ATLAS// gracious courage, gracious God.

written by Samantha Sali

“I need help.” I said nervously, sweat puddling in the palms of my hands.

“I…I need…” The words were stuck in the back of my throat. My brain was spasming, my heart was beating twice as fast, and I felt like I ate an elephant for breakfast.

“I need you to call child protective services.”

It was hard to spit out, telling the school guidance counselor about the abuse I endured at home.

Telling him about how I was afraid for my life and for the life of my younger siblings.

It was only earlier that morning that I had decided to go to him for guidance, go to him for help.

You sort of get a wake-up call when you have dinner knives thrown at you. Although you leave without a scratch, it still scares you.

So I mustered up all of the courage I could, and I told my guidance counselor everything.

“I don’t think there’s anything I can do. Nor child protective services.” He replied, shooing me out the door and back to my English class.

I expected him to help. I expected him to give me a tissue, maybe a hug, and a phone call to the police department. I trusted him with the deepest secrets of my heart and of my family. And he did nothing.

And I hated him for that.

And I hated God.

How could “our heavenly Father” let me suffer? How could He let anyone suffer?

So I grew up hating God, fearing men, and dreading any conversations about my past.

After a few years, my heart changed.

I was no longer upset with the guidance counselor, although I still hold him accountable for not helping me. They should train school officials a little better, in regards to domestic abuse.

I no longer feared men, as I found my own Prince Charming who has shown me how a true man treats a woman.

And finally, I accepted Jesus into my life.

If it wasn’t for my past, I wouldn’t be an advocate for domestic abuse awareness.

I wouldn’t have a book deal with a publisher, writing about God’s love and how I learned to heal from my past.

I wouldn’t have learned love, compassion, kindness, and empathy.

My past was horrible and I still hate thinking about it. But it was worth the pain and suffering because it brought me to have a relationship with Jesus. And it brought me all of the good things in my life.

I have more to tell but that should do for now.

Be sure to show compassion to those who struggle.

And don’t assume someone is lying when they claim abuse.

And know that God desires a relationship with you…and it is the best relationship you will ever experience.

Goodbye…for now. ❤

It’s your turn, love. Break the silence. Spill your guts.

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