advocate, trauma, hope, darkness, dirty, encouragement, hope, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Dirty: Bringing the Darkness of Trauma into the Light of Hope

The feeling of being dirty can cause us to feel like we are in a sea of darkness. When we are in these times it is important to remember that light is never gone and hope can always be found. We must stand with women who have been through trauma and we must speak out when we have experienced it. This is when we find hope. 



In November of 2017, I was raped. Since then I have felt a pull in my heart towards the traumatized woman. I have also felt a strong conviction to publicly share what I went through. I have let fear and shame and the feeling of being dirty rule my story. No longer.

Dirty

While I have struggled with self-worth and feelings of inadequacy most of my life, since that day I have truly felt dirty. Dirty, unlovable, broken, and surrounded by darkness. While in many ways I have healed, there are still days that I am not okay. I revert back to allowing anxiety to rule and to question all of my experiences. That is not truth. That is not God’s powerful redeeming love.

I know that I am not the only woman who has felt dirty. I know I am not the only woman who has felt ashamed or broken. Who has allowed her experiences and sins to cause her to question her purpose and God’s powerful love in her life. Oh Lord Help Us is for that woman. I am for that woman. Do not allow yourself to live in shame. You have a redeeming Savior who loves you. You are not defined by your past.

Feeling dirty can cause us to feel like we are in a sea of darkness. It is important to remember that light is never gone and hope can always be found. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #hope #trauma #healing #encouragement

Redemption

We have been ransomed through his Son’s blood, and we have forgiveness for our failures based on his overflowing grace

Ephesians 1:7, CEB

While rape is never the victim’s fault, my actions played into what happened to me that evening. I made a choice to be alone with him. I do not know what would be different if I had not allowed that to happen but I have had to overcome my part in it.

We have been ransomed. We have been forgiven. Our failures, our mistakes, and our sins make us feel dirty. But there is redemption; Redemption through His overflowing grace. So much grace. He turns our dirt into beauty. He transforms and renews us. His sacrifice makes us clean. We do not need to dwell on our past but can look into our redemption.

We have been ransomed. We have been forgiven. Our failures, our mistakes, and our sins make us feel dirty. But there is redemption; Redemption through His overflowing grace. Click To Tweet

Hope

The light shines in the dark, and the dark has never extinguished it.

John 1:5, GW

In the midst of pain, there is always hope. In the darkness, the light always shines. The time after my rape was the darkest time of my life. Hope seemed far off. The light was too dim to see. But it was there.

Darkness can never extinguish the light. Even in times when the light seems impossible to see it is still there. It will never go away. That light is hope. Hope that is among the trauma. Hope that only comes from Jesus. We can not fight the darkness on our own. We need His light. The light that extinguishes the darkness.

In this dark time, the light and the hope came through my story impacting others. When I thought I was alone Jesus brought people into my past that have walked similar paths. He brought people that needed to hear they were not alone. If I had not walked in the darkness in this way then other peoples lives would have not been impacted. That is the hope we can see in our pain. That one day our story can touch lives, one day we can show a woman in darkness the light that never fades.

Stand

We need to wake up. Do you hear me, sisters? We need to wake up and stand with these people battling the darkness. Not condemning them, and not sweeping their pain under the rug, but acting in love. These women that feel dirty: we need stand and with them and fight. We must speak out, and we must have a voice. Stop telling people to keep it to themselves and stop denying the facts. Darkness can come when you least expect it and we must bring this darkness to light.

I know that I have a nasty habit of judging others. I would venture to say that we all have that sin struggle in us, but we need to stop. We need to allow women that have been through trauma and struggle to find a safe place. We need to give them a safe place. If we respond with love and understanding instead of judgment imagine the difference that would make. Allow the person in darkness to see what light looks like. Show her that she can feel clean again. Share your experience with her so she doesn’t feel so alone. Inspire hope.

If you are in a place of feeling dirty and stuck in the darkness do not allow yourself to walk through it alone. There are people who have walked through the darkness and come out on the other side. We are all a little dirty. Remember that the light is never gone. Hope can always be found. As Albus Dumbledore said, “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of places, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

Fight. Encourage. Love. Support. Speak. Heal.

Feeling dirty can cause us to feel like we are in a sea of darkness. It is important to remember that light is never gone and hope can always be found. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #hope #trauma #healing #encouragement

camilo jimenez

advocate, defend, support, love, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Advocate: Using Examples in Scripture to Advocate

Our God is a God of justice and He will defend us. We must allow God to advocate for us and use His example to advocate for ourselves and others.



