Most of the women in white carry shame so deep that they cannot bear to articulate their pain: the shame of being sexually molested as a little girls; the shame of words continually shouted at them that began to shape who they thought they were; the shame of physical abuse making them feel like they were worthless – and all that compiled by making poor choices in a futile attempt to escape.
Shame that is hidden tends to fester and grow in the dark, like mold.
And so the Lord in His mercy finds ways to bring His healing light. Hana Christiansen is graduating from high school this year. She was deeply impacted by reading Karla Faye Tucker: Set Free. So, at her request as a graduation gift, her grandmother (Marcia Endicott, a DU board member) and her aunt (Keely Welton who leads a seminar on “Freedom from Guilt and Shame”) planned a special seminar at Hilltop Trusty and invited Hana to collaborate with them and see how God might move in the hearts of women covered with shame.
After an evening of teaching, the women participated in an art project. Often victims of abuse who cannot speak of the horrors of their past are released to “speak” of those horrors through art. The women made masks, demonstrating the face they present, and then Keely gave them a quite time to pray, meditate, and work. On the inside of their masks they wrote words that defined what they felt when they were arrested. One of our women used a red oil pastel and wrote:
GOOD AT BAD
She then painted a big RED X across it all.
God was exposing their shame to the light, and soon the women began to articulate their stories with tears streaming down their faces. Their vulnerability broke down the walls of others.
One of those was Kristen. She drives our prison bus and is usually quiet in class, sitting alone in the back. This project was difficult for her, but she struggled through it, and found loving encouragement from her sisters to tell her story. Finally she spoke, telling of past abuse, of words spoken that she had allowed to define her. Control and aloofness were her protection.
She longed to let that go, and God met her. The sense of His Spirit was strong and sorrow turned to celebration as women began singing “Jesus Take The Wheel.” Jesus took it. It was a party. These broken women looked to Him and their faces became radiant with joy, the joy of forgiveness, freedom, and a new identity as His beloved children.
Thank you for your prayers and for your faithful financial support.
Setting captives free!
Linda, Terry, and the DU staff and team