Category Archives: Christianity

Dear Sexual Abuse Survivor: How Has The Duggar Molestation Case Impacted Your Heart?

Love letter

My beloved friend and sexual abuse survivor,

The last few weeks our news and social media sources have flooded-over with facts, theories, objective and biased opinions about the Duggar molestation case.

The intent of this letter intends to gingerly remind you: that you are loved, valuable, and remembered.

As I’ve been processing the Duggar report, I keep scratching my head, wondering why the media hunts for material to protect or expose Josh Duggar. Or to demonstrate how his changed life is a reason to dismiss his actions as a youth. Or to spend energy addressing his 3-month counseling period.

Why couldn’t they spend their time and energy on something a bit more productive, like educating the public on how to properly report sexual abuse? Or explaining the lasting effects of sexual abuse upon the victim, the victim’s family, and community? Or defining sexual abuse, which is far broader than molestation and rape.

I pray to God that Josh Duggar has, indeed, repented of his sins and walks in newness of life as a believer in Christ. I hope that he has been made new, loves his wife, and no longer takes advantage others’ sexuality.

After all, before placing our trust and faith in the work of Christ on the cross, each of us walked in the stench of our own spiritual death.

It is the gift of God that allows every one of us to have any kind of spiritual life. None of us have lived such a life as to boast and call ourselves better than another.

Left to our natural state, each of us crave to satisfy the desires of our flesh; that is, without Christ, we lust after sin. All of us.

So, dear survivor, I don’t intend to drag Josh through the mill. I am without authority to do that. And, to be honest, it benefits you not.

One of the stirrings of my heart has been for you.

Every time another case comes to light, memories dust themselves off and remind you of your own story.

Within the Duggar conversation, authority figures and counselors diminish the offense to “adolescent exploration,” or mere “touching,” which probably required you to clench your teeth to withhold the annoyed anger those words taunt.

Or at work during lunch, people may freely discuss their thoughts and opinions, saying things like, “Well, I don’t know why the media even brought this up! I mean, it happened so long ago! Let it go, people! Move on with your life!” Did you choose to take another bite of your sandwich to keep yourself from shouting, “It’s not as simple as that!”

See, that’s where my mind has gone.

I’ve been thinking of you at work, at the grocery checkout, at the bank, at church, and at your screen, scrolling through your favorite social media website.

I’ve been thinking about your heart.

I’ve been thinking about what emotional triggers this has stirred up within you.

And I’ve been praying for you.

It’s not easy being a survivor. It’s not easy listening to men and women–who oftentimes have good intentions–say the most thoughtless and ignorant comments; especially when so many around them have suffered like the Duggar girls, like you.

So my heart aches for you as you’ve had to combat through intense emotions while others fling venom or trite “forgivisms.”

They don’t mean to belittle you. They are ignorant; meaning, they just don’t know. They are uninformed.

Please try to see them in their lack of knowledge, like one might regard kindergarteners, attempting to give their opinion on American politics. They just don’t know what they are talking about.

You are loved.

As a survivor, I questioned that reality. I remember asking, “Am I really loved?” Because I hold fast to what the Bible says as true, I cannot sidestep the truth that God loves me. Nor can you. God loves us.

“God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us–even when we were dead in our transgressions–He made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus,” (Ephesians 2:4-7)

What does this have to do with the Duggar story?

Everything.

The pain, shame, anger, depression, and bent toward isolation and silence will never change, heal, or resolve itself without, first, saturating our hearts with the love of God.

You are of great value.

Whether it be the conversations the Duggar disturbance has roused or the clinging remnants of your past abuse, let it be known. You are valuable.

I hope you didn’t sneer and say, “yeah, right.”

In case you did, let me encourage you. Your value isn’t dependent upon your abuse. It’s not related to other people’s opinions or acceptance or rejection of you. Nope.

If you are in Christ, the word says that you are God’s workmanship. That means you are God’s “work of art,” which is not a common thing. The word also says that this work of art is not just some stationary object like a trophy portrait, but rather a functional work of art, purposed and created in Christ for good works.

Those good works indicate an activity that mirrors the Father’s business. Following after the God of all gods’ family business places each of us in a position of worth and value.

Lastly, you are remembered.

Others may have forgotten you in your healing journey: family, friends, classmates, co-workers, church body.

Jehovah-Rapha, the God who heals, has not, nor ever will forget you. Remember in His great love He sent His one and only Son to give up His rights and die on the cross for you and your sins, so that you may have full rights to the rich inheritance of the throne, if you are in Christ.

Remember in His great love (expressed through His grace toward you) through the gift of faith in His Son, you participate in the work He predestined for you, even while you were still dead in your sins. 

How could He forget you after that?

See, I’ve been thinking of you and praying for you.

With the Duggar incident fresh in the media and the conversations continuing in your face, the father of all lies–the one in whom no truth resides–intends to distract you, to blind you, to handicap you from the truth by taking advantage of your pain.

