Ok, so I have a confession to make. When I wrote my last blog welcoming everyone to the blog,
etc. etc. I had every intention in the world to get back to writing. After all, writing has always been my lifeline and my easiest form of communication for hard things. However, lots of things happened since September 2019. I got a new job. I kept my old job. I still volunteer every week (my shifts have been a little quiet though). Then all of a sudden it's a brand new decade and I'm left wondering where did the time go. Well, in this time I've still thought a lot about this blog, this website and the support group I want to host, but I'll be 100% honest and transparent with you. I've gotten a bit discouraged. Let me be crystal clear, I don't desire to help survivors for fame or fortune. I don't want to share my journey with hundreds of women for a name or for a pat on the back. My hearts desire is to share with survivors everywhere, especially those that are believers, that there is a life after sexual violence. You can have a full life and it can be fulfilling, life giving and enjoying. You can have the abundant life that God promised even though this is a part of your story.
I don't have a degree in counseling, psychology, or psychiatry. As a matter of fact, my degree and work experience is in IT. So, my thoughts at times are why would anyone listen to me? I don't have this brutal attack story of being kidnapped or damn near left for dead as some do. However, I am a survivor and as many other survivors you could not look at me and tell that anything has happened at all. I've worked with hundreds of women and men who I sit across from at all times of the day and night and genuinely say, "I understand and you are not alone." I'm far beyond the days of being angry with God and questioning why me. He was clear in telling me the why. However, I find myself wondering, how do I walk out the why? Is God saying that hosting a support group or being a rape advocate isn't what you want me to do? What happens when you know what has been spoken but you find yourself discouraged by what you don't see? Discouraged by what seems to be lack of movement.
Could your own picture of healing be unrealistic? I often fantasize about the day that I get to speak in front of others and share my story. How I went from sex and alcohol being a coping mechanism. Unhealthy relationships because I was too afraid to be alone. To finally meeting what Pastor Dharius Daniels calls “a mate for my soul” that helped me heal even further. But what if that's not how it goes? What if God is waiting for me, you, to fully embrace that healing is when you come to grips with the fact that this piece of your story was not caused by Him but necessary for who He's calling you to be and where you are going?
It did not define you. You can talk about it from a place of look what God has brought me through not OMG I wish this never happened. Not looking at the what if this didn't happen, what would my life be like? How often is that our honest feelings though? Do we fully embrace the journey or do we long for the healing to look the way we think it should. Some days, most days, I do take the journey for what it is and I trust God’s timing. But when you find yourself in a place of discouragement it's easy for the enemy to slip in and push you back to a place of doubt much like when you first started this journey.
It's almost Valentine's Day so I'll share my greatest struggles as a survivor. Of all the areas of life that could be impacted by sexual violence, relationships, particularly dating relationships, seemed to have taken the biggest hit. Don't get me wrong, I've had relationships since the assaults and almost got married. I've even let someone in since that. It might not have been the right person or time to let them in but I did. The simple fact that I'm still open to love speaks volumes to where I am on the healing journey. I am still willing to let someone in without fear of being hurt or rejected. I must admit though, God clearly loves me, raggedy and all, because He won't just let anyone come into my life to be that mate for my soul if He doesn't approve. Even in that, you wonder, OK God when do I get the happy ending of someone on Earth to be completely vulnerable with and they not take advantage of that or be afraid of the baggage. But the bigger question may be, do we, I, feel that we deserve that?
So that's my truth. Writing takes effort and thought. I'm no one special but I have a heart to help. With all the different movements and people sharing other people's stories to give them a voice, what's my place? What sets me apart? What I do know is that even through the most difficult parts of my story God wants to use it for His glory and I'm willing to be His vessel.
Talk to me. How have you gotten discouraged on the journey as a survivor? What area(s) do you think have been most impacted?