Were you neglected or abused as a child? I was. Given the large number of people who experience abuse as children, I know I am not alone. I want to talk about this here but there are some really important things I need to say first.
- Are you safe now? If not, get to safety first. Don’t remain in a situation where you are – or even might be – still in danger. Get help now from somebody who believes you who will help you get to a safe place.
- I am not a Pastor, not a counselor, not a doctor, not a teacher, not a healer, not a prophet, not a mental health professional. I’m a blogger. You need help from people more knowledgeable than I to recover from damage caused by abuse. So do I.
- There is nothing shameful about having been abused or needing help recovering from it. It is not your fault. You did nothing wrong.
- Getting help recovering from abuse is no different from getting help setting a broken leg or getting physical therapy once the cast comes off.
- God intends for His people to thrive. That includes you.
I’m writing this because our preachers often don’t say much about recovering from abuse. If you have ever heard a sermon about recovering from abuse you’re lucky.
Our Pastors and Elders and Preachers and Teachers may talk a lot about how to repent and receive forgiveness for our own sins.
But if you’re like me, you may know deep down that there is something very broken inside you, but feel reluctant to claim things that were done to you as sins of your own. I don’t know how to confess to God that I have sinned by breaking when somebody else did something bad to me. I might own up to not being strong enough, but just how strong is a toddler expected to be when faced with a violent adult?
I always did the best I could in trying not to break or to let my brokenness affect me. And when I came to Jesus I asked for His help in forgiving and forgetting what happened in the past and moving on.
But that isn’t enough – any more than asking for help forgetting about your broken leg and forgiving the drunk driver who ran over you would actually cause it to heal into a strong and useful limb.
I do know that God wants us to strive to become more like Jesus. And Jesus didn’t have a broken soul. I don’t think God intends for us to remain broken. And while I do think our brokenness is not our fault, I also believe it is our responsibility to get the help we need to heal from it.
I think if prayer alone is sufficient to heal your wounds, that is fantastic. Praise God!
But I also think the brokenness caused by abuse suffered as a child is like cancer or a broken leg. It is NOT anything shameful about the person hurting from it, and it is also something that we may need worldly help to recover from. That’s not to say that we don’t need God’s help too.
I think that Jesus offers hope.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”Matthew 11:28-30