See, I write you this love letter because my heart is burdened for your peace to be secured in Him. For your joy to be made full in Him. For your heart to thump with gladness as you begin to see the progress of your healing in Him.

I write you this love letter because you are loved, worthy, and remembered by a God who has kind intentions toward you.

With much love,

Krista Nuñez

What’s your next step?

Pray and ask God to reveal those areas in which the father of lies has blurred your vision of God’s love for you. Memorize Ephesians 2:8-10 and meditate on the fact that you are His workmanship, His work of art.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10

Join me on the healing journey.

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Unlock Your Freedom: Jesus Is the Key

Bullies Unlock your Freedom

“Mom, when you were growing up, did you ever have bullies?” asked my first-grader.

“You know, sweetie, I did.”

“What did they make fun of you for?”

“Well, the lunches I packed and the clothes I wore. Some of my friends always bought the school lunch, and they made fun of me because I was always bringing leftovers. My clothes weren’t new and trendy like theirs.”

“Oh. What did you do?”

“Over time, we weren’t friends anymore. I liked my clothes; they were comfortable. My family at the time couldn’t afford for me to buy lunches everyday. Plus, I liked eating leftovers. Waiting in line at school took too long.”

“Mom, can I play outside now?”


Isn’t that the way it is? When we’re younger, our peers pick out the silliest things to nitpick and browbeat another in order to make themselves fell superior, dominant, in control, secure, powerful.

Take another look at the image above. Childhood bullying looks a lot like the broken tricycle padlocked to a post.

So can childhood sexual abuse.

Symbolically, some of you may see the tricycle representing your innocence, your joy, your ability to have fun and be free to explore the wide and wild adventure that childhood brings.

Some of you may not see a tricycle, but rather your dreams and pursuits locked up not only by your actual perpetrator, but also by co-perpetrators and naysayers.

A co-perpetrator are people in your life who failed to assist you during the sexual abuse or during the recovery. Their actions may have been an active participation in the abuse, but not necessarily the actual abuser.

Or a co-perpetrator can be understood as those, who through inactivity, unsuccessfully stood up to stop the abuse or neglected to help you in getting help following the healing process.

Even within current relationships, unfortunately, people will play a similar role.

As you become more vocal with others about your healing journey, oppositional relationships will emerge, acting as a road block to your growth. Why?

Again, I am not a professional. I’m simply an average gal who’s forging ahead, one step at a time, in her healing journey.

It seems to me that, co-perpetrator or not, talking about our healing journey stirs the pot in others’ lives.

Whether we like it or not, we’re not the only ones carrying around extensive traumatic burdens; they’re simply packaged differently than ours.

Regardless of the trauma and woundedness, the detractors come. Usually couching judgment or criticism as advice.

“What you need to do is forgive and forget.”

As if it were that simple. Forgiveness is a must. Jesus commands us to forgive; after all, how can we, who’ve been forgiven, fail to forgive another? Forgetting, on the other hand, isn’t exactly possible. Remembering no more, is. There’s a difference.

“You should never tell your husband what happened to you, because that image will be, forever, stuck in his head.”

That’s a bully.

Bullies want to shut you up and will use whatever strength or influence they have to frighten you. Including the misuse of scripture or Christian sayings, like forgive and forget.

Know that there is a vested interest for them in you keeping silent. Your silence allows them to live in denial of their need to heal, to face the truth.

I’ve said this before, but speaking out makes others uncomfortable. And for good reason.

Sexual abuse is a challenging subject to broach. Yet, it seems to me through my own personal experience that the uncomfortable stirrings within the hearer have less to do with the topic, but rather the inward, untreated sorrows tucked in the dark corners of the soul.

Jesus says, “And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free” (Jn. 8.32).

He’s talking of Himself here. Only Jesus can set us free. It’s true; He’s the truth.

All the same, healing requires work, speaking up, and remaining silent no longer.

Your speaking out may look quite different than mine. Just because you begin a healing journey, it doesn’t mean that you start a blog and tell the entire wired-world.

Maybe it means contacting your caring pastor at church or a counselor who specializes in working with abuse survivors or your spouse.

Our ultimate enemy is the Father of Lies. His primary goal is to manipulate those who believe in Jesus and pull them away from The Truth.

Our enemy will use whatever means at his disposal to shut you up so that he can laugh at you while you fester in pain, because he knows that once you start speaking up and seeking The Truth, you will find healing and he will be unable to have influence over you anymore.

Satan is the Bully of all bullies.

Look back at the picture, again. See the chain and how it’s fastened together by the bully’s padlock?

Jesus is the key.

He reproduces innocence; He brings joy; He generates the kind of childlike fun and freedom to live and sing and dance and explore the wide and wild adventure that healing brings.

 

What’s your next step?

How are you being bullied in your healing journey? What areas of this healing journey are you still hanging onto out of fear, shame, or pain? Consider The Truth to set you free. Ask the Lord how He’d like you to speak out and then do it. He will be with you with each breath you take.

Join me on the healing journey.

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