1/12/18 Morning Musing: We Damage His Name…

After reading another story about another woman being sexually assaulted by a man and it not coming to public knowledge for decades and hearing her disparaged and minimized because she “waited too long” or because it was “decades ago”…I just can’t be quiet any longer. (This time, it was Andy Savage of Highpoint Church in Tennessee.) It’s late and my heart hurts so be patient with me as I try to make coherent points.

I can not understand how “waiting so long” is supposed to negate the victim’s reliability or the truth. People in power have gotten away with abuse of the ones without that power forever…and unfortunately, it is also true in churches. But unlike outside of the church, we Christians should be held to a different standard…not because we are better than anyone else…not by a long shot. We should be held to a higher standard because we have intimate understanding of Jesus’ example of giving a voice to the voiceless…of bringing justice to the marginalized…and giving dignity to the broken or hurting. This intimate knowledge of our God and his heart means that we can not continue to ignore injustice and abuse of power while representing our Lord accurately because each time we do, we aren’t just lying…we aren’t just hurting the individuals being denied justice…we are also damaging the name of our God.

We damage his name when we continue to turn a blind eye to abuse.

We damage his name when we refuse to see other people…other image-bearers…as valuable.

We damage his name when we give racism or sexism (or any other ism) a pass by remaining quiet when we know we should be speaking up.

We damage his name when we refuse to enter into honest and respectful dialogue about topics that matter. (This contributes to the trend of people seeing the church as obsolete.)

We damage his name when we defend abusers and judge victims based on whether or not we align with them politically, denominationally, etc. (Yes, I just went there.)

We damage his name when we push for male leaders in church to receive funds for their ministry, appropriate pay and title, and continuing education while denying it for their female counter-parts.

We damage his name when we beat people up with our religion instead of listening to them and loving them.

We damage his name when we applaud what is wicked and criticize what is good.

We damage his name when we deny others the freedom that we simultaneously demand for ourselves.

We damage his name when we judge others instead of remembering how we have been forgiven.

We damage his name when we mistreat each other in the name of “witnessing.”

We damage his name when we abandon the needy, weak, marginalized, aged, or hurting.

We damage his name when we refuse to own our sins and, instead, justify our ugly behaviors or minimize them by using more palatable wording so that we can feel better about ourselves.

I could go on and on forever with this. At some point, we must quit tolerating the abuse of power. If we are the ones with power, God’s blessings are not limited…there is no need to try to hoard it. If we are the abusers, yes there is forgiveness…the gospel is not too small for any sin…but that doesn’t mean that accountability is void. If we are the survivors…and hear me on this…please hear me…our pain is not to be wasted! It can become a beautiful place that will allow us to minister to others and understand the hurts of others if we allow it. If we are the ones without power, our God is the God Who Sees us (El Roi) so he clearly sees the power-mongers and they will be held accountable.

How are you doing with this? Did any of these points make you wince a little or bring a specific incident to mind? Is there some way that you can pursue a more truthful and authentic way of living this out? Is there someone that you feel you should apologize to? Is there forgiveness that you can extend to someone regardless of whether or not they have asked for it?

My prayer for us tonight is that we would simply love each other better. I am praying that instead of constantly grappling for power or position or status or whatever, that we would see the truth of what is important and life-giving and pursue it with abandon. I am praying that we would try to squeeze every bit of living out of this life while we have it instead of pursuing the things that lead to our physical, emotional, and spiritual death. I am praying that we would also learn how to receive love when offered by others.

Much love friends,

Beks

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10/23/17 Morning Musing: Mouths and Heart-Spaces

When I think back over the last 40 years…and think about the times when I hurt others, either intentionally or unintentionally, I can see how my mouth seemed to play the biggest role. Either I said something insensitive and hurt someone with carelessness…or I said something hurtful intentionally to get some emotional space in an argument…or I didn’t say something comforting and loving when I should have…or I felt awkward and did my nervous babbling thing and it prolonged something that I should have let die down. I can remember specific instances of hearing unjust statements made and not speaking against them…or nervously laughing…or…I’m ashamed to admit…contributing.  

I can also remember being cut very deeply by words…and being a people-pleaser for most of my life, the person didn’t have to be in my inner circle to hurt me. I can remember spinning on the words afterward for hours or even days or weeks…not being able to let it go…continuing to re-live the conversation and what was said over and over again…going into “analysis paralysis” where I excavated every possible corner of my heart to see if there was truth to what the person had accused me of (even if they didn’t realize that they had.)
Words matter…and we can’t get them back. Written or spoken. Intentional or not. Once they are sent out, we don’t get a do-over…and we have revealed who we are. 

