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

clothed, spiritual, salvation

Adorn: Abandoning the Old and Clothing Ourselves With Salvation

Worldly garments look completely different than spiritual garments. Clothing ourselves in sin hinders our ability to adorn salvation daily.



Clothes. Such a necessity. But why, oh why, do they have to produce laundry? I absolutely loathe laundry. It is one of those chores that we will never see come to completion. Unless you’re a family of nudists (not judging, but kind of). I really have tried the one “load of laundry a day” tip. Y’all, this is not realistic.

My boys are so very blessed with loads of clothes (pun intended). They have clothes for each season. Clothes for school, for playing, for sleeping. Church clothes, Christmas clothes, sports clothes. Seriously, I’m really contemplating becoming a minimalist. But, no matter how many clothes they have, my boys still have their favorites. The ones they will wear whenever they are clean (sometimes even dirty). Special clothes that wear out, tear, have stains. Even still, these items are chosen over shiny new ones.

Have I hit the point yet? This is moving toward matters of the heart…

Adorn: Dirty Clothes

We do this, don’t we? We all have “items” we put on day in and day out. For me, I’m constantly trying to change out of perfectionism, negativity, and insecurity. The list goes on but these are my comfortable clothes. These are the 8-year-old yoga pants I do chores in because they have bleach stains all over. They fit perfectly, and I NEED something to clean in, right?!

Because I’m a mere mortal, it is not in my nature to habitually clothe myself with supernatural adornments. It does feel good to put on freshly laundered clothes. But, why is this such a difficult process in our own spirits? When sin creeps in and goes unaddressed, we become more and more comfortable wearing it. The elastic starts breaking in, so to speak (I think I’ve pushed this analogy as far as I should).

Worldly garments look completely different than spiritual garments. Clothing ourselves in sin hinders our ability to adorn salvation daily.

Adorn: Daily Clothes

Sneaky sin is not what our Heavenly Father wishes for us. He has created the most beautiful spiritual ornaments. However, spiritual clothes are more difficult for us “put on”. In the midst of anger, how easy is it to be compassionate? When depression overwhelms, it’s difficult to be joyful. Anxiety makes us feel a need to act quickly, instead of being patient and trusting in the Lord.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Colossians 3:12, NIV

It takes daily submission and acceptance of this truth; we are His chosen. In every worldly situation and circumstance, we are to stand out. We are set apart and should not be wearing the same yoga pants as everyone else. These are not to be worn for our own glory, but for everyone to witness God’s glory. For all to see the precious gift of salvation through Christ Jesus.

Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day.

1 Cronicles 16:23, NIV
Worldly garments look completely different than spiritual garments. Clothing ourselves in sin hinders our ability to adorn salvation daily.

Adorn: Salvation Clothes

Most of us can remember the moment we accepted Jesus as our savior. It took me longer to understand what truly happens when we leave our sinful nature behind and accept the forgiveness and mercy of God. When we adorn our clothes of salvation, we are adorning ourselves in all that God has offered. Rest, protection, righteousness, joy, forgiveness, gratefulness, comfort, love.

I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Isaiah 61:10, NIV

In our salvation, it takes more than just washing our dirty clothes, we must learn to completely abandon them. Every. Single. Day. Salvation is the only piece of clothing I want or need to put on. For in salvation all else rests. It is humbling to know I can approach the throne of God in my ugly yoga pants, because He prepared a way for me to ditch them. In Him, I am made new. My old clothes don’t fit anymore.


If you have found this inspiring, share the encouragement…

When sin creeps in and goes unaddressed, we become more and more comfortable wearing it. Click To Tweet
Worldly garments look completely different than spiritual garments. Clothing ourselves in sin hinders our ability to adorn salvation daily.

Tammy Strot


I was tired, worn out, and dirty, but God…

This is the newest item in the Oh Lord Help Us Shop. It serves as a reminder that we are no longer who we were. The story has changed.

mug, but God, coffee, tea