Throughout my life, I have not seen the need to advocate for myself. I was content to allow people to walk all over me for the sake of pleasing. I have always put the comfort of others ahead of speaking the truth in love…

Our God is a God of justice and He will defend us. We must allow God to advocate for us and use His example to advocate for ourselves and others. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional

Fear

This also caused me to not stand up for others because of fear of rebuke or hurt feelings. While I wanted to advocate, I let fear stop me. I met needs and, in certain situations, I stood up for myself and others but it was always in a place and time where I felt comfortable and safe. Following the example of scripture was not my concern. I had a hard time leaving my comfort zone for the good of myself and others.

With that, I also did not allow God to go before me and fight for me. I was prideful. I allowed anger to reside and I suffered in silence. God has taught me that he will go before me and fight for me. Jesus taught me that He advocates for me so I don’t get what I deserve because of my sin. He also gave the example for what it looks like to help and defend others even when it is hard and uncomfortable.

God as Our Advocate

Our God is a God of justice. All throughout scripture, there is proof of Him going before His people and advocating for them. It also regularly discusses the fact that God will intercede on our behalf and defend us. When we decide to follow God we decide to trust Him. We decide to allow Him to direct our lives and to provide justice.

But be assured today that the Lord your God is the one who goes across ahead of you like a devouring fire. He will destroy them; he will subdue them before you. And you will drive them out and annihilate them quickly, as the Lord has promised you.

Deuteronomy 9:3, NIV

In this passage, the Israelites are about to cross the Jordan and face the Anakites. Moses is reassuring them that God will go before them and that He will advocate for them. He will do this by fighting on behalf of the Israelites and defeating their enemies.

God will do this for us too. When we face foes and feel like we can not win we can trust in our God to go before us and fight on our behalf.

Advocating for Ourselves

While God fights for us and Jesus advocates for us, there are still times where we have to stand up and advocate for ourselves. There is a fine line between rebuking out of anger and rebuking out of what’s right. When the time comes that we have to stand up for ourselves we need to make sure that we do it in love and in truth.

Watch Yourselves! If your brother or sister sins, warn them to stop. If they change their hearts and their lives, forgive them. Even if someone sins against you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times and says ‘I am changing my ways’, you must forgive that person.

Luke 17:3-4, CEB

When someone sins against us we have the right to tell them. With that, we also have to be open to forgiving them if they express repentance. Our God is just and does not want us to sit idly by while others sin against us. While sometimes the sin may be malicious and purposeful, other times they may not know that they in the wrong. When we call them out in their sin we are showing them the love of God and giving them an opportunity to gain forgiveness. We are also advocating for ourselves and making sure we are taken care of.

Jesus as Our Advocate

It’s no secret that we are sinners. Because we are sinners we are not able to atone for them on our own. It is clear from the start that we were and still are in need of someone to intercede on our behalf and advocate for us with God. That is where Jesus comes into the picture. Jesus walked in and paid our debt that we could be absolved of our sins and have the gift of eternal life… We are forgiven.

My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He Himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins– not only our sins but the sins of all the world.

1 John 2:1-2, NLT

Jesus’ Example

Throughout the New Testament Jesus shows us what it looks like to advocate for others. He is constantly standing up to the Pharisees and Sadducees on behalf of God and those who could not stand up for themselves. He gives us the ultimate example…

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has appointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

Luke 4:18-19, NIV

Jesus clearly said that his mission was to stand up for those who could not stand up for themselves and to set people free. We are to model our lives after Jesus’ example. We need to honor Him by encouraging and supporting those whose voices are silent.

Love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’.

Matthew 22:37-39, NIV

Our Neighbors

The second commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. How can we do this if we do not stand up for them and advocate for them as we do for ourselves?

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: ‘The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.’ For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.

Romans 15:1-4, NIV

We are called to bear with each other. To take others insults as our own and to stand up for those who are weak. That can play out in many ways: social justice, helping the poor, mourning with those who mourn. Scripture constantly implores us to take on the burdens of others and to stand with those in trial. Jesus did that better than anyone and we must use the examples He gives us to love one another.

Scripture constantly implores us to take on the burdens of others; to stand with those in trial. Jesus did that better than anyone. We must use the examples He gives us to love one another. Click To Tweet

Our God is a God of justice and He will defend us. We must allow God to advocate for us and use His example to advocate for ourselves and others. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional