• Navita K.J. Johnson

For so many years, girls, boys, women, and men have been sexually abused and it have not always been by strangers, as the media today would like to portray. Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, and R. Kelly keeps the lens of abuse on the working class, or men in positions of authority. However, no one wants to discuss the true elephant in the room and that is the sexual abuse that goes on by family members and close friends of the family. For years, I felt that this form of abuse was just happening in the African-American community. However, through counseling numerous people over the past ten years, from all races,cultures, and ethnicities, I can tell you this is a hidden shame of American and International families. This is an illness that is being past down from generation to generation because of the 'secret-silence' culture that has resounded in our families. We would like to think this behavior started from slavery or some other time in history, but this behavior is discussed even in our bible. In 2 Samuel, Chapter 13, King David's daughter, Tamar was raped by her half-brother Amnon, and when her brother Absalom questioned her about it, Absalom told her, "Be quiet for now, my sister; he is your brother. Don't take this thing to heart." The bible goes on to say that Tamar lived in her brother Absalom's house a desolate woman. Now think about that. This was before Christ and yet, we are still being told to "be quiet." We don't even hear our preachers preaching against this. In families, the abuser is protected, while the abused has been left to endure the pain and shame on their own, leading them to cope with the abuse through the use of substances, self-harm, promiscuity, etc. In families, the abused is still expected to show up at family gatherings, talk to their abuser, hug and embrace their abuser, while family members quote scripture to help hide the shame and guilt that they often feel..."Just pray for them...Forgive them...Let God work it out," etc...Parents that have been told about abuse have looked the other way or was the abuser. This sickness continues generation after generation. NO MORE! If you have ever felt that you needed permission or that you just needed someone to have your back, you have it! You no longer have to attend family functions where you have to watch or engage with the person (or people) that violated you. You no longer have to take your children around these people in the name of "family," placing your children at risk. You no longer need to "go along to get along." You do not have to continue the family legacy of sickness. It is time to call it out! No more stuffing your feelings or worrying about how everyone else is going to feel. Your feelings are valid and it is time that you be your own advocate. Stand Up! Speak Up! and Speak Out! Anything hidden cannot be healed. How long will you carry the shame, just so that you want make anyone else upset? While you're playing the game for others, you're slowly dying. If it was your mother, father, sister, brother, cousin, aunt, uncle, family friend, etc. IT IS TIME...EXPOSE THE ABUSE! Not just for you, but for your children and your children's children, and for generations to come. It's time to break the curse. No longer will we "be quiet" or sit in the desperation of our pain. It is time to fight! As you begin to tell your story, you will feel empowered and strengthened. Do not continue to carry the shame of your abuser(s). It is not yours to carry. Give it back to them and reclaim your life. It is time to move into who you were called to be...#ExposeTheAbuse

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  • Navita K.J. Johnson

Updated: Jan 9, 2020

For those of us who are believers, we have been taught that, "...who the Son sets free, is truly free indeed" (John 8:36). Freedom is defined as, "the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint." (Oxford, 2019). However, I would like to pose the question: Have we truly been living free? For many of us, our freedom has been defined for us through passed down traditions, societal norms defined by other cultures and ethnicities, and even through the fears of our elders and ancestors. Yet,we have been given this great gift of freedom. I believe that for many of us, our invisible chains of bondage that has been instilled in us from our youth, may still hold us hostage from the liberation that was destined. For example, when you dress for work, do you feel free to dress how you truly feel? Or, does that whisper from your life stop you in your tracks and remind you..."Be professional, you can't dress down like everyone else, you will not be taken seriously." Or, even when your spending hours on make-up or grooming, is there an inner voice telling you to "look the part, your natural beauty is not enough... Wait! don't go outside without looking appropriate (although your just running to the mailbox)." This is not freedom and it can be exhausting. For years, I saw myself as two (maybe three) persons. There was the person who I felt trapped into being, the person I was taught to be, and there was the person I envisioned being. Over the past ten years, the person I had envisioned being has been manifesting herself. She has been pushing beyond her fears with persevering faith, but she has also been suppressing parts of herself that has been screaming, "LET ME OUT!" As I prepare to walk into 2020 and begin this new adventure of traveling through a new decade, I plan to truly walk into the freedom that was purchased for me. I will break the chains of familial dysfunctional traditions and societal historical and cultural norms, to walk courageously and boldly into my authentic freedom. #BeFreein2020

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  • Navita K.J. Johnson

As the year comes to an end, I reflect on the challenges that came with 2019. Although I faced some difficulties, that seemed overwhelming at the time, I now know that those difficulties came to build up my endurance and to strengthen my faith so that I can continue to persevere in God's purpose for my life. I am a strong believer in God and his son, my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. My belief and faith has pushed me beyond what I even thought was possible in my life. I believe that when some people hear you say that you are a Christian or a believer, they think that the road have been made clear for you, that you don't face the same life challenges as other people. However, that sentiment is far from the truth. Life challenges, test, and trials will come to us all. Learning coping skills and strategies to help us through our most difficult times can be beneficial for addressing emotions or behaviors in the moment. Be that as it may, I have found that having a relationship with God and Jesus Christ have provided me with a power unfathomable. Understanding that everything is working together for my good and that no weapon formed against me shall prosper, is just two comforting passages in the bible that continues to provide me with a perspective that tames my anger and aggression and encourages me to press forward. Persevering faith is having "mustard seed" faith that pushes you beyond your own physical or mental strength. It is a faith that even mystifies your heaviest hurt, pain, and disappointment, because it recognizes that not even its strength can overcome it. Persevering faith surpasses all understanding, but it is a faith that you know will continue to keep you safe from all danger and harm, while pushing you forward, and taking you higher. Persevering faith can only be effective if you choose it. As I walk out of 2019 and into 2020, I plan to continue my journey wrapped in the superpower of Persevering Faith.

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