Survival from Life’s Tragedies and Abuses Workshop – Transcript

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

Welcome to the latest CIR Workshop: Survival from Life’s Tragedies and Abuses.

Each month CIR has a live workshop and discussion with a published author or expert in the Christian recovery field. The sessions are approximately one hour long: 1st part of the session the guest speaker will presents a premise or principles of their work and the 2nd part of the session you get a chance to ask questions and get answers with emphasis on life application in recovery.

Tonight our guest speaker is Jan Coates. She is the author of

Set Free: God’s Healing Power for Abuse Survivors & Those Who Love Them.
Because you will benefit greatly from the information in this book are encouraged to read it.

As a survivor of child abuse, divorce, the loss of her only child, cancer, gang warfare, and more, she knows about hanging on to a bare thread of hope and overcoming, in spite of all odds and worldly conditions. You are encouraged to participate in the discussion with Jan after she finishes speaking.

jancoatesauthor: As a frightened child I often prayed, “lord deliver me from evil.” I prayed these words while I as locked i closets, beaten with wire hangers and had boiling water poured on my body. I went to school wearing dirty clothes, hair uncombed, with visible bruises and gashes on my body.
My father, a godly man, took me to church regularly and taught me how to prya. Unfortunately, my mothers suffered from para. Schiz., man depression, alcoholism and drug addiction. In her care I endured physical and emotional abuse as well as neglect.

At age 9 I publicly accepted Jesus as my Savior. s the pastor immersed me in the baptismal waters I whispered, “thank you, Jesus, for saving my life.”
That evening a dysfunctional relative raped me.

I endured emotional, verbal and sexual abuse throughout my childhood.
As a teen full of shame and guilt from abuse, I turned my back on my Christian faith. I believed the Lies Satan hissed in my ear, “God doesn’t want you. Don’t bother to pray because you are a dirty, soiled outcast. You can’t trust anyone, not even God.”

Unfortunately, I believed these lies and for nearly 17 years I limped through life without uttering a single prayer.

In my fragmented mind, I thought: After all why would God want to hear from someone like me?

To everyone except my only child Chris my heart was hardened. I was bitter. I had buried within me an indescribable rage.

Many people, including myself, who have endured abusive childhoods act out in ways that we’re not proud of, including: drugs, alcohol, sex, and …. In fact 90% of those in treatment were abused as children.
Before Jesus, my life was no different.

I met my husband Bill, after living the life of a divorced mom for years. For the first time in my life my son and I had a real family—things were really looking up.
Then 3 months after Bill and I were married, a drunk driver killed my only child, Chris.

At the lowest point in my life, completed broken and consumed with grief, I finally cried, “God help me.” God answered.

I could hear Him say, “Be still my lost and broken child. Chris is with me.”
God drew me into His warm, loving arms.

I’ve been in a healing journey to be Set Free from my past to pursue my future since October 14, 1982.

Since I’ve been on this healing journey with Christ, I’ve discovered that my woundedness qualifies me to point others to Christ Jesus the Healer–that grace and healing are communicated through my vulnerability.”

My book Set Free is written to abuse survivors and Those who love them! One in three people sitting on the pews of the church, or walking the streets are survivors of abuse.
Some, like me, walk two steps from the gates of Hell.

As a Christian author, speaker and consultant, I’m on a passionate mission to communicate powerful, hope-filled messages that encourage and equip–and help others be Set Free.

Obie-host: I have a question to get us started. Rape is an extremely difficult thing to recover from. Many feel that it is their fault that they have been raped.
How did you get over the feelings of guilt and being dirty and all the other feelings you experienced?

jancoatesauthor: I too felt that I had done something to cause the rapes and years of sexual abuse. Guilt plagued me and filled me with shame and guilt.

I too felt that I had done something to cause the rapes and years of sexual abuse. Guilt plagued me and filled me with shame and guilt.

But through Bible study and reading the Word, counseling and group support, I’ve discovered that:
1. I did nothing to cause the rapes and various abuses.
2. I did not ask for it.
3. I do not own the sin.
4. The guilty ones are the perpetrators! Not the victim.
5. Their sins are not our sins.
6. In God’s eyes we are innocent victims who were violated and abused.

