God and Sexual Assault

Allowing Emotions

It's okay to feel your emotions.

I know I talked about not being abandoned in my post this past Tuesday, however, just because we can know God is with us doesn’t mean we have to rush past or ignore the feelings and grief associated with having endured trauma.

As I was thinking about some trauma I incurred over Easter as a child, I was thinking how sad it was that on one of the most joyous occasions I was enduring evil. Easter is a time to remember Christ’s death and then resurrection. To celebrate that we can live forever with Him because of the price He paid and being raised from the dead after three days.

As I pondered this, I thought of the horrific death Christ died for me. Then, I realized He died that horrific death for the ones abusing me as well. As my counselor told me once, Christ died for my sins and the sins done against me. He paid for what they can never repay to me.

The thought of the price Jesus paid makes me joyful because He loves me so much, but also very sad. Sad that there is evil that He had to die for and sad for myself. Sad that as a child I lost the innocence of childhood because of evil.

I know I’m not the only one who endured, and that makes me even sadder. So many have endured what I went through – and what you went through – and sexual trauma brings so many more feelings than we want it too.

So, as I let myself feel the feelings today, I began to cry. Cry for the little one in me that experienced that, and letting out what I couldn’t at the time. When you are enduring trauma you are in fight or flight mode and the emotions of it all hit later.

I feel shame, sadness, grief, anger, and it weighs heavy. There’s shame I let it happen. (I know it’s not logical for a child – or anyone- to believe they let it happen, but most survivors of sexual trauma blame themselves even though it’s not their fault.)

There’s sadness I couldn’t feel safe. Sadness that I experienced things that God meant for me to not experience until I was married to the one He had for me. Grief of all that was lost. Anger at those who were abusers, me, and God. I was so angry at everyone for a long time. I used to pound on a pillow in my counselor’s office to get out my anger because I was so incredibly mad.

I wanted to let you know today that it is okay, and actually very healthy to feel the grief and emotions. God created us with the emotions, and He did it for a reason. It’s our brain and body’s way of dealing with trauma.

So, as you are dealing with what you’ve been through, I encourage you to be honest with someone about your emotions. You can start with God, because He already knows, but He’d love to spend time with you as you deal with the heavy emotions. Maybe, share them with a trusted friend that you know supports you on this journey, and of course a counselor would be great as well.

If you don’t have a counselor, I encourage you to reach out and find one. I know it takes time to build trust, but the counselor-client relationship is strengthened each time you share and having that person in your corner helps you walk this journey without carrying all the burden.

Take care of yourself friends, and remember, though we are never abandoned by God, He’s okay with the emotions you have from your experiences because He’s the author of your emotions. It’s His way of carrying out His plan of healing in your life.

“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

© 2021 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.

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