Welcome to the first week of #BreakFreeRecovery; a seven week Bible study for survivors of sexual abuse or assault. If you have already subscribed to my blog then you will automatically receive a notification with each new post in this study. If not, then please take a moment to subscribe here . When you do you will be added to my email distribution list and receive my blog posts in your inbox, along with some special give-always, as part of this study.
If we could meet in person I would start off by giving you a big hug and congratulating you on taking this journey with me! Then I would suggest a hot cup of something sweet at Starbucks! My favorite is a Caramel Macchiato. There’s nothing like a good cup of comfort to make first meets more amiable! But for now we are here, and I am so glad you decided to join me.
Let me open us up in prayer before we begin…
Sweet Jesus, we come together in your name today. We invite you into this time we share because we are desperately in need of your healing touch. In your name we pray, Amen.
So, why does it still hurt?
What will it take to heal from the past? That is what I will address in the coming weeks.
One of the challenges of breaking free from the painful memories of sexual abuse, for me, was facing those memories. I wanted to forget what happened, and move on with my life. However, the hurt I felt over those memories only lingered and eventually grew into deep resentments and a shattered sense of self-worth.
Maybe you are right there now.
Perhaps you have also tried to move past your past, but have come to realize that there is a connection between the wound you suffered and the emotional and relational struggles you experience today.
I believe sexual abuse leaves a soul wound, and it causes deep, spiritual and emotional scars. Low self-esteem, a lack of confidence, depression, anger, anxiety, addictive behavior, a sense of guilt and shame, irrational fears, and relationship issues are just some of the common side-effects of being abused that we may experience.
Healing takes time and intentional efforts. It begins by looking back…
In order to heal from any deep wound we have to get to the source of that wound and properly address it. The same is true here. In order to heal from the soul wound of sexual abuse or assault, we need to take time to look back at what happened and who was involved. Doing this affords us the opportunity to accept the past and acknowledge its effects on our lives.
My first challenge to you in this study is to look back, sweet friend…
I want you to ask yourself these two questions the week: What exactly happened to me and who was involved?
If you have a journal write your answers down. In fact, I suggest keeping a personal journal, or notebook, just for this study. It will help you document your story and the truths we discover in God’s Word together. Don’t be afraid to write down all you remember, sharing names and details that come to mind. Your journal is for for your eyes only:)
If you have never done this before you may find it difficult, even a little scary, at first. I know it can be very emotional to pen hurtful memories to paper. Perhaps you don’t remember very much, or the memories are only now beginning to surface. It’s ok. Just write down what you know and go from there.
Let yourself grieve. It is ok to cry. Allow yourself time to process what you remember…
I encourage you to invite Jesus into this journey with you. He is more than able to heal the deepest of wounds, and he knows exactly what is needed. I love this truth found in Psalm 147:3, which says,
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Jesus is the Great Physician. It is through him that I found healing from my hurtful past and I know he will do the same for you. Ask him to help you remember what is needed to heal, and invite him to help you process those memories in the coming weeks.
Thank you for joining me this week, and I look forward to meeting here together again next Monday as we begin to process your memories in the light of God’s Word.
In His love,