Last night, I completed my first group therapy experience (that I was leading). What a ride it was. It was a sexual abuse recovery group and we used Dan Allender's "Wounded Heart" and the Bible as our guide. We started with four women. One dropped out 3 weeks into it...too overwhelmed.
The three women who were left were really there for each other. It seemed like God hand-picked them to be together for this season of healing. And Satan really hated it. I know it was a spiritual battle for each of them as they shared stories of how hard it was to get to group meetings and the things they struggled with throughout the 12 weeks. It was an intense spiritual battle for me and I'm sort of hoping for some relief now that it's over. My skin thing really flared up again (hence, the allergy testing), you already know about the relational struggle I dealt with, our finances took a serious turn for the worse, and for the first time in two years, depression seemed to take over.
In response to the attack (which I recognized about half way through the 12 weeks), I joined a local bible study (Bible Study Fellowship) and signed up for the online bible study I told you about, memorized scripture, started writing here again, and talked with God A LOT. God was faithful to see me through it in one piece, and I am grateful for that.
During the last 30 minutes of our meeting, we did a "Words of Life" exercise where we took turns sharing thoughts with each other about the part each of us played in each others' healing. I intended for all of us (2 leaders included) to do the affirming for the three participants. When we finished with the three, one asked if they could include Marcia and I in the exercise. What a gift. The words they had for each of us were so life-giving.
Knowing the impact that was made somehow makes it worth the blood, sweat, and tears. I wanted to do it just to be faithful. I knew God was asking me to offer the group. But what a bonus to actually see lives transformed. Each woman LOOKED different last night than they did on the first night. More open. More feminine. More hopeful. Alive.
Thank you, Jesus.