Dear Victims: Help for the Wounded

Dear Victims,

You need to understand something about the pain you are feeling. Someone has hurt you, misused you, or abused you. You are right to feel wounded, and I’m sincerely grieved for what has happened to you.

However, there is great danger in those wounds you’re nursing right now. Sometimes the pity and sympathy of others can become seductive to us. We begin to enjoy being consoled and avoid moving forward. But if you continually reopen your wounds, if they are not allowed to heal, you risk becoming a permanent spiritual invalid.

So while you take time to heal, never allow your identity to be that of a victim. That’s an easy thing to do these days. Our culture now celebrates victimhood as a virtue, but it is not. Victimhood simply means you have been wounded.

Welcome to the human race.

So here’s a reality check to help you move forward. You see…

Your pain doesn’t make you right.

You may actually see the world more warped now through the prism of your pain.

Your pain doesn’t make you noble or courageous.

You didn’t choose to be wounded, and you probably weren’t wounded protecting someone else.

Your pain doesn’t make you special.

Everyone has pain. Some wounds are just more obvious than others.

Your pain doesn’t exempt you from responsibility for what you do with the rest of your life.

It is not a valid excuse for “phoning it in” from now on and remaining dependent upon others.

Your pain quite simply makes you a victim–nothing more.

It is then up to you what you do with your pain. 

Wallow in it, and you will merely be an object of people’s pity. Anyone could accomplish that.

But what if you let God use your pain to help others?

What if you realized what happened to you was not “just about you?”

What if God has a plan to turn “what others meant for evil” (Genesis 50:20) into something that does good? 

If you can get past yourself and your own feelings, God will turn your tragedy into a triumph. That’s when the weapon meant to destroy you becomes a scalpel in your own hand. With it, you’ll cut out the cancer planted in the minds of other victims by their abusers. You will become a conqueror instead of just the conquered.

Give your pain to God now, and then just watch him transform it into something beautiful.

Then you’ll truly become a hero, and your story will be one of courage, strength, and resilience. But only when you take your eyes off you pain and let it help you recognize the pain of others. Only when you fight for his glory, not your own.

That’s the real purpose God had all along in allowing your pain. And when you embrace that truth is when the day will come you’ll actually thank God you’ve been a victim.

-Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

Dave Gipson
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