It wasn’t what happened that was the hardest. It was how. The way shame was thrown and words spewed to make us feel small. The way power was wielded to manipulate, control, and silence. That’s what brought the deepest trauma.

And it angers me. I want to see God make it right and hold people accountable.

There is so much that has happened that doesn’t make sense to me. But I am reminded that I am not in control. (And that is a good thing.)

As time passes, I have to dig beneath that anger and face the pain.

I can’t change what happened or make others be sorry, but I can learn and I can change.

As we’ve sought counsel from others in ministry, we have repeatedly heard how common these kinds of scenarios are that I described above.

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It grieves my heart.

But, I am also convicted.

Because I am just as capable of sinning in these ways.

I am quick to judge others’ actions and see what I think is wrong from my perspective, but am I willing to look at my own heart or hear that my perspective may not necessarily be right?

I want justice for those who hurt me, yet happily receive the mercy I am given each day.

And let’s not get confused about who the real enemy is in it all.

The devil is a liar and a prowling lion. He is a master at causing division and isn’t afraid to use God’s people to do it.

May we humble ourselves, lest we think we are above being a part of his evil schemes.

God, search my heart. Help me grow in grace and gentleness.

What I really need most is to learn Your heart.

Jesus, You had all authority and power, yet You used that power to listen and care.

Your way is gentle and humble.

You are drawn to the hurting and broken, not appalled by the messiness, nor afraid of it tainting your image.

And you died in my place so I don’t have to carry the shame. You experienced deeper injustice than I ever will, and you chose to walk that path willingly.

I don’t have a clue how to love like that. Please teach me.

God, You are patient and merciful to your people when we are repeatedly unfaithful and bring dishonor to Your name.

Please forgive us.

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Help me not act out of my pain or even try to deny it, but learn from the pain.

To walk a different way.

A way that embraces sacrifice and love.

A way of deep compassion.

Then, maybe I can respond differently to someone else in their vulnerability and pain.

So they can see who You really are.

And know there really is a different way.

Originally published on the author’s blog

Michelle O'Brien

I am a wife and mom who has spent most of her life in missions. I write about parts of my story, including the depression I have experienced due to PMDD. My heart is that God would be glorified through my sharing of His hope in the midst of suffering.