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Lamentations and Awakenings

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Healing People, Greetings! This project has been in our hearts for a while, and it is through a group project in our Trauma and Resilience class at Wake Forest School of Divinity with Dr. Mark Jensen, that we made the decision to act on a series of conversations and frustrations about the beautiful inadequacy of scripture to provide messages of healing from adult sexual trauma. We had long wanted to rewrite Psalms and Lamentations to reect the anger, hurt, resilience, and healing that we have seen and felt and so we present our work in hopes that our meditations on these pericopes will help give word to others’ struggles. As we learned in our class, language becomes dicult or impossible to access when we are in the midst of recent trauma and since we have been gifted with some distance from our personal experiences, we have written what we hope will help you give voice to your own pain, and your own strength and healing. Take what is helpful. No written word will be right for everyone, and we won’t pretend that we are capable as women or writers to be perfectly inclusive all the time. In some ways our writing is very reective of our experience as women and mothers, we hope that when those experiences come through, if they are not relevant to you, that you take from these pieces what is helpful. With steadfast love and strength, Michelle Johnson & Heather Bachelder Wake Forest School of Divinity, Fall 2018

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Table of Contents INTRODUCTION LAMENTATIONS – we express the frustration and pain of our experiences PSALMS & AWAKENINGS – we nd God in our suering and learn of our own resilience YOUR WORDS – learning to nd your language, to create and to heal RESOURCES – looking in and looking out

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Introduction When we are impacted by a traumatic event, we lose touch with our ability to create, and to create, writes Serene Jones in her book, Trauma and Grace: Theology in a Ruptured World, “leads us to participate, as people of faith, in creating a world that we believe is possible (despite appearances to the contrary).” Jones cites ve features of self that are critical for the human ability and need to be creative: Agency: our ability and need to act and be creative. Time: our ability to imagine the future and remember the past, and therefore write our own stories of our lives. Voice: our ability to use our voices as gifts to ourselves and our community. Permission: God’s grace that allows for our imperfections and still calls us to live a life of creativity and selood. Call: the gift of our vocation, that we live in creation with others and that we create as a part of our expression of vocation. We seek here to give new voices to the voices of the Hebrew Scriptures as they called out for justice, mercy, healing, and future. These voices expressed anger, rage, fear, yes – but also love, gratitude, hope, and trust. All of these feelings and more are a part of any healing process. And when our bodies have been violated or compromised, we should allow any feeling that comes to us to emerge. Processing all these feelings can be lonely, we want you to know you are not alone. There are so many individuals and agencies to help you, you’ll nd many resources at the end of this booklet. However, you may also nd that you seek solitude, and you need that time, alone, with your own thoughts as well. We hope that when those times come some of our writing will bring you some solace, and when you are ready, we hope you can use this book as a place to do some “re-writes” of your own. Your precious, individual voice is inside you – and with help you can access and develop tools for the resilient spirit that can bring you to the other side. 1 Jones, Serene. Trauma and Grace: Theology in a Ruptured World. Louisville, Ky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009. 103

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Lamentations

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Lamentations 5:1-5 Oh Lord, if you are there. Remember us. We are disgraced and poor, We lose our jobs, and our homes, Our families have lost patience with our tears, Our mothers mourn for us, even as we are living, We cannot pay for the healing we need – we have neither time nor money to heal, We just go on, and on, and on, With no respite in sight. Affirmation: This moment is just one moment

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Lamentations 3 I am broken and wasting Because of one person’s touch – It is all I can feel when I close my eyes And all I can do is close my eyes – because even the world hurts to see today. I escaped. I am held in his grip. It is the same I free. I am bound. I call out and his hand still covers my mouth I am screaming. I am silent. I am in the sierra. He is a lion stalking a kill. I run to the artic. He is a starving white bear. I am torn limb from limb. My arms remember. My legs remember. My body holds on. I am marked now. Unwhole. Unheld. Hold on. Believers are few. I am doubted. I am a liar. I am wordless. Unspoken. When I drink I taste blood. When I put my hand To my mouth I choke on phlegm, mucus, vomit. Unspoken.

