Life can be tough, and it inflicts wounds in us all.
The question is, what do we do with the pain?
In many cases, the only solution we know is to push the pain beneath the surface of our hearts and minds and work to keep it there. We think that if we can just block out our negative memories, the bad feelings will go away. And they do … for a while. But, eventually, our strength gives out, and all that pain comes right back up to the surface.
The truth is our wounds need to be healed, not ignored. There aren’t many stories that illustrate that truth better than that of Stephanie Fast.
She doesn’t know her original name, her birth date, or her place of birth, other than somewhere in Korea. Her mother conceived her out of wedlock with an American soldier shortly after the Korean War.
In Korea at that time, to be biracial and a female was to be rejected and ostracized. Stephanie’s mother abandoned her to the streets to fend for herself and, more than likely, to die of starvation, disease – or worse.
Somehow she survived, but she was considered a “throwaway.” Fellow Koreans even nicknamed her “tuki” which means “alien devil.” Stephanie was deemed worthless, and her countrymen wanted her to know it.
She survived on mice, locusts, and whatever she could find in the fields. She was physically and sexually abused. She grew up with dozens of other street children, all of them orphans, and they saw death almost every day.
By the time she was 9, she had never known the security and assurance of a loving family.
But it was around that time that God began to bring healing into Stephanie’s life. Missionaries adopted her, gave her an identity, a home – and a country – where she belonged.
But her past wounds began breaking through the surface.
That’s when she discovered God doesn’t merely sympathize with our pain, he identifies with it. Sympathy means feeling sorry for someone. It’s essentially a well-meaning pat on the head. Identifying with someone, on the other hand, means they’ve endured suffering similar to yours.
Jesus identified with Stephanie’s wounds. He’d suffered all that she had and more, and He’d died to give her life. From the moment Stephanie understood this truth, the Lord began a continual healing of her memories, of her past, of her broken heart.
Stephanie’s testimony is remarkable. That’s why we’re excited to share it with you today on our program we’ve titled, “Healing Childhood Traumas.” Join us for her amazing story of survival and God’s grace in the midst of suffering. You can hear the broadcast on your local radio station, online, or via our free, downloadable mobile phone app.)
You may or may not have been an orphan. But you’ve no doubt suffered your own share of pain. Stephanie’s story is a reminder that no matter what you’ve suffered, and no matter how deep your wounds go, God’s grace and love are deeper still. You can have a new life in Christ, regardless of what you’ve endured in your past.
If you feel you’d benefit from talking personally with a trusted person who can offer insight into your pain and a listening ear, one of our counselors stands ready to help. Give us a call at 1-800-A-FAMILY. Or visit focusonthefamily.com for more information.