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Other ‘fill-ups’ for me

Staying with the theme of countering some of the darkness of the hard work of survival for those who make an Intentional Choice to begin healing from sexual violence, I am reminded of my recent trip to South Carolina.  My mentor, adopted mom/big sister retired there  a few years ago.  I go to visit every year.  I recently returned and just reflected on a few of the fun things we did.  We went to a South Pacific production from the Lincoln Center, performing at the Peace center in Greenville.  It was fabulous!  We went on a tour of the BMW plant there, the only one in north America.  It was really fascinating.  We also visited Kings Mountain National Military Park, site of a major battle in the Revolutionary War.  I toured the Spartanburg location of the Carolina Pregnancy Center where she volunteers several days a week.  Wonderful stuff they are doing there for pregnant women.   We did a lot of good eating too, both at restaurants and her own gourmet cooking!

Just (or more?) importantly, we laughed a lot, and cried some.  She is a safe person for me to cry with when I need to.  She is God’s gift to me in many many ways. 

I hope you are finding the right kind of support that you are needing for your own Unintended Journey.  In my book Redeem the Silence; An Unintended Journey I write a lot about this essential need survivors have for these kinds of people in their lives.  Even if you are seeing a therapist or other type of counselor, an extended support network is vital.  I am not suggesting finding it is easy.  Learning who is safe and good for you might be a learning experience.  In the book I also write about some characteristics of who is safe and who isn’t.  There might be some people who can meet one need, but not another.  No one person can fill you.  For Christians who make an Intentional Choice to begin in some way to start dealing with their trauma, the journey will lead to knowing and experiencing our Lord in major ‘filling up” ways.  He is there, and He will provide for those who are serious about healing, even if you can’t believe that right now.

It is certainly important to start asking God for just the right person(s) to come along beside you.  If you can find them, support groups can help.  Depending on what you are going through, sometimes a 12 step program helps.  I have a friend who is passionate about learning ballroom dancing.  She takes lessons regularly.  My neighborhood walking and bunko groups are great sources of fun.  You can begin to make a list of what fills you up.  Maybe you do not know.  Most of us have inside ‘cups’ that are quite empty.  This emptiness can happen from many kinds of damaging experiences, not just some form of sexual violence.

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