“But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.” ‭Matthew‬ ‭15:18‬ ‭NIV‬

Over the last year or so, I have been broken by the hateful things I’ve seen posted on social media by people that I wouldn’t consider hateful. And there were times that I spoke up against the unjust words in a gentle way in order to not escalate the hurt. And other times, I kept quiet because it wasn’t my turn to speak. Some times I saw others speak up in ways that brought people’s hackles down. And other times I saw others speak up in ways that just threw a hand grenade into an already tense situation. And it occurs to me that what we are putting out there is what is in our heart-space…it is the mark that we are leaving on the world…and it matters. Now, some will say that is why they don’t post or comment…and to them, I say…have a voice of truth…don’t be silenced. Others will say that they encounter so much friction because they are standing up for something…and to them, I say…stand up for someone instead of something.  

I think our mouths were meant to communicate what is in our hearts…and hearts were meant to love people. So how are you doing with this? What comes out of your mouth? Is it loving? Is it truthful? Does it build people up? Does it encourage others to do what is right? Do your words accept responsibility for what you’ve done wrong or do you make excuses? Do your words encourage the hearts of the discouraged? Do your words gently speak truth into broken spaces? Do your words stand against injustice? Do your words represent truth about the one who is The Word?
 
My prayer today is that we would ask for wisdom and wait to receive it. I am praying that we would speak when we are meant to and that we would shut up when we should. I am praying that we would learn to be gentle with our words and that our words would be guided by a heart-space that is taught kindness from God. I am praying that our words would be a tool for healing instead of breaking…that we would build things instead of breaking them…and that we would, once again, love well. Finally, I am praying that we would honor God with what comes from our mouths…because then, we would also be honoring him with what comes from our hearts.

Much love friends,

Beks

10/4/17 Morning Musing: Become the Expert You Pretend to Be

“I think it’s all in your head. If you just quit thinking about it, you’ll realize that you are fine.” My body shook with rage as I listened to these words and felt this person slip away from my inner circle. My face was hot and my breathing got faster and I was very aware of my heart beating fast and hard…so hard that I was sure that it must be moving my shirt on my chest. The only thought I could pull together was “You are not a safe person for me anymore. You simply are not safe.” 

This interaction happened in the year following the poisoning when I was going through hell. At the time, I was trying to regain my health through very extreme measures…I was dealing with bitterness and anger toward the man who had stolen my life from me…I was mourning the loss of the life that I had before…I was spiraling in a spiritual crisis…I was facing the isolation that accompanied my decimated health because people simply didn’t know what to do with me and consequently quietly pulled away…I was feeling guilt and shame for not being able to contribute to the family in any way…and I was already battling thoughts of suicide. And then I had this person tell me that all of my health issues were make-believe. What he really wanted was for me to get over it so that he didn’t have to feel any awkwardness. But if I could have just made it disappear with positive thoughts, don’t you think I would have? If I could have taken any shortcut out of this…anything that would make it end…I absolutely, without a doubt would have taken it…but there was no shortcut…there was only through.

Why am I writing about this? Good question. I think that we have an epidemic today. I think that we are so busy being busy that we don’t take care with our words…we are careless and we injure people. I think that we are so stuck looking at things from only our own point of view (and surrounding ourselves only with people who will validate our own point of view) that we think we are qualified to pass judgement on things that we honestly don’t know anything about. I know that my story is extreme…I haven’t ever come across anyone else who has experienced it…but I’m using my story to make the point…nobody could even get a glimpse of what I was experiencing unless they took the time to hear me…and in my brokenness, I found that people didn’t want to hear me…what they wanted was for my experience to be simple and neat and tied with a bow so that they could consume the cliff notes version, file it under some already existing category in their minds, and move on. And I frustrated people because their pre-made categories didn’t work with my story.  

