God and Sexual Assault

Self-Compassion for Ourselves Part III

Learning about God's grace.

It is difficult to have self-compassion for ourselves after what we’ve been through. If you’re like me nothing is ever good enough. Things need to be perfect. I need to be perfect. It a mixture from what I was taught and the trauma of sexual assault. My thinking goes, “If I had only been a better child it wouldn’t have happened. If I was stronger I could have said no.”

The fact is we were not in the wrong. We did nothing to warrant being sexually assaulted at any time, no matter what anyone says. It was the choices others made, not us.

However, as I’m working on processing each time it happened I get frustrated it’s not moving faster. It didn’t last days or weeks then, why can’t I get over it faster now? For our brains it takes a while to reset them. To process out the trauma so we will no longer have trust issues, fear of men, and other fears that come along with what happened.

As I processed through a piece today I was exhausted. It takes a lot of physical and emotional energy to work through trauma. I was frustrated I didn’t finish working through it today in a session. One session. My expectations are quite high. Any trauma we endure whether physical or mental is going to take time to recover. If I had a heart attack I would not be back to normal in forty-five minutes so why do I think I can work through an entire emotional trauma in that time?

When I told my therapist I didn’t get enough done today he asked me what Jesus would say to that statement. Well, Jesus would not put me down as I was. He would most likely tell me I did good work and got a lot accomplished today working through extremely difficult trauma.

We need to start treating ourselves as Jesus would. If we don’t we can’t learn to treat others as Jesus would either. I often times lose patience with other people just as I do myself because I lack grace to give them. Mainly because I haven’t learned to give grace to myself.

However, God is all about grace. If He wasn’t He wouldn’t have sent Jesus to die for our sins. The only way I know to have compassion for myself is to ask God how He would treat me and ask Him to help me ease up on my expectations so I can heal. For God to show me His grace so I can not only treat myself like He would, but others as well.

The wordsGod,

I need help in having compassion for myself. I like to think I can be perfect which is Your job. Help me have grace, especially as I recover, and teach me how to show it to others as well. Help me not make this harder by placing out of reach expectations on myself. Instead, help me see how you treat me with love, compassion, and grace.



© 2019 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.

Susan is an author and speaker who loves to share her journey of God's redemption and encourage others as they look to God. As a former elemetary teacher with a passion for teaching, Susan also owns her own tutoring and consulting business where she empowers students and parents in reading. Susan lives in Lee's Summit, Missouri, with her adorable and grumpy Persian cat, Mia.

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