Her tears spoke louder than words the first time she entered the group. No one could get a word out of her. She had been trapped in silence for years. Those in higher status than herself in society's eyes, were to be at the forefront, and she was just a person in the shadows. She was a lockbox of their secrets, hidden in their dark deeds, she became silenced. From foster home to foster home she took their attacks and carried the shame as if it was always hers to carry. She said to herself, If I speak, more pain will follow, If I speak, no one will listen, If I speak no one will believe. Those who speak get away with their darkness, but me I am a lockbox of the secrets they keep. But then she met a counselor, one who cared about the woman hidden in the shadows, one who heard how great the sounds were of the tears that leaked from her eyes. This counselor told her of freedom, and love, truth that outweighs the dark. The Woman began to have hope. The Counselor told her, true freedom begins when we can set free the things that were never meant to be locked inside. I am here, I will wait with you, I will walk with you, I will listen when you are ready to share your truth. Freedom, the woman thought, as she prayed, God what is this freedom that my counselor speaks about? How do I speak about the horror, how do I unlock the box of secrets others have given to me to keep locked away. What if revealing them, hurts me, what if revealing them brings more shame, what if... But in the stillness of it all, she hears something speak within her heart, that says, What if you can be free of all the shame that was never meant to be yours to carry. SPEAK. The next day she meets with her counselor, and for the first time, she begins to open up about her life, she learns that healthy people don't treat girls the way she had been treated, she learned that the painful things that happened to her were not her fault, and that she was never meant to carry such shame, and secrets. Little by little the woman began to become free. She began to know the truth about her identity, she began to know the truth about her worth. She began to know that she does not have to be silent but rather that she can speak, and tell her story. She can speak, and help others. She can speak and bring God glory. After years had passed and her old Counselor was still teaching people to speak, she came across her once more. The counselor told the woman, You know something, It takes a Woman of Hope and Courage, to Speak about the things you have endured and bring others hope. Go out and help others, Speak!!
Lookout for Part three: It Takes Courage: To Really Listen