The thing is, I don’t think my experience is unique (the poisoning…yes, that is unique…but being helpless to have people understand before passing judgement…well, I think that happens to people every single day.) I think that this happens when a new mother is dealing with depression and people tell her that she has no reason to be blue. I think this happens when someone makes a political statement and we dismiss them as a crazy/stupid/illogical/heartless person from across the political aisle from us. I think this happens when a person of color simply makes a truthful statement that black lives matter and people scream back that all lives matter. I think this happens when a person struggles with mental illness and people ignore it because they look ok on the outside.
I guess the point that I am trying to make is this: In a courtroom, not just anybody can be brought in to speak about certain matters…people who are qualified to speak on a subject…experts…are brought in (and their credentials are heavily scrutinized)…so why do we think we are qualified to pass judgement about things that we don’t know about? Why do we try to negate the experiences of others when learning from people that are different from us can only broaden our knowledge and deepen our compassion?

This one was hard for me to write. Not only did I struggle with reliving that memory and the feelings that go along with it…but I also struggled with facing my own guilt in this area. How about you? How are you doing with this? Do you spend time with people who are different from you? When you hear a perspective that is different than yours, do you take it in and crunch on it a while or do you begin to mentally rip apart their experience so that you can negate it? What do you have knee-jerk reactions about? Do you actively seek out people who stand counter to you on those subjects so that you can have a deeper understanding or do you surround yourself with people who will agree with your current stance (making it unnecessary to allow your self to become uncomfortable and brave enough to lean in to the discomfort?) Are you still learning something new every day or have you embraced becoming stagnant?
My prayer today is that we would be authentic people who are confident enough to allow others to be authentic also…that we would love people enough to listen and really hear them…that we would step away from our battle stances and step closer to someone who is different from us. Friends, I am praying that we would each draw closer to God and allow him to move us closer to each other. I am praying once again that we would love well.

Much love friends,

Beks

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” Galatians‬ ‭5:22-23

1/25/16 Morning Musing: Scandalized

This morning, I woke up 30 minutes before my alarm went off so I decided to throw on some clothes and go for a good walk before waking up the kiddos. When I left the house, it was still very dark outside…which made it an excellent time to get lost in my thoughts. I was walking through an area that was thick with trees, thinking about what self-defense strategies to employ if someone were to jump out from this direction or how to watch their shadows if they tried to come up from behind me all stealthy-like (and yes…I’m sure that gives some sort of psychological insight into my personal damage…but I digress…) when I saw some headlights shining through the trees. I kept walking along my path (still looking around everywhere so as to not be like a spot-lighted deer) when I saw the headlights were unmoving and at a park. As I got a little closer, I saw someone sitting in a minivan with the engine running…and then I smelled it…a lit cigar. That, of course, made me start mentally engineering patterns like I tend to do:

So, what I know is that there is a person parked in a minivan, in the dark, at a park, in a neighborhood at 5:45 am on a Monday morning. Their headlights are on so they aren’t worried about being seen here. They are smoking a cigar…which takes a while…so they aren’t in a hurry. I continued to think about it as I walked down to the middle school, around the baseball field, and then began circling back. The smoker in the minivan was still there when I was back to the same part of the path and, as I often do, I began to feel what they were feeling: Escape. Maybe a hidden little guilty pleasure? Possibly some defiance…but within carefully-crafted limits. So, here is my conclusion: I think that this person is a parent who feels a lot of expectations are placed on them by someone that they live with. They love the person and don’t want to disappoint them but, at the same time, they want to feel independent and strong. So, they do something that their spouse (I’m guessing) wouldn’t approve of but it’s not something that they feel is necessarily a bad thing (which is why they were away from their home but not necessarily hiding from people in general.) My guess is that they told their spouse that they had to be somewhere (probably work) early this morning and came here to unwind on their own and get a little space. This person is probably feeling a little bit of a thrill from the secret escape and will return to do this regularly until the thrill doesn’t show up anymore…then, this thrill will have to be replaced with something bigger in order to feel that same sense of…getting away with something.

Ok, so you have probably figured out by now that I am some kind of lunatic…I see a person in a van and concoct an entire back-story to what is going on in this person’s life. (It’s what I do…I love studying people and their behavior…I find myself asking why someone would do what they are doing and then I determine how I would feel if I was in their shoes (assuming that I determine the correct shoes to try on)…it’s like a puzzle that I can’t put down. But whether or not I am right about this person isn’t really my point. (It was just a little mental exercise to start my day.) My main reason for writing this is to get to the cause of why a person…any person…would feel the need to hide things from those that they love most. (Didn’t see that coming did you?) And the conclusion that I come to is something that I think we all need to work on: Scandal. (Now, give me a second before you roll your eyes and move on to something else.) The only reason that I can think of for hiding something from someone you love is for the purpose of avoiding disappointing them…”protecting them” you might say…but when we protect someone from the truth, I think we are back to avoiding disappointing them…which means that there is some element of shame involved. So, that makes me think about hiding and shame in general and why we do it. We hide and feel shame because we don’t want someone to know what is true about us because the way that they see us…the way that they look at us…could forever change: “If he/she really knew what I think/do/feel/am/believe, he/she would be scandalized.” 

