Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ… II Corinthians 2:14 (KJV)
I’m reading a book about dysfunctional families and the brokenness that often results in their offspring. It’s rather disconcerting until you look around to see whose family is not dysfunctional. Really, who has a perfect family with no flawed members?
The book describes the adult lives of children who are victims of childhood trauma, abuse, absent parents (physically or emotionally), illness, and numbers of other issues. I think I know a number of these people and the heaviness that still characterizes their lives. Some of them we would call victims. But, thanks be to God, there is healing for all our heartbreaks.
Some time ago I read about another victim. Jeanne Guyon was the daughter of wealthy parents in the 17th Century, was forced to marry an older man when she was 15, was abused by her mother-in-law and maid, suffered the deaths of three of her children, and finally was widowed. Refusing to become a victim, Madame Guyon instead drew closer to God. She used her money to reach out to other seekers and renounced her personal possessions. (One of her most ardent disciples who went on to become the Archbishop of Cambrai and a great mentor in his own right was François de la Mothe-Fénelon.) Even when imprisoned for her faith, Guyon spent her nights encouraging seekers through the bars of her cell.
Madame Jeanne Guyon’s writings still live on as testaments to a life of joy and intimacy with her Father who brought healing and redemption as she trusted in him. She chose to use her suffering to bring healing, to be a victor rather than a victim.
So can we…
Father, thank you that we can cling to you as our perfect, heavenly Father. Thank you for the healing that you bring to our broken places. Help us to choose victory through you rather than be identity as victims. You are able to do exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or think. Touch us and make us whole. In Jesus’ name. Amen.