“It’s time to be free.” He was gentle but persistent. I tried to ignore Him, although I knew that He was right.
I had followed Him through dark places before but never any place as dark as the one within myself.
This past fall, a conversation with someone dear to me triggered some repressed memories. Reading psychology books in college, I had never quite understood how someone could forget something so traumatic that happened to them. But here I was, remembering details from things that happened thirty years ago. I realized that I had never truly forgotten what had happened; I just didn’t want to remember. At an early age I was sexually abused.
The wounds were deep but I knew that God wanted to bring healing to my soul.
The first step was telling the truth about what happened. I had to bring it out of the darkness and into the light. I couldn’t keep it a secret anymore.
So I told my story. The first time was the hardest; I bawled on the phone as I told one of my closest friends. Then I told Jason, who has been amazing through this entire process. Then I told my sisters; and I felt a little more free.
“Is that it God? I told some people. Are we good?”
“Tell your story.” I didn’t want to tell my story. I wanted a new story –
“God, could You give me another story? I don’t like this one. Could I maybe have a story like Taylor Swift? Or maybe even one like the girl who worked for Anna Wintour and wrote The Devil Wears Prada? Or what about a story like the mom I had just met whose parents owned a Christian camp and she spent every summer at church camp and had the best childhood ever? Can I have a story like one of those?”
“Tell your story.”
So I did. I told old friends and I told new friends. I told my parents, after thirty years of keeping it a secret from them. I told my community group and my friends from church. I told neighbors and mom friends from preschool.
And what happened next was beautiful. Some of them said, “Me too.” And many more of them shared their stories with me – their stories were not identical but their pain was just as deep. I realized that I wasn’t alone. I hated that what had happened to me had also happened to others. And I hated that so many were still hurting from their past. But in those moments, I realized the beautiful thing was that we could be broken together poured out for one another.
I have been meditating on this passage lately. The entire chapter of 2 Corinthians 4 is so perfect, but the last two verses from the passage are specifically what Dr. Piper is preaching from in the video:
You see, the short-lived pains of this life are creating for us an eternal glory that does not compare to anything we know here. So we do not set our sights on the things we can see with our eyes. All of that is fleeting; it will eventually fade away. Instead, we focus on the things we cannot see, which live on and on. 2 Cor. 4:17-18, The Voice Bible
This may or may not be your story. But if you are hurting today, you are not alone. You have no wounds so deep that Christ cannot heal them. He has wept over what has happened to you. He feels all of your pain. He wants to heal you and to take what the enemy of your soul has stolen from you and make something beautiful.
He wants to redeem all of it.
I will share more of my healing journey with you here on my blog. I am writing a memoir and hope to have it completed by the end of this year. I have joined a group of about 200 other first time authors; we are encouraging one another as we write and learn about the book writing and publishing process. I have also started writing a children’s book titled Tell Someone.
I still want to talk about funny things like why Faith thinks Taylor Swift will ask me to be a bridesmaid at her wedding and the time that Sam said he wanted to be a sex-ed teacher when he grows up. Spoiler alert: It was at his fifth-grade graduation. For now though, in my next post, I will have some information about how you can talk to your child(ren) about sexual abuse.
You are loved,