Growing up in a Baptist Church I was fortunate to learn a hymn during Sunday School that is still with me today, “Blessed Be the Ties That Bind”. There are ties that I will always have as a result of being a survivor of sexual assault and kidnapping. I am also learning that along my journey I am meeting more people that choose not to live in secret about their experience as well.
I was fortunate to meet with a group of women some of whom identified themselves as survivors of sexual assault. As we fellowshipped over a meal, we shared our stories of being a survivor of sexual assault and the different ways that we have coped and managed to get through the stages of trauma. Each of us shared how we have chosen to move forward toward healing and ready to come up with ways to pay it forward to raise awareness about sexual assault and how it impacts families.
As the conversation continued, I realized that we were all Christians and that was the tie that was binding us. My mind immediately went to the Sunday School Hymn. As we got ready to part, the first verse of the hymn was playing in my head; “Bless be the ties that bind, our hearts in Christian love, the fellowship of kindred minds this like to that above.”
Although it was our tragic experience that brought us together, the Christian Love is going to keep us connected. The need to raise awareness and make a space safe to feel free for other victims, can be an example of the Christian Love that comes from above.