I woke up two mornings ago to a dream where I saw this book calling out to me. I felt like the book held missing pages to many people’s stories. Some were my own stories of the abuse I experienced, and many were others’ stories. I felt like each page was a part of someone’s soul crying out to be heard. They had been torn out of their own books and buried in the book of the unknown. Many looked at this book and its dirty binding feeling disgraced to even look at it, unwilling to share its belongings. Many churches, communities, and even our media had access to the pages of these books and didn’t want it to be seen because, to them, it brought great shame. Some of the people represented had been listened to, investigated, and even reported on the news, but because their abusers had great power, the stories were hidden and their names were buried. Some were killed or even experienced more abuse for sharing what they knew.
These were the words these pages cried out to me:
“I am a book of truth that to many is unknown. For my pages were torn from history and my story was broken and lost. I know the pieces that make me who I am, yet I realize the missing pieces are still very much a part of me. We have been gathering the pages of the unknown and the truth of what happened to me. These pages are ugly and have been wiped from the pages of history. Not just mine but many others was well. Our lives were torn apart by the abuse we lived and breathed. My lost book of history is one that many inside long to restore to history. Yet in it is the pieces of mystery.
From the Torture of the Jews to the history of the slave trade, to the Trafficked Children, Men, and Women in our communities, churches, and schools around the world. From the destruction of the Native Americans’ own lands and communities to other atrocities so many want to hide. These things are hard and heavy to face, but the reason they need told has nothing to do with the abusers but the survivors and the adversities they faced. Many didn’t make it and many had no one to care. Yet they have overcome so much, and this is the reason it so needs to be shared.”
I believe God is calling, “It’s time to turn and listen to the ones who have been hidden and say enough is enough to hiding the truth of our history.” Their stories need to be told; the survivors need to be heard — not to glorify the abuser but to let the overcomer be heard. Many are in your communities, and many are even in your churches and schools. They are not ones you should be ashamed of, they are ones who need to be heard. Many are hurting and angry, and many are weak and scared, yet inside them is something powerful. It is something that needs to be shared, for each one has a story, a story that can change the way we think. It is the story of how to overcome. Many of these who have been abused are bitter, broken, and angry. Your job isn’t to fix them, but to listen, to love them, and to support them on their journey.
I believe God wants to restore the pages to their stories. The stories are not something to be ashamed of, but they are something they have overcome. Many feel like it has defeated them, yet the fact that they are alive means they are really strong. They have a destiny that is so worth watching and supporting.
As a nation, so many want to bury these stories and to not have them heard, but these are the things that future generations need to learn from so we can understand and learn from where we have gone wrong. For our destiny isn’t going to succeed in trying to grow in power. It isn’t going to overcome when we feel like we need to control the stories and histories of others. Our destiny will come when we discover the beautiful gift of love that begins inside our souls. It is something that cannot be broken. It is something that can be heard and felt.
So this is my request for those who are reading this: Before we focus on exposing our enemies, let’s focus on listening to those who have overcome and help them to fulfill their dreams. Let’s take their hands and share those stories they are willing to tell. Let’s discover the amazing truth of how God created us to overcome. Many are still fighting and many have lost their lives. You have something that they need. It is a friendship, a hug, your trust, an ear to hear, or even a place where they can come feel real. It is your kindness and even your support so they can face what they have lived through, so they can have friends around them who will see them through.