After years of going to church, getting baptized, living like I pleased, trying to fix myself, and doing what I believed was God’s way. I was lost, broken, I had fallen into a dark place of sin and rebellion. But one day Jesus came to my rescue to save me and make me His own! I finally gave my heart to Jesus, on July 26, 1979.
In 1982, after fighting with the enemy all of my life because of being rejected and abandoned by those I loved, fear, and sexual abuse, I still felt lost, hopeless, and out of control emotionally. I felt as though I couldn’t go on any longer; Jesus spoke these beautiful words into my heart, “I WILL RESTORE YOUR SOUL TO THE WAY I INTENDED IT TO BE.” Those words, from the heart of my Lord Jesus, anchored my soul through many tumultuous oceans, rivers, and deep valleys for years to come, until finally His promise was fulfilled October 23, 2017. Many have wondered, how did the Lord finally heal your soul from sexual abuse, rejection, PTSD, and 27 traumatic experiences? Well, if you care to read my whole testimony, I wrote a book with explicit details about my journey in my book, “My Return Home to Innocence” found on Amazon.com. However, for this blog, I want to highlight some things which truly helped me heal along my journey.
God’s True Identity
Like many of us growing up in religious homes, we grew up believing the lie about God: the Punisher, the one to be feared, the one who was out to get us, but never the Father or Lord full of grace, love, mercy, or compassion. Because of my religious upbringing, I learned to keep God at bay but did a few religious things to please Him. When I discovered the Truth about my Lord through studying His Word and reading books written by those who had an intimate relationship with my Lord, believing He wouldn’t use or hurt me… I FELT SAFE; my heart was willing to trust Him
My True Identity
I was learning to trust the Lord but I still had a big problem; I believed so many lies about who I was and what an utter failure and disappointment I had been over the course of my life. I believed the lies I was: never good enough, not worth loving, a failure, a mistake, not pretty enough, not smart enough, and I would never amount to anything. Those are just the beginning. I had terrible self-esteem because I had been used and abused by so many people, even my pastor. I still believed from my childhood experiences, everything happened bad in my life was my fault and God was punishing me. So with a mindset like this, my Lord was so patient with me over the years to convince me of these truths… He loves me, I was created for His joy and pleasure, I was not a mistake, everything wasn’t my fault, and He was not punishing me!
Our Papa, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit spend most of our lifetime trying to first, convince us, who they are and how we are INFINITELY LOVED; we are WANTED, and we can TRUST THEM TOTALLY! Until we are convinced of these three facts, we will question, wrestle, fear, and resist their love and discipline.
Second, they must convince us of WHO WE ARE IN CHRIST. Because we have learned to survive by building walls and ways to cope with our fleshly strategies, and we have learned (not intentionally) to be suspicious of anyone who has our best interest at heart. When I finally begin to believe these truths of who Jesus said I was, I began to remove the locks from the doors of my heart to allow Jesus to RESTORE MY SOUL! The Bible teaches those who have been born-again by giving our hearts to the Lord; WE ARE NOW UNITED AND LIVING IN CHRIST:
- There is never any condemnation for me, ever (Romans 8:1)
- I can never be separated from God’s love… HE LOVES ME FOREVER (Romans 8:39)
- I am WANTED AND ACCEPTED. I am an important part of my Daddy’s universal/eternal family. I am part of ONE body (Romans 12:5)
- Jesus is my wisdom, righteousness, and sanctification living inside me, a Gift from God… nothing I did to earn it and there is nothing I can ever do to lose it (1 Corinthians 1:30)
- I am a NEW creation, the old Tresca is gone forever (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- I am my Abba’s, Daddy’s, Papa’s child set aside for His purposes (Galatians 3:26)
- I have every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3)
- I have been forgiven of all my sins, past, present, and future because He loves me (Ephesians 1:7)
- I was chosen by God, I didn’t choose Him (Ephesians 1:3)
- I was created for the praise of His glory (Ephesians 1:12)
- I can always run to my Papa with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 1:18)
- Inside me are hidden treasures of wisdom and knowledge of God (Colossians 2:3)
- I died to this world and my real life right now is hidden and protected by my Father (Colossians 3:3).
As I began to believe the TRUTH of what my Papa, my Beloved Jesus, and Holy Spirit really thought and felt about me, His NEW life began to be unveiled in my soul (mind, will, and emotions).
My Works vs My Heart
It is so easy to memorize and quote scriptures than it is to trust our God and believe Him, right? It is even easier to read the Bible and Christian books than it is to share our hearts intimately with the Lord because the relationship He longs to have with us requires our being open, honest, and vulnerable. Working for God, reading the Bible, memorizing scriptures, and having a ritualistic or form of prayer kept God and I at a distance, while I performed for Him rather than becoming intimately acquainted with Him. Understanding who He was and my True Identity was not enough, my Lord wanted more from me… He wanted MY WHOLE HEART more than my performance or serving Him. When we read the story of Mary (the lover) and Martha (the server) of Jesus in Luke Chapter 10, most of us really picture ourselves as being more like Mary. But Jesus revealed to me, even though He loved both women the same, Martha had her priorities out of order. I was Martha for many years. But I longed to be Mary, the one who sat at Jesus’ feet, who listened and was attentive to His heart, and have intimate fellowship with Him, but I had one big problem stopping me, Mr. Law. I was married to Mr. Law and felt obligated to meet his needs more than the needs of my Lord.
Law vs Grace
With a great need to please and perform for others because of my need to be accepted and loved, Mr. Law and I were quite compatible. He set the rules and standards, using the Bible, while I tried hard in my own strength with some success to appease him. The same way I grew up, I wanted desperately to please and be accepted. But Mr. Law became more and more demanding and I kept failing. Jesus wasn’t helping me no matter how much I asked Him! But one day in 1985, out of deep frustration and weariness from my busyness, I got tired of trying to please Mr. Law, I cried out to the Lord for relief! When Jesus introduced me to Grace and Truth (His True Identity) I no longer looked to Mr. Law to fulfill my needs of acceptance or approval. Jesus once again reminded me of who I was IN HIM and I AM COMPLETE IN HIM. My response was to trust Him to accomplish through me, by faith, to bring into reality ALL He has already accomplished for me through His Finished work on the cross.
Jesus came to Restore our souls (mind, wills, and emotions) to the way He intended, free, whole, desiring whatever He desires, and willing for whatever He wills. This was the foundation laid in my soul in order for Christ to reveal Himself to me as the Restorer of My Soul. In our next blog, I will continue to uncover His ways with me.