A couple of weeks ago at the 2016 Oscars, Lady Gaga did a fabulous number with a lot of abuse survivors. It was called, “Til It Happens to you.”. It really hit me hard, being one of those myself. In fact, my husband walked in from work right in the middle, saw me crying, frozen with my arms folded across my chest and he immediately knew what was going on.
In the song, Lady Gaga says things that people tell you, “You’ll be fine”, You’ll get over it”, and “It will pass with time”. You know, things that well meaning friends tell you. And in her song, she kind of gets mad and defensive telling them that they don’t understand and could never understand until it happens to them. That’s just plain ole truth.
And in my experience I have found that you just don’t get over it. You will need help getting over it. For instance, I totally thought I was “over it” for years and years. I had worked through it on my own. That was until someone at my church started a “secret” small group for survivors of sexual abuse. We did this study by a Christian Physc-something-or-other (I’ve since loaned out my book and study book) in which he explained behavior patterns and things that we don’t even know we’re damaged in us by the act of someone else. Boy was I shocked to learn I fell into those exact behavior patterns from the moment it happened to me.
And truthfully, until this Gaga thing, people didn’t really talk about such things. They were kept hidden and in dark deep corners, damaging to the innocent ones, the victims. So I’m really glad that this has been brought into the light and we can have meaningful discussions and get the help we survivors need.
It has been my personal experience that I labeled myself as that, a survivor. Others labeled my behavior or judged me. And there was always that shame I carried on my own back because of what someone else had done to me.
In all of this, Girls, here’s what I want to tell you. There is healing. There is peace. There is freedom and forgiveness. There are chains that can be broken.
And here’s what God says about us. “Though your sins may be scarlet, they will be white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.” Isaiah 1:18. In this verse He is talking about our sins. The simple fact of the matter is that we carry the shame AS IF they were our sins.
Another verse I truly love: “Then Your God will Restore you from captivity and have compassion on you.” Deuteronomy 30:3. In this particular passage He is actually speaking to the children of Israel who have been in captivity. But oh, how this speaks to me. It’s because we haven’t been able to speak about such things, because they we hidden in the dark and became shameful that all of us survivors have been walking around in captivity. We have literally been chained up on the inside and it’s time that God breaks those chains of shame and despair that you’ve placed on yourself.
And He speaks of Restoration – “Then I will make up for the years that the swarming locusts have eaten”, Joel 2:25a. “Then I will make up to you for the years
That the swarming locust has eaten,” Joel 2:25a. He will repair and restore you to a new self – a new person – a new behavior pattern in Him.
So RUN into His loving arms today. And don’t try and do it yourself, there are groups out there for survivors, and what ever you do, make sure you attend a Christian group or see a Christian counselor. It makes ALL the difference in the world.
XOXO, LindaKay, #IAmASurvivor