I was a child. 

I was embarrassed.

I thought it was all my fault. 

I was afraid I would be in trouble for telling. 

I wasn’t even sure if my mom would believe me anyway.

His name was Lee. I recently saw him on the “suggested friend” list on Facebook and I almost vomited. He’s an old man now. I could literally kill him if I wanted, but (even though I love the movie, “Sleepers”) I’m choosing to set him free. Why? Because I’m free.

I’m free from the pain. Free from the anger. Free from the prison of un-forgiveness.

Are you finding freedom from sexual abuse or assault? Here are a few thoughts that have helped me along the way.

#1 – It’s NOT your fault. I know it’s popular for people to SAY this right now, but it’s not popular to believe it. There are all sorts of lies out there about how this was your fault, but the truth is NOBODY deserves to be assaulted. You did nothing wrong, and you are not the blame for the sin that was committed against you.

#2 – Healing and recovery IS possible. You may not have had a choice over what happened to you, but you CAN choose what happens next. It may take some time to sort through the wreckage, but there is hope for healing and full recovery.

#3 – BEWARE: If you are dealing with feelings of guilt and shame because of sexual trauma, beware! It’s easy to fall into patterns of drinking, drugging, binging, starving, cutting, self-destructing and other ways of numbing the pain. Sure it feels better in the immediate, but, it leads to more complications and never ends with your emotional health intact.

#4 – Personally, I’ve found healing, hope, strength, and freedom from my past by surrendering all of my life to the God of the Bible. And I’m convinced this same hope is available to ANYONE who wants it. In Christ, I’ve learned that:

-God loves me. 100% of me.

-The feelings of shame, condemnation, and self-loathing are the voices of a real and present enemy (Satan), but God’s Word says I am valuable and accepted (Isaiah 43:1-4).

-God may have seen the abuse, but he did not condone it. God is not silent about it, either! I do not have to stay silent or bury my feelings because God hates all evil, including the evil actions of LEE, or ANY other evil committed against me (Psalm 11:4-7).

-Just as God provides mercy to those who receive it, God WILL also bring justice to those who do not change their ways. (Psalm 103:1-6).

-I can and WILL forgive others because I am forgiven. Un-forgiveness only makes it worse (Matthew 6:15).