our wounds, We thank you first for your gift to us in your son, that we have the right to call you Abba Father. We thank you for this time together, and for the sharing of ideas, hurts, tools of your healing…We thank you for Jan. and for her willingness to allow you to work through her, speak through her, and allow us to see one more step to be”set free” of that which the evil one would use to hold us down. We thank you Father for your love, which is higher than the heavens, and for your faithfulness which is higher than the sky. Father, I pray that you would be with each and every one of us, as we leave here tonight and continue our journey of faith and healing. In
Your most precious Son’s name, amen

[Obie-host] Amen. Thank you Connie. And thank you Jan!! You were very encouraging and inspiring for us all. This was a wonderful workshop.. thank you all for participating in it. We hope to plan one workshop per month in the coming months…Stay tuned

setfree> my pleasure and blessing

[Obie-host] Jan we are delighted and honored that you lead this workshop for us.

Set Free: God’s Healing Power for Abuse Survivors and Those Who Love Them