I have been quiet lately for a lot of reasons, one being that this past week I have been at an amazing human trafficking conference. What an incredible week. I am still processing all that the Lord was showing me there and am just undone. I went to this because I was asked by a friend to go, and my husband thought it was a good idea. Part of me wanted to go and part of me was petrified. Even the friend I traveled with does not know my story. I anticipated being alone and in pain. I felt familiar feelings of fear rise up in me, but I knew I was supposed to go.
Of all the things spinning in my head today upon my return, one thing has emerged for me to give voice to here today. It is the realization of how I came to lose my voice, and the realization that God grieves over my lost voice………..and yours.
I truly believe that I am not alone in having been not only shut up during my years of trafficking abuse, but also shut up during my healing process. I have mentioned on this blog before that those I sought help from for my healing did more harm than good. I was not believed. I was never validated. If there was even a small trace of belief, I was grilled for information out of curiosity.
I stopped even trying to tell my story 10 years ago, and this is also where my healing stopped.
I resolved to live alone with my pain, and with my healing. If you are reading my blog, you are among one of the first people to ever hear my story. And as good as it is to finally give voice to some of it here, there is still an emptiness that comes with the anonymity of this. You see, as survivors, what we desperately need is to be truly known, truly affirmed, truly validated, believed and surrounded by community.
I witnessed something this week that I have never seen before. I witnessed a survivor stand up and tell her story. She was validated and surrounded by community in the most incredible way. Through her words, my eyes were opened to the reality that my healing is not complete in large part due to the lack of validation and community in my healing process.
I have always wanted to believe that I could heal completely, alone with the Lord. And I have gained a tremendous amount of healing just this way – alone with the Lord, through His word and His faithfulness. But what I saw this week caused a floodgate of tears to break open in me. I wept for the loss of my voice. Even in healing, I have not had a voice. And then I wept for so many other lost voices as God just poured out His love for you and for me in this.
Sisters, we need a validating community. We need to be heard. We need it for ourselves, and others need our story as well.
I am praying today for God to restore my voice. It will be a miracle when it happens. I am crying out for Him to somehow surround you and me both with a community who validates and supports our stories so that they may be heard and used to bring others out.
If you need a community where your voice can be heard, where your story will be believed and validated and you don’t have one, would you please leave a comment or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) so I can really pray for you too? I believe that God grieves over our silence and wants to break it, and that He will provide a community of real people to surround us and further our healing.