Now, I am going to flip things around on you. Instead of approaching this from the point of view of why we should not feel shame and how God would be saddened for those he loves to be weighed down unnecessarily by shame, I want to approach this from the perspective of the person who loves the shamed individual…the one who would be scandalized. (See the last sentence of the paragraph above.) I think that we need to do a better job of not being scandalized. That probably sounds weird to you but hear me out: I have talked to a lot of hurting people over the years and, the best I can tell, being scandalized only causes harm. What do I mean by that? Well, being shocked or aghast at what you discover someone has done only distances you from that person. It does not close the gap…it only emphasizes the distance between you…which isolates the person experiencing the shame. (We are really bad about this in Christian circles. Think along the lines of specific areas of sin/struggle that are made out to be worse than other areas. If you still don’t know what I mean, fill in the blank and you will know what scandalzes you: “I sin…I mess up…but at least I am not _________________. I may have my faults but I don’t do ________________.” If you can easily fill in those blanks, then you have an area in life that shocks or scandalizes you…and that means that there are hurting people who need Jesus and they certainly won’t come to see him through you. Now hear me when I say that I am NOT excusing sin…I think sin deeply saddens God…but I think our responses to it tend to run in the wrong direction…we respond with feelings of shock, anger, and judgement when we what we should feel is empathy (because we know what it feels like to be broken and hurting and lonely.) We distance ourselves from them and their guilt so that we can feel ok about ourselves and feel clean…but distance is not what Jesus came here to do (The Good Shepherd brings his sheep together…he doesn’t let them exist at a comfortable distance from each other…because that distance leads to the death of his sheep that he loves.) 

Why the heck am I talking about headlights, cigars, scandal, and sheep? Because I think we can do this better. I think we are all hurting in some way…which means that the ones we love most are also hurting in some way…and we can love them better by not being scandalized by their stuff. Regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in, we all need to feel loved and accepted…we need to know we can be forgiven and that not all is lost…that we can be redeemed…and thank goodness Jesus is in the business of redeeming and restoring.  
So how are you doing with this? Is shame causing you to hide from the ones that love you? Do you know that hiding leads to more hiding which leads to being unknown? What have you kept hidden that needs to be brought to light? Do you have someone you love who is struggling with some hidden damage? (I’ll help you out on that one…the answer is YES!) How can you become a safe person for them? How can you become someone who will lovingly point them to the one who would redeem and restore them? How can you be less scandalized by your people’s stuff and, instead, close the distance?

My prayer today is that we would not hide from those that we love and that we would become people who others don’t feel the need to hide from. I am praying that we would erect fewer walls in our relationships, focus on our similarities, and employ empathy in order to close some of the distance between us. And I am praying that we would love people into the presence of God…because if we already know God…really know him…then someone loved us into his presence. Much love friends,
Beks

2/26/15 Morning Musing:  Close Only Counts With Hand Grenades…Missing the Mark, Whether by an Inch or a Mile, is Still Missing the Mark

The other morning, I was having a discussion with someone about the damage that I believe churches have caused for a lot of people over the years in the area of sex.  The person I was having the conversation with is a wise man with a strong theological background which is why I was surprised to hear him say, “Well, Don’t you think *insert my church’s name* is ahead of the other area churches where this topic is concerned?”  This statement is not overtly bad or sinful…it just stuck with me and itched…and continued to irritate me all morning.  I kept letting go of the conversation but it continued to show up in my thoughts so I decided this morning to give the Spirit room to work out whatever it is that he wants me to glean from this…so here goes…

