Participants: Shelley Quinn (Host), Nicole Parker
Series Code: IAA
Program Code: IAA000447A
00:30 Hello, I am Shelley Quinn
00:31 and we welcome you to Issues and Answers.
00:34 Today we're going to be talking about something
00:37 that is actually a very,
00:41 it's a tender topic, let me put it that way.
00:44 But it is going to bring relief to so many people.
00:47 We will be talking about healing
00:49 from sexual abuse.
00:51 Now even if you've not been sexually abused,
00:53 there is certainly within our church,
00:56 within your neighborhood
00:58 there are so many people that you can reach out to
01:01 that I would recommend you watch this,
01:03 so that you can be one
01:06 who introduces people to the healing process.
01:10 Our special guest returning
01:12 is Nicole Parker and Nicole you are...
01:15 have a master's degree in biblical counseling.
01:18 And on our last program
01:21 you talked about your own abuse,
01:24 the childhood abuse you suffered,
01:26 how that distorted your picture of God
01:30 made you fiercely independent
01:31 where you didn't want to trust on the Lord.
01:34 But you also suffered
01:36 from a great deal of anxiety and depression
01:40 and God brought you out of all of that.
01:43 Yes, what's amazing
01:45 is that when you're in the midst
01:47 of being very unhealthy,
01:49 it feels totally normal and healthy to you.
01:51 And God is so gracious to us,
01:53 He leads us gently along the path of healing.
01:55 Ooh wait, but I want to go back to what you just said,
01:58 when you're in the midst of it this seems normal,
02:01 it seems natural.
02:02 When you're in a bad...
02:04 If you're in a relationship that you're getting battered
02:06 and you're in the middle of it,
02:07 it can seem like this is a normal pattern.
02:09 Or if you're in the middle of this abuse
02:12 and you're reacting
02:13 with "Okay, I'm going to take care of myself,"
02:16 then this all seems very normal
02:20 because you can't see the forest for the trees.
02:23 Exactly. Okay.
02:24 In the midst of what I was going
02:26 through even though I was doing things
02:28 that made no sense,
02:29 you know, if there was a man walking
02:30 toward me on a sidewalk,
02:32 I would get off the sidewalk
02:33 and act like I wanted to pick up a leaf
02:34 or a dandelion or something
02:36 so that he wouldn't get close enough to me
02:37 to trigger a panic attack
02:39 and yet this was just the way I lived.
02:41 When I would stand in line somewhere I'd make sure
02:43 I was leaning against something with my back protected
02:47 because I knew if someone walked behind me
02:48 it might trigger a panic attack.
02:51 But no one had any idea,
02:53 you know, I was going to school and laughing with my friends
02:55 and spending time with people
02:56 and I was just very good at putting on the mask,
03:00 but behind the mask was something very different.
03:02 And there were periods of time that I cried myself to sleep
03:05 every single night for months on end
03:08 because I didn't know
03:10 how to deal with the severe depression,
03:11 the darkness that just never left.
03:14 But God broke through and healed you
03:17 of anxiety and depression.
03:18 Yes, I don't struggle with those things,
03:20 now I won't say I'm not tempted
03:22 but the devil comes to me and says,
03:25 "This is what you're worth, this is how much you're loved,"
03:28 and he lies, he always has the same lies
03:31 that he likes to manufacture for us.
03:33 So when the devil comes to you to say,
03:35 "This is what you're worth,"
03:36 he is diminishing your worth, he is diminishing you,
03:41 but you know that your value to God
03:44 is that God gave His Son
03:47 because He put such a high value on you
03:49 and you are worth nothing less than the price
03:50 He paid for you
03:52 with the precious blood of Jesus Christ.
03:53 That's right.
03:54 You see all the devil's temptations
03:57 are temptations toward unbelief and pride.
04:00 That's always the root of whatever fruit is manifest
04:04 in our lives that the devil's working.
04:06 Unbelief in the character of God.
04:07 Right, unbelief in the character of God.
04:09 So if the devil comes to me and says,
04:11 you never do anything right.
04:13 What that really means is you are worthless
04:17 unless you accomplish things,
04:19 unless you achieve
04:21 and I have to meet it with the Word of God.
