Believe it or not, as fun as it would be, this post is not about anyone’s ability to pass painfully smelly gas in a completely muffled manner. It does have everything to do with a serious subject, sexual abuse and assault…but hopefully the title made you laugh…and we all need to laugh.
But seriously, if there is one area where I have seen silence be brutally – painfully – deadly, it’s sexual assault or abuse. So many carry this wound. Thankfully it doesn’t mark us literally with big red letters, but it colors us in many other ways. The way we trust, process information, forgive, react to hurt and rejection, and handle pain.
I used to think suffering in silence was the lesser of two evils, the other evil being rejection and misunderstanding from others. I would keep it all closed inside rather than risk what someone might think or say. However, the bondage of silence is much more painful than even the most hanous expressions of rejection. Why? Because suffering in silence is the ultimate repudiation – the rejection of self. It is feeling so worthless that your story is not worth telling and what happened to you absolutely and completely did not and should not matter. It is believing it would kill you if someone were to know your truth and not value it – so instead you disvalue and discount yourself.
Galatians 5:1 tells us it is for freedom that we have been set free, but tonight as you read this how many of you feel trapped? The Bible says freedom is yours, but you have yet to find it.
Maybe you have told your story and you still feel enslaved. Maybe your story is buried and you are terrified of what might happen if you did tell. And here you are, once again looking for the magic formula to healing. I wish I could say I had it. I don’t think there is one. However there is a thread I have seen running throughout my own freedom journey, and that is the power of honesty.
When I am honest about what happened to me, honest about my feelings, honest regarding my thoughts, and honest with myself by setting boundaries, I am set free from shame filled, deadly silence. Might people misunderstand the boundaries I set? Yes. Might they judge and spit on my feelings? Yes. Could they tell me my thoughts are ridiculous? Yes. Will they understand my story? Maybe, but probably not. And do all of these things hurt? Yes. But they hurt far less than a disconnected chained up life devoid of ever sharing internal truth anyone.
It is for freedom that you were set free – not for continued bondage or slavery to silence. Christ died so you could be set free of your own sin and the weight of sins that were committed against you.
Maybe it’s time to break silence and share your story. Maybe it’s time to set boundaries that will help you feel and continue to be safe. Maybe it’s time to realize you are safe and that it’s okay to emotionally connect with another person. Maybe it’s time to break the silence between you and God that exists because you are angry with Him. Get honest in whatever way you feel the Holy Spirit moving you, because silence is deadly, but honesty is a step towards freedom.