My heart has been heavy lately. There has been so much sexual assault/harassment/abuse in the news lately. So many coming forward with their stories. The hashtag #metoo has been on social media with others speaking out as well. Sometimes you might not realize how something has affected you until you hear someone else’s story.
I am fortunate that I can say that I have never been a victim of sexual assault. But harassment has been part of my story. I can think of a couple different scenarios that have happened to me.
In high school I remember being in the library sitting at a table with some other students. Another male sitting at our table asked if we were able to do something. I was curious. He asked if “I could touch my elbows together behind my back?” I didn’t quite understand why he wondered, but tried to do it anyway. As I tried my best to complete this challenge, the guys around me burst out laughing. I didn’t realize the trick was on me. This whole thing was just to get the girls to stick their boobs out even more. I was humiliated. I felt dumb for not realizing it was a joke, but also felt violated. This is only one instance out of the few that have happened.
I love to run. Especially outside. But every now and then, there have been individuals who drive by who will yell or do some sort of cat call out the window as they pass me. I usually just ignore it, but deep down it makes me feel dirty, and worth only what the size my chest is. It makes me want to cover up with 4 layers, and 6 sports bras just so my boobs don’t bounce as much.
These are just a couple of situations I have unfortunately experienced. So why do I share this? There are a couple reasons.
1. I believe to heal, sometimes we need to share what we have been through. As I watched the news this morning, I thought about what happened to me in high school. I asked Jesus, “have I really even asked you to heal me from this?” I don’t think I have. And when we don’t receive healing that Jesus can give, it can affect every other area of our lives. I want to live in freedom, not in bondage and hiding.
2. Others can benefit from sharing our stories. I can bring healing to others as well. It’s a wonderful thing to know you aren’t alone. We can help each other get through the hard things. And also introduce hurting people to the loving, healing power of Jesus. Don’t be silent. Get help. Even if it’s just sharing with one other person.
3. I want other women to know how priceless they are. That in this over-sexualized society, you are more than what your body can offer. It can be so hard to see that through all messages we get sent, especially if something bad happens to us. And I am so sorry if it has. There is no excuse for it. But it does not give you your value. Jesus does. Don’t believe the lies, and rest in who Jesus says you are. That you are loved more than you can even imagine. You were worth dying for. No one else was created like you.
4. If you happen to be looking for a man. Find one who respects you. They are out there, and they are worth waiting for. I was fortunate to find one who treasures me. And I want to raise my sons that way as well. To respect women and treat them well. But in the end, there should be mutual respect on both sides.
If you are out there and hurting, please don’t hesitate to receive healing. You don’t have to live with the lies anymore. Jesus is near, and wants to make you whole.
Let’s heal together. I know that I want to.