I should be overjoyed. And on some level I am. The words I wrote in “The Sexy Wife I Can’t Be” have stirred folks, but mostly they’ve let people know that they’re not alone in some of the most hidden thoughts on the planet. We don’t talk about our shame, our stories, our shortcomings related to the residual affects of sexual abuse. And often for others to feel safe, another has to go first.
The Lord’s been so good to me. He’s given me a holy unction to share my story, raw and real. It’s Him. Left up to myself, I’d rather hide and hoard the story, living in the silence of it, haunted by shame. But I can’t. Because I feel God’s longing to set you free. His desire to shed light on what’s been locked in darkness.
That’s why I go first and take the hits. For you. For your freedom.
The enemy of our souls has a strong, powerful weapon. It’s called darkness. As long as we believe that our world will fall apart and everyone will holler at us if they knew our scary story, we remain chained to that darkness.
We forget this tiny little, important verse in John 1:5: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” Satan knows that if he can keep you in your head, tormented by the past and the memories and especially the shame, you won’t ever find freedom. But the MOMENT you choose to share, you bring your story into the light and the darkness has no more power over you.
So that’s why I’m thankful I wrote about my own struggle with sex in the aftermath of sexual abuse. Because it opened the door for so many.
The downside is that I score high on the empathy scale, and I take in every. single. story. I hear the cries. I see the abuse. I lament alongside. I hurt with. And that makes my heart heavy. I’ve spent the week in a melancholy funk.
Why do such awful things happen to children? To teens? To adults? Why are evildoers allowed to go free? Why must we walk with a limp the rest of our lives because of the awful choices of others? If I stay in that place, darkness overcomes me. I forget the light. And I can’t see through to the redemption.
Here’s the beauty, though. There is honor in stories. The Hebrew word for honor means WEIGHT. There’s a poundage, a heaviness associated with the outlines of our stories. Which means they mean something. So much something.
And it also means I can’t absorb them. What I can do is lift the weight of your story onto the shoulders of the One who bore every single heinous act on the cross.
The cool thing: God has entrusted our stories to Jesus.
“My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him” (Matthew 11:27).
God has entrusted your weighty story to Jesus. And in giving it up to Him, you also open the door to Jesus revealing God to you in healing, saving ways.
For me? For those of you who have a hard time bearing weighty stories, Jesus continues:
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
Tell your story. Start with handing the burden of your story over to Jesus. Give Him the story. Be real about it. He already knows you’re anguished that He didn’t fix the situation or rescue you. He can take your anger and ranting. Then pray that God would send you a friend who can carry your story, hear it, and help you again present it to Jesus.
I am who I am today because people dared to believe God would heal me from the past. They prayed. Oh how they prayed. And God healed. Oh how He healed.
May today be the day you offer the weight of your story to the One who carries it well, then dare to entrust it to another human being who be Jesus’ grace and healing with skin on.