The next several blog posts will be difficult for some, if not many, victims of abuse to read. I know this because in conversation with victims, if ever I express some of what I am going to write here, it creates a struggle almost every time. And it will also be hard for some who were not abused, but have someone close to them who was victimized.
It is a battle I, too, have fought countless time and only now do I feel I can write it. If it enrages you, I understand. I felt the same rage for many years. But I cannot teach partial truth out of my own desire for comfort, or for anyone else’s comfort. I am far more interested in freedom, than comfort or a sense of personal justice.
So, if you are not ready to hear of forgiveness for perpetrators, or preachers/pastors who turn a blind eye, then I recommend you don’t read the next two posts.
I have heard many people utter harsh judgements that included the death sentence for perpetrators, and I understand them. It is not that I am so holy, so righteous and so saintly that I have never struggled with those judgements. I know the aftermath of sexual abuse. I know the hell my soul fought because of it. And I know the hell people closest to me fought because of it. I understand the evil.
But I also understand Jesus and what He came to do. I understand that He ‘gets’ my struggle and doesn’t ask me to pull myself up by my boot straps and present an image of being ‘untouched’ by sin and its impact. I understand that He cares for the soul of every human being. So, if I am truly lost in Him, if my identity is truly found in His love, then I want to extend His love and His grace to everyone. Even the perpetrators of the pain I suffered.
I will be writing several letters. The first one is to the perpetrator. The second to the preacher. The third to the victim. In no way is my intent to downplay the pain of victims by offering hope to the perpetrators. I was a victim. I was hurt that way. I understand the suffering you have gone through. But part of my healing has been in having compassion for the offenders. All offenders. And that compassion has set me free from the grip of the past in a whole new way.
The fourth and final letter is to our Saviour. He is impartial. All who come…. All…. that word that is best defined by itself. All who seek with a true heart… All who knock… All who ask. All who believe on Jesus, repent of their sins–regardless what those sins are–and call on the name of the Lord Jesus, our Saviour, God in the flesh, will be saved.
For that message I am truly grateful. If all were not welcome, if all could not repent, then Jesus would not be who He is. And that is the message in my letters to the perpetrator and the preacher. That Jesus loves them, and offers His grace and forgiveness, and I offer mine.
The letters are not necessarily all written based on my experience because I really don’t recall a time when I was innocent of sexual confusion in childhood. I write the letter to the perpetrator from the perspective of an innocent little girl, whose dreams are sweet until she is robbed of that innocence. That was not my story, but because of the impact of victimization in my early teens, and how much I lost then, I can imagine.
I pray that these letters will bring hope and healing to each of the people groups represented in them.
© Trudy Metzger
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I am looking forward to your letters Trudy. You are an inspiration to me. I am glad you are being bold, because that your right, you can’t sugar coat what happened to us as children. I too, was a victim, I was 4, my uncle told me to never tell because no one would believe me. I believed him for 39 years. Just recently I have told, he’s been dead for 20 years and after he died, I felt for a long time I couldn’t speak because he wasn’t here to defend himself. I am so thankful to have spoken out. I give my testimony to anyone who will listen and ya know I’m still shocked at the ones who say, Oh my gosh me too. And it gives them freedom and hope. Once I spoke up, other family members came forward. I wasn’t the only one. It has been a difficult road for me and my family. Those who wanted to deny it and say it was n’t true or who said I just wanted attention. I don’t care what anyone thinks, it did happen and I won’t keep silent no more. My silence has been broken, I have forgiven my uncle, a very difficult task but through our Savior Jesus Christ, I have released it all to Him and He took it from me! HALLELUJAH!!! It was an amazing moment, the Freedom I experienced at that moment, undescribable, it was like a helium filled balloon that I let go of and it floated to the heavens. It was gone from me. No longer do I live in guilt, shame, embarassment, thinking I was unlovable, unworthy, disdusting, shameful, dispicable, dirty and tainted! So, with that said I hope you don’t sugar coat the truth, the truth will set you free, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. It’s an umcomfortable, ugly truth, but it is the truth that we, all of us need to take the blinders off and confront for the sake of the children and the adults who have remained in prison because of abuse as a child. It is an awful, lonely, shameful prison to live in. I know I lived it for 39 years and so Thankful to my Heavenly Father for taking the shackles and freeing me from my torment. Keep it up Trudy.
Thank you for sharing, Tracey. I’m sorry for what you and your family have been through. Nothing removes the ‘realness’ of that, but the grace and forgiveness of Jesus overrides it. I pray that God will give you many opportunities to minister out of your experience and bring hope and healing to others.
As I read Tracey’s post, I thought of someone who mentioned it once, but never again has acknowledged how it has affected their lives. They don’t access to intent, and yet I am so thankful I can pray ( wireless) for their healing . God can reach those who truly desire to be free. There is so much freedom in forgiveness through the precious blood of Jesus. Yet we cannot force anyone to desire it.