First, I think the statement bothered me because it feels like putting a nice pretty bow on an issue that has been damaging people for decades (especially women.)  I am not saying that the church is wrong or that the Bible is wrong about pre-marital sex…God designed sex to exist within a marriage covenant so the obvious temptation is to have sex before we are married and to not have sex after we are married…but I think the church has put a lot of emphasis on a topic that is also was historically unwilling to discuss.  For example, in high school, it seemed like every church was getting kids to sign contracts and wear rings about how “true love waits.”  The whole message was “don’t have sex.  Sex is bad.  Don’t spoil your future and that of your future mate.”  I get it.  I do.  But there needs to be more discussion around the topic.  How do we handle the physiological urges that exist?  What if you have already “spoiled” yourself?  (Talk about putting a kid in a hopeless situation.)  Also, this led to a lot of teens wanting to “draw the line” of exactly how  far they could go and it be ok…it became legalistic.  I think that a legalistic approach always causes separation…distance…between us and our God.  He doesn’t want mindless rule-following; he wants to be welcomed into our heart space.  The hard lines that were drawn and the lack of discussion led me (and other gals like me) to believe that pre-marital sex was the ultimate of all sins that would ruin us forever.  By this way of thinking, the day before I got married, I’d be better off killing a nun than having sex with the man I was marrying the next day.  

Then there are the social ramifications…I vividly remember being on a date with a guy while I was at A&M and him discovering that I was a virgin and had no intention of having sex with him.  His response…are you ready for this?…”Virgin?  But you’re not ugly…”  Ummm…gee thanks Romeo!  You better watch all that sweet talk or I just might swoon.  *rolls eyes.*  The problem here (beyond the obvious stupidity of that particular choice of date) was that I also didn’t know why this was my stance other than that it was forbidden.  It is really hard to stick to your guns on something when you aren’t sure why you have chosen this particular stance.  This happened repeatedly in my dating life and produced another issue:  I became the conquest…I quit being a person and was simply a challenge to some or “marriage material” to others who were “having their needs taken care of by non-marriage material in the mean time.”  How degrading for everyone involved!  Message received loud and clear:  A woman’s value is directly proportional to the condition of her hymen.  Gotcha.

And don’t even get me started on the how you are supposed to switch from the undefiled virgin bride to freaky sex-kitten wife by the time you finish saying “I do.”  How is that for unrealistic?   I can tell you this, three years after we got married, I took a test and discovered that I was pregnant.  You know what the first words out of my mouth were to Stan after saying “Ummm…We’re pregnant!” It was “Oh my gosh!  We can’t tell my dad!”  Stan laughed until he realized I was serious.  “You’re dad married us…I am pretty sure he assumed that we would have sex.”  But I couldn’t shake that old high school training that basically told me that “bad girls get knocked up.”  

So back to the statement at the top that started this whole rant:  “Well, Don’t you think *insert my church’s name* is ahead of the other area churches where this topic is concerned?”  Well, yes, I suppose I do…but that doesn’t erase the damage that people have endured…women who feel that they have wasted much of their married lives because they felt they weren’t supposed to do certain things with their husbands (legalism again)…women who think that they don’t deserve God’s best for them because they were “spoiled”  This is why I didn’t want to tie a pretty little bow on it…this is a process and there is still damage and wounds to be carefully handled.  Also, I don’t think we are called by God to compare our church to other churches any more than we are called to compare ourselves to other Christians…we are called to be obedient to God.  Comparing ourselves to other churches only keeps us from realizing that, although we are heading in the right direction and learning from mistakes, we are still missing the mark…it allows us to rest where we are instead of pressing further to make sure that we are fully obedient…fully loving…fully forgiving…fully healing.

For many of you, this topic won’t be applicable.  I’m sorry if I wasted your time…I hope you at least got a chuckle or two out of it.  For the others…the wounded ones…God sees you and loves you and wants sex to be beautiful and fun and liberating.  How are you doing with this?  Do you carry around baggage where sex is concerned?  Does sex seem like a shameful thing to you?  Are you with-holding from your spouse?  What can you be doing to step toward a healthier place in your sex life?  What about your spouse?  Is he/she wounded?  Does he/she even know it?  How can you lovingly and gently point this one you love toward the Healer?  One thing is for certain, keeping shame and fears and sins and thoughts in the darkness only leads us further into the darkness.  

My prayer today is for the wounded ones…the ones who have been abused, misinformed, made mistakes, or who have just been fearful.  Sex was meant to be a beautiful thing and for many, it is dirty or shameful or painful.  I am praying for healing in your life and heart and marriage and sex life.  I am praying that God would speak truth into your life and heart and that it would transform you and bring you joy.  I am praying that if you need to see a professional to get help, that you would do so without feeling foolish or shameful.  Finally, I am praying for ultimate freedom in this area…that if it isn’t already, that it would become something that you absolutely delight in.  Much love friends,

Beks





9/9/14 Morning Morning: “Stop! Don’t Touch Me There! This is My No-No Square!”