04:23 God says, I am priceless in His sight.
04:26 He says He has created me in His image
04:28 and redeemed me by His blood.
04:30 These are the measures of my worth.
04:32 When you meet the devil's lies with that kind of truth,
04:35 the temptations melt away.
04:37 Now I've counseled with so many people
04:39 that in five or ten minutes
04:40 of repeating the devil's lies to themselves,
04:42 they'll send themselves spiraling.
04:43 It may take them weeks or months
04:45 to recover from that spiral because of course,
04:47 once you spiral down into it it's so much easier
04:50 just to stay at the bottom of that pit.
04:51 Now, and let me be more specific there
04:54 because I think I understand what you're saying
04:56 is that when you believe the devil's lies,
04:58 this is just five minutes of mistrusting God
05:02 is what you're saying.
05:05 Five minutes of thinking something that isn't,
05:08 that doesn't align itself with the true character of God.
05:11 If you start thinking well,
05:12 God doesn't really love me He plays favorites,
05:16 I'm this, I'm that, yes,
05:17 that is we know Satan
05:19 but if that's your thought process
05:22 it only takes five minutes
05:23 of that to plunge someone into a depression
05:25 that can last weeks or months.
05:28 You start down the slide,
05:29 you don't know where you're gonna end up
05:31 but you know
05:32 it's always gonna be a lot worse than you
05:34 thought you would when you started out.
05:36 Temptation is always on the thought level
05:38 because the battle is for the heart.
05:40 The Bible makes it clear, God is always after the heart.
05:42 He's not after us behaving correctly.
05:44 Behavior follows our hearts.
05:47 So the devil's always gonna attack us
05:49 in our thought life first,
05:50 he's going to say,
05:52 "God is not good, God is not love,
05:54 God doesn't love you," what really he says...
05:56 Or he's going to say
05:57 as with my case
05:59 that God doesn't save, you have to save yourself.
06:02 You have to be perfect to be loved by God
06:05 and then that is something when you believe that then,
06:09 you know, I counsel with so many people
06:12 who feel like, "Oh, if I could only,
06:13 you know, I'm not good enough for God.
06:15 I don't know if I'm gonna be ready
06:16 for the second return."
06:18 And they'll never just surrender
06:20 and allow God to work in them to will
06:22 and to act according to His good pleasure.
06:24 It's always a battle about the character of God.
06:27 Is He really who He says He is in His Word.
06:30 Or is He who I feel He is or is He who the circumstances
06:33 of my life seem to indicate that He is.
06:36 The faith heroes of scripture like Joseph and Moses,
06:40 they were people who said, "God is who He says He is,
06:42 no matter what my circumstances seem to say."
06:44 Amen. "I'm going to follow Him."
06:46 And so the battles
06:48 that we go through
06:49 even the things that aren't the will of God,
06:50 abuse, addiction, terrible things
06:52 that happen to people in this world,
06:54 things that aren't the will of God
06:56 become opportunities for us to become faith heroes.
06:59 And, you know, I'm just sitting here,
07:01 it's just really resonating with me
07:03 because I think how important it is for us
07:05 to get the truth out about the nature of God
07:08 because I do know one thing,
07:09 I grew up believing that God was worse than Hitler,
07:15 worse than the torture of Hitler
07:16 that He was going to burn us eternally,
07:20 constantly this burning hell
07:22 that we would never escape from.
07:24 So I always kept God at arm's length
07:26 because of that,
07:28 so that is when Satan creates a lie
07:32 and something that the church
07:34 then even actually propagates the lie,
07:36 boy, you're setting people up for all of this.
07:39 That's right.
07:40 Now he is, we know that sin destroys
07:43 any kind of a healthy relationship
07:45 we can have with God.
07:46 And you're saying that actually this anxiety and depression
07:52 is because we're believing a lie about God,
07:55 so our unbelief leads us then to pride,
07:59 trying to do something for our self
08:01 which damages the relationship with God.
08:04 Now how does someone...
08:06 if someone particularly has suffered,
08:09 there's probably not a more personal...
08:13 I don't know how to say this, personal is a word,
08:17 a personal affront or sin against,
08:19 committed against someone than sexual abuse, that is...
