31 Aug, 2020 Sexual Abuse Trauma: Keys that Unlock Healing
by Angie Camp
Have you endured trauma from sexual abuse? There are keys to unlock your healing. As a young girl, I endured years of sexual abuse at the hands of a man who should have protected me. After I made it known, it was swept under the rug. No one defended me. The piercing wounds affected every area of my life. I felt unwanted and unworthy. The spirit of rejection reigned supremely.
Because my abuser was a family member, I would have to see him at many gatherings. The rage and physical sickness I battled inside was unbearable at times. I spent years unwilling to forgive. In my mind, I was the only one holding him accountable for his actions. I thought my unforgiveness kept him on God’s hook. But as a believer, I was convicted about my ugly heart-attitude.
The effects of my abuse also affected intimacy with my husband in the early years of our marriage. I tried counseling but left my first and only session with the resolve to never return. Reliving the memories of those horrific experiences was crippling. I remember saying to the Lord, “You’re just gonna have to heal me.” He would take me up on that.
Key #1: The Power of God’s Word
In 1997, God led my husband and I, along with our two young sons, to a church where in-depth Bible study was offered. Through these studies, the power of God’s word began to change my heart. God’s word is indeed alive and power, and sharper than any two-edged sword. (Hebrews 4:12a) That sword turned me every which way but loose! Not only did it reveal to me God’s ability to heal, but my own sin of unforgiveness as well.
Key #2: Forgiveness
Jesus said that in order to be forgiven, we must forgive. (Matt. 6:15) He also led by example. While hanging on the cross in unimaginable pain, He told His Father to forgive His abusers. (Luke 23:32) In 2001, I finally surrendered. I forgave my abuser. What a powerful moment!
For years, I continued battling the same negative feelings and physical manifestations when seeing my abuser. I would question the authenticity of my decision, even though I knew it was very real. I began to proclaim aloud my experience, including the date and location of where it happened. It was a reminder to myself and the enemy of my soul, whenever those negative emotions would overtake me.
Finally, the day came when my complete healing was realized. While attending a family birthday party, I came face to face with my abuser. I noticed it immediately. There was no sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, no rage or repulsiveness. This is what “healed” felt like!
Key #3: Purpose
There were still obstacles to overcome from the aftermath of the abuse. My brain needed to be rewired. The truth needed to replace lies. It was certainly possible, but a process. Then, I began to share my story. I soon realized that I was one of many. I would come to learn that sexual abuse is a primary factor behind most of the issues women face today: addiction, a victim of domestic violence, alternative lifestyles. Sharing my testimony and what God had done for me fueled my healing process.
In 2014, I started my ministry, More Than Restored Ministries. I am blessed to help other women on their journey from hurt to healing. Truly, ALL THINGS work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)
Angie Camp is an author, speaker and Christian Counselor. Aside from being a Mother and Grandmother “Peaches,” her primary focus is walking with women and girls along their journey from brokenness to healing, reminding them that the goal is not merely to survive, but to soar.
A great resource to further guide you along in your healing process is the book “Rid of Disgrace: Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault by Justin Holcomb.
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