I Buried My Pain
Avoiding the Past: As she was growing up, Group 1 Crew's Blanca Reyes was wounded emotionally by sexual abuse, low self-esteem and her parents' messy divorce. When she met Christ at 17, those hurts didn't just go away.
"I hate dealing with issues," she says. "So these were wounds I'd buried deep down. I chose not to deal with them. I wanted instead to just move on with my life. But the biggest part of growth is dealing with your issues. God taught me how to forgive and let go. He cleansed those wounds. Dealing with those old hurts really helped me."
Supporting Friends: How did God help Blanca deal with the past? She says it all began with this heartfelt prayer: "God, I'm going to make this decision to serve you. I want to give you everything, but it's going to be hard doing this by myself."
Not long after praying that prayer, Blanca "stumbled" into a Bible study for musicians. "Those 12 people became my best friends, held me accountable and guided me through my new faith," she says.
Don't Do It Alone: Opening up about her past was very difficult and scary for Blanca. "I knew with my own strength I wouldn't do it," she says. "I needed God's strength." Still, she continued to struggle. Then, finally, she hit a point where she thought, Man, I just can't keep this up. I'm not strong enough to deal with this on my own anymore.
As difficult as it was to open up, there was someone she felt she could trust with her feelings and pain—her church's pastor. When she could no longer carry the burden of hiding her past, she called him and said, "I have all these issues I've gone through with my life, but I haven't spoken about them or opened up to anybody."
With his encouragement, she released it all. Blanca's pastor cried with her, prayed with her and told her he'd always be there for her. And he has been.
"Finding people who cared and who shared my burden made all the difference," Blanca said. "I totally recommend anybody who's hurting to speak with their pastor, a youth leader, their parents, or a trusted adult from church. You don't have to carry it alone."
Copyright © 2007 by the author or Christianity Today/Ignite Your Faith magazine.
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