I realize this is not a light topic, and I’m terrified to post this. I’d rather just be safe, and not talk about uncomfortable things, but I choose to do the uncomfortable anyway because I want to live differently than I have for my entire life. I want to look at the hard things and speak the stories we’d rather leave unspoken or hidden. I want to acknowledge the darkness, instead of pretending it doesn’t exist, and then I want to shine the Light. I wrote this piece a few weeks ago, and it is part of my story.
To the Child Who’s Been/Being Sexually Abused,
You are not alone. I know you need to know that because sexual abuse makes you feel completely alone. How do I know this? I, like you, was sexually abused as a child. And because of it, I grew up feeling like I had been abandoned. Even as an adult I struggle with feeling that way sometimes.
I want you to know that you are not your body–it’s just a body, but your body isn’t who you are inside. I grew up secretly thinking that all I was good for was my body and that all men wanted was sex. But it’s not like that. You and I are valuable because God made us worth something; our bodies don’t add to it–we have no price tag attached to us because we are truly priceless. Psalm 139:13-18 says, “For you (God) formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you” (ESV Bible).
For a long time I was mad at God. To be honest, I still have moments when I get mad at Him. In my heart I’ve raged, “How could You let me go through that?!” He didn’t yell back; He just listened. One day, after about a year of counseling, I was remembering one of the times I had been abused as a child, and I saw that God was with me. He was protecting me in the middle of the abuse, and He was whispering to me, “I’m here.” That was the first time I was able to look back at my abuse and not feel abandoned by God. I think one of the reasons He let me see that was so that I could encourage you. You are not alone. God is with you. He will bring you through this, and if you trust Him, He promises to use that evil to bring good into Your life. I think some of the good that came from my childhood sexual abuse is to be able to stand on the other side of my abuse, to hold out my hand and tell you, “Hold on. Don’t give up. Trust God, and He will help you get through this. You are not alone. There is HOPE.”
Note: The abuse was someone outside my family.