The journey of a survivor is hard, but there are blessings along the way. I am grateful…
… for my wonderful, healthy church, where the pastor and congregation helped me feel safe enough to stay when I was terrified to be in church at all. I owe a special debt to the women of Journeying Together, the spiritual support group that helped me rediscover God’s presence in my life.
… for all the friends who supported me at any point on my journey. I remain grateful even to the friends who had to turn away when my journey was more than they could bear. They carried the burden as far as they could, and who can ask for more?
… for the wisdom and support of organizations like The Hope of Survivors, the FaithTrust Institute, and Tamar’s Voice. Without their help, I could not have made the journey from victim to survivor to strong advocate for justice.
… for the authors whose work has helped me understand and heal from my experience,
… for the amazing, courageous survivors I have met along the way,
… and for every person who has visited my blog and followed a piece of my journey. Just by being here, you give me courage and strengthen my voice.
But most of all I am grateful for my family — and most of all, for my husband Michael. He had to watch the train wreck of my former pastor’s abuse, and he had to pull me from the wreckage when neither of us really understood what had happened. We have been learning together ever since. In my work as a survivor/advocate, Michael has become my strongest and most constant supporter.
Here is my Thanksgiving wish to all survivors: a day of rest from fear and self-recrimination. A safe and peaceful connection with people you love. An opportunity to share kindness with someone who needs it. And most important: an opportunity to be kind to yourself — possibly the most important work we can do in our journey toward healing.