Chapter 7: I AM Your Childlike Trust

Around the time God began to call me to intercede for His Body, the church, my friend Bettie recommended I read a book by Norman P. Grubb, entitled Rees Howells: Intercessor. Something in this book just broke me. Why did it break me? Grubb shared how Howells, just like the disciple Peter, was confronted with his own inability to fulfill the calling of his God. It was the very thing God had been confronting my heart with also.

It’s in that acknowledgement that God had Howells exactly where He wanted him: in a position to receive what he could never give of himself. It’s then, as Howells surrendered to God’s ability, that he began to recognize a pattern in his intercession. Not only would Howells pray for others, God would bring the very Word he spoke over others alive in his own heart, deeply humbling him in the process. So not only was he praying for the Body, he was proclaiming the Word of God in and through his very own body.

A few months ago, God led me back to Hosea 2 – a Scripture I had received for another, just before He called me out of my former church. And He showed me that what is described in this chapter reflects the very process He was leading me through also. 

As He led me to Hosea 2 for my friend, a friend He was about to ask me to surrender into His hands, He was in fact praying it over me also. That I, just as Peter and Howells, might live the very Word I was given in prayer for the Body of Christ.

What did that process of Hosea 2 look like in my own life and heart? First, He showered me in blessings upon my return to Him as a Prodigal child, as I sought His face and humbled myself before Him in His leading. Then, I saw those blessings He had showered upon me as coming from my own striving – from the steps I had chosen to take that led to my healing from trauma.

And she did not know

    that it was I who gave her

    the grain, the wine, and the oil,

and who lavished on her silver and gold,

    which they used for Baal.

Therefore I will take back

    my grain in its time,

    and my wine in its season,

and I will take away my wool and my flax,

    which were to cover her nakedness.

So, He humbled me anew. Sending fresh trauma triggers, He exposed my weakness and sin, as I openly confessed my need for God’s grace. Around the same time He began leading me to share specific Scriptures with one of my pastors. I now realize these Scriptures were not only confronting the false teaching going on behind the scenes, but also my own pride and idolatry.

The false teaching directly contradicts the Good News that declares Christ’s power as being perfected in weakness and the blood of Jesus as having broken the curse of sin and death. It sets itself up in the place of God. It denies the power of the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us to lead us to repentance – to save us from our sin and the penalty of death and to sanctify us on a daily and moment-by-moment basis. And it encourages people to put their trust in human doctrine, leading them away from an experiential understanding of our freedom in Christ, in a unique and very personal way, through the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.

The false teaching does what I had wanted to do, after I began to pride myself in my “healing” from CPTSD. For, I had begun to set myself up on a pedestal, wanting others to follow what God had me do that had led to my “healing” from trauma. But beautifully, right when He had me sharing those Scriptures with my pastor, God began to humble me with fresh trauma triggers, to help me live the very Word He had me sharing. I didn’t see that though, until I looked back years later.

I began to face rejection in my open confessions of sin and weakness, and in my obedience to God’s prompting to share the Scriptures He gave me for my pastor. Each rejection I faced, as hearts hardened toward me, took me back to my childhood experience of rejection. I heard those same accusations from my past screaming at me, that I had agreed with as a child: “God has abandoned you, you don’t belong to Him, you are evil, look at how sinful you are, you are inherently wrong, God made a mistake with you, look at how you repel other Christians.” 

But this time, strengthened by my experience of God’s mercy and compassion to me in the past, I kept crying out to God. And He upheld me, even in moments I wanted to take my own life. He continually lifted me up out of the pit of self, pride and idolatry to set me on the Rock of His Word to me, restoring me unto Himself. 

He had me lay down every accusation of the enemy at His feet, where He clothed me in the truth of His Word. He repeatedly showed me that my identity and worth is rooted in Him alone and can never be stolen from me.

As I poured out laments before Him, in my deep pain through each rejection, He again and again filled me with such deep grief for those I was praying for. He continually exchanged the bitterness, unforgiveness and hatred in my own heart of stone for fervent love, compassion and mercy, uncovering His heart of flesh beating inside of me.

Now, I know that God led me out of that church just as a disciplinary hearing was being planned to remove me from the ministry positions I had been given. God had had me openly rebuke hidden sin – a rebuke that did not lead to repentance. Then, as I was rebuked by those present in my own wrongdoing, He convicted my heart, leading me to confess my own sin of looking where I shouldn’t have, which had led to the discovery of that sin in the first place. 

Now I will uncover her lewdness

    in the sight of her lovers,

    and no one shall rescue her out of my hand.

And I will put an end to all her mirth,

    her feasts, her new moons, her Sabbaths,

    and all her appointed feasts.

And I will lay waste her vines and her fig trees,

    of which she said,

‘These are my wages,

    which my lovers have given me.’

I will make them a forest,

   and the beasts of the field shall devour them.

