by Richard Mayhan
"I recently was tweeting with a friend when, out of nowhere, it hit me that she had been a victim of sexual abuse. I’m aware such victims have lived with false shame under a cloak of privacy for many years in some cases and do not want their privacy violated, so I approached cautiously. I asked general questions about her past and slowly got more specific, then she knew that I knew.
This is not a new experience for me and it’s no experience that I would seek, but it happens regularly anyway, about once per month, but this time was entirely different.
First, a counselor became the next person that God pointed out and she responded with the usual outburst of joy when she realized I knew before she told me. This was no sign though. Since she is a trained counselor or because she’s very intuitive, she was able to recount the phases she had passed through when dealing with abuse with great precision and insight. The light bulb went on for me when she said: “If you’ve been abused by a male, at some point you have to confront that by choosing to trust a male again, a man who knows your past.” Now I know, God points me to abuse victims who are ready to trust a male again. This is the common thread that ties them together.
Secondly, my response to the idea that my ministry was primarily to women who had been abused was a faithless but, nevertheless, enthusiastic talk with two close friends that went something like this: “No, no, no, no way, I’m male! I’ll have no credibility! Why me? No, NO WAY!”. Picture me shaking my head and talking over everyone, holding my hand up as if to ward off the obvious truth. The Spirit kept reflecting that I was talking nonsense like Moses, as if God had made a poor choice. God normally gives me three things though, I thought, to confirm direction.
Thirdly, I was listening to Hosanna (IBC) and one up-tempo part kept leaping out at me, I felt moved when it played. I couldn’t understand the words though, so it made no sense. God DOES have a sense of humor. God’s third confirming message was in the words I couldn’t understand. When I looked up the lyrics, here’s what I found:
Heal my heart and make it clean,
Open up my eyes to the things unseen,
Show me how to love like You have loved me,
Break my heart with what breaks Yours
Everything I am for Your Kingdom cause
The lyrics illuminate the path of someone with a broken heart that ministers to broken hearts.
Why would God give me the gift of discernment, the supernatural ability to determine, in my case, if someone has been an abuse victim? I believe that the Spirit directs this process for three reasons:
1. I am a reluctant participant.
2. I have information about a person I am unlikely to perceive on my own, information that is later confirmed as true 100% of the time.
3. The result of this exchange is that the abuse victim feels great joy and connection to God. They are freed from the burden of telling someone and simultaneously see that I do not reject them because of the abuse.
Why would God shout so obviously to me? The problem of abuse is epidemic and workers must be raised up, even reluctant workers. Roughly 1 in 3 women are victims of some kind of abuse at some time in their life and 1 in 5 men.
For more on determining God’s will beyond reasonable doubt, see Good Will Hunting.
Do you know that you’re doing exactly what God wants you to do? Are you seeing supernatural results? Tell me your story.