08:22 That's right.
08:24 That violates someone as far as sins
08:27 that are committed against us that violates us in a way
08:31 that cannot be explained
08:33 unless you have suffered through it.
08:35 How does someone who has suffered this abuse,
08:40 what is the process to overcoming
08:43 this unbelief, to overcoming...
08:46 How do they connect with God for healing?
08:50 You know I...
08:51 This is why I'm so passionate about biblical counseling
08:54 because I have discovered
08:56 that the gospel heals any heart
08:59 from any kind of effective sin.
09:00 The true gospel.
09:01 The true gospel and the gospel is that God is love
09:05 that when we really grasp that He is love, by His love,
09:10 love will be awakened in our hearts.
09:11 The love of God is simple, love God first,
09:14 love your neighbor as yourself but no one can love God
09:17 if they believe that He is an evil,
09:18 hateful, horrible being.
09:21 So as we understand the love of God
09:23 that awakens love in our hearts for Him
09:26 and, you know,
09:27 sin wherever it touches is a breaker of relationship.
09:31 It destroys our relationship with God by unbelief about Him.
09:34 If I cannot believe
09:35 He is who He says He is in His Word,
09:37 then I'm going to create a monster in some way
09:40 and then I cannot worship Him.
09:42 But, you know, Nicole, isn't the first step to healing...
09:49 For you it had to be,
09:51 you know, you blocked it off and I mean,
09:53 and often we'll hear
09:54 that when something truly traumatic happens.
09:57 It's like your memory is cocooned somewhere
10:02 and it will sometimes be totally blocked
10:04 because it's too traumatic to deal with.
10:07 Now the first step though is in reaching that,
10:10 admitting your pain and brokenness, isn't it?
10:13 Yes and that, that happens naturally
10:16 when we grasp the character of God.
10:19 The more that I can believe that God is who He says He is,
10:22 the more I can relax my grip on my life
10:25 and I can say maybe he can take care of it.
10:28 You see depression and anxiety happen
10:31 because they're rooted in our unbelief and pride.
10:34 If I can't believe
10:35 that I'm really deeply, totally loved,
10:38 I'm going to be depressed
10:40 and I'm going to be an idolater
10:41 looking for somebody somewhere who can make me feel loved
10:44 or something that can help me escape temporarily
10:47 from that sense of being unloved.
10:49 So when you say idolatry,
10:50 you're gonna find something
10:52 to put in place of God in your life.
10:53 Right, because we have two great cravings,
10:56 every human soul does,
10:58 to be loved and to be worthwhile.
11:01 If I don't have any value,
11:03 I'm going to try to achieve value
11:05 by my works, by my accomplishments,
11:07 by my perfection, by my workaholism,
11:10 whatever it is, but it's really rooted
11:13 in my inability to believe that God says, "Wow!
11:17 You are my daughter, you are my son.
11:19 I love you like there's nobody else
11:20 in the universe for me to even notice.
11:23 You have no idea how I love you."
11:24 When I grasp that
11:26 and this is the eternal process of the gospel,
11:28 grasping over and over how much He loves us,
11:30 how much we're worth,
11:32 those two things are revealed
11:34 in the two great themes of the Bible
11:35 creation and redemption,
11:37 that He created me in His image and He recreates me
11:40 in His image every time I surrender to Him.
11:43 You know, I'm glad you said that
11:44 because as you're talking about this
11:47 "Wow, God loves me,"
11:48 I know that there's someone out there watching right now
11:51 or listening on the radio who is saying,
11:55 "That's not true, you know, He may love her
11:58 but He doesn't love me."
11:59 And that's the lie that he tells us.
12:00 And that's exactly
12:02 what we're talking to right now, isn't it?
12:04 So how did you get to that point
12:06 of was it just,
12:08 I know last time
12:09 you mentioned reading the book the Desire of Ages.
12:13 Yes, that was this single transformative book
12:16 that turned me around.
12:17 I read the Bible
12:18 but my misperceptions of the character of God
12:20 were so strong
12:21 that I couldn't even see Him in there.
12:23 When I read the Desire of Ages
12:25 that pulled together the gospels
12:26 into one single story of the life of Jesus
12:29 and showed me His love that was when I thought,
12:32 "This is a God I could love, this is a God I could trust."
