A Humpty Dumpty Kind of Story

I want to tell you a bit about my life now before I get to what my life used to be like.  I guess that you could say that I am starting with the good news first.

The good news of my life is that I truly know the grace and the incredible, abounding love of my awesome God.  He loves me so much more than this human mind can fathom.  He has healed me physically and emotionally to the point that who I was is almost unrecognizable to me now.  He has poured His love into my life in incredible ways and is still working to heal things that are buried deep within this bruised and battered mind and heart.  I am so totally overwhelmed by His love, His grace and His faithfulness.  The more that I allow myself to be covered by His love, the more amazed that I become in the depth and breadth of that love.  I am also amazed by His patience as I walk this road before me, stumbling now and again; He keeps me from falling too far and He always encourages me to continue on.  When invited, He shows me things that I could never have understood on my own and helps me to be a better person that I ever could be without Him.

He has given me the greatest gift that I ever could have imagined in my wonderful husband Tim.  A kind and loving man who, more important than anything, has a heart that seeks after God.  To me, Tim is proof that God gives good gifts to His children – even when they don’t deserve it.

There is a lot more good news – but the information above was important to know before you read further.  The rest isn’t so pretty – but there is good news even in what you will read.  The good news is that God can redeem our pain.  He can take what was meant for evil for us and turn it into something to show His glory.

Now, I feel like I need to give a disclaimer of sorts.  I will be writing about my life quite some time ago so it is going to get quite personal.  As I said, there will be a lot of things that aren’t very pretty.  Some of you are likely going to recognize ‘character or characters’ in my story.  I ask that you remember that this was a very long time ago.  Just as I have changed greatly, they too are not likely the same; I pray that they are not the same.  I ask that you please do not make judgments about them – we must look on them from a position of grace.   Their lives are between them and God just as it is for each of us.  I ask that you seriously let God examine any reaction that you might have to this before you decide to share it with someone else for any reason other than to help someone.

The intent of anything that I write is never to hurt anyone or to tear them down, but to help others who have or maybe still are suffering from abuse.  I want to begin to share my story and the things that God is teaching/showing me so that maybe someone else will see this and they won’t live in the dark and in so much pain for so very long.

Here we go…  I want to take you back in time to a place in time where this all started.  To a place where I had no self-worth and thought that I should be thankful that a boy would like me…  I won’t go into a lot of details about how I got to that point in my lack of self-esteem, you can read a bit about that on my post Have You Ever Felt Like A Fraud?.  I was 15 when I became involved with my first serious boyfriend.  I thought that he treated me okay, although looking back I can identify lots of things about his behaviour as controlling, jealous and a little bizarre.  We were together throughout the remainder of high school and got married within a month of graduation.

Shattered

Image by LexnGer via Flickr

I had lived a sheltered life.  I came from a Christian home and could only recall one argument between my parents – ever.  I don’t know if they were just good at keeping that away from us or if they just didn’t argue.  I don’t want to give the impression that I was perfect because that is certainly not the case.  But imagine going from a nice, peaceful home to a home with your new husband, where peace was all too soon non-existent; where the norm was to learn to be afraid of opening your mouth for fear of saying something wrong that would unleash a rage that you had never known could exist – especially coming from someone who supposedly loved you.

I was confused and felt betrayed.  I became convinced that if I could just be good enough or make him happy enough the abuse would end.  I would have thoughts like “my dad never hit my mother so it must be something that I was doing wrong”.  Each time there was an episode there would be a period of strained quiet afterward.  A time where he would apologize and tell me he didn’t mean to, that he couldn’t help it and then he would manage to convince me that if only I could do things the right way, his way, that everything would be okay.  He would masterfully convince me that it was all my fault, no matter how ridiculous the trigger had been, it was my fault.  Then to tie his little package of guilt up around me he would promise to never let it happen again.

There is a deep shame associated with being abused.  Just as my abuser did, most are able to convince their victims that they are at fault and that adds to the shame.  My family lived all around me, people that I have known all of my life were minutes away – but I didn’t tell them.  I didn’t leave.  I was too ashamed.  How could I let people see the bruises on my body?  How could I let them know what was happening?  A victim of abuse often comes to believe that, because the abuse is their fault, they deserve what they are getting.  The last thing that I could think of doing was telling someone that I loved about the abuse, I was afraid that they would desert me.  I felt like there was something inherently wrong with me – so I hid the bruises and I lied about them if anyone accidentally saw them.

I was saved as a young child and have gone to church as long as I can remember.  My childhood memories of church are of red-faced preachers talking about people burning in hell if they didn’t follow the rules.  I am sure that there must have been different topics – but I don’t remember a single one.  These guys were very good at painting pictures of people screaming in agony as they burned for eternity.  My imagination grabbed a hold of this and I could practically feel the flames licking at my feet every time I made a mistake.

