A LETTER TO

survivors

My dear, friend. There are two things I want to say right off the bat and I'm not sure which one to start with so I'm just going to go ahead and say the thing. You know, the thing that everyone says but you don't really believe. The thing that you hate to hear but never tire of hearing. 

This is not your fault.

I have no idea what your situation is, I know. But I don't need to understand to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if you find yourself on this page, it's not by your doing. I don't care what you drank, what you wore, what you said, you could never deserve to be here. To be mistreated. Undervalued. Disregarded.

In all honesty, it has taken a long time for me to be okay with the terms "victim" and "survivor". One of the first things I said in my counselor's office was "I don't want to be a victim" to which her reply was, "Okay, but you need to at least recognize that you are."

Maybe that's where you are today. Maybe you are barely able to acknowledge your situation, for fear of the reality it would bring. The labels, the shame, the lies, the stares. Friend, I understand that sentiment all too well. But, you are not alone in this. You are not stuck under the weight of what someone did to you. God has so much more for you, just as He has for me. 

Which brings me to the second thing.

I am so glad you're here.

For the last three years, my goal in life has been summarized in this word from Hebrews 12, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." (Heb. 12:1-2)

It might not feel like it right now, but it is possible to lay aside every weight of the world so you can run unhindered. It's not easy, and I'll be the first to say that it isn't something that just happens, but requires deep heart-work on your part. But is it worth it?  

Most definitely. 

But how do I start?

That's the million dollar question, friend, but I think I've figured out the first step. We've got to recognize what it is that is holding us back. In my case, it wasn't the actual trauma, but it was the lies I had told myself in the wake of the trauma that were holding me captive. 

I'm unworthy of love.

I'm guilty.

I'm nothing.

But once I identified the weight - the lies that felt very much true - I was able to bring them to the throne of God and replace them with the Truth. My hope is that in some small way I help you do that as well, offering the hope of scripture and pointing you back to the never-ending love of Christ. 

I don't know where you are on this journey of recognition, acceptance, and healing. Perhaps you're well down the road of healing and have been able to help others along the way. Maybe, you're in the murky middle, tempted to turn back to what was instead of moving through the difficulty of what is. But also, you might be at the very beginning, not quite sure of where to begin, or if you even want to. 

Wherever you are, though, you are welcome here. My hope is to provide a safe place for you to come and fill up your tank. A place where you feel loved and seen, where you can smile and take a break. And furthermore, my hope is that you would leave this place encouraged to run your race, wherever you are in it, unhindered.

RESOURCES FOR SURVIVORS

DFW AREA RESOURCES

THE HOPE CENTER, CHRISTIAN COUNSELING

SPARROW HOUSE, CHRISTIAN COUNSELING

ASPEN HAUS, CHRISTIAN COUNSELING

COLLIN COUNTY CHILDREN'S ADVOCACY CENTER

NATIONAL RESOURCES