Sheridan House is in the middle of the fight between good and evil, life and death. A fight between the One who wants to give life abundant and the one who seeks to kill and destroy. Nowhere can it be seen more clearly on a daily basis than in the Sheridan House Counseling Center.
“We are leaving and we will not be back!” This was the angry comment from Sophia and her mom during the first counseling session. They had just been reminded that abuse of a minor child has to be reported, by law. Both Sophia and her mom became vehemently protective of the abuser. However Sophia, whose trauma started at the age of 8, was not the only one who had suffered.
Her mom was beaten more times than she could recall and hospitalized for the most severe beatings. She had lived through years of abuse at the hands of her husband. It was not until Sophia approached her mom and told her that she could not take the abuse any longer that her mom packed what few belongings they could carry and fled – no job, no car, and few clothes. Her flight to safety brought her to South Florida, and then, to the Sheridan House Counseling Center.
As Sophia and her mom sat in the counseling center, it became obvious that each of them had learned to cope with the abuse in very different ways. As the mom cowered in her chair in the corner of the room, she barely made eye contact on her first visit. Even after recounting the horrific abuse she endured, she was convinced that she deserved to be beaten and suffered in silence.
Then there was Sophia. She stuffed nothing. She was explosive and full of rage.
The first counseling session lasted two hours as the counselor helped Sophia’s mom to see that if she walked out the door and chose not to return to counseling, the suppressed rage her daughter was feeling would come out in some way…maybe a tragic way. When the counselor told Sophia that someone should have reported the abuse years before, her shoulders slumped and tears slowly began running down her face.
Over the next several months, Sophia and her mom received both individual and family counseling. Ever so slowly, Sophia’s mom began to change. She learned that as God’s child, she is His “treasured possession.” Instead of thinking that she deserved to be beaten, she slowly began to see herself as God saw her and began to take care of herself. She learned to draw on Jesus for strength. She even began to smile and laugh.
Sophia has made incredible strides as well. The school she attends is no longer concerned about her explosive rage. In fact, she is making great grades and talking about college. After having an abusive earthly father, her counselor is pointing her to the truth about her loving Heavenly Father.
Isaiah 61:1 – He has sent (Sheridan House Counseling Center) to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.