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A photograph. I am baring my teeth at the camera It can’t be that I smiled. God is done with me at that moment. The moment of my false face. I wait. I wait for a sweetness I think I recall I sit in silence. Mouth broken. I am lled and purged. Emptiful. Despair and hope converging For what might be a god. Might be goodrealness My eyes ow with rivers of tears My sisters, my cousins, there are too many So the Lord must notice? Mustmight? We are brought so low, so many And yet the steadfast love endures For we wake up and rise. We rise together in tears and song Our holy rage becomes us Our righteous hurt becomes a balm You, Lord, are close to us in our rage. We give over our tears to you. But we are keeping our rage, Lord. We are holding on tight.

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Liturgy of Lament Why did this happen to me? All is evil, all is lost Why do bad things happen to good people? I don’t deserve this Hear the cries of your people Smash this injustice Strike them at the jaw and disarm the breath and speech of the vile Hear my cries! Lamentaon 5:20-21 Have you forgoen me? Where were you? Have you rejected me? Restore me- restore me to you. Restore me to myself. Restore me to my people. Affirmation: I am not my pain.

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Psalm 132 Mother, remember all my self-denial? I made promises to you. I would be a suitable place for your spirit to dwell. I barely slept at night for all the anxiety of how I appeared be-fore you, before my family, before my friends I dressed and re-dressed I scrubbed. I bathed. I picked my skin and chopped my hair Please don’t reject me Let my daughters not live this horrible shame Dwell with me. Bless me. Make me to know good health Cover my nakedness and shame Bandage my soul Cloak that bastard in shame But make me radiant again Pause “She clothes herself with strength and honor.” Proverbs 31:25 (paraphrase; re-write) What is the best way for you to honor yourself in this moment? Do you need to put this booklet down? Do you need to go for a walk, call a friend, or watch a silly show? Do you need to cry or sit in silence? What about a nap, a snack/meal, or a bath? Please take some time to honor yourself and whatever your needs are in this moment.

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Psalm 61 Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer Open your heart and your ears to me I need to be heard I’m exhausted This pain has worn me out I need a safe place, I need a soft place to land Hide me please. I don’t want that monster to ever nd me again I’m seeking peace- a piece of hope, a piece of care- a peace Psalm 88 Save me, help me, rescue me from torment I feel like I’m in the fog of my pain and tears all night long May my cries rise like the thickest of smoke to your nostrils and eyes, and provoke you to tears I am completely overwhelmed I just feel like dying. I feel like I may never rise from this- I was shoved into the deepest pit No one wants to hear what happened to me It’s like I died, and no one wants to remember who I was And, I can’t seem to imagine who I’ll be I feel so small- breathless- cornered into a dark space

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Grief overwhelms me These hands- these hands that were frozen without a ght These hands that I raise before you and plea for you to see I am surrounded in terror I go down to sleep and the violence replays- I am slowly rot-ting My friends don’t know how to reach me I am engulfed, the gulf is wide- close the gap, care for me

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Psalms & Awakenings

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Psalm 58:10 The righteous will call all their friends and rejoice when they see the wicked get their reward Ponder the people, places, and pets in your life that oer you support, presence, and helpful dialogue. In what ways are they supportive to you? Affirmation: It was not my fault. Psalm 121 I nally open my swollen eyes I look to the mountain – when will relief come? My creator mourned with me, And my God, my God, kept watch with me. We do not sleep – we watch together And we see neither sun nor moon We lie together. Wakeful. Watchful. Our life is saved and changed. Our spirits are not broken, But broken-open – For the God of our mothers and sisters and cousins Comes to rest and watch with us Forevermore. And Forever. And More.

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Psalm 116 If I can love God and nothing else It is because She listens. My throat is raw. I am afraid. And She listens. I was in a pit and I called out to Her. In the depth of my dark desire When my breath was almost over I called to Her to hear me. Gracious is our Mother, Merciful is our Holy Sister, Just is Her word. Faith is her breath. She protects my weak heart, And returns my sleep to me And the bounty of my dreams Oh Mother! You have saved me! From the certainty That this wound Will remain open forever. You have believed me When I wailed – and you have sustained me When wailing wasn’t enough. What gratitude can I show?

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How can I witness to Her mercy? How can I honor my sisters who perish? Who She nds precious in death as in life? As I am healing I understand How many cannot And Her arms open to the healed, the unhealed. Who is like this? What is this good God of all? Psalm 4 Hear me sing, Oh God! You have heard my moans, You have held my heart and my hand. Hear my prayer now! How long will I walk with a bent back? How long will I be shamed and spoken of falsely? My God walks with me in faith, And knows of my tormentors. When I am wronged, I will wait… I know that God’s righteousness is for the wronged. For so many of us long for goodness and justice So many of us long for the warmth of the sun, And we yearn to be dizzy with relief, My sisters and I will lie down And rest in safety Alone and unafraid.

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Psalm 132 Mother, remember all my self-denial? I made promises to you. I would be a suitable place for your spirit to dwell. I barely slept at night for all the anxiety of how I appeared before you, before my family, before my friends I dressed and re-dressed I scrubbed. I bathed. I picked my skin and chopped my hair Please don’t reject me Let my daughters not live this horrible shame Dwell with me. Bless me. Make me to know good health Cover my nakedness and shame Bandage my soul Cloak that bastard in shame But make me radiant again Psalm 61 Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer Open your heart and your ears to me I need to be heard I’m exhausted This pain has worn me out I need a safe place, I need a soft place to land Hide me please. I don’t want that monster to ever nd me again I’m seeking peace- a piece of hope, a piece of care- a peace

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Psalm 88 Save me, help me, rescue me from torment I feel like I’m in the fog of my pain and tears all night long May my cries rise like the thickest of smoke to your nostrils and eyes, and provoke you to tears I am completely overwhelmed I just feel like dying. I feel like I may never rise from this- I was shoved into the deepest pit No one wants to hear what happened to me It’s like I died, and no one wants to remember who I was And, I can’t seem to imagine who I’ll be I feel so small- breathless- cornered into a dark space Grief overwhelms me These hands- these hands that were frozen without a ght These hands that I raise before you and plea for you to see I am surrounded in terror I go down to sleep and the violence replays- I am slowly rotting My friends don’t know how to reach me I am engulfed, the gulf is wide- close the gap, care for me Lamentations 3:21-23 I remember this- out of the fog, this comes to my mind Because of the great love of the Divine, we are not consumed We will not be devoured by this pain Her compassion is never-ending Her compassion is like a gift that you open every morning, And anytime that you need it during the day or night

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Psalm 27 I will hold my head high. That punk will never triumph over me At her holy place will I share my joy and resilience Me and my kin will make music together in the Divine presence Lord help me to stay on this path of healing- this healing is crucial Others may deny my truth and try and force me into silence, but in you will I be condent. I will see good. I bear strength of heart as I stand in this holy place. Lamentations 3:21-23 I remember this- out of the fog, this comes to my mind Because of the great love of the Divine, we are not consumed We will not be devoured by this pain Her compassion is never-ending Her compassion is like a gift that you open every morning, And anytime that you need it during the day or night

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Psalm 27 I will hold my head high. That punk will never triumph over me At her holy place will I share my joy and resilience Me and my kin will make music together in the Divine presence Lord help me to stay on this path of healing- this healing is crucial Others may deny my truth and try and force me into silence, but in you will I be condent. I will see good. I bear strength of heart as I stand in this holy place.

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Your Words… Trauma often impacts out capacity to act and be creative. It eects our voice and our ability to articulate and embrace our particularity and the unique gifts that we can oer in the context of community. Serene Jones, Trauma & Grace: Theology in a Ruptured World, 106, 107 In re-writing and expanding this verse of Psalm 141, it was important to use my voice and express my cries of anger, frustration, and help. My personal writings detail the pain in my soul- I minced no words in my prayers. It took some time for me to use my voice. There is room for your voice and your story. Here is a space where you can use this Psalm to write about your story. You are invited to use the space as a tool to amplify your voice and your heart.

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Psalm 141 God look at (name your experience) what was done to me! Enact justice on my behalf (Imagine justice. What does justice look like? What does it feel like?) Listen to me! My whole being is crying for justice. (Breathe in and out. Allow your breath to make sounds- Loud sighs, soft whistles, bellowing groans.) Be a righteous and fair judge Listen to my case, hear my cause, come to my defense. God this is the most honest prayer that you’ll ever hear. Affirmation: It’s ok to feel however I feel

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Pause “She clothes herself with strength and honor.” Proverbs 31:25 (paraphrase; re-write) What is the best way for you to honor yourself in this moment? Do you need to put this booklet down? Do you need to go for a walk, call a friend, or watch a silly show? Do you need to cry or sit in silence? What about a nap, a snack/meal, or a bath? Please take some time to honor yourself and whatever your needs are in this moment.

