My name is Cheryl Cooper Downum, I am a mom to three grown children
As a child I experienced sexual and physical abuse at the hands of my step-father. I was stalked and assaulted at 15 which left me with trauma and PTSD.
In 2015, I went through a very painful divorce, I was married to a man who almost destroyed me. Because of my past, I have always been drawn to people who are broken, hurting, and vulnerable. My default emotion is always to help. This situation caused me a great deal of damage and hurt. I realized, I needed to seek the Lord through biblical counseling for healing and learn to have healthier boundaries in relationships.
When I started biblical counseling after my divorce, my counselor challenged me to start journaling. I was hesitant at first, letting myself be vulnerable with the written word was a scary thing. But, I started to realize that the Lord was ministering to me through my writing…and through my writing, God was revealing himself to me and exposing the hidden parts of me. I began to see God working in my life in an amazing way.
My other painful truth: I would not have healed had I not told my story. I have repressed so many memories, that came to light only after I started journaling and speaking about my past. I began to see I’ve had to be extremely cautious about who I entrust my heart to, that is why my divorce was so painful for me. For the first time in my life (besides my children), I let my wall down to someone that tore it apart. I am hyper-vigilant when I walk alone. I check and recheck my doors are locked. I am compulsive and quirky. I have So many issues. I still grieve the loss of my child and my failed marriage. I am a work in progress, that ‘s for sure! I am constantly amazed that God can use someone as imperfect as me!
In my journey of healing, those scars have taken on a beauty for me. They remind me of my utter need for Jesus. My abandonment and sexual abuse (and no father) divorce were the very things that flung me DEEPLY into His Almighty arms.
I realized I can serve as an agent for healing, change, renewal, and hope. We who were abused, battered, broken can now lend voices to those who can’t speak. That’s my prayer. That’s my hope. I desire to learn to be brave and tell my stories, to cry alongside people who are hurting, and to help usher in healing.
That was when I gave my blog to God…fully.
My desire was to have all that I write be glorifying to Him, not me. To encourage and to inspire people to realize God’s love for them. To never give up hope. To know without a doubt that God Loves them unconditionally. That He is faithful and worthy of trust.
There have been many times I have been stumbling over a post I’ve known I was supposed to write and start praying only to have God finish my post for me with words I know didn’t come from my mind. Those are the kinds of things that happen when God owns your blog!
As I began to rely on the Holy Spirit to guide me on what to write and how to write it, I was amazed how God started pruning and maturing me in many ways. I began to align deeper and closer to God every day. It required me to grab hold of the Holy Spirit and never let go. I’ve found myself growing closer and more in love with Jesus.
As I’ve walked this journey, I realize I am a sacrificial servant who will be called to at times to expose my wounds, lay open my heart, and be vulnerable and humble. My heart has become infused with empathy for others that find themselves in a place of brokenness and pain. God has given me a story, a message of hope to share. A message birthed in my brokenness that brought forth a sweet-surrendered dependence on God’s unconditional acceptance and love.
Blogging has by far been the best and most rewarding thing I have ever experienced. I am excited each day to study God’s word and see what he wants me to share.
God Bless You all, May you grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.