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The memories of past repression do not haunt me. They do give me deep compassion for the teens and young adults that I counsel. When the collateral costs of repression tear at their lives, it is heartbreaking. Yet the great news is that many of them have crossed the line of disclosure with their parents. In a counseling setting, their parents learn just how much pain they have endured living in secrecy, isolation and fear. Now, there is an opportunity for real needs to be cared for. There is hope in having your parent’s support.
While the disclosing of SSA to parents is an absolute must, this will not entirely remove repression. One reason the power of repression remains is due to a lack of community: intimate friendship and fellowship with those who know and love you. Some young people tell their parents, but siblings, relatives and close friends do not know. In such situations, isolation and fear can still be strong. The whole world does NOT need to know; but there is hope in building a solid network of family and friends who will walk with you.
Another reason repression may not entirely go away is because we ultimately need to experience the deep presence of God. As I indicated earlier in this series, this is not just a flip of the switch. God must initiate and invade our hearts. When He does, he will set us free from “holding on” to our unmet needs around sexuality and relieve us of loneliness and fear. This journey to God takes time. You can do your part by seeking Him with your whole heart, soul, strength and mind. God says, “Draw close to me; and I will draw close to you.” There is hope is seeking God.
One last reason repression may control your life is if you are secretly acting out – using sexual release to medicate your anxiety or tension. How can we truly seek God if porn – or hookups – have become our drug of choice? If you are female, maybe your drug is relational addiction or codependency. These hidden or underground ways of living separate us from God – and from healthy support. There is no judgment; these approaches simply do not satisfy our thirst. If you are in one of these places, there is a way out. You need to disclose your activities – or addictions – as a first step. There is hope in seeking out a trusted pastor, mentor or counselor as a first step back into the light of God.
One final thought for pre-teens and teens: bullying will hold you captive to repression. This fear can cause you to lose hope. You are so valuable to God, to me, and to all my Lead Them Home readers. Our prayer is that you will tell a parent, pastor, or teacher about the bullying. If you need help, contact me. I will help you safely do this. Young people, Jesus loves you so much. There is hope in trusting that God loves you and has a GOOD plan for your life. You are worth it.
You will make it with God’s presence and the support of those who love you. Join me tomorrow as I offer a final word to parents and pastors about repression. If you need additional guidance, please feel free to contact me.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION: If you have overcome repression, what “hope” can you offer those who are still trapped?Add your feedback or ideas by clicking the red comments link on the Publishing Bar below. You may elect to comment as “Anonymous” if desired. Share this article on Facebook, Twitter, Buzz or by email. You may review our doctrinal beliefs.