For those of you who may not know, April marks the month of Child Abuse Prevention. Child abuse is a prevalent issue not only in our country but all over the world. Every day hundreds and thousands of children suffer from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. This is an issue that is not far from many of us, and in fact, some of you reading this may have been or know of someone who is/was abused at the hands of another individual. For those of you who feel trapped because of past abuse and hurt, I pray that this blog will give you a glimmer of hope that there is healing and forgiveness through God.
The first time I was exposed to abuse was when I was around 8 or 9 and a friend disclosed to me that she was being sexually abused by an older uncle. I struggled as a child because I did not know what to do! How can someone take advantage of my friend and hurt her in this way? She made me swear to secrecy, and to this day I regret never telling anyone about it. I regret never speaking up for her when she was crying out for help. Abuse is a horrible cycle that haunts far too many children in our world, and it is time to raise awareness so children will feel safe to speak up and won’t remain silent.
Child abuse is a horrible act that leaves a child feeling degraded or demoralized. Childhood abuse has long-lasting ramifications that can haunt individuals well into their adult life. Feelings of doubt and hurt can follow that person. There may be questions like: Why me? How could God let this happen to me? How come I have to suffer so much? If you are reading this and are overcome with feelings of anger, guilt, and shame because what may have happened to you or a loved one in the past, I want you to know that you are not alone. Child abuse, whether physical, sexual, or emotional is extreme and brutal. It leaves lasting scars that damages and crushes a child’s spirit. It takes what hope they once had, and replaces it with fear and anger. Proverbs 15: 13 says, “A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by the sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed”. A crushed spirit can lead to feelings of resentment and hopelessness. I write this to tell you that if something as unnatural as abuse has happened to you, there is a supernatural sense of healing that you can look forward to.
Trying to cope each day with the pain and hurt that comes from abuse can be debilitating, but God is a God of restoration and healing. In an earlier post I talked about giving our hearts to God. When you are hurt or saddened by something, your heart is usually the first thing affected. The Bible says that out of the heart flows all things. Being physically or sexually abused affects your very core; it affects your heart. Therefore the very thing that needs to be healed is your heart.
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” – Psalms 34: 18
God is near to you! He hears your cries of desperation and wants to heal your broken heart. God is near to those who cry out to Him. For those of you who have suffered from abuse, I urge you to seek out comfort from the true Healer. Allow Him to turn your thoughts of shame and guilt into feelings of joy and comfort through Jesus Christ. You no longer have to carry that shame because Jesus Christ bore that on Himself when He died on the cross. He is our strength and we belong to Him. You no longer have to feel alone because if you believe in Him, you belong to His family. Abuse is a horrible thing, and I pray that those of you reading will find comfort in the healing presence of God. I encourage you to seek out help so that you can turn your anger towards your abuser into righteous anger – speaking up for others who were or are in the same situation you were in. Allow God to use something so horrible for His glory, and let His name be praised through your healing and restoration. If you have anger in your heart and your actions are driven by that, I encourage you to not give up. Jesus Christ is greater than any problem we are facing, and by trusting in Him you will begin to have freedom from those negative thoughts. Through guidance and support, you can learn to give everything to God, including your painful memories of past abuse, and live a life that God has planned for you. A life full of blessings and of freedom. Christ wants to repair your heart and free you from your pain!
I can’t answer why abuse happens and why people allow their evil desires dictate their actions, but I do know that there is a God who sent His Son to die for us so that we no longer have to suffer. I believe that there is a powerful sense of healing through His death on the cross, and I encourage you today to seek out help so that you can experience that healing.
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him“ – 1 Corinthians 2:9
This verse shows that God wants good for us! He has prepared something for us that is greater than our own expectations. God wants freedom for you. Run to Him and find ultimate healing. I pray that these words will encourage you and your loved ones to seek out help, turn to God, and live for Him!