By Cindy Blunier
What are you afraid of? What do you fear more than anything else? Is there a “worst case scenario” for you?
Often the pain we fear the most is the pain we ourselves have endured. I have sexual abuse in my background. Having 4 daughters, my ultimate fear has been that one of them will be a victim of sexual abuse as well. I’m not afraid of them getting cancer or being paralyzed in an accident—I have never experienced the pain of recovery from that. But I do know the pain of abuse and what it takes to overcome it. We often fear what we cannot control and in reality, I can do everything in my power to protect my daughters, but statistics still show that 1 out of 4 women have been abused.
So how did I respond to that fear? We had all sorts of books when our girls were younger that described in a variety of ways how to be careful around strangers and what you should do if someone touches you inappropriately. We did our best to protect them from sexual predators by equipping them with knowledge and talking openly and honestly with them about the subject. We were careful and purposeful in choosing friends they would be allowed to spend the night with and events we felt were “safe” to attend. But I’m not in control, remember?
On a school field trip in 9th grade, one of our daughters was molested by the tour guide who very strategically preyed upon 5 girls in the class. Due to the instruction she had, our daughter alerted the teacher, who immediately contacted the police. There was a follow-up investigation and charges were eventually brought against the tour guide. Because she spoke candidly about what happened and was brave enough to testify, the young man was found guilty and appropriately punished.
Amazingly, what I learned from this is that God is bigger than my greatest fear. The “worst case scenario” for me came true. And God was right there to walk us through it. The groundwork that had been laid with our daughter encouraged open communication, which facilitated the healing process. There was enough evidence that the young man pleaded guilty and we were able to settle out of court, avoiding a public trial. The man lost his job and was identified as a sex offender, hopefully preventing this from happening again. Through these circumstances, God even allowed us to share Dan Allender’s book Wounded Heart for adult victims of childhood sexual abuse with some of the teachers. And 12 years later, our daughter would say she has experienced significant healing and has empathy for other abuse victims, providing a great opportunity for ministry.
Isaiah 41:10 says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Whatever circumstances our mentees encounter, God is powerful enough and loving enough to bring healing and restoration. And in the process, He brings glory to Himself. So we really have nothing to fear.
For additional information see the Family Room article Protecting Your Children From Sexual Predators or Dan Allender’s book The Wounded Heart