November 2015 Final Issue
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Shine The Light

Why in the world does aging as a woman promote hair growth in all the wrong places? This is one of those questions that I will immediately ask Jesus about upon arrival. Yes. Along with many spiritual things, I will inquire about this important unsolved mystery. How can the hair on my head be thinning, but I have become a complete “Chia pet” on my eyebrows, lip, and chin? I know this is not a big issue, but with me, this process of removal requires something that actually causes me more pain than the ripping of the wax on that little strip of paper. It requires an abundance of light. For the esthetician to see the field of hair I need to have removed, she needs to shine a big light. I have always been sensitive to lights. When I became involved in relationship with Jesus, I began to learn that this "little quirk” was more than physical. It was symbolic of where I came from. Darkness was a safety net for me. Things can be covered, and secrets remain hidden and forgotten in the dark. That’s how I liked it; that was comfortable for a girl with a past like mine. I came from a background of abuse, raised in an unchurched home. My childhood was filled with isolation and fear and being sexually abused by my grandfather. My father was locked in a prison of depression and grief due to losing his three sons, and my mother just did the best she could. I was alone and filled with pain from losing all the significant men in my life. Looking back, I know that coming from that type of abuse stirred the desire in me to be sexual. I was trying to gain the love I was lacking. I began to look for love and acceptance in many relationships. When these relationships would end, I would count that as a failure. No matter how many times I gave my body away to feel love, I became emptier. The belief that I wasn’t worthy to be loved by my father, nor worthy to be loved by anyone else, spiraled me into unhealthy relationships filled with abuse. I remember it like it was yesterday. I lifted my head from the freshly sprinkled lawn that caused me to have mud on my face. The pain of being shoved out of the car and strangled that night, nearly to my death, was so shocking that I put my head right back down. I rested for a moment because truly, I was in shock. How had my life become so sordid? This would be the beginning of the end of my two-year relationship debacle with the man I had dubbed as my next husband. Something changed inside of me that night lying there in the wee hours of the morning with my head on the wet soil. I definitely did not know Jesus and couldn't grasp the thought that a higher power could actually love this failure of a woman. For the first time, I had a thought that I had never had or at least never remember having so vividly. Pulling myself inside to my 500 square-foot apartment, I sat on the floor and held my knees. I cried out to a God I wasn't really sure was real. I was desperate. I cried out, “If You're real, please take this pain from me!” As soon as the words were out of my mouth, an image came to mind. I began to see a picture of a woman who I really wished I could be—like a vision or dream inside my head even though I was fully awake. I saw a woman who was older, but I was keenly aware that she had a good life, children, and a home. I knew inside my very core that I desired to be this woman. But I had a big problem. I thought the picture inside my head could never happen for me, and if it could, I had no idea how to get from where I was to the picture I saw that night in my head. I’ve been in circumstances where I have overheard other women say, “How could a woman allow herself to be hit? There’s just no way I would allow that.” We need to remember that long before the first punch is ever thrown, the enemy has been raining down blows—lies—in her mind and heart. He has consistently broken down her barriers until that kind of treatment is not only what she expects, it’s what she thinks she deserves. Most battered women don’t become battered in a vacuum. They don’t stumble into it. I tried for many years to forget, pretend, and deny that the abuse which had been inflicted upon me propelled me into making many bad choices. You may not have been physically abused, but I assure you there is a war on all of us. Our adversary, Satan, is waiting for us to wake up every day so that he can abuse us with thoughts he places in our minds. Children naturally play at fantasy and make-believe, but often when they are traumatized, they will “escape” from their circumstances, if only in their minds. Our minds are amazing things and can instinctively shut things out so that we don’t completely shut down. Every time the “act” took place, I escaped in my mind, sort of like in Narnia where the children opened the wardrobe and went to another land. From that practice, I was able to shut things out of my mind for the majority of my life, but eventually, I had to come to grips with the fact that I couldn’t deliver myself from the bondage and shame. Today, I am the woman I had a vision of twenty years ago in that small apartment in the throes of what seemed like a nightmare. I am humbled and thankful Jesus did not relent. People often ask me, “How did you get healed from the pain of these trials and abuse?” We are never finished. Healing is a journey, but one key factor catapulted me into greater wholeness: I shined the Light on the places that were hurting, and healing began. How? I started with the first step.
  • The best place to begin a healing journey is to accept the truth of our pasts and be open to share about the places that we’ve never been healed. A lot of you may have hidden the truth in the same darkness I once felt comfortable in. When I would “color” the story about where I came from with shades of untruth, I was denying that my past was real.
  • Next, we need to allow the pain we’ve covered for so long to come out. It can be with a friend, a counselor, or alone with God. When we pull back the veil that covers our pain, and the healing light of Jesus comes in, things begin to change. Real healing for me began when I no longer wanted the truth about the life I had come from to remain in darkness because of shame, guilt, or fear.
  • Then, ask Jesus to replace the lie or memory that has been dark and hurting with His truth and light. Ask Him how He sees you and what He says about the situation/pain that you’ve kept hidden. Most of all, listen to His response.
There were many things about my past that I didn’t want to re-live, and even more than that, I didn’t want anyone to know about; especially when I started attending church. When you hear negative thoughts about telling your story, it’s the devil, because church should be the very place we feel safe enough to allow the light in. In Ephesians 5:11-14 (NASB), we read: “Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” The light exposes things for what they really are, just like the big, intense light needed for hair removal. Jesus will remove every unwanted pain in your life! When scripture says, “Awake,” I believe, it’s an expression of “don’t be unconscious to the things He wants you to be healed from.” Arise from the negative and destructive thinking habits and allow God to replace His truth in the dead places of pain, and you will become a light for others. Light is like a refuge because it is Jesus. Whatever type of abuse/pain you’ve suffered in this world—abuse...abortion...an indiscretion...adultery...affairs...lies…or all of it... Your story has purpose...unless it is kept out of the light. Don’t keep it a secret. Don’t think the darkness will hide it forever. Pursue shining THE Light of Jesus into those places and watch the healing begin.
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About Kerrie Oles

