Alex Wire
3/30/15 at 10:48 PM 0 Comments

Rape Victim, Author Shares 5 Things To Give Up for Lent

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Editor’s Note: Alisa Kaplan is the author of “Still Room For Hope” to be released by Faith Words in April. She is the survivor of one of the most infamous rape cases in Southern California History and is currently a state-certified sexual assault victim advocate and crisis intervention counselor and volunteers at a rape crisis center in Los Angeles County. Alisa is attending college to obtain her degree in psychology. Below is her suggested five things to give up for lent.

5 Things to Give Up for Lent

By Alisa Kaplan

Every year, millions of Christians around the world commemorate the 40 days leading up to Easter with a season of fasting and repentance known as Lent.

However, fasting, as one of the most ancient religious practices, is not something to be undertaken lightly. Its purpose is to help us give up some of the control in our lives so as to depend more fully on God.

Giving up control is never something easily done, especially for survivors of traumas such as abuse and sexual assault. Nothing is more central to that survival as regaining a sense of control. After our sense of self and security has undergone a terrifying violation, restoring feelings of agency and power over the chaotic forces in our lives becomes the ultimate goal.

Whether or not we participate in fasting during Lent, this time of prayer and repentance provides a unique opportunity to examine areas in our lives where we may be insufficiently depending on God. The following points are just five of the false ideas upon which those of us with traumatic pasts commonly rely:

1. Pride in self-sufficiency
When something horrible has happened to us, one of the first instincts is to try and fix the situation alone. Initially, this may look like an impulse to hide evidence or withhold information so as to deny something bad even happened, or lessen possible negative consequences. Down the line, this impulse manifests as an inability to trust others, form new relationships, or deal with negative emotions in a healthy, constructive way.

Putting all trust in our own ability to manage pain is a recipe for failure. We are meant to rely on God in good times as well as the bad. Furthermore, we are also designed to live in a community. Survivors of sexual assault and domestic abuse exist in every community — but they don’t have to suffer alone. When one reaches up to God for assistance, He often directs individuals to reach out to others. As Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “A cord of three strands is not easily broken.”

Read Alisa Kaplan's Full List

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