Most of the children here at the Joy Home have had to be self-reliant from a very early age. As preschoolers, they had to learn to comfort themselves and find their own food. They learned very early that adults are to be feared. Once they arrive here, they have to learn the long process of obeying, trusting and even loving an adult.
Many of the children I interviewed today feel that they are dirty and/or bad. They do not understand that bad things happened to and around them, but they themselves are good, precious and beautiful.
Because they feel they are intrinsically bad/broken or dirty, they often act out in ways that are consistent with this self belief. Thus, when they hear, “you are a bad girl or boy”, it only reinforces what they already believe to be true about themselves.
As I work with the children, I am hoping that they will receive a new truth and a new way of viewing themselves. They have lost the truth that they are made in the image of God. They have lost the ability to proclaim with confidence, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.*” I told several of them, “I wish you could see yourself with my eyes and then you would know that you are lovely and loved.”
Today, I prayed with a nine year old girl who felt dirty. We ended our session by asking that the Lord would remove this feeling of filth and “cleanse her with hyssop so she will be clean and wash her so she will be whiter than snow**”. I prayed that the Holy Spirit would “restore to her joy…and a willing spirit to sustain her.**” As we finished the prayer, she said that she no longer felt dirty. God is good!
Join me as I pray, “Lord, help these precious children receive a new truth. Anoint them with your love and joy. Help them to know that they are beautiful and beloved. Take away the shame of their abuse. Let their abusers wear this heavy yoke of shame so they will be brought low and then they will look to you for their salvation.”
*Psalm 139 **Psalm 51