I don’t remember ever being told that God loved me, but maybe I got hung up on the images of the fire.  Unfortunately, any relationship that I had with God was based on fear and guilt.  I never remember knowing that God cared about me, that He wanted to be involved in my everyday life, that He cared about the smallest detail of my day, that I was so precious to Him that He numbered the hairs on my head.  I only knew that there was a set of rules that I could never seem to live up to no matter how hard I tried and tried.  Fear and guilt were not enough to keep me following all of those rules.  I was never involved in alcohol or drugs, but I still had plenty of sin in my life.

As the abuse progressed, I threw myself into work at my church.  I would go as often as the doors were open thinking that if I worked hard enough at church maybe God would fix things.  I was fooling myself into thinking that just because I was spending time at church that I was building a closer relationship with Him.  The illusion of closeness evaporated in the blink of an eye when I discovered that my abuser was involved in an affair with someone from my church.  I was devastated and felt as though I was the one who had done something wrong.  I was hurt, confused and very angry.  I blamed God for all of it; for the abuse, the affair, everything that had gone wrong in my life.  My reasoning at the time was that He is the God of the Universe and He could have stopped any or all of the awful things that happened.  Now I understand that though He is in control, the things that happened to me come from living in a fallen world.  He has given us humans’ free will and we are royally messing things up.  I stayed in my little home town as long as I could take the stares and the pity.  Then I found a way out and ran 1000 miles from home, trying to leave all of the ugliness – and God – behind me.

Not surprising, my life continued to deteriorate further and further.  I soon became involved with another seemingly good guy.  It wasn’t long before the abuse started and I reasoned that my now ex-husband must have been right.  It was all my fault – I did deserve this…  I accepted that and I was just an awful person who didn’t deserve any better and I tried to keep from drowning in this new assault I was experiencing.

For years, I tiptoed around on eggshells and tried to keep things to a minimum roar.  I was hurting so badly but still couldn’t tell anyone.  Now I was living in a new city so far from home.  These people would certainly peg me as trash if they knew about the abuse.  I would keep quiet and suffer in relative quiet for what seems like a lifetime.

As I began to sense that the abuse was escalating I just couldn’t take it anymore.  I finally got the nerve to break-up with this gem of a man and surprisingly got away from him with relative ease.  Now I was without an abuser for the first time in 17 years.  God was speaking and for the first time in a long time, I was listening.  He began to show me that the abuse was not my fault, that I didn’t deserve any of what had happened.  I was His child and He had much better plans for me.  It was then that I realized that even though I thought I left God when I left Alabama, He had never left me.  He had followed me every step of the way, grieving when I was hurting and longing to comfort me.  He was there waiting for my stubborn and angry heart to once again hear Him.

As I began to try to release the trauma of my life to Him, I realized that I had made a near fatal mistake when I blamed Him.  I had put my trust in the people around me, in my church, in my family.  I put my trust in every frail thing around me instead of trusting Him above all else.  I got my eye off the prize.  He began to tell me how He loved me and flooded me with an overwhelming sense of relief and love that I had never known.  For the first time in my life I understood that He loved me, that He wanted to be a part of my life, that He wanted to help me to move beyond my past.

I would like to say that the moment I turned my life back to God He wiped the slate clean and I didn’t have to do anything to be all shiny and new and free.  That just isn’t the way that it is – at least for me.  I have been working hard to turn loose of the hurts and the pain of the past.  It was a long time before someone could move around me that I didn’t flinch or jump.  I don’t like for people to be in my personal space and I am sure that is a remnant from the past as well.  God continues to heal me from all the hurts and I keep thinking that there can’t possibly be more, He shows me that He isn’t quite finished yet.  It has been about 25 years since the first episode of abuse and it still affects me today.  I don’t know when, or if, I will be completely healed here on this Earth.  I will just keep working on things as God reveals them to me.

Soon my husband Tim and I will celebrate our fifth anniversary and I am still amazed that somehow God cared enough to give me my best friend.  The God of the Universe cared enough to cause our paths to cross and to bring this little Alabama girl all the way to Canada to fulfill His calling.  He has shown us His love for us and His faithfulness in our marriage so many times.  We have learned to trust Him to make a way when in the natural, there just wasn’t a way.  Again I say that God gives good gifts to His children.  I know – I am living proof.

Are you wondering about the Humpty Dumpty reference?  I stumbled upon this poem that I have hung onto for at least 20 years and it seemed to describe how I feel about my life perfectly.

Thanks Sharon Wilson! I love it...

