My friend Stephanie, over at Diapers and Divinity, posted a talk this morning on abuse. It is a subject that I have thought about posting often on my own blog. So, today with her example, I am going to do it.
The talk that she cited, is titled, To Heal the Shattering Consequences of Abuse and can be found HERE.
It was given by Elder Richard G. Scott back in 2008, but the message is wonderful to me.
Here are some of the highlights that I especially liked.
"Some matters are so sensitive and intensely personal and can awaken such disturbing feelings that they are seldom mentioned publicly. Yet, if tenderly and compassionately treated in the light of truth, discussion of these matters can bring greater understanding, with the easing of pain, the blessing of healing, and even the avoidance of further tragedy."
"The rising tide of this vicious, abominable sin may not have touched your life personally. Yet it is pervasive enough in the world that it may have touched someone you love. It frequently causes such profound suffering— that can be overcome—that I want to speak of how healing can be attained. It will be done reverently, for my objective is to help heal and not aggravate painful memories."I used to volunteer for an organization known simply as CASA. It was the Center Against Sexual Abuse. One of the things I did was to speak to women's groups, high schools, and even the news. The statistics for abuse are daunting. One in three girls will be abused before she reaches adulthood, and one in five boys. It crosses all classes, economics, cities, religions, and nationalities. No one is exempt. Sometimes, we just don't look around us or listen to the pain that people are feeling. I would even venture to say that there is no "if" here. It has touched someone you love. Just because you don't know it or talk about it doesn't mean that it is not very real to them. Just because you can't understand their pain, doesn't mean that they don't feel it every single day.
"If you have been abused, Satan will strive to convince you that there is no solution. Yet he knows perfectly well that there is. Satan recognizes that healing comes through the unwavering love of Heavenly Father for each of His children. He also understands that the power of healing is inherent in the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Therefore, his strategy is to do all possible to separate you from your Father and His Son. Do not let Satan convince you that you are beyond help.This is so true for me. It took me years to heal from all the self-worth issues. It took years to learn that only forgiveness and love would heal the pain. Faith is so hard to come by when your heart is hurting. One of the most difficult things to do is to learn to like yourself again. To see that you have worth. To know that you are good in spite of all the bad that has happened to you. As long as you hate and feel anger, you cannot heal the pain that you feel for yourself. Most of all, you cannot learn to love yourself. You cannot feel the peace that Christ has for you.
Satan uses your abuse to undermine your self-confidence, destroy trust in authority, create fear, and generate feelings of despair. Abuse can damage your ability to form healthy human relationships. You must have faith that all of these negative consequences can be resolved; otherwise they will keep you from full recovery. While these outcomes have powerful influence in your life, they do not define the real you."
"If you are currently being abused or have been in the past, find the courage to seek help. You may have been severely threatened or caused to fear so that you would not reveal the abuse. Have the courage to act now. Seek the support of someone you can trust. Your bishop or stake president can give you valuable counsel and help you with the civil authorities. Explain how you have been abused and identify who has done it. Ask for protection. Your action may help others avoid becoming innocent victims, with the consequent suffering. Get help now. Do not fear—for fear is a tool Satan will use to keep you suffering. The Lord will help you, but you must reach out for that help."I cannot say it better than that. The hardest thing you do will be to get help. But I can promise you that it will also be the most rewarding. It is a long road to healing, but with the Saviors help, the ending is so much better than the beginning.
None of us can start over. We can't go back and change the beginning of our lives. Could'a, Should'a, Would'a's don't help us deal with what happened, but I promise you that ever single one of us can start today and change the ending. We can become who we were always meant to become. We can be better than we ever thought we could be. All because He loves us, cares for us, and will help us through this trial. He knows the truth, He knows your heart, and He knows your pain. Let Him have it from you. Let Him Heal you. Let Him hold you in the hollow of His hands. One of the biggest problems with abuse is that much of it is kept secret. By keeping those secrets, we effectively allow others to also be abused. Somehow, we need to learn to talk about what has gone on and what is happening. We need to teach our children that there are things they should never keep secret, and if someone is asking for something to be secret, they should always, always tell someone safe. It is only when the sin is brought out into the light that the healing can start. May you know, no matter what place you are in right now, or what place you have been in before, may you know and remember that you are a child of God. That He loves you. That He is mindful of you. That He will heal your heart.
Although the world is full of suffering,
it is also full of the overcoming of it.