Abuse – whether physical, verbal, emotional, sexual or spiritual: The dominance of one person over another, for the purpose of self-gratification.
As I write this post I am aware that many of you will have suffered at the hands of an abuser in some shape or form. Some may still be suffering. Even after the abuse has stopped, the effects are carried around for the rest of life.
It is important to understand that you don’t have to have been directly abused to be affected by it. Just the simple act of witnessing abuse can leave life-long trauma, psychologically and emotionally.
For healing to commence it is important to acknowledge the effects of the abuse, and the pain of those experiences. This may be easy to do on your own. Well, you live with it every day. For some, their defences are so strong that they may not know they have been abused, or they wouldn’t call what happened to them abuse, so acknowledging the pain and the effects is very difficult.
Speaking about your abuse to another is a powerful step in the journey of healing. Shame and embarrassment binds us. Fear of rejection haunts us. We’ve heard so many lies from our abuser that we don’t know what the truth is. And to trust another is one of the most difficult things to do, especially as the ones who were supposed to look after us were probably the ones who abused us. To share the abuse – to trust your story, your life, with another; for some that may be just too much.
In a significantly high number of cases, long term help in the form of a counsellor, or other therapist may be needed. Here at Living Waters, we often work with participants on our programs who are also regularly attending therapy sessions. And remember, most of the volunteers who assist with Living Waters programs are victims themselves. They are working through their pain, and the effects; working with God as He guides them into truth and brings them deeper into relationship with Himself.
Jesus, God in human form, knows what it is to be abused. He lost his life to abuse.
God never forces Himself upon us. He waits patiently for us to remember Him, see Him and speak to Him. What do you want to say to Him today?
You can also join in a conversation currently running on the Living Waters Okanagan Facebook page.