In Stumbling toward Faith, Renee Altson describes how the process of healing from a sexually and spiritually abusive background began. A lesbian couple who lived next door to her treated her with great gentleness and gradually she began to know love and kindness. After she attempted to kill herself, the couple got her to the hospital and later told her that they were getting ready to move. Would she move with them? Here is what she says about the decision she made:
I knew in that moment that if I went, I had no chance for redemption. I would have been happy, I would have believed in myself, and I would have known love, but I would not have been redeemed. I would not really have found peace.How can we have the strength to stay on the path of growth and healing, when every bit of us screams, "I'm tired of this; let me out"? Because what we are waiting for is to become more of ourselves and to know more of God. It is the grace and mercy of God that hedges us in, blocks us, limits our options, because otherwise we would pick the easy road - the road that leads back to the dishonesty and darkness that felt safe for so long, but only ate us alive.
All that they offered me, the love and kindness and friendship, was only the beginning of my becoming whole. It was only a birth to my healing, not the completion of it. If I had gone with them, I would never have really found myself, never really found the wounded broken part of me. I would have simply used someone else to cover who I had been. I would have let them recreate me into who I had always wanted to believe I was rather than do the hard work of changing who I had always been. I would never have truly healed.
I had to say no.