And I will punish her for the feast days of the Baals

    when she burned offerings to them

and adorned herself with her ring and jewelry,

    and went after her lovers

    and forgot me, declares the Lord.

Beautifully God placed a dear friend in my midst who had had a dream about what just unfolded and that dream encouraged her to speak up and affirm the choices He had asked me to take through His Word: both to speak up about the sin I had discovered and to confess my own sin. 

In His great kindness to me, God then led me out before that disciplinary meeting could take place. His punishment of me was to strip me of all that was suffocating His breath in me. 

At first I struggled to receive God’s love for me and His protection of my heart in this stripping. He took away what I didn’t realize I had begun to build my self-worth and identity upon in the pain and shame I felt through all the rejection. But then, this lifting off of the chaff, this loosing of a much too heavy yoke, became His greatest gift to me. 

I now see how God only took away my idols to reveal the beauty of Himself in me – truth, love and grace. He showed me that I need never be afraid of His discipline that is so different to the world’s discipline.

No! God’s training of us is never sent to shame and condemn us. It is never sent to set us aside to become worthless, as we remain chained to a vanity that leaves us perpetually empty and out in the cold. His discipline of us – His children – is a chastening in love that is sent to convict and free us of our sins that we might be set apart unto Him to bear abundant and abiding fruit. 

In His great kindness to me, God led me out into the wilderness, to allure me and restore me unto Himself. He revealed His deep compassion for me in my weakness, meeting my desperate need to just be held in His arms. He revealed Himself to be so very different from the idol I had made of Him – an idol I had fashioned after my own idols of self, man, ministry and church.

“Therefore, behold, I will allure her,

    and bring her into the wilderness,

    and speak tenderly to her.

And there I will give her her vineyards

    and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.

And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth,

    as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.

Not long after we buried my Mum, about three years earlier, God had given me a personal Promise to hold onto. I had framed this Promise with photos of my Mum, my sisters and myself (Isaiah 51:3, NIV):

The Lord will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.

What I didn’t realize is that for this Promise to be birthed in me, more and more, God would have to lead me into the wilderness to uncover my parched and famished heart and soul. For, only in His gardening – and not my idols’ – could the seeds of His Word take root and flourish in His heart for me. As Jeremiah 31:4 (ESV) puts it:

And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

By God’s grace, I am now relearning how to turn to Jesus in my need, as His childlike trusting heart in me is unfolding piece by piece. And it is in Jesus fixing my eyes upon Himself and the finished work of the Cross that my Savior is exchanging my hunger, thirst, pain and disgrace for joy and gladness, thanksgiving and the sound of singing. He is opening my eyes to His love for me right where I am. By His grace, I am learning to receive Him in those He has hemmed me in with, as He is now leading me out to a spacious place with Him.

 “And in that day, declares the Lord, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’ For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more. I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety. And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord. 

God is truly sowing the Word of life so richly in my midst, as He is leading me and others around me to openly confess our weakness and sin before each other, to speak the truth to each other in love and to freely extend mercy to each other. We are learning and growing together, as Jesus is revealing Himself to us in an intimate and personal way.

“And in that day I will answer, declares the Lord,

    I will answer the heavens,

    and they shall answer the earth,

and the earth shall answer the grain, the wine, and the oil,

    and they shall answer Jezreel,

    and I will sow her for myself in the land.

And I will have mercy on No Mercy,

    and I will say to Not My People, ‘You are my people’;

    and he shall say, ‘You are my God.’”

Yes, I am tasting and seeing the goodness of my God in the land of the living. For, in His love, kindness and mercy to me, He is proving me to be His child. Christ’s childlike trust of our Abba Father is unfolding in me and setting me apart according to His purposes for me.

And as I come to Him for mercy in His hemming in, His compassion is being awakened in me. As I daily lift my broken body and my broken heart to Him, as I daily join Him in His suffering, He is declaring His eternal healing not just over me, but over His whole Body and heart.

Celebrate Jesus and Behold Him Face to Face

The Word translated as compassion, and as “mercy” in the King James Version in the verse: Luke 6:36 CJB Show compassion, just as your Father shows compassion, has also been described by the HELPS Word-Study as:

Cognate: 3629 oiktírmōn (an adjective, derived from 3627 /oikteírō, “express visceral-compassions”) – compassionate, experiencing deep pity (lamentation) as God has for people who look to Him for help in their difficult situations.

Are you, like me, going through a situation that is deeply grieving your own heart right now? Are you feeling hemmed in, in any way? Will you join me then, in bringing a lament before our Heavenly Father, in pouring out your heart before Him with me, just like King David did repeatedly?

Oh may the compassion of our LORD Jesus meet us in our weakness and need. As we come to Him, may He not only pour out His mercy and compassion upon us, but also birth His compassion and mercy in us afresh, for His Body, as He reveals His trusting childlike heart beating inside of our own body.

