God and Sexual Assault

Forgiveness

Working toward it.

Congratulations on reading past the title. I know forgiveness is not a favorite subject among survivors. I hated thinking about it for a long time. Actually, my psychiatrist I had for the first 10 years constantly told me to sue my abusers, as if that would solve the problem and I would be healed. (I no longer see him.)

In my last post I said that forgiveness can be a part of the grieving process. When you do the hard work of grieving you’re doing the hard work someone else owes you. People owe us a debt that can never be repaid. Ever. It is not possible. No amount of money, or anything can give you back what was lost.

When we forgive, we are taking on the burden of the consequences. My work, your work, is to get better and heal. With the help of Christ, embedded with the emotions of grieving, leads to the capacity to forgive those who wronged us.

In thinking about forgiveness for the first time in probably my whole life I see what Christ truly did for me. Christ led a perfect, sinless life, died a criminal’s death on the cross to pay the price- which is death and God’s wrath. He did that for you and for me. He didn’t have to do it, He could have gone right back up to heaven, but He fulfilled His Father’s purpose and died for each one of us.

It reminds me that Christ paid the price for sins I have committed as well as sins done against me. Take a minute and soak that in. The price for any sin against you has been paid in full. By Jesus.

As we continue with our grief histories and in therapy healing our trauma God will work out forgiveness in our hearts. I know He can because He is doing it in mine. As I said, I’m not there yet, but on my way. I know He will bring it to completion as it will be part of making me into the woman he wants.

(Clarification: Forgiveness is NOT reconciliation. Unless our abusers admit and ask forgiveness reconciliation and a relationship with them is not possible.)

So, as we consider the price paid today let’s come before God again and ask Him to help with this incredibly hard step. (Or mountain).

Father God,

I don’t know when I will be able to truly forgive those who have hurt me so deeply. Those who did things to me no one should experience and then have it change the entire course of my life. Keep in my mind that the price for their sins against me was paid just as you paid for my sins. Thank you. Guide and direct me and my counselor as we continue the process of healing and continue to make me into the woman you want me to be. May you receive the glory form it.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

© 2020 Susan M. Clabaugh

I am a former elementary school teacher and I am currently in the process of recovering from a childhood of sexual abuse and rape. I am pursuing God's will for my life right now which involves following various writing endeavors and working on some publishing. I feel God has led me to write this for my own healing, and to share with others who have been through the trauma of sexual assault.

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