April is Child Abuse Awareness month. Did you know that?
Do you know a child who has been abused?
Were you an abused child?
Do you ever look at a perfectly put together woman and think, “Have you ever even experienced anything that is actually hard?”
Full confession: I have.
Women who seem to have it all together, I struggle with jealousy. I really do!
I am sorry if I’ve judged you wrongly.
I recently stated to a friend: “My life has literally been one awful thing after another!”
Hurt people hurt people.
Let that sink in.
Has someone hurt you?
Have you hurt someone?
As I age, my heart softens more and more toward children who are not my own, children who are not my nieces and nephews.
It can be mental. It can be physical. It can be sexual.
Are you a parent? Are you a teacher? Are you an aunt/uncle, grandparent?
Do you know the signs of an abused child? Are you a safe place?
I can’t tell all of my story.
I do not resent or despise anyone involved. But the hurts are there and small things trigger them.
Abuse can happen anywhere.
Yeah, that’s real. But how about the people you trust? How about family reunions? How about school, church, neighbor?
Be involved with your children. Be honest. Ask pointed questions. Be a safe place.
You as a parent cannot always be your child’s friend. You can always be a safe place for them.
There are several dear ladies God placed in my life at opportune times who were safe places for me. I don’t remember how truthful I was with them about my life, but I appreciated their presence. Their calm. The safe feeling they provided.
As I age, my heart is more and more broken for the choices I see people making.
The ones desperate to control their life, the ones needy and begging to be noticed, the ones pushing people away…
These traits are all ones I’ve noticed in friends in the last week or so and it aches my heart.
I did those things. And more.
That’s what Lamar used to call me.
I am a fighter. But I am learning to choose my battles.
I am learning, slowly, to listen more. To see actions, to see people as Jesus does.
People are hard. As I look forward in my life, I would love to see a rosy picture and no more “drama”.
That is the latest battle cry.
No judgement, mamas, I’m there with you.
But Jesus walked with the broken, the dramatic, the hurting.
Maybe I’m reading too much into the Scripture.
I’ve come to realize as I get day by day closer to a new decade of numbers: hurt people love differently.
I view life differently.
I raise my children differently.
I do marriage differently.
I view friendships differently.
I run at the slightest hint of difficulty. I cannot handle it, my brain doesn’t comprehend how to “excellently navigate” drama, difficulties, etc.
I often seek help, which may seem like I’m seeking attention or asking people to choose sides. I’m not.
Life after abuse is hard to navigate.
Be involved in the lives of the young humans you love. Be a safe place. Be a person who doesn’t just hear the words but seeks their expression and reads the truths between their words.
My friend Trudy blogs well on the subject of abuse. Her blog is: splash4ripples.com
She works hard to advocate for victims, to mentor and love people in the deepest painful circumstances they find their hearts in.
I hope to sit down this week and have a follow up post for this. But tonight I strongly encourage you to protect the young ones in your life but to also acknowledge as we face our next day:
Hurt people hurt people.
This little girl. Innocent.
It’s me. During the hardest years of my life I avoided cameras, hated life, and thought often of suicide.
Those lies returned as I struggle through the pain of losing and burying my son.
But God. He made for me this amazing and understanding husband.
What Satan meant for destruction and death, God created a fighting spirit. A woman who is passionate to show others that pain doesn’t need to end you , nor define you.
I have 2 amazing sons. Beautiful hearted, loud, amazing, imaginative sons.
The little lights of my life.
I have to let Him use me. And that means writing this post. That means being vulnerable. Open. Sharing my story in appropriate settings to share God’s hand, in taking someone else’s sin imposed on my life to create this woman that He is still shaping and working on.
April is a month to focus on a lot of worthy things that need to be addressed. One I’m sad wasn’t focused on much on my social media is this one.
So pause your _____ (whatever you’re doing) and talk to your kids.
As always, with love,