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"You mean, I look normal," smiled Terry. "I found out a long time ago, that the only place you find normal in this life, is on a washing machine. Did the garlic trick work?"

"Most of the time," replied Jake. "But, when the others found out that the cook was helping me, they beat him up. After that, I was on my own again. Do you ever think of it?" he asked.

"You mean, have I forgotten the abuse?" asked Terry. "No, I'll never forget. But, God has shown me that I can live my life without having to dwell on those memories when they come-- and they do come."

"How do you handle the flashbacks?" asked Jake, quite forgetting his dinner.

"Well," answered Terry, "I don't think mine are as strong as yours. But, for me, I try to remember Psalm sixty-one, verses two and three: 'From the end of the earth will I cry unto Thee [God], when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the Rock that is higher than I. For Thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.' I try to remember that God has delivered me from my abuser, and that He will deliver me from the memory of the abuse as well. It's easy to lose yourself in the pain when the memories come flooding back. That's the time my heart is overwhelmed, and that's the time I ask God to lead me to Higher Ground, so the waves won't overcome me. Do you know Who the Higher Ground is? It's Jesus, 'the Rock that is higher than I.' The answer to all our problems lies in the person of Christ. When I'm struggling with the past, I ask the Holy Spirit to remind me that Christ died to secure my soul for Himself. The pain I may feel, pales in comparison to what He suffered on the cross, for my sins."

"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds."
~ Hebrews 12:2, 3 ~

"May I ask," wondered Terry, seeing that Jake was intently listening, "can you always tell when a flashback is about to happen?"

"Most of the time," replied Jake, "but, sometimes, they come and I'm not aware of what's happening until I'm in the middle of it. That's usually when Abby saves my hide."

"The important thing is," advised Terry, "not to dwell on the memories when they come. Try really hard to think about something else, and it will eventually pass. It helps to have someone else pull you back to reality. I remember times when John did that for me. But, if you happen to be alone, don't be afraid-- trust God, and He will pull you back, Himself. You can count on it. God never forsakes His own. We've just got to cooperate with Him."

"How?" asked Jake.

"What I mean by cooperate," answered Terry, "is that the 'Father worketh hitherto, and I work.' Sometimes, we tie God's hands by doing things that aren't the most conducive to His helping us in a timely manner. In other words, we sometimes get in His way, so help comes later than sooner. Like clutching up, when you first realize you're having a flashback, instead of trying to relax. Clutching only made my flashbacks worse. Also, I noticed that slowly counting backwards from one hundred, sometimes helped. I suppose it will be different for everyone, but the key is to do everything you can to help the situation, so God will be able to do His part."

Abby took another bite of dinner, as her uncle continued.

"When we need it, God always sends us help," affirmed Terry. "We just have to have the good sense to recognize it, when it comes. I'm living proof of that. Sometimes, it's the Holy Spirit reminding us of a verse, and sometimes, it's a friend, shaking us back to reality. Look for the grace, and you'll find it!"

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