Originally published Monday, 28 April 2014.
This post is written in response to a scarred part of my life. I share it freely for the purpose of encouragement and restoration. If you've experience sexual abuse and would like to chat, you can send me a message through Facebook.
I use to shutter at the sight of your name. Something inside of my spirit would wilt, cower, turn away whenever I encountered anything or anyone that reminded me of you.
I would lay awake at night, wondering if I was safe. If my mother and brother and sister were safe. Reading that sentence back now it seems silly really. But back then, you were my worst nightmare.
But not for the reason you might think.
I wasn't afraid of you because I thought you were a monster, though most would say otherwise. And it wasn’t because I thought you were dangerous or lethal, though some might argue you were.
I was afraid of you because of what you weren’t. You weren’t who you said you were. You weren’t the safe place you were supposed to be. I was afraid because your failure damaged that sacred place in me.
I was afraid of you because you were the hand behind the gaping wound I have in one of the deepest parts of my soul. My being. I would never be the same because of you.
Or so I thought. For a long time. As a child I thought I’d never recover. As a child, thinking juvenile thoughts with naive limitations, I thought I’d never be the same again. I was damaged. And it was you that damaged me.
He is bigger.
He is bigger than you and me and them.
He shattered the glass ceiling on healing. He very gently took down the brick walls I had built around redemption. He taught me strength and courage through the vulnerability and humility of my mother. He loved me, like a Father should, through the hands and wisdom and heart of my father. And He showed me the magnetic and supernatural of forgiveness through my husband.
Forgiveness. A power unmatched by any court or weapon or earthly force. And yet, it is accessible by all. Even me.
I've been called to forgive much because I've been forgiven of much. Thank you Jesus for that unwavering truth.
You see, forgiveness breaks chains, both physically and emotionally. Forgiveness shatters anger and resentment.
Forgiveness rebuilds wholeness and goodness and love.
So I am not afraid of you anymore, because I choose to live free.
I am not afraid of you anymore because I forgive you.
For the sake of my redemption and yours as well.
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