On the Road to a Place Called Freedom
Perhaps you’ve reached the crossroads, the place
where the pain of the past is ready to meet freedom and a better
life. As you begin the pursuit of peace, take advantage of opportunities
you can create that will open the doors to healing:
Seek help. It is important to have experienced help to walk with
you on this journey. You might want to consider finding a pastor
or other clergy member to help you with the spiritual damage, or
a licensed Christian counselor to help you resolve your childhood
abuse. Knowing that you need help is not a sign of weakness. It’s
a sign of wisdom and strength.
Read. There are excellent books that can help you address the issues
of abuse. Some you might consider are:
On the Threshold of Hope by Diane Mandt Langberg, Ph.D. Publisher:
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Ill. (1999).
A Safe Place (specifically written for teens who have been sexually
abused) by Jan Morrison. Publisher: Shaw Publishers, Wheaton,
My Father’s Child by Lynda D. Elliott and Vicki L. Tanner,
Ph.D. Published by Teen Challenge International, Springfield,
The Uncaged Project by Sallie Culbreth. Published by Committed to
Freedom Ministries: to be released late 2003).
Keep a journal. Write what you feel and think in a journal
or notebook. If you don’t want to write, then draw in
a sketch journal to capture your thoughts and feelings. Do
this several times a week,
or even daily if you need to. It will help you to move your
internal voices and pressures outside of yourself where you
can see them and
think more clearly.
Pray and meditate. Spend time each day quieting your body, mind
and spirit. Even if it’s just a few minutes a day, you can
start now. Begin to engage God in this process — even if you
feel isolated and distant from him. Start to practice honest communication
with God. You can pray out loud, silently or even write out your
prayers. God wants to be in a relationship with you. If you’re
angry with God, He already knows. God is not afraid of your anger,
your doubt, your fears, or your questions. He loves you and wants
you to find true freedom.
Find a place of worship. A place of worship will bring peace to
your soul, teach you to grow in a relationship with Jesus Christ,
and help you connect with spiritually mature people. Worshipping
with other people is a very healing experience. There is great spiritual,
mental and physical value when you participate in worship with a
group of people.
Scripture study and meditation. Get a Bible (we suggest the New
International Version — NIV) and begin to incorporate daily
Scripture reading. A good place to begin is the New Testament book
of John, followed by the book of 1 John. While you’re waiting
and seeking, study the life of Christ and see what you have in common
with the One the Bible calls “Immanuel” — “God
with us.” The more you know about the teachings of Christ,
the more you will be able to recognize the lies that abuse taught
you. Scripture study facilitates the process of exchanging the lies
for the truth.
Cherish yourself. Do something nice for yourself. Go for a walk,
swim, skate, bike, dance. Take a hot bath, get a massage, or change
your hairstyle. Eat healthy food with lots of vegetables and fruit.
Drink water in abundance. Occasionally, treat yourself to dessert.
Take a nap or sit in the sunshine. Abuse teaches you that you have
no value. That is a lie that can be countered by treating yourself
with respect and value.
Consider attending a Committed
to Freedom retreat. When you attend
a retreat, you will be given biblical tools, one at a time. You will
be shown how to use those tools. When you return home, you will not
be “magically fixed,” but you will be empowered to regain
ownership of your life and your choices. The goal is to help you
define yourself in terms that are no longer exclusively about abuse.
You will be given the tools to help you move beyond the abuse. (Retreat
information, including dates and registration, can be found at www.committedtofreedom.org.)
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