God and Sexual Assault

We Have Value

And how much more valuable you are than birds!

“Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!” Luke 12:24

When I was teaching I had a girl in my class who needed grace and understanding, extra care and attention, because she was recovering from being raped. Whenever she would leave class to attend therapy I made sure she didn’t have to make up the work she missed as homework.

I did not want her to feel she was being punished for what she had been through. So I would work with her in class to make up what she missed. This also gave her extra one-on-one time with me to build a trust relationship and help her realize she was valued.

She had good and bad days. I always provided her grace if she needed to cry instead of do math or reading. It was what she needed to do to heal. In the broad spectrum of life her emotional needs had to be met before she could become any kind of great scholar.

Until talking to my therapist the other day I never thought this applied to me. I always thought valuing myself was self-absorbed. The church ingrained in me “others first”. They also taught me “love your neighbor as you love yourself”. The problem, as someone who has endured abuse, is that if I truly loved my neighbor as I love myself, I wouldn’t love them because I don’t feel I deserve love because of how my abusers treated me so I don’t know how to love myself. So instead, I treat others nicer than I treat myself.

However, I am learning to truly heal we must value ourselves. If we don’t feel we are worth anything then we don’t feel we deserve to get better and we won’t. It impedes our healing.

Yet I find it extremely hard to provide myself with the same grace and value I did to the girl in my classroom. I too need the time to cry, talk, and recover before I am able to be a fully functioning adult again. We are no different than the girl in my classroom.

We too need to realize our value so we can recover.

In Luke, Jesus talks about the sparrows and the ravens. How we are so much more valuable to God than they are. Imagine…the God of the universe values YOU.

 “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6-7

“Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!” Luke 12:24

Believe me I am struggling through this concept with each word I write. How do I value myself when so many others have not and have taught me I’m not worth it?worthy of love for post

I know it may seem like a pat answer, and I don’t mean for it too, and never do I want the answer to our recovery to appear as a one-time-fix-all. But we can look to God. We can also look to those who truly live and love like Him. They show His love to us through their actions and words. Ask God to show you who He is showing Himself through to you today.

God understands learning our love and value from Him will not happen overnight, and it may take years. But He is patient and understanding, and as hard as it is to believe, loving.

God,

As I recover help me learn to value and love myself as You value and love me. Make known to me who You are using to show Yourself to me today.

Amen

 Do you devalue yourself? How is it impacting your recovery?

 

Side Note: I was recently interviewed for an article by Lifeway Facts and Trends magazine. You can read the article here or on my main page. One Year Later Has #MeToo Changed the Church? 

 

© 2018 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.

1 comment on “We Have Value

  1. I like this line, “To truly heal we must value ourselves.” Good work!

    Like

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