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  • Julie Woodley, MA

Who Hurt You?



I don’t know about you but I want to model the way I love after the way my Savior loves. I know I will never be perfect, only with God can we have perfect love, 1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

I have learned through years of counseling and just plain living that in this world there are MANY “walking dead.” I have been one of those. Just going through the motions but never LIVING! I felt like a robot, the same routines, rituals, habits day after day. Pure drudgery, life was NOT fun, it was a chore. I was aimless, chasing the wind, and then WHOA BABY! I cried out to God in a crisis of great magnitude and God broke through! I was reading about the apostle Paul at the time, my heart became united with his as he sought the Lord in his firsthand hardships. He was persecuted, beaten, shipwrecked, and imprisoned. A burden so painful he called it a “thorn in the flesh”. I love Paul’s honesty with God. When he cried out to God, he was reminded that God Grace was all Paul needed. God reminds us in 2 Corinthians 12 :7-10 that His faithfulness is tried and proven.

You see, our God is ALIVE AND WELL. He is waiting for us to cry out to Him! He rolls up His sleeves, takes up a sword and shield to break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron to rescue me.


God continues to bring back a memory of my grandmother. She loved me SO WELL! When she would talk about herself she would say “I may not be very pretty and I may not be very smart, but I can LOVE better than anyone. She was for me, my Christ in the flesh. As the world was crumbling around me as I was being abused: emotionally, physical and sexually, she loved me “to the moon and back again”. When I was around 19 I saved every penny in a jar, borrowed a car, grabbed a jar of peanut butter, a loaf of bread (this is all I had money for) drove 1,400 miles in the hot sun to see the love of my life, my Grandmother. I would sneak through town incognito with my heart pounding, because I was so excited to see her, but also terrified that I would see my father and he would take a gun out and kill me. He had threatened me many times. As I drove up my grandmother’s driveway, she would burst out the door and love on me!

She was so much like God, loving me more than I ever deserved—over the top, extravagant. She taught me how to love. I pray I can be THAT ONE!! That one that reaches over the wall and loves despite divisions, rules, being imprisoned to not love “those people” whomever we are not supposed to love, but just judge. I may not have much to “give” financially but I have a heart filled with a “boatload of love” The commodity of giving love weighs into the giver, the more I give the deeper pleasure I find. Not giving to “get something in return” but giving with a pure heart with no thought of nothing in return.


Because my DNA is basically a full-blown extrovert and I’m home alone a lot writing when I am in public I feel like a “love bomb” reaching out and loving to whomever comes in my path.


Yesterday in the grocery store line I struck up a conversation with a woman. For some reason my career came up that I was a counselor of those that were sexually abused. She started ranting about those %&*#$% (swear words) people that abuse. And how she wouldn’t let her kids out of her sight. They had no sleep overs, camp, etc. She basically was parenting out of fear. I asked her a simple question? Who hurt you? WHOA! She burst out right there hanging onto her grocery cart in tears. After we paid for our groceries we sat on a bench as she poured out her heart to me of her own sexual abuse wounds, she had never told a sole about.


You see, some of these acts that God gives me don’t make any logical sense. We must abandon ourselves in total surrender. If a person is ever going to do anything worthwhile, there will be times when he must risk everything by His leap in the dark. Oswald Chambers says, “In the Spiritual realm, Jesus Christ demands that you risk everything you hold on to or believe through common sense, and leap by faith into what He says”.


A question I often ask people in a group or one-one one is “What part of you is dead?” The counselee often does a double take when that question is asked, but then they start to assess the “dead places” and they begin to weep. As we look at the various rooms of our heart we may realize we died to ever being loved or desiring more out of life of our sexuality or maybe even being happy or enjoying life! The tragedy of life is not death, but what we let die inside of us while we live. I want to be the one that represents Christ, bringing life into dead places. Living my life “fully human, fully alive!

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