NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. You can request a copy from Summit’s admin over counseling at firstname.lastname@example.org (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail).
“I Will Trust God with My Tears”
MOURN the wrongness of what happened and receive God’s comfort.
Memorize: Zephaniah 3:18-19 (ESV), “I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival, so that you will no longer suffer reproach. Behold at that time I will deal with all your oppressors. And I will save the lame, and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth.” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points:
- “I will” – God is voluntarily involved. You do not have to beg. God is more eager to help than you are desperate.
- “You who mourn” – God has a special compassion for those who are mourning (Psalm 56:8).
- “Suffer reproach” – God understands that your grief comes with all the challenges and stigma we’ve discussed.
- “Deal with all your oppressors” – You can trust God with whoever was involved in your trauma: actively or complicit.
- “Lame… outcast… shame” – God knows your experience: feeling powerless, rejected, and embarrassed.
“One of the surest signs an abuse survivor is healing and coming alive is that, after staring straight into the ugly vortex of his or her past trauma and pain, he or she can mourn the losses and yet look toward the future with hope (p. 154)… Morning loss is an honest response to what has actually happened, and it’s also necessary for thorough healing (p. 154).” Steven R. Tracy in Mending the Soul
“Too often ‘prayer’ is indistinguishable from thought life. ‘God’ becomes blended with chaotic mental processes, rather than existing as a distinct person (p. 24).” David Powlison in “Why Me?” Comfort for the Victimized
“A godly response in the face of abuse is to grieve—for the perpetrator’s sin and for the damage done to our soul; but the natural response is to cower in shame, condemning our own soul for being so foolish as to hope, want, or risk (p. 65).” Dan Allender in Wounded Heart
“She lost the opportunity to be a child, the knowledge that her parents loved her no matter what, a sense of safety in her own body, a sense of competence, a sense of moral integrity. All of these losses need to be grieved (p. 164)… Hope is a new thing for the survivor. What little has grown up with in her during the course of therapy is usually not strong enough to carry the weight of grief (p. 166).” Diane Langberg in Counseling Survivors of Sexual Abuse
“The survivor needs help from others to mourn her losses. All of the classic writings ultimately recognized the necessity of morning and reconstruction in the resolution of traumatic life events. Failure to complete the normal process of grieving perpetuates the traumatic reaction (p. 69).” Judith Hermann in Trauma and Recovery
“The telling of the trauma story thus inevitably plunges the survivor into profound grief. Since so many of the losses are invisible or unrecognized, the customary rituals of morning provide little consolation. The dissent into morning is at once the most necessary in the most dreaded task of this stage of recovery (p. 188).” Judith Hermann in Trauma and Recovery