Jehovah`s Witness/Trying to find God & Jesus
May I ask a question please?
How can a person who has been violently abused and traumatised since childhood find God or Jesus? In a situation where the word 'Father' is synonymous with violence and trauma how can that kind of damaged soul find a relationship with the Creator? How can a child that's experienced extreme violence from his natural parent and as a result is unable to form normal bonds with humans learn to love God and torn a relationship with him?
How does a blind and deaf person find God and Jesus?
[To read my reply with pop-up scriptures, please go to:
I am editing it there, and will post it after editing is completed.]
I would first like to tell you that all victims of abuse have their own unique experience, and their own unique response to it (Prov.14:10). While I do not equate my own experience with that of another, I tell you that I myself have been a victim of multiple forms of abuse, since infancy. That situation included a disturbed father, who afforded me little resource to accurately or realistically, conceive of God. I hope that my limited drawing upon that experience within my reply, will afford us some supplemental resource in addressing your questions, in combination with the wisdom of God found in scripture.
Please read each of the scriptures, preferably as you come to them. The greatest portion of wisdom and knowledge contained in my reply, is within them.
When facing trauma, each person has unique internal and external resources to draw upon, as well as their ability to optimize each resource, when being subjected to abuse.
For this reason, we can only speak in generalities. One strategy which may salvage the healthy development of one individual, may prove useless to another victim. One trauma that destroys an individual, may prove manageable to another.
God is fully able to make an estimation of each person's heart (Prov.21:2; Ps.33:14-15; 1John3:20). He knows exactly what each individual is capable of, what violence and injustices they have been subjected to, how their spiritual development was effected, and how their coping strategies are sourced in either goodness, wickedness, or ignorance.
He holds us each accountable, accordingly (Luke 12:48). He can view and judge each heart as good or bad, no matter what the psychological damage or physical limitation (Prov.24:12).
With these realities established, I will respond.
Firstly, there is no trauma that can create an impenetrable barrier between us and God (Rom.8:35,38-39).
God knows the spiritual capacity of each person, even before that personality crystallizes (Ps.139:16). He keeps each persons limitations in mind, when appraising their spiritual capacity and need (Ps.103:13-14; 78:39; 136:23; 51:10; 1John3:20).
Acts 17:27 reads;
"God intended that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him,
though He is not far from each one of us."
But then, how can any mortal, truly perceive, appraise, and draw close to God?
(Rom.11:33; Job 36:26; 1Cor.2:16)
We are all limited, and cannot fully know God on our own.
But what may cause an abused child, to turn toward God, and search Him out?
How can a child who knows nothing about the creator, "find Him"?
Each child does have
and the environment around him.
God exists and can be found, in all three (Rom.1:20).
"He is not far off" from anyone (Acts 17:27).
The very essence of God, is love (1John4:8,16).
Children can recognize and assimilate qualities of goodness, mercy and love from examples around them, even if that mercy and love is not given to them personally.
Whether a child learns in school about how birds care for their young... sees a mother cat caring for her kittens... feels the warmth afforded by a blanket, their hunger appeased by a morsel... sees sunlight streaming in through a window, or a breeze in Summer...
God's love reaches us all (Matt.5:45). We all and each observe or experience... need, mercy, satisfaction, and generosity. We all know, that kindness is good, and pain is bad. We all possess the power to cause, either.
The heart of each child, makes decisions about how they will cope. Coping choices become a part of that developing personality. Since Eden, every heart has the ability to perceive and choose between good and bad (Gen.3:22; Rom.2:13-16; Titus 1:15). When a child is subjected to, and feels pain; it knows that the perpetrator is acting selfishly and unlovingly. Children have an innate sense of justice, which presents them with a choice. Each child has the capacity to emulate hurtful behaviour, or to choose empathy and compassion through an innate ability to imitate God (Gen.1:26; 5:1; Col.3:10; Eph.4:24)... knowing personally through experience, that harm and pain result from abuse. God sees and responds to all those who are choosing righteousness and mercy (Rom.5:3-6; Jer.17:10) (Matt.5:7; James 4:6).
God's nurturing and protective spirit can see and reach such a child (Matt.10:29,31). That is my personal experience.
For those guarded by God's spirit, no abuse will be beyond their ability to cope with integrity
(Matt.6:13; 1Cor.10:13; Phil.4:13; 2Pet.2:9; Ps.37:28,33; 55:22; 27:10-11).
But now your third question introduces another issue. I will quote it to make that issue clear...
