"The Journey of Healing from Abuse"
To accompany someone who has suffered abuse is not an easy path. To assist them on their journey is to embrace the very path of Jesus on the way to Calvary, living and reliving the Stations of the Cross, sometimes with no great order or hope of light in sight. We, Christians as we are, charged by Jesus to follow Him and to embrace the cross, nonetheless do not waiver. We abide, we listen, we support, we encourage, we invite, we accept. Sometimes there is nothing we can do but to walk alongside a person whose journey to healing is marked by darkness—and our only gift is a light to walk by.
Make no mistake in thinking it is easy, that people can "just get over it", "that time heals all wounds." It is too late in the calendars of our educational histories and awareness to fall prey to that way of faulty thinking. Make no error in being hard-hearted and lacking in empathy; no hiding behind the desire to protect and shield others from the vivid truth that the healing of sexual abuse is often overwhelming. "Why don't they get over it?" "Why can't they get over it?"
Our desire to make everything right and correct and to see people living in joy and happiness is a wonderful blessing that should never be discontinued. It's important to have an awareness that:
- Healing comes from within,
- Understanding and acceptance comes from a connection to the self and doesn't rely upon others, their "intentions" or "misconstrued actions," and,
- Silence and covering up never helps.
Victims heal, make no doubt about that. But they suffer greatly in the process. Our abiding presence is what assists them to wholeness again, and it isn't a walk for the faint of heart. Simon assisted Jesus in the carrying of that terrible cross, and we look to his example for inspiration. Jesus, on the way to Calvary, accepted the kindness of Simon and the women on the road who offered him comfort. He is the ultimate model for all of us in this important ministry.
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