Kerrie Oles
Kerri loves traveling and speaking to women from all backgrounds and helping them come to understand their value as a daughter to the King. Her passion is to help women be revived from the pains of their past; making her messages relevant and empowering. She authored her first book with her mother, in 2009 called, "Invisible Chains," and her newest book is "Revived: From the Me I Used to Be." She has been married to her husband, Phillip, for 15 years and they have two wonderful boys, Caleb and Cameron. They are active members at Gateway Church in TX, where she serves on the freedom team. Her website is: www.kerrieoles.com.

2 comments

  1. Hi Tiria!

    Thank you so much for your comment! I remember meeting you! Thank you for being brave enough to come up after class- And I am so thrilled that this article related, and blessed you! God has big plans for you…keep looking and leaning on Him- Blessings- Kerrie

  2. Tiria Hewitt

    AMAZING!! The 4th paragraph of this article is MY story. Literally every word and every phrase except for…..”due to losing three sons.” My story would read, “due to having three daughters and NO sons. I truly hurt for what you went through because I’ve never met anyone quite like me, so I know that kind of pain. I also know how strong you are to have survived such a life and come out on top, because I have too.

    I had the pleasure of meeting you Sunday, July 6th when you taught, Levels of Change, at Gateway in Southlake. I approached you afterwards and asked how I could buy a CD of the teaching so I could play it each day for my family.

    I also had a picture in my mind during some of my darkest days, of a woman with a good, blessed and stable life. God has been kind and faithful to me and with His gentle touch and loving heart, He reached down into the pit, cleaned me, changed my attire (externally AND internally), and gave me a new name. I look back on those dark, excruciating days and then realize……I’m THAT woman, and I’m so excited to meet her and get to know ALL about her and who she was created to be!!!

    Kari, I also wanted to say thanks for the FB friend invite. I know it may seem silly, but in my 2 years of being in TX you’re the first person who reached out to me that way. I am encouraged now that I’ll get to make some real friends here. Thanks again for ministering to me in such a tiny yet BIG way!!

    ~Tiria

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