Humpty Dumpty

“Good morning Humpty Dumpty Sir,
How amazing, you are still here
By legend you were shattered!
How cohesive you appear!”

Humpty jumped and said with a smile,
“The tale of horses and men wasn’t the end!
The King Himself put me together again!”

He truly did put me back together again when I was fractured and shattered beyond belief.  But for the grace and love of God I don’t know where I would be today.

In wrapping up, I will just say TRUST HIM ALWAYS.  He sees the big picture while we only see fragmented pieces of the puzzle.  Jeremiah 29: 11-13 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you,” declares the LORD.”  Know that God loves you so much.  If you happen to be (or have been) in such a place as this, know that He cares about every little detail in your life.  He is waiting for you to turn to Him for help…

If you want to hang around, I will take you on more of my journey to healing and wholeness as God leads.  Acts 20:24 “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.”

I would love to hear your thoughts…  Something that you have to say might help me or someone else on their walk to healing, please leave a comment below if you are comfortable in doing so…  If you would like to contact me directly/privately, you may do so by emailing me at krislukings [at] gmail [dot] com or through Facebook using the link to the right.

Also, if you don’t want to miss the next post when it comes, you can sign up to receive these messages in your inbox using the link to the right.

Blessings…

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17 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Debra Elramey
    Jan 22, 2011 @ 23:20:39

    Hi Kris,
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful testimony of suffering and deliverance, tragedy and triumph, a deeply wounded past, and the healing you’ve found in Christ. May He continue to use your story as a ministry to others, one that offers hope and redemption to many.
    Blessings,
    Debra

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  2. Verna
    Nov 18, 2010 @ 10:49:27

    What a wonderful story of God’s love for you. Most of what you wrote could’ve been my story too. The difference being I didn’t have the courage even to leave and my abuse was mostly verbal. I too felt like a piece of garbage most of the time. On top of everything, we had a business and I had to work about 10 feet from him. I look back and wonder how I survived but my God kept me praying for years that He would help me know how to live with A——. I was raised in a conserative mennonite home and knew that divorce was not acceptable to my family and couldn’t face that as an option either. But I’m so happy and thankful to say that God answered my thousands of prayers and we now have a very good and solid marriage. I thank my Lord over and over for bringing us to this place and helping me through all the difficult and unhappy times that I wondered at times if they would ever end. I can say now very honestly, that I love him( my husband ) dearly and am happy in the Lord.

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    • Kris Lukings
      Nov 19, 2010 @ 13:58:58

      Hi Verna,
      God is so awesome isn’t He!! I am so happy that you are on the other side of all of that stuff.

      Thank you for taking the time to respond. Your experience may help someone in their journey.

      Much love and blessings to you & your husband as you enjoy your new marriage.

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  3. duaneandcathy
    Nov 03, 2010 @ 10:45:48

    Hi Kris,
    I stumbled on your blog recently and thought I’d add a little comment. Thanks for sharing your story. You may never know who will be affected by what you’ve shared.

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  4. Betty McCullough
    Nov 03, 2010 @ 09:06:17

    Hi Kris
    I can relate to what you went thru. I reply thru tears as God heals me
    daily.No it is not pretty to go thru abuse. My husband & I are in counselling as he so much wanted help for what happened in our marriage of 18 years.
    Total of 22 years together.I too came from a peaceful home.Then peace left as I entered this relationship.God is now healing us both. My husband has asked me to forgive him for the Hell he as put me thru. I have always stood on what God saw in my husband,believing What God started in my husband would complete it. I have become a stronger person and developed a deeper relationship with God. My husband’s journey is beginning with a mentor following up with him in his walk with God. I respect my husband,not for the abuse but the man that God has chosen to cleanse and make whole. We all have a different walk and God has given me this one with my husband as I knew i was to be with Him in the beginning. God has protected me and much peace and joy is in our home now. My husband is a worshiper and the annointing is with him as He worships our God and King.
    Betty

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    • Kris Lukings
      Nov 04, 2010 @ 00:25:16

      Hi Betty,

      Much love to you and to your husband as well. I am so happy that you two are in a place of counseling, healing and that peace and joy has taken up residence in your home. God’s grace is so much larger than most of us can imagine.

      I will be praying for you and your husband as you continue your walks toward healing together.

      Love,
      Kris

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  5. Sylvia
    Nov 03, 2010 @ 02:35:36

    Dear Kris;

    I can so relate to what you have gone thru, , Keep writing it will help to bring healing for you and lost of other people, It is good to know that the healing you are expericing is for everyone, and i believe that as we see our lives in your story it will bring healing to us in the different areas that we have been hurt .

