Yes, it’s true. A few months ago, I was asked if I had any clients that might be willing to speak at a college sexual assault event. I let them know that many of my clients are just beginning to work on their past issues and much of it is connected to early childhood abuse, which didn’t seem to fit the event (college age sexual assault on campus). I let her know that I would be happy to share my experience with sexual assault at a party. So the night was 6 days ago. I was nervous beforehand, but not for any particular reason. I felt confident in what I had to say and delivered the speech with just a few instances of choking on my words. I walked into the event feeling like a kitten and walked out like a lion. Although I never confronted my abuser, speaking out about it made me feel more survivor than victim, and that was exactly what I wanted to feel. I literally had a spring in my step and a goofy smile on my face as I left even though no student approached me at the event. But here are the after effects:
- I had a victim-witness person tell me that I was not the only survivor there because she had worked with several of the students that attended for similar issues.
- I had a lady tell me that my speech gave her hope for her daughter who was struggling with recent sexual assault and had spiraled downward.
- The event organizer emailed me yesterday and said a student had approached her and asked for my counseling contact information.
And that is it. It’s not much, but I was happy only hearing from the mom telling me that my speech gave her hope. That was enough to make my efforts worth it. Of course, I’m sure the speech affected more people than I know, but that one person was enough. So I wonder, is that how Jesus would have felt if He had died for one person, like me? All of the pain He endured. Would He still thought it was worth it just for me? I believe the answer is yes. If I can be satisfied with one person’s hope, then I know Jesus would be elated with saving one person from eternal death. I bet the devil thought he was winning when Jesus died, just like he thought he was winning as I was being raped. But Jesus’ willing sacrifice has freed me from guilt and shame. Just as Jesus rose again, I will survive.