She’s a wife. She’s a mom. She works hard. She has a home with a white-picket fence. She has a dog.
She smiles and nods in light conversation. She listens intently as those around her speak. Her eyes stare as their mouth forms shapes and sounds.
She says very little. She laughs at all of the right times. She appears to be strong and determined. She can multi-task and juggle much with a smile.
She is in church when the doors are open, and she is willing to help wherever and whenever. She signs up. She shows up. She cleans up. She sits in her usual seat with her eyes fixed ahead. Her lips move in worship with just the corners of her mouth turned up ever so slightly. She opens the Bible when prompted and follows along word by word. She stares at the letters and words. She exhales deeply when she exits into the fresh air and sunlight.
She seems happy and she tells jokes. She’s funny and she loves to do imitations. Laughter makes her smile big. She loves noise and loud music. She seems to have it together. She appears strong. She is confident and she can solve problems. She can make decisions quickly.
Her feet appear to stand firm, as she waits for the earth to crack open beneath her and swallow her up.
She has friends, but she’s not close to many people. She thinks if she gets too close they will discover that she is too much and she is too complicated. She laughs when it’s funny and she screams on roller coasters, and yet she seldom cries or experiences joy.
She can starve or she can binge or she can purge just to feel slightly full. She’s never hungry. She’s never full enough. She hides her body in fat and layers. She avoids mirrors, and she rushes in dressing rooms.
She worries. She replays conversations in her head and thinks of the ways she could have said it better. At times, she’s convinced she said something wrong. She wonders if she left the stove on or left a candle burning. She worries there will be a fire. She’s afraid of loss. The police make her nervous and her panic swirls with the flashing blue lights. Sirens scream at her. She checks the locks twice. She makes sure the alarm is set.
Some songs make her freeze. A certain smell or a particular sound can throw her into waves of nausea to a very dark place. She’s tossed back and forth between reality and long ago, and time is lost. She blinks and comes back.
In a room full of people she is isolated and alone. She is disconnected. She feels different as if she doesn’t belong. She’s not tall enough. She’s not pretty enough. She’s not smart enough. She’s not like everyone else. She feels out-of-place as she smiles and looks at her watch.
She struggles playing on a toy-filled floor and she stumbles in the awkward darkness of her bedroom.
She is worn when her head hits the pillow. Her eyes are wide-open in the quiet as she yawns. She hears every creak and she tosses and turns in her sleep. She dreams of falling and running. Rest is exhausting.
The sun peeks in and she startles awake. She looks around to see where she is. She takes a deep breath and turns up the music and rushes to get through another day.
She was me.
I was sexually abused as a child, and silent for a very long time.
And then there was light. There was truth. There was counseling and therapy. There was healing. The heavy cloak of shame has been lifted and replaced with truth. I am a daughter of the King Most High. I am a princess. I am His.
I am worthy of His healing touch and His tender grace and mercy.
She was me. Maybe she is you. Maybe she is your wife, your sister, or your mom.
She is worthy. You are worthy. They are worthy.
May His light shine in the darkness. May truth be spoken and lies replaced. May healing and restoration begin. May what is broken be made whole.
Prayer: For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:9-14 (NIV)
Take a moment to listen to this beautiful song “Worth Pursuing” by Laura Rhinehart
Linking up with Bonnie Gray:
& Suzie Eller: