The Cross & the Pen: Deborah Bedford on Sexual Abuse
- Thursday, March 11, 2004
Deborah: He says, "Okay, let's grab this one."
Eva: Absolutely! It's the easiest temptation because it's part of the natural man. To be sexual is a part of natural man. It's like, this is a done deal. Not everyone has the makeup to be an alcoholic or a criminal, but everyone has the makeup to be sexual. Otherwise there would be no people in the world.
Deborah: (laughs) That's very true!
Eva: God said to Eve, "You'll have pain in childbirth BUT your desire will be for your husband." But don't let me go there right now. When you wrote this book, Deborah, who did you talk to?
Deborah: My friend who had talked to me as a friend for years and years and gave me permission to tell her story. I talked with school counselors who had dealt with these types of things before. I had a hard time – it's interesting – when it came to talking to people in my own town. So I had to go to a source that was willing to talk about it, but not in my own town.
Eva: Can a person who has been abused ever feel like they have a pure heart before God?
Deborah: (almost chokes up) Yes. I believe that's why Jesus died, so we are wiped away ... the old man is gone ... and we are new creatures. Even though we struggle. There's an interesting mix in what God promises are for us in the Bible and how the world deals with things. Part of all this is that God has forgiven you, and we think we have to forgive ourselves. When you look at the Scriptures, it doesn't say anything about forgiving ourselves. We are forgiven by Christ.
Eva: Right. But, we can't put a band-aid on it and say, "Okay. Now you've been forgiven by Christ. Go and sin no more. You're a Christian and you'll never have another sad thought." So where does that put us with Christian therapists – those who feel called to help?
Deborah: When Christ heals something in my life, so much of the first step is bringing it to light. While it may not be good to look at, that is always the first step. Like a wound, it needs to heal. Yes, Christian therapists do amazing work. Pastors ... counselors ... and then also the hand of God.
Eva: It's allowing yourself to be healed. Being sexually abused makes you feel that you are not worthy of being healed. That's why I thought it was so interesting that your main character is not the one abused, but the counselor ... an academic counselor ... but the girl is drawn to HER. Why did you make the main character – the fiancé of the accused – a counselor, of all things?
Deborah: (laughs) I needed someone at the right place at the right time.
(Eva laughs with her.)
Deborah: How's that? (laughs some more) Because of my own source of information, my friend who was abused is a counselor. You know, Eva Marie, the story that I think cries out here is: how can a loving God allow something like this to happen to a young girl with a pure heart? That's the question we always ask. However, above all things, is Christ's love ... how God sees us in our fullness. Sometimes I think that with this book I opened more questions than gave answers.
Eva: Okay, that goes to my next question. You're a fiction author. I'm a fiction author. People ask, what does that have to do with furthering the Gospel ... to further the kingdom. ... Do you ever get that question and what do you say?
Deborah: Yes. Yes. I believe that our role as writers isn't necessarily to answer the questions; I think it's to quicken people's hearts ... and God will answer those questions individually.
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