    Yours in Christ
    Sylvia

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  6. Joan Henwood
    Nov 02, 2010 @ 22:46:54

    Kris: When we worked together I would never have guessed that your path had been through such pain. Your sweet spirit was a blessing to me and I know to others as well. God bless you.

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  7. Sherrill
    Nov 02, 2010 @ 19:29:10

    Girl—————————–someday I would love to be able to be able to spend some time alone with you. I have a super poem called MASKS and it describes all of the masks that people wear during our life and as I hav read in the comments from people who are reading your writing that so many of us have worn masks for so long and it is so freeing to be able to take them off and be the people that God intended us to be.
    Love
    ssk

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  8. Cherie
    Nov 02, 2010 @ 14:41:20

    Kris, I love what you said about looking back and almost not recognizing yourself, because you’ve come so far from where you’d been. I pray that your speaking out will open the door for hurting women to escape their abusers. Big, extravagent blessings on you, my sister! I praise God for His everlasting goodness and faithfulness!

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  9. Karen
    Nov 02, 2010 @ 14:00:13

    I came to read your blog thru a friend and spiritual leader of our church. Let me just tell you how I really think that it was God leading me here.

    You see, I too suffered the same thing as you for 13 years of my life. Today will be 25 years from the date of the first abuse. Your story has blessed me so much. I know that God intends for me to use my journey as tesimony for Him just as you have to reach and help others.

    Thank you for sharing a part of your life with us. I know personally how hard this must have been.

    Love in Christ,
    Karen

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    • Kris Lukings
      Nov 02, 2010 @ 23:02:05

      Hi Karen,
      Much love to you today. It is hard to have those types of anniversary’s sticking in our brains… Thank you so much for taking a moment to comment. I am so happy to know that reading this has blessed you.

      The Lord has been preparing me to tell my story for quite some time and in the last month or so I have started to share little bits – today was a big step in finally getting it out there. If the telling of my story can help one person not to feel as if they are alone in this world, if it can shorten the pain one little bit then it is worth it.

      Truly our stories can shed light into the lives of those who are still living with abuse or who are suffering the crushing weight of guilt and shame from former abuse.

      Praying that God continues to work mightily in your life.

      Love,
      Kris

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  10. Amy Argo
    Nov 02, 2010 @ 13:29:36

    wow.

    I have to tell you in all that the part that resonated with me was:

    “When invited, He shows me things that I could never have understood on my own and helps me to be a better person that I ever could be without Him.”

    “When invited…”

    That is the key.

    So thankful for the healing that has begun and will continue and for your openness so that others can experience healing as well.

    Blessings upon blessings to you!

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  11. Rev Sharon Willson
    Nov 02, 2010 @ 13:07:27

    ….and thanks for the poem to go with my picture!!
    Humpty Dumpty

    “Good morning Humpty Dumpty Sir,
    How amazing, you are still here
    By legend you were shattered!
    How cohesive you appear!”

    Humpty jumped and said with a smile,
    “The tale of horses and men wasn’t the end!
    The King Himself put me together again!”

    Like

    Reply

  12. Rev Sharon Willson
    Nov 02, 2010 @ 13:06:04

    “There comes a critical time in each person’s life when the truth is accessible. Faced with it, you can either run and hide, denying it, or you can face your truth, accept it, and grow stronger,” wrote Gregory Jantz in Healing the Scars of Emotional Abuse.

    Kris you are facing it head on.. Healing is a journey and not a quick fix, but oh so beautiful as we hug the old rugged Cross. I can see you are growing stronger because you are looking into the pain, and allowing yourself to feel again instead of growing hard. When we avoid the pain but not visiting it, we prolong healing. We don’t have to live there, only a visit to take it to the Cross. One day I will tell you of our journeys. Lawrence and I both are survivors of sexual, emotional and physical abuses and just look what God has done!!!! GOD LOVES YOU SISTER! Kris, you are already setting people free ~ continue down that road.
    love you
    xoxoxoxoxox
    sharon ~

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  13. Rev Sharon Willson
    Nov 02, 2010 @ 12:50:04

    I need to be more careful of my typo’s and typing eh? I was too excited!!!

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  14. Rev Sharon Willson
    Nov 02, 2010 @ 12:49:11

    First of all.. this excited me so much.. so so much.
    Last week at the Grief and Bereavement Symposium I just spoke at up in Orilla.
    I won an OLD framed puzzel of Humpty Dumpty!!!
    Too funny.. You struck me with awe!!!

    I am going to get it re-framed.. Professinally.
    It is so appropriate for the counselling office!!!
    Fragmentation and Integration.. putting all the pieces back!

    now back to reflecting on your blog!!! 🙂

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