Addiction, abuse, broken relationships, isolation – I see people each week who are struggling with these issues and more. I have been amazed at the number of women (and men) I’ve talked with who have experienced some type of sexual abuse in their past. Addiction destroys lives and breaks up families. Many people find themselves isolated and lonely with no real meaningful connections in their lives.
The statistics for the number of people with a story of abuse, addiction, depression are staggering. There are a lot of hurting people out there. There is a saying that “hurting people hurt people” and that’s how the cycle of pain gets passed down from one generation to another.
My personal experience involves a background of abuse. People who should have loved me, who said they loved me, taught me with their words and their actions that I didn’t really matter. I finally reached a point where I just didn’t care anymore. In my pain I made some very bad decisions and other people got hurt. I passed my hurt on to others and continued a cycle.
There is another way. Those who are hurting can CHOOSE to stop the cycle. That is a brave choice and the beginning of a journey that is not easy. It involves change – changing the way we think, letting go of old habits, and opening ourselves up to another person and to God.
HOPE comes from God. God is constant and unchanging. He loved me before I knew Him, He loves me today, and He will never stop loving me. And I’ve learned that there are good people out there who do honestly care.
1 Thessalonians 5:14 says this: “We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.”
There is a relationship between at least two people referred to here. To be encouraged, there must be an encourager. To be a helper, there must be someone in need of help. God’s desire is that we LIVE in relationship with Him and in relationship with other believers. Those of us who have found hope can help others find healing from the past and healthy relationships for the future.