God and Sexual Assault

Beauty from Ashes III


I recently joined the community center gym so I can work out better. At my age I need to be doing strength training and better cardio for my heart. I have avoided it for years because I do not like to work out around other people. I have been content at home walking on my treadmill, but my body needs more so I gave in and joined.

Except the reason I have avoided it for so long is because I compare. Today I was doing 30 minutes on the elliptical at a rate I could handle. My heart rate was going pretty fast and I was sweating.

A girl about twenty years younger than me got on next to me. Immediately she was going twice as fast as I was. I did my best not to notice, but it’s really hard not to when you’re right next to each other. I was comparing myself to her. She worked on it for about 10 minutes and then left. I kept going for my full 30 minutes.

I shouldn’t have been comparing in the first place, but as it turned out we were doing two totally different workouts. It’s the same with our recovery. We can’t look at other survivors and say, “Oh, I should be doing this if they are!” No, each of our recoveries is at our own pace.

Just because someone is able to work while in recovery and you’re not doesn’t mean you should be able to. Maybe someone is able to do more socially. That is just where they are in their recovery.

Each of us has different trauma to work through. We have different medical needs that have arisen from our assaults. Some of us experience more depression and anxiety than others. It is totally dependent on the person. We are all unique individuals with one thing in common. We are sexual assault survivors in recovery.

Comparing ourselves will do us more harm than good. We need to stay focused on our journey so we can get better. Each of us is running our own marathon. It is a long, hard journey for us all. We can support each other while realizing it is different for you than it is for me.

It makes me think of the process a caterpillar goes through to become a butterfly. Metamorphosis. “The process of transformation from an immature form to an adult form in two or more distinct stages.”

We too are going through stages. Many stages in recovery to become someone who has overcome the trauma of sexual assault. Allowing God to make us the person He wants us to be. We are going through a transformation. Yes, it is a slow one, but it is still a transformation. And while we’re going through it we should be careful not to compare our recovery to anyone else.

We are each on the journey God has us on. We definitely would not have chosen it, but God is going to use it and one day God will have made what we thought were the most horrible things into the most beautiful, unrecognizable lives we could ever have imagined. A transformation.. Just like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly.beauty for ashes2


Help me not compare myself to others, whether in recovery or not. Remind me I’m always beautiful in Your eyes. Allow me to let You make me the person You want me to be through this journey. Turn me from a caterpillar into a butterfly. Bring beauty from my ashes. For your glory God.



© 2019 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.

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