Dear Survivor: It’s OK To Struggle


Dear Fellow Survivor,

I knew that this letter would come eventually. I just hoped that it wouldn’t come so soon.

I had a rough week this week.

I’ve mentioned that one of the effects of the abuse I experienced is a grossly distorted body image, something that psychologists call body dysmorphic disorder. I have been plagued by this ever since the abuse happened. It has gotten a lot better since I’ve started therapy with my counselor. But it’s not completely gone. It tends to come in cycles. I’m feeling good for a while and then, wham! Something triggers it and I’m feeling awful again. This past week was one of those weeks.

I don’t know what you struggle with most about the abuse you experienced. I won’t even try to guess since everyone’s experience is different. But I am sure that the frustration I experience over this continuing struggle is not unique to me. You know that frustration too. You know how easy it is to start beating yourself up because “you should be feeling better by now.” “This happened so long ago. Why is it still causing me so much pain?” “Why can’t my feelings catch up with what I know in my brain?” “Why does this have to be so hard?”

I want you to know (and I always need to remind myself of this too) that it’s OK to struggle. It’s not easy. It’s not fun. But it’s OK. I know it’s OK because when I’m struggling, I now know I’m not alone. King David says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). And Isaiah reminds us, “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out” (Isaiah 42:3). When you are brokenhearted, when you are frustrated, when you are struggling, when you feel as if you are a bruised reed about to break or a smoldering wick about to sputter out, know that Jesus is there for you. He will bind you up. He will fan your faith into flame. He will support you and bring you healing. That is his promise, and he can’t go back on a promise.

I have a favor to ask of you. Would you pray for me? I know you don’t know who I am. But Jesus does. And I will continue to pray for all of you. I don’t know who all of you are. But Jesus does. Together, let’s pray for each other, knowing that the one to whom we are praying knows each of us, and he well knows how to bind each of us up and support us in all our struggles.

In Christ,
Your Brother Survivor

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Series Navigation<< Dear Survivor: You Are A Child of GodDear Survivor: It’s Not Your Fault >>
This entry is part 3 of 10 in the series Dear Fellow Survivor