12:35 And that was the turning point for me.
12:37 As I started reading that book,
12:38 I also started understanding in new ways
12:41 how the scriptures apply to my life
12:43 and the Bible became a book of color
12:46 where before it was just black and white for me.
12:49 Oh, that's good.
12:50 But how did you...
12:52 So the Desire of Ages, you can tell
12:54 that we highly recommend the book the Desire of Ages,
12:57 it was written by the author Ellen White
12:59 and this is a book on the life of Christ
13:01 and it is, again, we hear so many testimonies
13:04 of how God has used that book to as a turning point.
13:09 But let me ask this, how did you then...
13:12 Okay, you begin to see God who He really is.
13:17 How did you overcome the guilt and the shame?
13:21 You know, guilt and shame are two different things
13:24 that feel very much the same.
13:28 When we are abused
13:30 we have a sense of shame that I'm dirty.
13:34 And guilt is a legitimate message
13:37 from God saying, "You have sinned.
13:38 There's something standing between you and me,
13:41 let me get it out of the way
13:42 so you and I can be close again,"
13:43 that's guilt.
13:45 So guilt is a healthy thing.
13:46 It's a message of hope from God saying we can get rid of this,
13:48 you can be pure any moment that you give me your sin,
13:51 let me cover you with My righteousness.
13:54 Shame though is much more insidious.
13:56 It's a message of the devil,
13:57 it says, "You are defiled, you are so dirty
14:01 that not even the blood of Jesus
14:03 can cleanse you."
14:05 This is where we need the promises of God
14:07 to battle both guilt and shame.
14:10 Guilt, we can meet with 1 John 1:9,
14:13 "If we confess our sins,
14:14 He is faithful
14:15 and just to forgive us of our sins
14:17 and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
14:19 Guilt is a message that drives me
14:22 to my knees,
14:23 a message of hope that says
14:25 come and surrender this to Jesus.
14:26 So guilt is when the Holy Spirit
14:29 is convicting you of the sin in your life
14:32 and offering you a godly sorrow.
14:37 Right. Okay.
14:38 And offering to cover me with His righteousness.
14:40 Yes, so that's where...
14:41 Now, sexual abuse often leads to sexual addiction
14:44 and to obsession with sex and unhealthy other behaviors.
14:47 There's a whole slew of behaviors and attitudes
14:50 that come as a result.
14:51 When I'm sinned against,
14:53 I have a natural sinful response
14:54 to want to sin back
14:56 and that sin is gonna cause brokenness
14:57 in every area of my life it touches.
14:59 But righteousness is the opposite of sin.
15:03 Sin is the breaking of God's law,
15:04 the law that says to love Him and to love others.
15:07 Righteousness is the healing,
15:09 the ability to love God after all
15:11 and then to love others,
15:12 so righteousness comes in a like a flood
15:14 and heals everything it touches.
15:17 And in righteousness God shows us what He's like.
15:21 So guilt is a message saying
15:23 that righteousness of Jesus will cover you.
15:25 When I go to my knees and I pray,
15:27 I must believe the promise of God,
15:29 He says in His Word
15:30 that He cleanses me if I confess and repent.
15:33 So when I stand up from my knees,
15:35 I am pure as though I had never sinned.
15:38 Shame is what comes in right then,
15:40 shame is a lie from the devil, it's a message of hopelessness.
15:43 It says, "Not even the blood of Jesus can cover you."
15:46 But then shame offers its own hope,
15:48 it says, "But there's good news,
15:49 you can atone
15:51 if you'll supplement the righteousness of Christ
15:52 with your own sacrifice,"
15:54 so those who have sin...
15:56 That's the lie of the devil.
15:57 Will come back and either they'll go,
15:59 "There's no use,
16:00 there's no hope for somebody like me,"
16:01 or they'll go, "Maybe I can achieve it,
16:03 maybe if I study the Bible more,
16:05 maybe if I pray harder,
16:06 maybe if I go out and do good works,
16:08 I will atone."
