When I First Saw Jesus
My earliest memory of Jesus was when I was four years old. We were at a campground in Pennsylvania and I wandered off into the woods and got lost. After about an hour in the woods I was crying and very upset that I could not find my way back to our trailer. Then I just cried out “God please help me?” Soon after that a man in a white robe with a beard and long hair appeared in the distance and He motioned that I follow Him. Minutes later I was out of the woods and the man was gone.
A few days later I was alone with my earthly father in our trailer. He told me to take off my clothes and to strip naked. This is my first memory of being molested and sexually abused. However, while my father was abusing me the man who led me out of the woods just days before appeared in the room. He told me that He loved me and that I was going to be alright and not to worry about what my father was doing to me.
There are at least a dozen other times that I remember being raped and abused by my father and his cousins between the ages of 4 and 11. And every time the man in the white robe was there reassuring me that I would be alright, speaking words of love, comfort and peace to me. There were other times while I was alone that this man came to me and told me of faith, hope, love, relationship and fellowship. At the time I did not understand all what He was telling me.
Having never been to a church building in my youth it was not until I was 12 that I came to understand that the man in the white robe was Jesus. Soon after I came to that realization I encountered my very first Gideon’s New Testament bible and all the things that I read in there confirmed the very things that Jesus had been speaking to me all those years. In my teens I tried to find the rich fellowship and love that Jesus had shared with me at many different church buildings and among many congregations, but I never could find it among any of them. Some of the songs were nice, but the sermons and the service were not at all like what Jesus had revealed to me as authentic and real. I searched and searched for HIS pulse within these so called fellowships, but all I could discern there was the heartbeat and traditions of “man”. Eventually I came to understand that true fellowship was not to be found in any “church” building, no it was to be discovered totally outside of all the religious camps.
I share these things here today because I feel He wanted me to and recently my son asked me to share about the time I got lost in the woods. Jesus said He would never leave or forsake me and in all these years He hasn’t. For 18 years I have suffered from PTSD flashbacks of my being raped and abused, but until recently I saw only the abuse. However, in the last several years when I have the flashbacks I actually see Jesus there with me now. This, I believe, is a major breakthrough for me and those who love me. When Jesus is there it takes all the terror away.
I just want to say to everyone that Jesus is always with you, whether you can see Him or not. For those who believe, He is there to comfort and lead you. If you are not yet a believer, He is there knocking on the door of your heart saying “Let ME in?” He wants everyone to follow Him and He desires that we all be healed. Today I choose to walk in His love and healing. He is THE Difference maker! Turn to Him and He will accept, love and lead you; even outside of the traditional camps.
Love and …..
Kirk Out !
P.s. I still have the occasional PTSD flashback, but I have not had a full blown PTSD episode in over three years. Praise Jesus!