When sexual trauma occurs at any age, it can turn a person’s world upside down. When it happens at a young age, it is especially hurtful. They have no words or understanding to express what happened or what they have experienced. Their innocence, trust and sense of safety are eroded if not erased. As they grow, many have questions. How did this happen? Why would somebody do this? Why did I let this happen? Why didn’t I stop them? Why didn’t somebody stop them?…Why didn’t God stop them? Why did He allow them to do this to me?
This is a big question we have to deal with in the healing process. When we hold God responsible for not saving us from this or not keeping us safe, we drive a wedge between us and God. We don’t allow Him to speak truth to us and bring healing. Why would we listen to the one that could have stopped it? Why should we trust Him? You can try giving the churchy answers of “free will” and “living in a fallen world”. They are true, but they never seem to give comfort. They are often viewed as excuses.
If they are viewed as excuses, then how can we help them let go of the judgment they are holding over God? How do we make God personal to them in these circumstances? I have found that the Resurrection story we talk about during this time of the year, when brought from a different perspective, helps them view Jesus and God in a different.
When Jesus was brought before the Counsel, Pilate and Herod, there were men there that had the power to stop this injustice. Jesus did not defend Himself. He let man do what they wanted to do; they had a choice. As Jesus Hung on the cross, He was mocked and goaded. “If you are the Son of God, then save yourself and come down off the cross; then we will believe”. Even one of the criminals that was crucified with Jesus mocked Him. Their hearts were closed and they could not hear or see the truth. God could have saved Jesus from this death, so why didn’t He? This was His Son. Surely He could justify His actions…He was saving His Son. Jesus, as the Son of God, could have taken Himself down off of that cross, so why didn’t He? It was because it was man’s choice to allow this to happen and to carry it out. He won’t intervene in that. These men were given opportunities. They heard the truth and saw the miracles, but chose not to receive. Whatever agenda they had, they chose to follow what they wanted to follow; God knew that they wouldn’t recognize the truth. He knew what they would do even though it wasn’t what He wanted them to do. He knew that He could bring good from this and use this to redeem His passion…His people. Jesus could be the perfect sacrifice and He chose to do it.
It is no different for us. Did He want those bad things to happen to us? Just as Jesus did not deserve injustice, neither did we. You know that inner voice that tells you to stop when you’re about to do something wrong? Do you think that God wasn’t telling the perpetrators not to do it? He was making every opportunity for them to stop and not go through with it, but they had to be the ones to listen and stop. He can’t go against their choices no more than He could go against those that were taking His Son’s life. His heart broke for you just as much as it did for Jesus. But, just like Jesus, He can redeem this terrible thing and bring good out of it. What Jesus did may have been for the entire world, but your world can be restored and beauty can come from this if you let Him work His miracles in your life. Don’t push away the One that brings healing. Let the One that can bring beauty from these ashes and work this together for your good be center in this.