Bobbi: Still unable to feel Gods Love unable to trust. Do not know what else to do Why?

jancoatesauthor: Perhaps. I don’t want to be one of those guests who pitches her book over and over, so I will mentioned it once. In Set Free I outline all the steps to be release your past and transform from a victim to an overcomer.
First, we have to accept God’s love.
God created us to be loved and to have a loving relationship with Him. Look back at why God created Adam and Eve–and that’s us too.
We have to trust God and believe His Word literally. After all, we did not chose God; rather, He chose us! Right where we are–come as you are–you can be loved.
Does that make sense, Bobbi? done

Bobbi: How do we feel God’s love when we have been rejected all of our lives?

jancoatesauthor:Remember God’s Word is Truth. Read Scripture and put your name in front of it.
for example: For I know the plans I have for Bobbi, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give Bobbi hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Part of the process is learning to feel worthy to call on God. That means we have to sort through truth from lies. Satan wants nothing more than to keep you from accepting God’s truth. He wants to whisper in your ear, “bobbi, you ain’t good enough. How could God love you.” But God’s word says, “God is love.” “God loves Bobbie so much that His only Son died on the cross just for Bobbi.”

This is truth and this is where we have to start. Allow the truth of God to saturate your entire being. Print out Who You Are in Christ and keep it with you at all times to remind you that you are a princess in God’s Kingdom–a permanent member of His family forever!

Newhopelife: I understand acceptance of Gods Love and putting your name in the scripture, to look at the truth. I was wondering you said it took awhile for you to come back to God was there one specific thing that happened that drew you back?

jancoatesauthor: Yes, the death of my son Chris. I hit bottom. I was shattered into pieces and in the midst of my pain I cried out to God for the first time in 17 years. And I heard Him. I felt His love. All that time, I felt too unworthy because of Satan’s lies. God never turned His back on me–i turned my back to Him because I couldn’t sort thru truth from lies. Now I know to look at the Word for All truth.

Six months after I buried my son Chris my husband and I rededicated our lives to Christ. We were both baptized in the same church my son was baptized in years before. God’s army from my son’s church reached out to us during our loss and loved on us like we’ve never been loved before. In other words, God sent His front line army to rescue us when no one else could really reach us.

bj: did you have flashbacks and if so how did you cope with them ?

jancoatesauthor: Yes and I do suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
I have learned to cast my cares upon the Lord. To open my palms and reach toward to heavenlies and release my fears, flashback and anxieties to God. It takes practice, time and patience with ourselves.

Bobbi: Do you believe you have to go to “church on Sunday” to recover?

jancoatesauthor: I believe God’s family is there to help us. It may be that we need time to walk through those doors. I do know many churches have support groups, including Calvary Chapel and many others. I’m also seeing Set Free support groups popping up in churches and outreach organizations, recovery and ministries. We have to learn to accept the love of others. Many will say the wrong thing. Many will not know what to say. Some will know just the right words to encourage us, make us feel safe and secure.

pbseesaw: I just want to say first thank you to Jan for sharing she has got incredible strength to do this
I see so much of my own life while she telling her story that I wanted to leave the meeting but I didn’t
My question is Acceptance seems to be the link that allows us to receive of the Father’s love.
So what or why is this step so hard is it because we don’t no longer have the ability to trust again?

jancoatesauthor: We have to remember that sinful humans and Satan created this situation–not God. Too often we blame God. For me, I never blamed God; rather, I blamed myself. Nonetheless, God is a sovereign God. He created the word “trust” and in Him alone we can find a safe refuge. Indeed, He is trustworthy. He never lies. Over time, we learn to trust in Him. Be gentle with you as you work through this.
One more thing, pbseesaw. Thank you for your compliment. But the strength is not mine. To God be all glory! And I mean this from the bottom of my heart.

seed: I noticed in your introduction distinct classification of your abusers a dysfunctional relative, a suffering mother,
this shows me you went through a process for accepting the abusive choices of others as something. God didn’t choose but allowed because He knew obedience from you could bring Him glory…
like blame no longer healed….God did…
I can only do this to a degree… on a self level… I can choose to seek a relationship with my Lord in spite of them….
I still want to wallow in how the choices of my abusers effect my a family and the world I need to pray them through. How do you view our accountability of generational sin? Does it simply disappear in regeneration?

jancoatesauthor: I’m proud of you seed for acknowledging the truth of what the abusers did in your life.
Believe me, the labels I gave for my abusers earlier have not always been the names I used for them. Ahem… you know what I mean.
But today, after much,much healing I can do this.
Step one: Ask God to reveal the burdens (sins committed against you) in your heart
These burdens are taking up valuable space that God wants… These burdens are like a cancer in us. They can continue to grow and affect who we are as a mom, a spouse, a daughter of the King. And really, do you want those scoundrels to have any space in your heart? I know I don’t. And if you want to heal, you have to release them.

