Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Where was God?

A very common experience for women with addictions is some kind of sexual assault or abuse. It may have occurred in conjunction with drinking or using or it may have happened early in childhood and instigated addiction. Regardless of how these horrible events occurred, a common question for women is, "Where was God when these things happened?" It was a huge question for myself as well. I was sexually assaulted at age sixteen and gang raped at nineteen. For years, I used these events as an excuse to drink and use drugs. In reality, that only made things worse. It wasn't until years afterward that I actually dealt with the pain in a healthy way.

After I became a Christian, I participated in a sexual abuse/assault workshop through a church sponsored program. We studied a lot of psalms and the book of 1st John and the first thing that I concluded was that I resisted being honest about the situation. 1st John 1:7 says, "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin." This helped me to be honest about the pain of the attacks.

Second, I didn't like the idea of being a victim. You see, I thought being a victim meant I was weak. I wanted to be called a "survivor" because that meant I was strong. Victims are weak whiners and outcasts. A close friend asked me, "But why does God love victims?" I answered, "God loves victims because he knows that we are all helpless, "like sheep without a shepherd." None of us is strong on our own. He knows that we all need rescuing. He wants to help us all so much that he was willing to send Jesus to die on the cross for us. He loves when people are honest about their weaknesses because that takes away Satan's power to make us afraid."

Even after getting honest, I still struggled with the question of where God was during the abuse. He saw it all, so why didn't he stop it? A friend shared with me this perspective: "When we were lost, our Lord was Satan. We followed his will and other lost people also followed his will. His will is to destroy us. God was where he always is: in the light and begging people to join him in the light. Once we are baptized, we live in the light and God can bring healing to us and use our past to help others.

If you have this abuse in your background, the first thing I would recommend is to get honest with a close Christian friend or counselor. It is difficult, but living in the light will bring us closer to God and to each other which will meet our emotional needs and help us to heal. God bless - SuzyQ