Real Talk.

I leave for camp in a few days. It has me thinking about what these kids have gone through. Kids at this camp are or have been a part of the foster care system. Kids aren’t put in the system for nothing; the goal is always to keep children with their parents. 

There are many different types of abuse that would cause children to be taken from their homes: physical, emotional, sexual, neglect. I’m going to cover what these mean tonight. 

Physical abuse

“Physical abuse is any intentional and unwanted contact with you or something close to your body. Sometimes abusive behavior does not cause pain or even leave a bruise, but it’s still unhealthy.” (http://www.loveisrespect.org/is-this-abuse/types-of-abuse/#tab-id-1) I feel like we all have the right to feel physically safe no matter where we are unfortunately that isn’t how it works all the time. 

Emotional abuse

I think I read about emotional abuse the most because I want to learn everything that I can about it. I want to know how to help someone recover from emotional abuse. Emotional abuse isn’t something that people can see like a bruise so it’s rarely reported. Emotional abuse isn’t someone just hurting your feelings. People say mean things. It happens. Let me give you some examples of emotional abuse. 

  • Yelling and screaming at you.
  • Blaming your actions for their abusive or unhealthy behavior.
  • Starting rumors about you.

In my eyes if someone hurts your feelings that doesn’t necessarily mean they are abusive, but if someone is constantly demeaning you or hurting you with words or how they make your feel; that’s abuse. 

Sexual Abuse

“Sexual abuse refers to any action that pressures or coerces someone to do something sexually they don’t want to do.” ((http://www.loveisrespect.org/is-this-abuse/types-of-abuse/#tab-id-1) I think we all understand that if someone touches you in any way that isn’t welcomed or wanted that is abuse. You have the right to your personal space. No one should make you feel guilty for not wanting to do something. I read this article recently and I can’t remember who wrote it but it was talking about how it’s sexy when men ask permission. I love that! <<<<<<3 

Neglect.  

Neglect may be the very worst type of abuse. I don’t say that lightly because abuse is horrible in and of itself. Let me explain why I feel that way. I have a nephew who is 2 months old. he’s super cute. Anyhow he has also never been forced to cry it out. He knows that if he cries someone will come. I wasn’t sure where I was on the stance of crying it out but something as simple as that could harm a child. A child’s brain will not develop properly if they are not taken care. They need to know if they cry someone will come to help.

Neglect makes you feel like your invisible; like you don’t matter. Your needs aren’t met. You are not taken care of. No one comes when you cry. You are on your own. For a child that would be beyond damaging. 

Abuse is damaging. It doesn’t matter if the person says they are sorry or that they didn’t mean it. It really doesn’t matter if the person didn’t mean to cause you any harm. It also doesn’t matter if they’re sorry. Sorry doesn’t fix everything. 

So for everyone who thinks these children are damaged or not worth it. These kids are survivors. They were damaged by someone who was supposed to care about them and when someone finally stepped in to help they took them away from their parents (and in their eyes even after abuse that can be traumatizing too.) Trust would be minimal if I was in their shoes. 

So are they worth it? 

Yes. I can say even after having a rough go of being a counselor last year. These kids are worth all of the effort, the lack of sleep, giving up my nice bed for a week, and worth giving up what I want for a week. It’s all about the kids at camp because they deserve a week of not feeling damaged…See These kids walked through fire and survived and that’s strength. I don’t look at them and see someone whose broken anymore. I look at them as someone who was pushed to the edge of their breaking point and is still standing. 

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Break my heart for what breaks yours.

No matter what church I’ve gone to all I hear is how the people of the church want to change the world, but that’s it…It’s all talk. I didn’t want to be like that, and I decided that if I wanted to change the world then I was going to have to get up, and do something. I wasn’t going to talk it out until I’m blue in the face. I saw a need, and I was going to fill it. 

I have gone to two camps for foster kids as you know, and I’ll leave for the third shortly. I’m a little nervous after the last one because it was a rough week. It isn’t me though because if I was doing this on my own then I might as well throw in the towel now. I won’t get far in my own strength. God has called and appointed me to go, and do this work, but he made no promises that it would be easy. I’m ready for whatever that weekend brings me because I know I’m not alone. 

I just hope that if people see people my age changing the world that they’ll be inspired to stop talking, and join in. You can’t ever be prepared for ministry. You can dot your I’s, and cross your T’s, but in the long run you can’t be prepared for what’s going to happen 100% of the time. 

I can almost guaranty that you’ll be emotional drained when you take on ministry in a hands on way. I cried so many times this summer because this world is so broken. It seems I can’t turn it off. *Wipes tears from cheek.* Feel those emotions fully because they are what will fuel you to keep going on the hard days. 

You’ll also be exhausted. You’ll be more tired than you’ve ever been in your life. Do not neglect yourself. Sleep, eat, hydrate, and refill spiritually. It’s also good to goof off sometimes because laughter is the best medicine. 

Ministry of any kind is not for the weak of heart, but rather for those who have had their heart completely broken by the pain they see in this world. I asked God to break my heart for what broke his at the age of 16, and he answered. It’s why I’m always an emotional mess. It’s also why I have a heart full of compassion. I dare you to ask God to do the same for you. “BREAK MY HEART FOR WHAT BREAKS YOURS!”

“Miss moving on.” ~Fifth Harmony.

The funny thing about pain is that it dims over time. I’ve had a couple times in my life that I’ve cried on my sisters shoulders because my heart hurt so bad I wasn’t sure I’d ever feel whole again. It isn’t an instant fix. It’s putting one step in front of the other, and choosing to never accept defeat. You’ll always remember the things, and the people that caused this kind of pain, but if you constantly hold on to it you won’t ever heal. 

I don’t know about you, but I throw myself into work when I’m hurt. I’ve been going to the gym, and then clocking in. I’m normally gone for 10 hours at a time. I do this because if I don’t have time then I don’t have to feel. I stopped to think about everything today, and I realized I don’t hurt as much anymore. I really am moving on. My heart surely has scars, but it isn’t broken. 

I’ll probably stay busy because it’s what I do, but I’m going back to what makes me happy. I’m not going to bend over backwards to please anyone anymore. 

“Call me Miss moving on.” ~Fifth Harmony. 

Camp updates, and testimony

“Amazing grace. How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found; was blind, but now I see. Oh I can see it now. Oh I can see the love in your eyes. Laying yourself down, raising up the broken to life.” ~Broken Vessels by Hillsongs. 

I just came back from a weekend of hands on ministry. I went to a camp for foster kids, and I am still in awe of what God did while I was there. I always struggle to put it into words because for some of it you would have to be there to really understand why it was such a big deal. I can’t tell you what God did in those kids lives because that’s personal. I will never share what they haven’t given me permission to talk about. I can; however, talk about what God did in my life. 

I went to Cross talk with the girls every day which is basically a devotional time. We had really great speakers. I seriously don’t think they could have done anything better. Our theme was Joseph from the pit to destiny. I loved it. It’s really hard to look around yourself, and see the pit that you’re in, and believe that there is destiny written on your life. I remember when they had us write down something in our pasts that was holding us back, or something we needed God to take. I wrote the word rejection. It’s hard for me to put into words why I used that because it’s really personal, and I’m just not there yet. I can say that I felt God working on my heart this last weekend. I went there praying for God to change the campers lives, and I came back a different person than who I was when I left. 

I no longer feel rejected. I feel accepted. I am a daughter of the one true King, and that is a VERY powerful thing.