Childhood sexual abuse is a very difficult topic to discuss, but if we choose to look the other way, or to close our eyes, we are actually choosing to look at the shore rather than to look at the person who is drowning. Every time I share my testimony in the community, other survivors approach me to say, “You have no idea how much you’ve helped me. I was abused too.” What grieves me is the secrecy still attached — grown women and men still keeping a secret from childhood.

At Ft. Benning, GA, many strong military men who fight and risk their lives to keep us safe actually said to me, “I was abused …. but don’t tell anyone.” Forty years after being sexually abused, the power of the secret was still strong enough to cause them to whisper this disclosure in my ear.

In Jingles’ story, she receives a Sword of Truth. She learns to fight against the power of shame and guilt. I wish I had a Sword of Truth to pass out to others every time I share about my childhood. When I was in the healing phase, I thought, I wish I had the power to help others heal from the lies they believe. I’ve now discovered I do. We all have this power.

It takes some bravery at first, but it’s so worth it. All we have to do is begin sharing our own secrets. Practice talking about it to God, then to a few safe people around you, or with a stranger in a counseling session. With time, as you discover your royalty, you will begin knowing the abuse was never your fault. Even though you’ve made mistakes along the way to cover your pain, it did not change the precious person you were created to be.

By talking about your own abuse, wounding, failures, or anything that is causing you to feel shame, you open the door for others to disclose their shameful secrets as well. Suddenly what seemed so shameful and caused us such self-loathing doesn’t have the same power to defeat us.