This photo popped up in my Facebook memories a couple of days ago and I debated on whether or not I should post this. It took me a minute to realize what day it was, that’s healing happening right there. This photo was taken the day that forever changed my life. It was taken just before the church service where Pastor was preaching on strongholds and how they affect our walk with God. What you don’t see in this photo are the bags under my dark, pain-filled eyes. This very night I struggled with sleep like so many nights before this. I kept replaying the message from church in my head and looking through my notes.
Then, I began to pray like I had never prayed before. “God what do you have for me? What is it that I need to do? Why can I not come out of this deep pit of depression?” Questioning God, that’s always a good thing to do right? But that night, I heard His voice so clearly, like he was standing in my room having a face to face conversation with me. He said “It’s time. It’s time for you to tell your truth.”
I got scared. I began to cry. See, anything worth doing never comes without fear. This was the one thing I had feared my entire life, opening up and telling those that I love and those that love me so dearly. I began to pray again because I didn’t know what my next steps should be. I spent most of Monday in prayer because I was clueless as to what I should do. That Tuesday, I woke up and I knew exactly who I should tell. There were only three other people in my life that knew, but I had sworn them to secrecy. Telling the next person would blow this situation wide open and there was no going back.
I hear and see so many people question why survivors don’t come forward sooner. That is not something you should be asking. You should be asking them how you can best support them. There are SO MANY reasons why we don’t come forward when it happens.
- #1 reason is FEAR. Fear of not being believed. Fear of something happening to them again by the abuser.
- #2 reason is SHAME. Plain and simple.
- #3 reason is not having a support system. If the survivor is going to tell someone they want to make sure they are believed. If the person they are telling doesn’t believe them, they want to have someone to lean on.
I am so glad I went to church that day. I am so glad I took so many notes. I am so glad I listened. I am so happy I took that step to open up, because if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be here today. That’s a fact!
This was photo was taken today. My life is a lot different these days. I was talking to a friend a couple of days ago. I was telling her how today I am so at peace, the horrible memories are fading away and I am so grateful for that healing. There are days where yes, I am triggered, but I let it have its moment and then let it pass. There are some who promised they would be there for me no matter what happened. Unfortunately they are no longer in my life and I am learning to be okay with that. Cutting them out of my life was for me, my sanity, my peace. If I’m really struggling, I’ll reach out to friends and family, I pray, I journal or blog.
I am not defined by my past; I choose to see myself as being defined by how I have overcome my past. He was with me, He is with me and He is for me.