16:10 Or if I pray and pray for a while
16:11 and eventually I start feeling like
16:13 I've crawled back to God and He's going,
16:15 "All right, all right,
16:16 I'll let you in this time but don't do it again."
16:18 When I come back to God with that sense,
16:21 I've already crippled my relationship with Him
16:24 because I've atoned for my sin.
16:25 It's pride.
16:27 I want to add one little caveat here
16:29 as a qualifier if you will that praying
16:33 more, reading, studying the Bible more
16:35 it's not bad thing, we're not saying that.
16:36 Oh, no, they're wonderful.
16:38 It's if you are trying to atone for your own sin,
16:42 if you are trying to,
16:45 if you think it's meritorious that by doing these things
16:48 you're gaining ground with God
16:52 as a merit badge that's when it's,
16:55 it's really something that, you're becoming your own god.
17:00 Because the battle is always for the heart.
17:03 It's not about behavior,
17:04 I can do the right thing for the wrong reason
17:06 and it's the wrong thing.
17:07 So if I am studying and praying in order to achieve God saying,
17:11 "I don't want to have anything to do with it.
17:12 All right, all right, all right, I guess I will."
17:14 Okay. I'm doing the wrong thing.
17:16 If I'm studying and praying
17:17 because I want to connect more deeply
17:19 with the God of love,
17:20 then that's when His righteousness
17:23 can cleanse me and heal me.
17:25 So studying the Bible and praying were the things
17:28 that pulled me out of my brokenness,
17:30 that healed me
17:31 and that brought me close to Christ
17:32 because they were the ways
17:34 that I finally understood that God was really
17:35 who He says He is in His Word
17:37 and not who I felt He was
17:38 and who my circumstances seem to indicate He was.
17:41 But now once you've gotten to that point
17:44 where you've dealt with the shame,
17:46 I mean, you recognized the problem,
17:47 admitted the problem, you have dealt with the shame.
17:51 How did you get, because to me I think in the healing process,
17:55 forgiveness is critical.
17:58 If you hold on to unforgiveness,
18:01 the life of the Spirit cannot flow through you
18:05 and you become bitter and resentful.
18:08 How did you get to that point of forgiveness?
18:12 You know, Hosea 2 has a beautiful passage
18:16 where it talks about
18:19 how God takes us to the valley of Achor
18:23 and it becomes the door of hope for us.
18:27 And the valley of Achor when you look at up,
18:30 Achor means trouble.
18:32 It's the valley of trouble
18:33 that brings us to the door of hope.
18:36 Now when I studied the valley of Achor,
18:38 I realized what had happened in the valley of Achor.
18:40 Achor is where Achan was stoned,
18:43 and for me that was so liberating.
18:45 Here is a man who sinned, who sneaked into Jericho,
18:49 took garments and gold for himself
18:51 and hid them in the floor of his tent
18:53 and because of that other people suffered
18:55 when they went to battle with the...
18:57 at the City of Ai, they were defeated,
18:59 it was unfair.
19:01 Achan sinned and others suffered.
19:03 Achan's sin was...
19:08 He went exactly against the counsel of God.
19:13 Achan's sin was where he defied the will of God.
19:16 That's what the word I was looking for.
19:18 And what happened in that story
19:20 is others were affected by Achan's sin.
19:23 Now I don't believe
19:24 that the children of Israel stoned
19:25 Achan's whole family
19:27 because Achan was the only one who sinned,
19:29 all the rest of the family had to have known
19:30 that was hidden in the floor of their tent.
19:33 Otherwise they could have, they could have been spared.
19:36 But what happened with the story of Achan
19:38 is that innocent people did suffer
19:40 and this is what happens in abuse.
19:41 Someone else sins against me but I'm the one who suffers.
19:44 If you take a knife and you cut my arm,
19:47 you sinned but I suffer.
19:49 This is what happens with abuse.
19:51 But the problem
19:52 is when someone sins against me,
19:54 I want to cover it,
19:55 I want to pretend like it didn't happen
19:56 and sin festers.
19:58 We're always systemically infected with sin
20:02 because we are sinners, it's just in our natures.
20:05 All of us have sinned
20:06 and come short of the righteousness of Christ.
