Skeletons in the Closet
I once knew a girl, let’s call her Jessica, who had been through abuse as a young girl of three or four years old. The abuse was of a sexual nature and occurred repeatedly over an extended period of time. Jessica is now a vibrant woman in her early adulthood. Recently, Jessica had a dream in which she found the bloodied dress of a little girl. She brought it to the attention of her protectors and they responded by carefully placing the dress in a box and placing it on the highest shelf of the closet. Jessica was alarmed. Shouldn’t this be cause for concern? Shouldn’t something be done? But it seemed that everyone felt it was the best course of action to not talk about the dress, or the little girl and to move on as if nothing had happened at all.
Jessica recognized that the little girl in her dream was her. As a young child, she had felt as though what had happened to her had been swept under the rug. Jessica learned to deal with her pain and feelings of shame by burying them. Her cardinal rule was to never discuss the abuse or the aftermath. The whole event became a skeleton in her closet.
We all have skeletons in our closets. We all have things that have happened that have broken us and altered us and have affected the way we view ourselves, and our relationships.
It’s time that we unpack.
It’s time to unpack what we have buried. It’s time that we unpack each feeling of pain, of brokenness, of shame, of disgust, of hurt, and of un-forgiveness. It’s time that we air out our closet spaces and allow the sun to shine into each cobwebbed corner.
I am learning the importance of allowing others to enter my brokenness. We will never heal in isolation. We need others in our lives who will listen to us cry, give us a hug when needed and that will encourage us that something better awaits. I love what it says in Eccles. 4:9-12, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up… Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
Secondly, we need to start identifying the lies as lies. I believe that everyone has been through at least one situation that has whispered a lie in their ear that resurfaces again and again to varying degrees in an array of circumstances. What lies do you believe? What lies do you believe about yourself? Do you believe you could never be loved? Do you believe you could never be wanted? Do you believe that you will never be good enough? Do you believe you’re fundamentally flawed? Learn to speak God’s truth over your life. As we know from John 8:32, it is the truth that will set us free.
Lastly, know that there’s hope. When faced with the light of day, the skeletons aren’t that scary. When things resurface and the pain feels so real, God’s intention is to always bring healing and to make you stronger in Him. What the enemy uses to tear you down God uses to build you up.
Let’s stop allowing our past to affect our future.
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5)