Lindsey’s cries did nothing to stop her uncle from doing the unthinkable. Her small frame and 4-year-old arms weren’t strong enough to put up much of a fight. But being abused wasn’t even the worst part about this particular Saturday morning in the trailer park. It was the fact that her grandmother sat and watched.
Years later, as a teenager marred by the repeated punches of life, Lindsey finally mustered up the courage to confront the old woman who should have protected her innocence. ”Why didn’t you stop him, Grandma? Why did you allow him to do that to me?”
With a stone cold face, void of compassion or emotion, her grandmother stared blankly. ”Because it happened to my mother, and it happened to me–it happened to your mother and it was eventually going to happen to you. You had to learn that it’s just a part of life.”
Punch me in the gut.
When I heard this story, I wanted to scream. And the worst part is, this is the story of millions of people, the victims of grandparents, parents, neighbors and friends who never learned how to heal. As a result of their infected wounds, they did the only thing they knew how to do: they passed the same sickness on to children.
Wounded people wound more people. Again and again and again.
The only way we’re ever going to stop these cycles of destruction passing from the broken to the innocent is to teach people how to heal. And the only way we can actually heal is to meet the Healer.
I pass a billboard every day on the way home displaying the horrific statistic that 1 in 4 children is sexually abused. I know the horrors of the sexual world being introduced far too early, and I can honestly say, nothing messed with my life and was harder to overcome than the shame, self-hatred, and disfunction that attached itself to sexual perversion.
If you have been abused, the effects of that abuse won’t just go away. You can’t push it down deep enough inside to ever forget, or become gorgeous enough, thin enough, perfect enough to where others won’t see. The pain poisons your soul the more you try to hide it.
You must bring it into the light.
Imagine being shot with a gun, not a fatal wound, but a bad wound. Now imagine not going to the doctor and hoping that the wound will heal itself. It’s exactly the same thing for the human soul. When abuse takes place, your soul gets shot, bleeding everywhere. You must allow The Doctor into that wound, take out the bullet, put medicine on the infection, and nurse you to healing.
If you’re reading this, and you’re the 1 out of 4, please don’t bury your pain. You can’t run from something that’s attached to your soul. You must allow the love of God into those places. His unconditional love is the only thing that will ever begin to heal your pain.
There’s much more to say on this topic, but for now, pray this with me:
Father, I can’t run anymore. I won’t. I let down the gate to my fortress, the places I’ve built in my heart to guard and protect myself from more pain. But no matter how hard I try to protect myself, it’s never enough. I long for healing, and you’re the only one who can heal my broken heart. I ask the Comforter to come inside, to hold me, to love the places that I believe are unlovable. I know this is the first step, so I take it, and will continue to keep my walls down for you to come inside and continue to love me. Every moment of every minute of every day.