20:08 So that wound
20:09 that someone else sins against me
20:11 is going to fester
20:12 and I'm going to refuse to forgive you
20:15 when I'm wounded
20:16 but that infection starts happening
20:18 that's my sin of when I'm wounded response.
20:20 You know, the principles of healing emotionally
20:23 and healing physically work exactly the same.
20:25 We can follow that as a general guideline
20:27 when we're wanting to find emotional healing.
20:29 If there is some sin
20:30 that someone else has done against me 10 years ago,
20:33 someone cut me with a knife
20:35 but 10 years later you come over and say,
20:36 "What's wrong with your arm?"
20:37 "Oh, you can't come close to that."
20:39 It's not because
20:41 this is gone through a normal process of healing,
20:43 there's infection, there's festering.
20:45 And what you're saying essentially
20:47 is that unforgiveness is a sin.
20:49 Unforgiveness is a sin.
20:50 It doesn't mean that God says, "You haven't forgiven,
20:52 I'm not going to let you into heaven,"
20:54 just like if I live in fear,
20:56 fear is a sin and that it separates me
20:58 from the peace that God wants me to have,
21:00 but it doesn't mean that God says
21:02 to a five year old who's living cringing in fear
21:04 because they've been abused,
21:05 "I'm not letting you into heaven,"
21:07 rather God is appealing to us," Let me have it.
21:10 Let me lance that wound.
21:11 Let me heal you from the inside out
21:13 and then all you'll have is the scar,
21:15 it won't hurt anymore."
21:17 When I studied the story of Achan,
21:19 I realized, "Wow, God will deal justly.
21:24 I don't have to."
21:25 Here I was living in constant anguish
21:29 because my abuser was already dead.
21:31 Every day I was tortured by the sense
21:33 it was as though his bony hand was reaching out
21:36 from the grave and gripping me everywhere I went,
21:38 I was suffering he had sinned
21:40 but he got off scot-free, he never apologized,
21:42 never made things right
21:44 and I felt I needed to somehow hold on to his injustice
21:48 because nobody would ever fix it.
21:51 But the story of Achan set me free.
21:53 I realized he doesn't have a grip on me anymore.
21:56 I don't have to try to punish him
21:58 for what he did to me.
21:59 God will deal justly
22:01 and God will be much more effective
22:02 at dealing with him than I ever could.
22:05 What I was doing in effect was saying,
22:07 "I hate what the devil has done to me
22:09 in such an intense way
22:12 that I'm going to join his side and fight in his army
22:14 and do everything I can to help his cause win,"
22:17 and I realized let it go.
22:19 Let it go
22:20 because God will be just and I can let go.
22:24 I can leave the justice to Him.
22:26 That opened up
22:27 the power of forgiveness to me,
22:29 and today I don't have to live in anger,
22:31 I don't have to live in bitterness.
22:33 That poison no longer affects me, I'm free.
22:36 He'll deal, God will deal justly
22:39 with abusers.
22:40 So essentially it was understanding
22:42 the great controversy that there is,
22:46 there is a great battle between good and evil,
22:50 between God and Satan.
22:52 This is where you began
22:56 to really be able to let go
23:01 of the insults and the sins
23:05 that were committed against you.
23:06 Your aim is to forgive.
23:07 You see what the Bible does for us
23:09 is it helps us zoom out
23:11 to get the bigger picture, God's picture.
23:13 In the midst of things
23:15 when we're suffering from abuse and injustice,
23:17 we're just trying to survive,
23:19 we're trying to keep our heads above water
23:20 and we're just going, "God, this makes no sense."
23:23 God helps us to zoom out
23:24 to look down at the big picture and say, "God's got this.
23:28 He's gonna make things right."
23:30 Satan has come in like a flood and has destroyed my life
23:35 and everyone's lives,
23:37 all of us are suffering from the effects of sin,
23:39 but whenever I hand that to God,
23:41 whenever I say, "Here is my wound,
23:43 do whatever you need to do, lance it,
23:45 get the garbage out,
23:46 put in the antibiotic of Your Word, heal me."
23:50 He does, and it's a process, it's not an event generally.
23:54 We see in the gospels Jesus healed people
23:56 by touching them and they were healed
23:58 but that's not usually how healing works.
