In two weeks time Hopeful Hearts has received three new survivors at our door step seeking validation and a connection to help them not feel so alone on their healing journey. One woman called me a few weeks ago and told me she had held on to our number for two years. Two years!
When I met with her this week she told me the beginning of her story of survival. Yes, the beginning. Now in her 60’s her story began when she was in her teens. The horror she’s lived through is unimaginable yet I can relate because the act of the horror leaves behind the same remnants of shame and loathing.
Educated, well-traveled, eloquent in her delivery this woman sat before me and told me she’d been to countless counselors and therapists but none understood.
She needed to know the person listening to her tell her story knew the pain from the inside out.
There are moments it is hard to explain what we do at Hopeful Hearts Ministry because it is not something that can be charted, analyzed, or evaluated. We do offer the tangibles – the support groups, in-house Christian counseling, empowerment courses, and the public outreach with I Have a Voice videos but our true secret to success is offering our understanding and validation to their story.
Cancer survivors speak out and help other cancer survivors through their journey…this is no different, only our journey is not exposed by chemo, operations and a change in our appearance. But it is much like a cancer for if it is not properly dealt with it can erode a person’s soul and leave them dead inside.
If you are a survivor of abuse (ANY type of abuse, sexual, physical, mental/emotional) I encourage you to speak your truth, find a close friend, relative, pastor, priest, spouse or therapist, who you trust and let them know. If you are stuck in a place of not being able to trust anyone around you write it out or contact me and I will be your listener.
You are not alone. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set a time to talk.
I realized last week that the second interview I had done for Cornerstone TV was Real Life 360. I wanted to make sure you all had a chance to watch:
Get your copy of Shannon Deitz’s personal story, EXPOSED for only $1.99 on Kindle.