“You’re dishonoring him.”
“Why can’t you keep the past in the past?”
“It’s not appropriate to speak of it publicly; this is a private matter.”
“Why would you want to shame yourself?”
These are all words that have been said to me since publicly naming my abuser. I try to push the words out of my mind, but they hurt. After 16 years of silence, I have finally found my voice. My courage. And suddenly I am told I’m wrong to speak out; I should continue stay quiet.
The truth is, my story is not about him. It’s about my journey. It’s about Jesus. It’s about redemption. It’s about freedom. Why should those things be silenced?
Forgiveness with boundaries does not equal bitterness. Just because I talk about the past doesn’t mean I’m stuck in it; it means I’m no longer afraid of the past and instead I have finally found the strength to stand up, embrace my scars, and say “No more.”
For years I believed a lie; the lie that it wasn’t that bad — after all, others have had it much worse, I was reminded. The lie that I must have misunderstood his actions and that I was partly to blame for what he did to me.
But for the first time I know the truth. And as long as there is breath left in my body I will continue to tell it.
I will try my best to tell the truth with integrity. I don’t believe I’m dishonoring him, for the truth is, he dishonored himself. I don’t believe that I’m shaming myself, for I see no shame in being a survivor.
If you have had the courage to show your scars and to speak the truth of your story, I applaud you. You are brave. Don’t ever let the critics place false shame or guilt upon you.
Your voice is the most powerful tool you have. Use it for good. Use it to bring about positive changes.
Take your broken wings, burst out of that cage others have trapped you in, and FLY!!
And don’t go ever speechless again.