24:00 No, there were other ways
24:01 where He put the salve on the man's eyes,
24:03 made him go wash, there is a process.
24:04 In many places in scripture we hear,
24:07 we see that healing is a process
24:09 and certainly in the illustrations
24:11 of how our bodies heal and how our minds heal.
24:15 You know, no matter how much I pray,
24:16 if I have a broken leg
24:18 I'm probably gonna get put in a cast
24:19 and I'm going to take some time off of it.
24:20 Absolutely, I love that you said that.
24:22 We have to understand sometimes there's a process of grieving
24:26 and it's necessary, it's healing.
24:28 One of the turning points for me
24:30 was when I finally went to a counselor
24:32 when I was probably about 24 years old
24:34 which was miraculous.
24:36 I would never have gone to a counselor on my own,
24:38 but one of my friends just got me there.
24:41 It was sheer miracles of God.
24:43 And when I talked
24:44 it was the look on this man's face,
24:46 he said, "You have really suffered."
24:48 It gave me permission to grieve.
24:49 All this time I've been telling myself,
24:51 "You're just making a big deal about nothing.
24:53 You just need to get on with life
24:54 and stop thinking about it,"
24:56 but I couldn't shake the anxiety, the depression.
24:58 the things that had...
24:59 The Lord was healing me bit by bit
25:01 but I still lived in fear.
25:04 I could never get married, I could never have a family,
25:07 I could never let somebody hold my little girl's hand
25:10 because I would be so consumed with fear and anger.
25:13 But when I finally grasped, it's okay to grieve,
25:16 it's okay to let go,
25:17 it's okay to admit what happened,
25:20 that was when my leg
25:21 was as if it was finally put into a cast,
25:24 the break was set properly and I could begin...
25:27 And they were still,
25:29 still that time of healing though,
25:32 I mean that was the...
25:33 It was a segue if you will
25:35 or it was the point at which there you began
25:39 but it still took some time.
25:40 You know, there's...
25:41 That's one thing.
25:43 Sometimes people think that pain
25:45 as soon as we know truth
25:46 that pain will immediately go away,
25:48 the physical pain was gone from your life
25:50 but the emotional and mental pain
25:52 took some while, a while, you know, it's...
25:55 I'm sure it was a day by day turning it over to the Lord
25:58 for quite some time.
25:59 And healing is always a process.
26:01 It's not just an event.
26:03 What matters is not where
26:04 we are on the journey of healing,
26:06 the journey toward becoming like Jesus,
26:07 completely living in faith with no pride,
26:10 no self-reliance
26:11 which is another word for pride.
26:14 What matters is what direction am I facing?
26:16 What direction am I stepping every day?
26:18 As I'm looking on to Jesus,
26:20 the author and finisher of my faith,
26:22 He severs the things that hold me back bit by bit,
26:25 moment by moment.
26:27 And that's the journey all the way to the kingdom.
26:29 Moment by moment
26:30 He'll come to me in my devotional time
26:32 as I pray and study, He'll say,
26:34 "This is the area I want to heal you next, Nicole.
26:36 This is the area
26:37 you need to let go of your self reliance."
26:39 And I'll go, "Wow, I didn't even realize
26:40 that was there."
26:43 And after all these years of walking with the Lord
26:44 those things still come up.
26:45 It's right, it's always a journey of growth.
26:47 Any healthy plant is continuing to grow,
26:49 any healthy Christian is continuing to realize areas
26:52 that the Lord wants to heal them in new ways.
26:54 Nicole Parker, thank you so much.
26:56 I know that your ministry is called Heart Thirst,
27:00 and that's a ministry she does with her husband Alan Parker
27:03 who is a professor at Southern University.
27:06 And we're still...
27:07 We want you to come back because we want to talk
27:09 about the sexual addiction that kind of,
27:12 is connected or is an outgrowth if you will of sexual abuse.
27:17 Thank you so much for being here today.
27:20 And I just want to talk to you from my heart
27:22 for just a second there.
27:24 If you are, no matter how you're hearing my voice,
27:27 please know that there is a God in heaven
27:30 who loves you and please know
27:32 that you can reach out to Him at any moment
27:35 and He is there to run to you, He will save you.