My First Time...He said we were going to play a special game. He told me to take my clothes off. Once I was naked, he told me to turn around in a circle....slowly. I remember him suddenly start to breathe heavily....it reminded me of a dog panting. He had me lie down on the bed and then he took his clothes off too. He pushed a finger up inside of me. I couldn't move and I just wanted the game to be over. And then he used his tongue on me.
After what seemed like forever, he moved up, rubbed himself against me, grabbed my hand and made me hold on to him. He moved back and forth, over and over again. Then he climbed up higher, put his penis in my mouth and began moving again. I gagged. He stopped and told me that I would get better....next time. I went into the bathroom and cried.
I was six years old and he was a relative. And there were many next times.
|Me - around age 5|
Even after I told, nothing was done to him. What happened to me was just hidden in a closet and I was told to forget it ever happened. And because he was a relative, I still had to be around him some. And we all acted as if none of it had ever happened. But acting doesn't make it go away. Do you know what it does? It tells the victim that what happened to you wasn't that bad. It wasn't that heinous. It wasn't that violent. It wasn't that wrong. It wasn't that traumatic. It wasn't that life altering. But it was and it is.
The term "Molestation" is an understatement of what happens. The definition is: to make annoying sexual advances to; to touch someone in a sexual and improper way.
"Annoying" and "improper." What actually happens is murder. The murder of innocence and feeling safe and feeling self-worth.
So, what does this have to do with the Duggar situation? I know what his sisters went through and still go through. I know what it is like to be in a room full of family and be reminded of how dirty I felt, and struggle to no longer feel, because I have to face him over and over again. To wonder when we will ever be given the time away from our attacker to heal. I know that feeling of nausea and your gut ripping open when people carelessly brush the crime aside. And I know how it feels to forgive.
The Duggar scandal has drawn a dividing line. And people are choosing a side. The word, hypocrite, is getting thrown around a lot - mostly at Christians.....and with just cause.
I was a bit shocked when I read the social media post by Mike Huckabee where he defended the Duggars. This is the same Mike Huckabee who had this to say about Roman Polanski:
"There should be no defense of him from anyone. What he did was evil and reprehensible. The fact that he is a great director doesn't obscure the fact that he robbed a child of far more than Bernie Madoff stole from his victims. What has our culture become when people can commit despicable criminal acts and yet get defended and excused because they are celebrities."
The fallout that the Duggars are facing is something called a consequence.
Here is what is really going on:
Life is messy and dirty and horrific at times. When non-Christians sin, it's easy to sit in the pew and call it out.....why? because sinners sin. What freaks a Christian out is when the world finds out that they sin too. That is when the pew gets a little uncomfortable. Christians don't want to look messy. They work hard to make themselves look white as snow so that the world will want that cleanliness. And Christians want to protect that image at any cost. I've seen a church cover up the fact that one of their leaders had a woman living with him and they were sleeping together. They condemned the woman because she wasn't a Christian, put the blame on her and kept him in his position. The woman became disillusioned with church and he continued to practice his sin, and just hid it a little better. But to the world and the church, all looked right.....and clean. And we hear examples like that from churches all over. The Duggars are another example. They are trying so hard to make God look good, that they are missing their opportunity to witness.
Christians - we can be a witness in our dirty brokenness. God doesn't need us to look perfect because He IS perfect. He wants us to expose our sin so we can be victorious over it. (I like to think of sins as vampires - once you expose them to light - poof! vanquished. If left in the dark, they continue to suck the life out of you.) Jesus paid the price for all of our sins......even the ones we commit after we're born again. God is big enough to clean us up, even us Christians.
The Duggar fallout would not be happening right now if the family had been honest and upfront on their show. From the beginning. Can you imagine the witness and impact they could have had on the world had they shown the real Duggar family (in all their messy, broken struggles) and how God transformed them? How they got through one of the worst times as a family? The same horrific things that others are trying to navigate their way through?
Christians should not be trying to sweep this under the rug. Christians should not be taking a side. Christians should be standing in the gap. This is our opportunity to be real. We can take the hypocrisy out of the conversation.
Can God forgive Josh Duggar's sins? Yes. Can God forgive the sins of the men who molested and raped me? Yes. Can God forgive my sins? Yes. Can God forgive yours? Yes.
God is big enough to do it all. We don't need show people that we are perfect. We need to show them that we're forgiven.