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Resources Authors’ Note: These are resources that we found helpful in our research and learning as well in our personal development. Not all readings will work for each person. Please be gentle with yourself as you begin exploring the topic of recovering from trauma, you may need to seek additional guidance and/or safe company as you read, or whatever works for your present moment. Resources for Devotion, Inspiration, Healing Carpenter, Erin. Life, Reinvented: A Guide to Healing from Sexual Trauma for Survivors and Loved Ones, 2014. Coleman, Monica. Not Alone: Reections on Faith and Depression - A 40-Day Devotional, Culver City, CA: Inner Prizes Inc, 2012.

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Kaur, Rupi. Milk and Honey, Andrews McMeel Publishing. 2018. Shaner, Katherine A, Wake Forest University, Divinity School, and Library Partners Press (Firm). Shouts and Whispers: Radical Meditations for Lent, 2018. Resources for Further Study & Reading Baranowsky, Anna B., J. Eric Gentry, and D. Franklin Schultz. Trauma Practice: Tools for Stabilization and Recovery. Cambridge, MA: Hogrefe & Huber, 2005. Boase, Elizabeth, and Christopher G. Frechette, eds. Bible through the Lens of Trauma. Semeia Studies, number 86. Atlanta, GA: SBL Press, 2016. Coleman, Monica. The Dinah Project: A Handbook for Congregational Response to Sexual Violence, 2004. Frymer-Kensky, Tikva Simone. Reading the Women of the Bible. 1st ed. New York: Schocken Books, 2002. Johnson, Robin. Complex Trauma and Its Eects Perspectives in Creating an Environment For Recovery. Hove: Pavilion Publishing, 2014. Kearney, Margaret H. Understanding Women’s Recovery from Illness and Trauma. Women’s Mental Health and Development, v. 4. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications, 1999. Rambo, Shelly. Spirit and Trauma: A Theology of Remaining. 1st ed. Louisville, Ky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2010. Van der Kolk, Bessel A. The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma. New York, NY: Penguin Books, 2015. ONLINE & COMMUNITY RESOURCES RAINN (Rape, abuse, & incest national network) rainn.org 1 800 656 HOPE – 24 hour hotline for survivors and loved ones.

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FAMILY SERVICES – Winston-Salem familyservicesforsyth.org Safe on Seven 1200 S. Broad Street Winston-Salem, NC 27101 Phone: 336.722.8173 | Fax: 336.724.6491 Toll free: 1.800.316.5513 Head Start: 336.727.0617 Crisis Line: 336.723.8125 Email: info@familyservicesforsyth.org Main Oce Hours Mon, Tues, Wed 8:30am - 5:30pm Thur 8:30am - 7pm; Fri 8:30am - 1pm The Trinity Center trinitycenterinc.com/services The Trinity Center an ecumenical center for counseling, spiritual formation, and education. 640 Holly Avenue in Winston-Salem, NC 27101 p: 336-725-3999. f: 336.725.7720 Trauma Survivors Network traumasurvivorsnetwork.org c/o American Trauma Society 201 Park Washington Court Falls Church, VA 22046 Toll Free: 800-556-7890 Local: 703-538-3544 admin@traumasurvivorsnetwork.org Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and Forsyth Medical Center – SANE Nurse University Police (336.758.5911) or Local Law Enforcement (911) Crisis Text Line (Text: 741741) to message with a trained crisis counselor National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1.800.273.8255 WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY RESOURCES SAFE OFFICE – 24/7 Hotline: 336 758 5285

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The Safe Oce provides condential crisis response and on-going support services to Reynolda Campus students for concerns related to interpersonal violence, including sexual misconduct, relationship violence, and stalking. The Safe Oce also serves as a liaison to campus and community resources, oers educational programming, and provides condential consultations for concerned students, parents, faculty, and sta. UNIVERSITY COUNSELING CENTER: FOR LIFE-THREATENING EMERGENCIES ANYTIME Call: 911 or 336.758.5911 FOR URGENT MENTAL HEALTH CRISES ANYTIME 336.758.5273 TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT 117 Reynolda Hall 336.758.5273 OFFICE OF THE CHAPLAIN Phone: 336.758.5210 Fax: 336.758.3193 Location: Chaplain & Associates – Suite 8 Reynolda Hall Program Directors – Suite 317 & Room 321 Benson University Center Mailing Address: P. O. Box 7204, Winston-Salem, NC 27109 STUDENT HEALTH 336.758.5218 shs@wfu.edu TITLE IX OFFICE – TANYA JACHIMIAK – 336 758 7258 WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY POLICE 336.758.5911

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