One of my close friends recently told me that he has come to terms with a lot of the sadness that he’s experienced in life. He said that the sad times have helped define who he is at this moment, and even though they were really difficult, he wouldn’t change them for anything in the world. I really had to chew on that one for a while because there are so many things I would love to change about my past. So I have to ask myself, not just then, but every day, would I change my past so that I wouldn’t have been abused?

I wouldn’t change a thing. What happened to me, and to so many other survivors should never happen, so please know that I’m not advocating this for anyone. But we all have difficulties in our lives. I’ve never had cancer or some other debilitating disease, never had someone close to me die unexpectedly, or never lost my ability to support my family. Those things happen to others and I know that people have risen above their tribulations to make themselves better because of their trials. Having gone through sexual abuse is my trial. I don’t know if I would have survived those other things, but I know that I did survive being sexually abused. And I know that I’ve grown tremendously as a person because of it.

I’ve been able to be a husband, which I never thought was going to be possible. I have raised three amazing and successful boys. I have incredible friends who are also survivors, which I never would have met if it hadn’t been for my abuse. I’m wonderfully in love with my job as a teacher, which I might have taken a different pathway had I not been abused. And most of all, I have a passion for Jesus, which I know for certain that I never would have found if I hadn’t been through the terror of sexual abuse.

I hope that you who are reading this can find the positive things that have come out of the terrible situation that has brought you to read this post. Life can really suck at times, so I don’t want to sound all rainbows and sunshine either. But if we can’t dig down and find hope in our most terrible circumstances, no one else will. We are strong enough to be able to do it.

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