When you embark on a long journey, especially one that has the potential to be difficult or complicated, it helps to have an idea of what to expect. Advice from someone who has travelled the road before you can be invaluable. They can recommend a path to take, warn you of the challenges and, above all, give you hope that the journey is possible- that there is a way to reach your destination.
Healing from childhood sexual abuse is a long and difficult journey, and sadly it is a journey that many are on. There are over 42 million survivors of sexual abuse in the United States alone, and the impact of this is massive.
But there is hope, and there is a guide book to help, because “Journey to Heal” by Crystal Sutherland provides valuable advice and encouragement along the way.
It is a travel guide from someone who has been on that journey, so understands the difficulties and challenges involved, but who also constantly speaks encouragement and hope by pointing to Scripture and to the fact that, no matter how deep the wound, God’s power to heal is greater.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has experienced childhood sexual abuse, or who is seeking to walk alongside someone who has.
While everyone’s journey of healing will be different in its route and timeframe, I agree that all of the steps laid out in the book are essential, and the way in which they are described is very clear and helpful.
As well as sharing from Scripture, Crystal shares from her own experience of her healing journey, and provides helpful journalling prompts and practical exercises to allow the reader to work through and process their own story and move on in healing.
The thing that I love most about this book is that it constantly points to Jesus as the source of healing, but never in a simplistic way. It never promises an unrealistic quick-fix solution, but it presents biblical truth and helps you to practically apply it to your life.
As well as the book, there is an online study running from October 9th to November 13th. This provides the opportunity to work through the book in community, and there are also weekly teaching videos provided as well as a private Facebook group with weekly live chats. You can find out more and sign up here. (Update: the study is running again from 5th February-26th March 2017. Find out more and register by 22nd January by clicking here.)
I took part in this study earlier this year and found it extremely helpful. This is a journey that can often feel like a lonely one, but you do not have to walk this path alone. Whatever stage you are at in the journey of healing- whether you are just setting out or you have already made significant progress- this is a great chance to connect with others and move forward together. I found the study group to be an excellent source of encouragement and support along the way, and being part of this community definitely contributed to the significant steps forward I was able to take.
Please do consider checking it out if you are on this journey, or spread the word to others who might benefit from taking part.
“My story doesn’t end in abuse and brokenness, and neither does yours.”– Crystal Sutherland