Step Two. Acknowledge the sins committed against us.
Step Three. Acknowledge our pain and the anger.
Step Four. Surrender and release the burdens (sins of our abusers) in our hearts to God.

Sample prayer:
Father God, I confess that __________(name of person) hurt me when he/she __________(name of offense.
It made me feel _______________(unloved, unworthy, dirty, rejected, etc.)
Father, you have said that all things are possible through Christ Jesus. I claim this promise and ask that you release me from my anger/rage/whatever against ____________(name of person).
Through the power of Christ Jesus, I release my anger against (name of person). I surrender the sin and the pain to you, Lord, right now through this prayer.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Bobbi: How do I deal with my anger and mistrust of a God who would allow innocent children to be abused sexually, emotionally and physically? Is it really possibe to experience Spiritually Love from a Heavenly Father when every man I have known in my life has been abusive even my husband of 39 years. The only place I feel safe is in
an AA meeting because I feel God speaks to me then.

jancoatesauthor: ((((((((bobbi)))))))))) I’m proud of you for allowing God to speak to you in a meeting. Good job!
It is possible to trust God even after what the world has done to you. Let’s look at the facts:
First, God created Adam and Eve without sin. Satan tempted both of them and they disobeyed God by eating of the forbidden fruit. Since then evil and sin are the rulers of the air.
We can thank Adam and Eve when we get to heaven.

bama: I just want to thank you for your wonderful book Jan.
God ministered greatly to my soul through your words. Jan did God begin your ministry and lead you to where you are today?

jancoatesauthor: (((((((((bama)))))))))) You are so welcome. Someone once asked me, “Jan if just one person found God’s love and healing, would you have spent the five years to write Set Free?”
My answer: Without a doubt. Your words bless me abundantly.

gt: how do you deal with the feelings of abandonment from God in my head i know he loves me
I have been working very hard to get past this but when I come to him all i can do is sob.

jancoatesauthor: Our emotions are misleading and often false. We may “feel” abandoned by God. For me, I was the one who turned my back on God out of feelings of unworthiness, and more. For 17 yrs. I didn’t utter a single prayer. I lived a life two steps from the gates of hell. Really. , but in reality we typically are the ones

God is with us always. Some things keep us at a distance, including: unconfessed sin and more. I started with a list of things I had done. I made a long list that filled a spiral notebook. Later, I burned it.
God is waiting for us to surrender and then He’ll scoop us up in His love.

pbseesaw: I to have a problem with abandonment feelings just a little different .I waited in fear a many of nights not knowing what was going to happen
and would pray to God to come and help me but I never got taken out of the place I was at.

jancoatesauthor: God says, “I will never leave your or forsake you.” If we believe the word of God, which we do. Then how do we interpret this scripture?

bama: i think i understand what pb is trying to say, cause i wonder also at times, how can a loving god turn away the cries of an innocent child who believes so perfectly?

seed: Agreeing with the other two in understanding cause and effect, God allows choices.
Even the bad ones of others to affect the most innocent. And I do believe that it is through our own relationship with Him we get over these hurdles
but because of the rape of a slave of somebodies great grandfather and the segregation of another’s grandfather.

jancoatesauthor: And God sees the sins, the hurt children and more and He weeps.

seed: I cannot find a church that will accept my grandson or one that will help a 17 yr old into 12 steps.

jancoatesauthor: He gathers us into His arms and holds us dearly, sometimes carrying us when we are unable to walk. Yea, He is with us always.

seed: These were not the sins of my immediate abusers….and I am not accountable for even their sins.

jancoatesauthor: (((((((((seed)))))))) Perhaps do an Internet search and look for a church with these specific programs: 12 Steps for youth, Celebrate Recovery, and more. I know they are there, just keep searching.You are right, Seed, you do not own the sins of your abusers. They are accountable to God. And God is the judge. I offered to help Him many times, but He says He has done this for thousands of years without my hellp and will continue to do so .No I mean

Bobbi: When do we graduate?

jancoatesauthor: We graduate with each passing day.

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

Because you will benefit greatly from the information in this book are encouraged to read it.