I saw the movie Unbroken today. How I found parts of it more than I could bear to watch, literally to turn away and hide my eyes as I covered my ears. This man bore so much torture and abuse, day in and day out. The knowing it was a true story is what awoke the emotions in me. A few times during the movie I contemplated leaving, yet Abba compelled me to stay, whispering softly that He had a purpose in prompting me to come watch it. You see, I did so quite spontaneously, as I was leaving Mass today. Simply felt like God was saying, rest today and heal and here is where.
I have learned over the years of my healing journey not to question or doubt where I am lead, for the most seemingly pointless, small or random has been pivotal to my progress. So it was today.
As the Lord helped me to cringe less the emotions flowed. I still struggle with feeling, the intensity of it, floods me always, overwhelms no more but still feels so close to doing so. Each crack of that stick I felt, every blow hit home with me. I understood his cowering in defense as he endeavored to shield himself. How I could read the confusion in his expression when doing as asked led to more abuse. The torturing of the mind and emotions as bruised and scarred as the body, as the abuser sought to break his spirit.
This is where he remained unbroken, promising God that if He would be His strength that he survive, his life would be His.
Do you see the brokenness before God that upheld him? His yielding the very source of his staying strong?
So it is with me. I am broken, I know this now. My parents choices of sin against me saw to that. How could I grow deprived of the essence of it? I couldn’t, not as I should have. My body matured and left me behind, my mind became my escape that I was lost, a prisoner of a childhood war. Scarred and weary, lost to another’s war.
Yet, just as the American forces came to the rescue of the POW’s so the forces of Heaven have for me. I was never alone, never abandoned or forgotten. This is a truth I know to the depth of me. Many times my angel stood between my abusers wrath and me as God stayed their hand upon me. Much was endured, yes, yet my spirit knows much more could have been that wasn’t. In witnessing the horror of another’s abuse I came to realize this. As his abuser fell apart emotionally I wondered what could have made him that way? I pitied him that he to was a victim to his choices, unknown to him, but true just the same. A truth I must accept in relation to my abusers as well.
The ending of the movie showed me why God had me stay.
He returned home looking much as he did when he left, on the outside, not inside. I too, traversed my childhood presented one way while living another.
As his family came forward they embraced him, they knowing in their hearts that he was more and less than stood before him. Tears flowed for the reunion but surely for the pain and suffering they knew he endured as well. How this has been for me as well, the family of God, earthly to have thrown their arms wide and welcomed me to healing. Taken me in while knowing there is so much unseen that needs love as well.
The greatest of love this man found in Christ he then extended to those who needed it most, his captors. He returned to Japan and sought them out that he might make peace with them through forgiving each and every one. My dammed emotions broke upon reading that, the truth to flood me that God would have me make peace with my abusers as well, within myself for now. Only He knows if more is needed but I leave that with Him for now.
God showed me heaven as He does so oft, brought me home to be with my family of God. Momma Mary, Papa God and my loving Jesus. How oft we sit together and how sweet and precious those times are. He showed me more though, reminding me that I have an earthly family too. The sweetness of His embrace to awaken within me this…
Someday perhaps my parents and I can embrace on heaven’s side. I can know the joy of telling my older brother I forgive him. Who am I to judge their choices, Jesus whispered to me, when He has forgiven me beyond mine.
I am no one without Him, His saving grace, mercy and forgiveness are my redemption.
So I am to extend to others, beginning with those it is hardest to do so with.
Prayer the key, always that opens the doors of my healing to crack this one as well.
Because of and by God’s power with in me and the Jesus’ redemptive blood I will pray for my parents and brother, for all those others who used me, bought me and beat me. It won’t be easy, I am thankful for the journey of my Lord’s life and the power of His Crucifixion example to lead me.
“Father, forgive them, they knew not what they did.”
Perhaps one day I shall experience running into my Momma’s arms, looking upon my Father’s hands as I hold them, Nodding to my brother as our hearts unite as family was meant to.
The joy to be for me, beyond the embrace, in the knowledge that they too have found forgiveness for themselves, yielded to God and been saved.
Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised.
Unbroken is a 2014 American war drama film, produced and directed by Angelina Jolie, and based on the 2010 non-fiction book by Laura Hillenbrand Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. The film revolves around the life of USA Olympian and athlete Louis “Louie” Zamperini, portrayed by Jack O’Connell. Zamperini, who died on July 2, 2014, at the age of 97, survived in a raft for 47 days after his bomber was downed in WWII, and was sent to a series of prisoner of war camps.