The media is blowing up right now. Facebook. News sites. Blogs. Twitter. Most of what I’m reading is about how we should all not judge Josh Duggar because we all made mistakes when we were 14, too, and that Jesus said that “he who is without sin should cast the first stone.” The other 1/3 of what I see is about how Josh Duggar should lose everything and no be allowed around people and so on.
But did you notice something?
It’s all about Josh Duggar.
Do I have thoughts about him? Yes. Do I think that the opinions that are carelessly using the Bible and disrespectfully implying that the heart of God loves forgiveness more than He hates sin are wrong? Yes. And am I going to let all of that go right now? Yes.
I’m letting it go because none of this should be about Josh Duggar. In our outrage, shock (or for some of us, not so much shock), and need to try to make sense of all of this, society has focused on Josh. And they shouldn’t. Because Josh will reap the consequences of his own actions, as is normal and as he should. But there are at least five other people out there, plus all of his family, who will also suffer. And no one is talking about them. When did we become a society that became so moved by Hitler that we forgot about the Jews? An abuser is no one without his or her victims, and every time that you get into a discussion that leaves the victims out, you have become focused on the wrong person.
I get that we need to make sense of this. I get that everyone is clawing for a reason–what was missed? How could this have been prevented? Would the outcome or anything be different if it had been handled any differently? All of these questions should be considered, and it’s important, oh so important, to understand that these things do happen and to understand how they should be handled (as if there is a one-size-fits-all answer to that). Except that to ask those questions right now puts the focus on me, and my need to somehow make this work in my head and my heart. But it’s not about me. And it’s not about you.
So this post, this blog, this lady whose heart wishes there were never stories like this, is for the girls.
I’m sorry. I’m sorry it happened. I’m sorry it was your brother. I’m sorry he had to continue living with you. I’m sorry that now instead of being who you are, society just sees you as a victim right now. I’m sorry that society is focused on him. I’m sorry that you have no voice right now.
I’m proud of you for telling. I’m proud of you for not being afraid. I’m proud of you for not forgetting. I’m proud of your for your willingness to forgive, though I hope that you have also been able to make peace with things and that you do truly understand what happened had nothing to do with you or your actions. I’m proud that you haven’t let this define who you are.
I hope that you are able to experience your emotions and not just shut them down. I hope that you are able to say what you need to say, regardless of which spectrum it lies on. I hope that you have been able to, or will be able to, have correct and truthful thinking and understanding regarding sexuality, male roles, and what God really thinks about abuse.
You are worthy. Your identity has nothing to do with this. You will move on from this media outburst, it will get better, and you will be fine. Hold your head up, let yourself feel what you need to feel, do what you need to do, and know that your best days are still yet to come. You are enough, and our God is not a God who condones abuse. Ever. He didn’t want that to happen to you, and He will be your Jehovah Nicci, your banner, as you shelter in the shadow of His wings.
I know that you know that you’re going to be ok. I know that I don’t know the details of your recovery or any of your thoughts on the matter. I just want you to know that it’s ok to feel whatever you’re feeling, and that you aren’t forgotten.
You are not forgotten. I will not forget you, and I will stand for you.
–> Please see our next post on 4 things to know about child sexual offenders & resources for parents of juvenile sexual offenders to better understand how you can help fight this within your own home.
Note: the original title of this article is changed because I realized after the fact that it was the same as another similar article posted here: http://www.salembirthsupport.com/#!This-Ones-for-the-Girls-A-Duggar-Response/cupf/555f43a90cf23d0164b4313b . I had previously read that article and must have really resonated with the title of it, haha! Please also check out the article here that I just linked, as it’s beautiful and needs to be read. So much love to her and the other many boys and girls who have been victims of sexual abuse.
Note #2: PLEASE feel free to leave your responses to this article here and not just on Facebook as it makes it circulations. This way, others who have been affected, and maybe even the girls it’s written to may read it and be encouraged and embraced. I don’t ever censor comments, but I do withhold the right to do so about this post as this is to be only a safe space concerning this issue.