I need you to know I’ve drafted and deleted this post at least twenty times in the past six months. The first ten drafts were written out of anger and revenge. The next ten were written out a mixture of sadness, frustration and loss. Now, I’m crossing my fingers for pure motives and writing out of broken joy mixed with a pinch of hopeful expectation. I’ve divided up this blog series (so official!) into four different parts. As a warning, the first one is by far the most depressing, but I promise it ends well because the plan of God can’t be stopped—his truth marches on in my life and your life and the lives of everyone across all time and history. This is a big step for me and I’m excited/grateful you’re sharing in it.
God exposed the truth, didn’t he? He didn’t sweep our sin under the rug and ignore the condition of our souls. Instead, he uncovered the darkness of humanity by sending Light to earth: “Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’” (John 8:12). If God isn’t in the business of secret-keeping* I’m not going to be either.
When I was eleven, I was sexually abused in the trunk of a car while my church’s softball team was winning a playoff game fifty yards away. He was a member of my extended family, and five years older than me, so I didn’t say a thing.** My entire family (extended and immediate) was very involved in ministry. We ate together every Sunday after church. We spent holidays and celebrated birthdays and baptisms and weddings year after year. Being in a ministry family often comes with the expectation of acting like storefront mannequins, though. There is a pressure to look perfect and have the right answers and be problem-free forever and always. In my experience, many tensions were ignored for the sake of ministry and many relationships suffered for the sake of sermons and songs. In the same way, my abuse was left completely unresolved. Sometimes it’s easier (and less disruptive) to act as if bad things never happened in the first place.