Some of the lessons learned on our rutted dirt road were only ‘surface’ lessons; lessons that anyone might be expected to learn just by the fact that they lived our lifestyle. Other lessons were deeper and held much greater value; lessons about who God is and how He loves me.
The ruts in the road were almost always present to some degree. It was a very rare occasion when there was no semblance of rutting noticeable. That seems to be true about my life as well. Life experiences happen and they often leave ruts, or scars, to one degree or another.
In my own life, some of the scars weren’t spoken of for many years after they were etched into the surface of my heart. Hard as I might try, I could not erase the scars some experiences left on my heart. Just as that grader made innumerable trips up and down our road trying desperately to fill in the ruts or grade down the walls, I tried filling my ‘ruts’ with lots of things. When that didn’t work, I would switch tactics and try to knock down the ‘walls’ I had erected in order to protect myself.
The most difficult of my own ruts to deal with was sexual abuse by a friend’s father when I was 13. It lasted for an afternoon, evening and throughout the night. For reasons too numerous to name here, I never told Momma and Daddy and did not tell my sisters until after my husband had died. When my husband and I were dating, I told him. Until he died, he and I were the only people on this earth who knew. The man who assaulted me died about 4-5 years after my husband and I were married, and his wife died a couple of years later.
I felt ashamed and guilty. I began to believe all the horrific things my abuser had said about me. I believed the abuse was somehow my fault. When you are a child and something horrible happens to you, you find a way to make it your fault. It is even easier to do so when the lie is perpetrated by the individual who harms you.
My rut grew deeper with every passing day. The surfaces were more slippery and the danger of sliding into other ruts that intersected my own deep rut became more and more likely. The walls grew higher and higher and icy crags developed in the recesses of my heart. Coldness and hardness now occupied the place once so soft and pliable to the Spirit of the Lord.
I will bless you with a future filled with hope,
a future of success, not of suffering.
You will turn back to me and ask for help,
and I will answer your prayers.