Healing after molestation
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IT was hard to listen to her story when I first heard her tell it. She'd been molested by her own father for almost 10 years.

He'd only been in her life for a couple of months when he started molesting her. She'd never met him before, but when she was eight years old her mother had sent her to live with him. She was absolutely vulnerable and he absolutely took advantage of her trust and her desire to have a father in her life. She's told her story many times to many groups. Now, as an adult, she's begun to work to help others heal from their own traumatic experiences. She'd been healed from deep pain and now wanted others healed from theirs.

Wherever and whenever she has shared her story and offered to speak with and pray for people, several people would come forward, often in tears. We know that many young people are walking around with deep hurt caused by broken, confused people. And sadly, oftentimes those hurting young people grow with the pain and later cause hurt to others too. As it is said, "Hurt people hurt people." I have heard of molested people molesting others. And chances are someone reading this has also been impacted by molestation. It is important to know that real healing is available to you too.

How did the lady I referred to get her powerful healing, so much so that she could help others heal too? Well, when she became a Christian she'd heard about an exercise with the power of forgiveness. And as difficult and nigh impossible as it was, she did the hard exercise. She was even able to speak to her father respectfully and with some compassion later. She was motivated by a desire to be healed and a passion to enjoy her best life. As painful as it was for her, I witnessed her breakthrough into a life of laughter, peace, and emotional freedom. She'd honoured the Lord by employing the exercise of declaring forgiveness for her father and praying for his deliverance and healing. Instead of hating him, she saw his weakness and his need for urgent help. This very exercise has freed many people from real emotional distress.

The exercise:

1) Bringing a sacrifice: See this exercise as you're giving God a gift of your obedience and your brokenness.

2) Acknowledge: The power of forgiveness to heal: Realise that releasing them will release you. Your health requires it.

3) Choose to forgive: Persist despite the pain and declare that you choose to forgive them. Forgive them for causing you this pain and suffering.

4) Pray for their healing: Pray that they get help and are also healed.

5) Pray for good things: Pray for good things for them. The only way this can be done is by seeking to honour God, who seeks to forgive us for our mistakes.

Do this for at least a week and it will disarm the power of that past incident so that it does not overshadow your future. For some, it will be as difficult as physically wrestling. However, doing this exercise will free you to truly live your best life now. Healthier interpersonal relationships and peace of mind await those that'll do this exercise. It is often the only way to breakthrough for those that have suffered molestation and abuse.

It's important that cases of molestation be reported when and where they happen. But while it's the job of the police and law enforcement to hold molesters accountable for their offenses, it's not the job of the offended to hold those offenders in their hearts with bitterness. Let the law and the Lord deal with it, release it. If you've been affected by molestation, see the offender as a broken, needy person. They'll need accountability and they'll need to deal with their own messes.

Rev Christopher Brodber is a counsellor and minister of religion. E-mail him at chrisbrodber@yahoo.com.

Christopher Brodber

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