I picked up the kids from school yesterday and made them run errands with me immediately after school so that I could have an un-distracted conversation with them. With Michaela behaving oddly lately, I had to make sure (just one more time for once and for all) that her behavior change was not due to any hidden abuse or mistreatment that Stan and I were unaware of. This is an area of deep fear and baggage for me and I want to handle it correctly so that my kids are aware and careful but not forced to walk through life filled with fear. I’ve hinted at it with them but had lacked the boldness to come out and ask…specifically Michaela…because I didn’t want to plant any ideas in their heads…and because I was fearful…what in the world would we do if the answer was yes?

After talking about school, friends, feelings, things that make us happy, and things that make us sad…I dove in: “Speaking of things that make us sad, have either of you ever had anyone touch you (other than a doctor, Mommy, or Daddy) in your “no-no square?” Michaela, without much hesitation, “No, Mommy…that’s not allowed.” Meanwhile, though, Caleb had a concerned look on his face…and my heart plummeted into my stomach. “Caleb, honey, do you have something you want to tell me?” *pause* “Well…yes…this summer…but I don’t remember who.” Hmmm…not remembering who would either mean this is a mistake or so traumatic that it’s being blocked out. “Do you remember if it was a grown up or a kid.” *Shakes his head no.* “Do you remember where you were? If it was this summer, maybe it was at a camp?” *pause* “That’s it! It was at soccer camp! It was a kid! He hit my privates with a soccer ball!” *exhale* I didn’t realize I had been holding my breath…praying “Lord, please don’t let this be true. Please don’t let my children learn at a young age what it is to be a victim!” I was so relieved that it was just a soccer accident…I was soaring. So we talked about the difference between and accident and abuse. We talked about how the no-no square is off limits to everyone who does not own it or have permission to touch it…how even the doctor has to get permission from them AND Mommy before touching them anywhere because our bodies are so very special: Our bodies are how we interact with the world around us. When our bodies have been mistreated, we will view the world differently because our bodies have become different and our experience is different. (And how we need to protect our bodies so that Mommy doesn’t end up going to prison for murder…although I didn’t say that part out loud to the kids.)

The statistics are staggering: Every 2 minutes, an American is sexually assaulted. (RAINN – Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 1 out of 3 girls and 1 out of 7 boys will be sexually assaulted in their childhood. Let that sink in for a minute.

My heart is heavy and easily-broken on this topic. It’s scary and the answers to these questions can be utterly devastating…but keeping secrets can be even more cruel and devastating. Statistically, many many of you have been recipients of sexual mistreatment. I am so deeply sorry and broken for you. But also statistically, many of your children have some sort of sexual mistreatment in their histories or futures. Please…please talk to your children about this regardless of how difficult or painful this discussion is for you. This is NOT an area that you want to look back on with regret. If they have received abuse, they need you to shine light on the darkness in their lives…where darkness and secrets are, shame lives and thrives…and that is, quite frankly, a continuation of the abuse.

So, how are you doing with this? (Sorry…I know this was another heavy one…but I feel that somebody needs this today.) Is there something in your past that needs to be brought to the light? Do you have a safe person you can speak to and whose advice and love you can count on? Has mistreatment of your body (physical, sexual, verbal, chemical, etc) changed how you relate to the world and to God? Have you had an open dialog with your children about this topic? Do they know that they can tell you anything related to this topic…regardless of whether or not it’s not an abuse situation? Most victims feel some bit of responsibility whether or not it’s true…that frequently keeps people from speaking up. Your children need to know that you love them and are on their side even if whatever is going on is the result of poor decision-making. (If abuse has occurred, please pursue professional help of some kind…this is too big of a burden for one person to carry.)

Today, my dear friends, I am praying that God would impress on us all how important we are to him. I am also praying that we would all understand that bodies and sex were both created by our loving God for good things…that our bodies and souls are not a mystery to our God who created them…and how to repair brokenness in our bodies and souls is no mystery to our God either. I am praying for light, healing, and life for us all. Much love friends,

Beks

https://www.rainn.org/statistics