Monday, March 21, 2011

Healing...not a one woman show

As a survivor, as one healing, I had certain expectations. I expected that the journey would be difficult. I expected to heal quickly. At one point, I expected my therapist to save me. I expected everyone to “get” what was going on with me. I expected God to bring me back to joy. I knew it wouldn’t be immediate in my head, but my heart expected it now. And I had countless, un-admitted un-acknowledged expectations of the bystanders.

The bystanders. Those that were a part of our lives while the abuse or assault occurred, often completely oblivious to what was going on. And somehow we don’t understand. The question is asked over and over again, “How could someone not have known”? Our pain is so obvious to us that we think it should be written across our face like a scarlet letter. But it’s not. Because, also, many of us developed a very convincing mask. The mask that told everyone that we were just fine. That mask that told ourselves we were just fine when we looked in the mirror, that we didn’t need any help. That we could carry this burden alone, on our one. We were survivors. And in that moment, survivor meant doing things on our own.

Yet, a part of each one of us had to want someone to help. We were too “strong” to ask for it. Too scared to let anyone see the turmoil. No, it was ours to bear, and bear alone.

I have never really seen this as prideful until tonight. I was too hell bent on doing it on my own, that I wasn’t going to let anyone else share in what I had endured. I had endured it, it was my piece of hell to survive, not theirs. And I was angry. I was much too angry, hurt, and prideful to reach out.

Years were spent ensuring that my pride was validated. Years were spent proving to myself that he hadn’t hurt me, and that I was so strong that no one needed to know what happened, and that I would achieve regardless, on my own.

It was only when the valleys in the road started to get so deep that I could no longer pull myself out, 10 plus years of ever deepening valleys, that I RELUCTANTLY went for help. God forced me to a place where I had no choice. Thank you Jesus. Thank you Jesus. Thank you Jesus that you force deliverance out of us sometimes, because that is the only way that our stubborn hearts are going to move.

I had to let God be God. To let the Savior do the saving. To realize that what should have happened, did. To realize that no amount of achievement on my part was going to change the past. That the only thing that could “change” my past, could redeem it and make it something beautiful, was Jesus.

If you are a survivor, please don’t be too afraid to ask for help. It’s your time, and yes, you, are worth God’s time and healing. You are worth getting help. You weren’t meant to bear this alone. It’s time to make some beauty from ashes. Your life is a praiseworthy testimony of His amazing grace and power, bring some praise for that dear sister, and let the redemption songs begin!

Linking up with my awesome sister Jen at Finding Heaven!


  1. First, I love the blog update. The picture of you is amazing!

    Second, what a heart-reaching post that I know will affect everyone who reads it.

  2. I agree with Jen - love your blog! I too believe your posts are going to help others. I hope you'll link up one of your favorite posts with me this Wed. night/Thursday and continue to reach others! :)

  3. Most beautiful. You have such class.

  4. Thank ya'll, and I would love to link up Wednesday.

    And Robyn, lately I feel anything BUT classy, so thank you, that comment really touched my heart. You are so encouraging!

  5. Thank you for sharing . . . I know it is hard, yet I am sure you will help many women. In my post for this, I shared about the lies we can believe . . . it's a free downloadable book that might also encourage you. Thanks again for sharing!

  6. Stephanie,
    Whoot-whew! That was me whistling. Great new blog pic. You look so pretty.

    Pride. I'm so guilty of it. For anyone to see I can't handle something is such a struggle. Letting "God be God" proves a constant battle for me, even in the little things.

  7. Thanks so much for sharing your heart! It seems no matter who you are and what your story digging pride out is an almost impossible task! It has so many different faces! uggghhh!!! Thankful that God's spirit in us is stronger than our pride! He can dig it out!

  8. Understand what you mean completely. I was a master at hidding behind the mask of "I'm fine and I'm strong enough to handle this without anyone." I'm still not open about my past, but I don't carry it alone anymore. Beautiful post.

  9. I am sorry for the pain that you have endured and am so proud of you for learning to ask for help. When I saw your beautiful picture and then read your post . . . my first thought was . . . you are much to young to have learned this hard lesson. Good for you (and God.)


  10. Amy, you are so sweet! I do have me one AMAZING photographer, LOL!

    Thank ya'll for all the sweet feedback. Strangely enough, writing about issues such as this, as heavy as the topic may be, provides tremendous freedom for me. Bringing it into the light somehow unburdens my soul. Blessings and love to all of you all! You make me smile :)

  11. You are right where God wants you sister..I sense that. Us stubborn ones God has to put in a corner and leaves us with no options ... yes I see that. I see all you've shared as truth. Because what it is ..whether we've been sexually abused, or any other sort of life changing hurt....we all wear protective masks. We all to often don't ask for help...we survive.
    I'm on drugs steph and don't know if I am making sense...anyway. You cracked me up about sitting naked. Now don't really sit naked in your little was a spiritual! I don't want to get blamed in the newspaper because you do someting naked and say you got the idea from Now I'm really laughing! Love the new look...keep focusing on Him and sharing His word...

  12. The beauty of our pain is that God uses it --and us -- to reach out to others.