This is not about Lady Gaga’s singing or acting talents.
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta a.k.a. Lada Gaga, has won 12 Grammy awards, an Academy award, 2 Golden Globe awards and 18 MTV Music Video awards … among other things. She is one of the world’s best selling musical artists.
She’s also a survivor of childhood abuse.
I’ve talked about abuse before in this Blog, and suggested that Christians need to talk about it more. A person who was abused as a child can grow into an adult who still needs considerable healing of past wounds in order to fully serve Christ.
Stefani’s gift was her truthfulness about her journey of healing from things that were done to her as a child, and as a young artist trying to break into the field. She recently talked about these things in an interview that is part of the mental health docu-series produced by Prince Harry and Oprah Winfrey titled, “The Me You Can’t See.”
When I heard a clip on a morning news show I wasn’t really watching, of Stefani saying, “It’s a really very real thing to feel like there’s a black cloud that is following you wherever you go telling you that you are worthless and should die,” I froze in my tracks. “OMG, how does that person KNOW?” was my first thought — because that is exactly how I lived for many years … in all honesty believing that was not “just” a “feeling” I had about myself, but that it was capital-T Truth … albeit shameful Truth … but Truth nonetheless, that must be kept hidden from everyone else at all costs. My whole life became one grand lie, aimed entirely at keeping that shameful Truth (“I am worthless and don’t deserve to exist”) a secret that no one else knew.
Shortly after I came to Jesus, when I begged God to show me all my sins so I could change my sinful ways, this was one of the first things He brought to my attention … and I was stunned. I hadn’t consciously confronted those issues in years. And I didn’t want to now.
But nope. God insisted — I had prayed that He would reveal to me the things I needed to change, so this was His answer to my prayer and He wasn’t going to let me ignore it.
I really, really, really appreciate it that Stefani, a.k.a. Lady Gaga had the courage to say, “You can get through this, but it may take a while.”
It takes a lot of courage not only to reveal, but actually to talk publically about the very things you’ve tried the hardest to hide from the world for years. You can trust me on that.
So Lady Gaga’s gift makes me want to revisit the topic of Prayer and Healing from childhood abuse. I do believe that God can heal anything, that prayer works, that God is merciful and that He does answer prayers.
But – and this is important – just like some people need medical treatment to heal from an infection and others may not … some people need medical treatment to heal from mental health trauma and others may not. There is nobody – NOBODY – other than God qualified to sit in judgement of what you need in order to recover. Not your spouse, not your parents, not your Pastor, not your Priest, not your Deacon or your neighbor – NOBODY is qualified to tell you that if you can’t heal yourself through prayer alone then you must not be praying right or reading the Bible enough, or attending the right church, or whatever.
Some infected legs will heal at home with rest and prayer. Others need medicine and hospitals and surgery in addition to rest and prayer. Whatever you need to heal your leg … or your traumatized spirit … NOBODY can say you just aren’t praying enough except God. If God’s telling you that, you probably better listen. But if anyone else is saying that, they are not qualified to know.
That said – I personally have spent the past year confronting and dealing with the brokenness inside me that resulted from childhood abuse. I want to echo Lady Gaga’s claim that you can get through this, and also that it may take a while … and there will be setbacks. It’s not a smooth clean path directly from there to here.
I do find that taking my most shameful brokenness to Jesus and asking Him to help me heal does help, even if other kinds of help like medication or counseling are also necessary. Let’s just say I’d aready tried those other approaches without Jesus, and didn’t get the healing I needed. But with God it’s different – all things are possible … even if not always on the timetable you were hoping for. That is my experience anyway. Yours may be different. But the need to heal those wounds is real.
“I went through a really crazy time in my head that I still work on,” [Lady Gaga] says in the series. “And I’m trying to make sure that I give back with that experience instead of just, I don’t know, locking it away and faking it.“Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta a.k.a. Lada Gaga
That is Lady Gaga’s gift.