One of the negative effects of abuse is that we turn off all our feelings to protect ourselves from the negative and harmful feelings we experienced during and after being sexually abused. The problem is, we also shut off our feelings for good, including listening to the Spirit (or Holy Ghost).
Sheri Dew, former member of the Relief Society general presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said:
“There is nothing more vital to out success and our happiness here than learning to hear the voice of the Spirit. It is the Spirit who reveals to us our identity – which isn’t just who we are but who we have always been. And that when we know, our lives take on a sense of purpose so stunning that we can never be the same again.”
Given that we are children of God, Satan wants to do his best to destroy that part of our identity and our ability to learn and know who we really are. Satan tries to hide our identity from us any way he can, so doesn’t it make sense that he’d also use the wounds of sexual abuse to stop us from listening to, hearing, and feeling the Spirit to prevent such valuable messages from getting through?
What does Spirit feel like? How can we know we are feeling it?
Many describe feeling the Spirit as a “burning in the bosom.” But, it can come in unique ways for each person, or different for each circumstance.
In the New Testament – Galatians 5:22-23 – it describes feeling the Spirit like this:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,…
Feeling the Spirit can come in many different ways, but the main thing to know is it is a good feeling, often bringing peace. The Spirit does NOT bring feelings of fear, confusion, sadness, hate, envy, etc. Positive feelings are of God and thus from the Spirit.
Pray to ask Heavenly Father to help you feel the Spirit more clearly in your life. It may start small, but as you become more familiar with listening and hearing the Spirit, it will become easier and you’ll feel it more frequently.
Feeling the Spirit will enable you heal more fully as you seek guidance from God. He will speak peace and love to your soul. He will give you comfort and strength. And, most importantly, He, through the Spirit, will help you realize who you are – a child of God. Your divine identity can not be taken away. It is who you are, who you have always been.