Before you join me to read the Scripture for today aloud, I invite you to slow with me to listen to this song:

As you read the Scripture below aloud, what word or phrase lingers? 

Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to reveal why it lingers and what God our Father wants us to see, know or do in response to His Word to us.

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! Luke 13:34 (ESV)

Steps of Love

Something broke inside of me and I slipped into a deep depression. I wrote:

Some months ago one judgmental remark from someone put me into a tailspin and brought me face to face with painful memories of past abuse. At first I disassociated from my feelings. I didn’t want to feel at all, because it hurt too much. I continued on in life like a robot. But I became more and more depressed until one day something inside me broke. I sobbed and cried, “I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m so sick of being strong for everyone around me…”

It was like I was sinking deeper and deeper into a sea of turmoil, gulping up water. In my mind Jesus was standing above the surface looking down at me and shaking his head. “Hopeless case, that one…” I felt so forsaken of God. His promises seemed bogus, and I could not grasp a single one.

The weight of depression stomped me down, down, down…

Roaring In

Shame-slapping Scowls

Stormy Emotions

Stomping Down

Sinking Me

I couldn’t have made it that dark day without the grace of God. By the end of the day my heart was still heavy, but the care and compassion loved ones gave me lifted me up to see a pinpoint of hope. And the next day, God had a pleasant surprise for  me.

“I will give thanks and praise the Lord, with all my heart;

I will tell aloud all Your wonders and marvelous deeds.”

Psalm 9:1

My husband suggested I take my writing pad and go to the Falls. He knew nature often relaxes and comforts me. It helps me to remember God still has all things in His control. I sat on a rock and watched the water rush over the red rock formations. I let the sound of it sooth my weary soul. I imagined the wind as the breath of God kissing my face and telling me I will make it through this.

When I walked along the paths and around the Art Barn, I stopped in awe. There in front of me written in chalk down the front of the steps was a message that still impacts me today. “I will love you every step of the way. ♥” I knew it was God speaking directly to my despairing heart.

Then I remembered a song – “Steady My Heart” by Kari Jobe.

“Wish it could be easy

Why is life so messy?

Why is pain a part of us?

There are days I feel like

Nothing ever goes right

Sometimes it just hurts so much

But You’re here

You’re real

I know I can trust You

Even when it hurts

Even when it’s hard

Even when it all just falls apart

I will run to You

‘Cause I know that You are

Lover of my soul

Healer of my scars

You steady my heart.”

Sometimes God sends the greatest comforts out of the deepest valleys, doesn’t He? My heart still felt wounded, but I knew I could run to Jesus and He would pull me up again out of the pit and set my feet upon the Rock.

“He reached down and drew me from the deep,

dark hole where I was stranded,

mired in the muck and clay.

With a gentle hand, He pulled me out

To set me down safely on a warm rock;

He held me until I was steady enough

to continue the journey again.”

Psalm 40:2 Voice

That toxic shame still often pierces the core of who I am and screams, “You’re worthless. How can someone like you ever make a positive difference? You don’t deserve comfort. You don’t deserve to be accepted. ”

Panic still creeps in and shouts, “Watch out! You’re going to be hurt again. Reinforce that wall.”

Healing is a process though, right? I have learned that many struggle with inadequacy, shame, and fear of trusting. And I know there are others who also do but remain silent onlookers. And that’s ok. 

All of us have a story to tell, and there is not one story that is less important than another. There is not one hurt that is less painful than anyone else’s. Every story counts. Every. Single. One. So don’t let that bug bite you and tell you, “Your burdens are not as bad as someone else’s.” I know by experience that can stifle the grieving process. Every hurt needs grieving in order to start healing.

Remember! You are so special to God! You have been created uniquely for a special purpose only you can fill. Jesus loves you so much that He sacrificed His life for you. His arms are wide open with welcome, longing for you to run into them. Yes, life can be messy. Yes, it can hurt so much and be so hard. But He cares about broken hearts and delights to heal them.

Precious Lord Jesus, sometimes life can hurt so much and be so hard, but You have promised You care about our broken hearts and You delight to heal us. When shame poisons our perspective, please help us to see that in You, we are beautiful and valuable. When we feel like we’re drowning in the storms of life, please help us to reach up and grasp Your hand ever reaching out to us. Your hand of unfailing love and compassion. Please break all the chains that still bind us and keep us from dancing in Your victory for us. Heal us ever more deeply! Thank You for Your unconditional love and powerful grace!

This post is excerpted from Trudy Den Hoed’s blog post: https://freedtofly.me/2016/05/03/depression-and-deliverance/

which was first published in 2016.

Trudy’s passion is to encourage others there is hope in Jesus and His love in the midst of loss, heartache, and trauma. Jesus has become the needed oxygen for her soul as she continues on a lifelong journey of healing from past abuse. She lives in the midwestern United States and is grateful to be blessed with a loving husband and precious children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.