Speaking out against abuse and spreading awareness comes at a small cost. Some will shut you out of their lives, and some will silently judge you. Others yet will hurl accusations or insulting questions at you. Here are a few comments/questions I’ve received since I public shared my abuse story:
- You are bitter
- You are angry
- You are fighting God Himself, and we always lose those battles
- Are you even a Christian?
- Why are you focusing on the negative? Focus on the positive.
- Why are you trying to air people’s dirty laundry?
- Have you accepted responsibility for your part in what happened when you were sexually abused?
- You need to forgive and forget
I’ve lost a few friendships over the past year. I have extended family members who won’t acknowledge me unless they absolutely must.
BUT IT’S OK! The lost friendships weren’t true friendships to begin with. The support that I’ve received from most of my family, especially my own parents, has been overwhelming. Also, for every judgmental comment, I’ve received so many more kind and gracious messages from friends, family, and like-minded people all over the country. Below are just a few encouraging comments/e-mails/texts:
- Your cause is right and very needed… I would love to help in creating awareness, sharing the need for counseling, the true blessings of forgiveness, and the freedom of healing!
- Thank you for being so open and honest.
- Hey ________ and I just watched the video, we support you, we love you, and want to give you affirmation you are doing the right thing.
- Knowing that you are writing this book, your blogs and videos help me beyond what I could ever say.
- I just wanted to get in touch and thank you for the truth you’ve been speaking in your videos!
- Sending prayers your way and keep speaking the truth!
- We are for you and with you!
- I’m so sorry you were a victim; And thankful you are reaching out to others.
- Thank you for sharing what had to be one of the most painful experiences anyone would ever undergo. You will not see that sharing go in vain. God is already using you. Keep fighting the good fight!
- We love you & support you 100%
- You’re one courageous soul. Bravo. Thanks for taking such a leap to help others. Much love, my friend.
- I just wanted to encourage you to keep speaking out!
- I wish you the best with your book, and I look forward to reading the finished product. Also, seeing your video was almost like a validation for me.
- Thank you for the information you are giving and how open you are willing to be.
- I am so sorry for the things that you have experienced, but I am so thankful for your courage and strength to speak out about the topic of abuse!
- Just watched your video. Keep it up Justin, you are doing the right thing.
- Justin, I’m so sorry that happened to you. I didn’t know.
- I watched your video today about your upcoming book. What a step! I will be praying for you, that God will lead you as you take each step of this process to deepen your own freedom and bring freedom and healing to many others as well.
- Justin, Good to hear about the book that you are writing. Praying for you and possible upcoming ministry that this will create.
- Hi! Watched your video and I will be praying for you as you work on your book. I can imagine how hard it must be to speak up and yet I believe your voice and your story needs to be heard and will absolutely help others
- When I found out you were writing this book, I knew I wasn’t alone. So thank you for being brave. Thank you for writing this book.
- I can’t thank you enough for bringing all of this to light
- Thank You Justin for being the only one to have the courage to come forward and finally expose the secrets that the __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ Baptist people have hidden for all these years
- I’m very sorry to learn of your past experiences. I thank you, however, for your strength and courage for sharing them (and for the strength and courage of your wife as well).
So be encouraged! Yes, you might be misunderstood, judged, or lose a “friend”. But you’ll also develop new friendships, reconnect with old friends, and receive more support than you ever thought.