"How can a child that's experienced extreme violence from his natural parent and as a result is unable to form normal bonds with humans learn to love God and form a relationship with him?"
Although this verse is already cited above, I will quote it here:
"Even if my father and mother abandon me, the LORD will hold me close. Teach me Your way, O LORD, And lead me in a level path Because of my foes." (Ps.27:10-11)
I personally believe that the present condition of humanity in general, is dysfunctional and corrupt, as is their capacity for true intimacy. Few if any people are unadulterated, healthy and pure... or possess a full capacity for loving relationships according to our original design.
That being said, I do realize that victims who have had their capacity to trust, shattered,
have been scarred and damaged excessively and sometimes completely, in comparison to that of advantaged humanity.
Can you consider, that to such an individual, the love of God can be appreciated all the more?
Even if we are not presently healed of our damage or distrust, Faith in His healing, His goodness, and His faithfulness, provides us with comfort and hope (2Cor.1:3-4; John14:27; Phil.4:7) even while we wait in hope for healing.
Upon what is such faith based?
God provides us with evidences and proofs, that His promises are reliable
(Heb.11:1-3,8,13; 10:23; 1Cor.2:9-10; Isa.64:4; James 1:12; 1John5:14-15; 3:18-20).
These comforting assurances alone, are reasons to love God.
As 1John3:20 above reads; "God is greater than our hearts".
His power to give us faith in Him, is greater than our experiences with our fleshly father. We learn that we need only to reach out to Him in our tribulation and post-trauma. He will not abandon us, but will lead us to Him, through Christ. We will see Him display Himself in our life and hearts. We can be made to stand before Him, through Him (Rom.14:4).
Both my husband and I suffered an extreme amount of neglect and abuse during our formative years.
This has certainly resulted in a perpetuation of pain to us both. But it has not resulted in an inability to develop faith and hope, nor an inability to be comforted by the promises of God.
All of us had no control over our development in our mother's womb.
When God chooses to cause a person to grow spiritually, we will grow also, in a way beyond our own control. All depend upon God to form a relationship with Him. In fact... no one grows to spiritual maturity, without the spirit, power, and grace of God. He is ever available, awaiting our search for Him (2Chron.16:9 A; 1Pet.3:12).
Although we may estimate a wide chasm between those abused and those not...
there is little difference to God between such persons. Both are dying and passing away, and both depend upon His mercy.
Both are easy for God to bless.
All this is not to say that there is never enough damage to prevent discipleship to Christ.
Does God not know this? Does God despise and reject such victims?
Psalm 51:17 reads;
"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise."
Can God not heal such victims, and welcome them into His new creation and Kingdom of peace?
(John5:8-9; Mark 1:27,31-34,40-42; Luke 7:22; Rev.21:1-5; 22:1-2)
The future of each person is in God's hands, and He renders each judgment, perfectly (Rom.9:14; Eph.2:4-9; Rom.8:18-21).
For those with a history of childhood trauma, and those not...
abuse and tribulation is ongoing in a Christian life (2Tim.3:12; Acts 14:22; 2Cor.4:8-10; John15:18; 17:15). Although my traumatic childhood and young adulthood is behind me; abuses of my heart and spirit are ongoing. Some of that is by those who do not fully understand what they are doing. I must still endure such tribulation, injustice, reviling, slander, and pain. Yet we can remember, that Jesus was the pioneer of our faith, and suffered all these things and more (Heb.12:2). Victims of abuse can certainly find understanding, and relate to the life of Jesus. In him, we find an example of bearing up while enduring pain, even while keeping ourselves free of moral and spiritual corruption (1Cor.4:11-13; Rom.12:21).
Throughout each of our lifetimes,
we are presented with adversity...
opportunities to mature, and manifest who we choose to be...
whether victims or Victors.
That is the intrinsic power of free will,
which results in the identification of our own unique heart in the sight of God.
For those few who have been amputated of this most basic liberty,
God is judge. He is mercy and love, and can read the secret person of the heart (1Pet.3:4).
He certainly knows if we have done our best to reject wickedness and hurtfulness (Mark 12:31; Gal.5:14).
Regarding the blind and deaf...
A relationship with God is not seen with physical eyes or ears (2Cor.4:18).
It is seen with the heart, which is not beyond of the reach of God (Isa.59:1; Jer.32:17).
For the specific example of my own discovery of God during an abusive childhood,
you can consider Part I of: (http://pearl-personalfile.blogspot.com/
I hope my reply is of some benefit to you, through the cited scriptures.
If it does not fully address your need,
please follow up.
Love in Christ,