“Don’t give what is holy to dogs or toss your pearls before pigs, or they will trample them under their feet, turn, and tear you to pieces.”
A dear sister in the Lord (and amazing writer) Sarah Scott Pape took a poll on Instagram a couple days ago in response to the new “Me Too” movement. This hashtag on social media is a calling for men and women to band together by replying with a simple “me too” if you’ve ever been abused/harassed/assaulted sexually. I’m not opposed to sharing my story with others, but I’m not interested in commenting on someone’s Instagram post or retweeting for raising awareness. Here’s why:
Sharing for God’s Glory
If you’ve ever been a victim of abuse, rape, assault, or the like, please seek godly help. Talk to a counselor, a Pastor, or a trusted family member/friend who will point you to Jesus.
ASK YOURSELF: Am I more concerned with glorifying God and obeying him, or am I more concerned with my own gain (fitting in, receiving sympathy, etc)?
Pain Isn’t Something to Take Lightly
The sole purpose of sharing any bits of my story is to point you to the gospel, to Jesus, and he commands us to do so with discernment. In Matthew 7:6 Jesus tells us not to cast our pearls before swine. When I’m face-to-face with a sister in the Lord, I can lean on the Holy Spirit’s guiding to know whether or not I should tell her more, if that would benefit her and cause her to want to praise God and know him more. When I’m online, I have no idea who will read my story, and I have no control on whether or not to hold back after I press “publish.” Will they just twist my story around blaming the victim, or worse, blaming my Lord, the one who rescued me? Will they trample my precious pearls instead of stand in awe of the amazement of the Lord? Those are questions I cannot answer for the people on the other side of this screen, so for that, I will share with discernment and not give it all away.
ASK YOURSELF: Did you pause and pray before sharing your story, are you leaning on the Holy Spirit’s leading?
Only God Heals
After I was sexually assaulted, I looked for healing in all the wrong places – namely, the place that broke me apart, to begin with. I longed for control. I longed for healing and to be truly loved. It wasn’t until I met the Lord and realized his love for me is so great that he died, taking the punishment I deserved on the cross so I could be with him in eternity. He bore the weight of my sin to take my pain, to heal me, and to give me free salvation for eternity!
Apart from Jesus, the struggles and pain I endure are meaningless, wasted, nothing. But because of him, what you or I went through can mean something. God uses absolutely everything for his glory and the good of those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). Even sexual harassment. Even sexual assault. Even rape. It doesn’t make logical sense, but if you’re following Jesus you know this is the truth. We don’t see all the ways God is receiving glory, but we know the Lord turns ashes into beauty, and he often shows us glimpses of the complete beauty we are waiting to witness someday.
I don’t want to minimize what happened with just two words. There are no words to explain all of the hurt and pain I’ve suffered through, but if I began to try I would need more than a simple “me too”. If I share my story, I want it to be in such a way people can realize a little more of the depths of my sorrows, in order that he may be glorified more through the even deeper depths of the healing and peace he has restored in me.
ASK YOURSELF: Are you pointing others to Jesus, or are you pointing to a campaign as their source of freedom?
Shame is Just as Bad as Pride
So many men and women pin the blame on themselves for sexual assault, abuse, harassment, and rape. In reality, it’s the enemy of shame pointing the finger at them, commanding them to hide their hurt and “suck it up” because they should’ve done 13 things differently, and then it never would’ve happened.
I know I’ve struggled with accepting my innocence, with allowing myself to be healed by Jesus. Sometimes I feel utterly responsible for the mess I found myself in that day.
I’m glad not everyone has experienced that, and some don’t struggle with the shackles of shame that make you put your hand down when asked “has this happened to you?” because you’re feeling insecure. But sometimes survivors don’t feel the freedom to shout “me, too!” because they’re quietly battling their own mind to realize that reality.
When I reverse the roles, however, things become clearer. If a girl came to me, having the story of what happened to me be true for herself, I would shout “NO WAY!” if she tried to take the blame. Realizing I would comfort the girl who went through what I did allows me to see the legitimacy of my own innocence.
ASK YOURSELF: If I came to you with my story, and it looked identical to your own, would you blame me for what happened?
I’m sure there have been those “Me Too” posts done tastefully and with all the right intentions. I’m not trying to minimize someone else’s efforts or shame anyone into silence. Maybe I’m a bit of a nay-sayer when it comes to campaigns and movements, but I take my time before jumping on any fast-moving vehicles, bandwagons included. I hope before you share your story you’ll consider these four questions, and above all else lean on the guiding of the Holy Spirit before giving your heart to the online world.
If you’ve been a victim, there’s so much healing in Jesus. If you need a friend to talk to, I’d love to point you to him, my inbox is always a welcome space for your questions and conversations that are too private to comment below.