I believe I’m 98% free from the the fear that seized me when I was assaulted at gun point by four armed men in Guatemala. That was six years ago.
All they got was a few thousand dollars — and my checkbook (which made me think they would come back for a kidnapping). No, they stole something else. They stole my confidence.
With one of the students in the Door Bilingual School we founded with the church.
On every subsequent visit to Guatemala, I was weighted by irrational fear. I wouldn’t go anywhere without a member of the church as a “body guard.” (I had planted the church during 16 years, so people we’re quite willing to serve.) I stayed inside. I tried to keep a low profile. I didn’t even want them to make flyers announcing the revivals with my picture on them. In my mind, the same criminals would get a flyer and swoop in for more money.
The thing that strikes about this is how really insignificant was my “trauma.” I wasn’t raped or beaten as a child. I didn’t suffer the scathing burn of emotional abuse from a parent. No. I was simply robbed.
Here’s the junior high and high school after Bible class.
And yet it has taken me six years and God’s help to recover.
So who I am to judge people who have suffered true trauma and spend the rest of their lives floundering? In fact, I have a friend who suffered all three — sexual, physical and emotional abuse. He still struggles to overcome.
If you would have told me to simply shake it off, get over it, I would have been deeply hurt by your insensitivity and cut you out of my friends list. How much more so a person who has really suffered.
A sixth grader in the Door Bilingual School.
It is my observation that people who have never suffered are generally insensitive.
There’s a inscrutable irony in this: God helped me out, but as many sufferers ask: Why did God allow the suffering in the first place?
I have friends who became atheists because as children, they experience a loss of innocence that never should have been perpetrated on a child. My friend has worked his way back to God, and God is helping him.
I hope God can help you too, because He was the major factor helping me. So I recommend Him. Maybe you can work your way back to Him?