By Nancy Virden (c)2023 The Miracle Series
Outside my window is a great thunderstorm. Branches are cracking, rain is torrential, and thunder is frequent. Lightning is barely visible in the pale gray sky.
I have heard multiple stories of sexual abuse victims and met several survivors too. For today’s blog, I have chosen eight of which I have the most information and who are not my close friends or relatives. For the sake of privacy, I am combining the facts of these eight individuals’ stories. Sexual abuse among these represented included direct contact sexual acts and rape.
Fierce winds remind me that life is full of struggles out of our control. Life is also filled with the hope that comes from the Almighty God, Creator, and Master of nature. He is good.
Miracles are real.
Of the eight:
All are now adults.
3 were abused by multiple adults, given or sold like commodities. 2 of these remember experiences involving torture, and these were betrayed in such a way by a parent. 1 was adopted for this very purpose.
3 were abused by a close family member, and 3 by a non-family person in a position of spiritual authority over them.
All were abused by the age of eighteen, 5 under the age of ten. 3 of these child victims suffered long-term abuse throughout their years as a minor. 3 were raped repeatedly as teenagers, and two of the teen victims had the same non-family abuser.
Most have had moderate to severe mental health difficulties including split personality(1), depression (all), anxiety/PTSD (all), and alcoholism (1). 5 I know for sure are taking prescribed mental health medications. None of these survivors received counseling or mental health care in a timely fashion (within a year of the abuse). Healing is an ongoing process, including for those who are now senior citizens.
To believe in miracles, one has to recognize how much of our human existence is out of our, or anyone’s, control. Living testimonies to what only God can do are walking around everywhere. Some of these people acknowledge him, and others do not. Still, the eight people in this article are miracles, and here is why.
2. All eight found the appropriate mental health care they needed. (At least half of all people who could use some professional help do not seek it, and others are left undertreated.) These eight have had to deal with a great amount of confusion about their identity and have questioned their worth. Yet at least seven are functioning well most of the time and have or are pursuing personal and career goals. The eighth is working on it and is brave. She is still early in her healing.
All eight also suffered delayed mental health or emotional maturity. Still, the one with alcohol use disorder is in recovery, and the one with dissociative identity disorder (split personalities) is whole.
3. Five are Christian church-goers who continue believing and growing in faith by the grace of Jesus Christ. All eight were ultimately betrayed by a person in a position of trust, so it makes sense that even these believers in Jesus would have deep questions about God and struggle to understand God’s love and expectations. I know at least two of them did, and a third returned to the faith after years of doubt. Even the three who suffered at the hands of spiritual leaders are still in the church and following Jesus.
4. Perhaps the greatest miracle of all is that God loves them too much to leave them stuck. All of us have the opportunity to look to him to meet our needs. These survivors know a growing peace that they once thought impossible.
Blue skies and puffy white clouds have replaced the storm. All is calm. Like episodes of mental health challenges, the storm was temporary. Time may not heal all wounds, nevertheless, hope is less fleeting than storms when it is based on the solid love of God.
Today’s Helpful Word
2 Corinthians 5:17
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988, or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair. NOTE: Nancy is not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speaks only from personal experience and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
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