Most of you watching this know me, but for those of you who don’t, my name is Hannah Redden. I have a passion for my family, Jesus, justice, and living life on purpose. Some of you know my story, but many of you don’t. And for those of you who don’t, I want to share part of it with you today….
I’ve noticed a trend in my generation, a trend where we idolize radical teachers, speakers, preachers, and advocates who push for change and challenge injustice. We share clips and write snippets proclaiming on social media and in our social circles, how these famous figures inspire us, and we often cling to their vision and purpose.
Their passion moves us.
Their vision causes us to dream and aspire to live a life of significance.
All of those desires are GOOD AND NOBLE. However, there is a huge part of their story that you don’t see...
A few years ago, I was sincerely wondering how I could live a life of significance? What was it that God wanted me to do?
Now a few years down the road, I’ve found my calling. I’ve found my passion. Only it's much less glamorous than it had looked in my daydreams....
A few years ago, an ordinary day turned into hell on earth. We discovered that I was not the only one in our family who had been a victim of sexual abuse...One of our children also was.
It wrecked me so hard.
Addressing abuse of any kind is terrifying, but when the abuser is a family member it is traumatizing, -- especially when the family unit refuses to see it.
I came head to head with a reality I wanted nothing to do with, a reality I too wanted to bury and pretend didn't exist...
Therefore, I had a choice to make.
Was I going to confront and break these generational chains of abuse or was I going to ignore it and bury the secrets like everyone else?
While my choice may seem obvious - I needed to CONFRONT IT! I hesitated because I knew I it would come at a cost.
A great cost.
Freedom always costs something...
Because the devil loves clamping chains on liars and hates the freedom truth gives. See, secrets chain you and put you in bondage.
…. breaking generational chains comes at a HUGE cost - All freedom does.
In John 8:32, Jesus says, if we hold to HIS teachings, we will know the truth, and the truth will set us free.
What I realized is that if I chose to forsake truth-if I decided to deny the sin and abuse and brush it under the rug, I would be forsaking not only my child, not only my abuse, but Christ and His righteousness. By forsaking truth, I would then not only be binding myself but my children and the other victims to these generational chains of abuse and secrecy.
Then I was reminded of Luke 14:26 Jesus was talking to a large group of people, and he says, “If anyone comes to Me but refuses to part with what is most dear to him/her, then they cannot be my disciple."
In the passage, he uses relationships as the example-parents, siblings, spouses, children. Jesus also states that anyone who won’t shoulder their own cross and follow behind Him; they could not be his disciple….
I found myself in this place where I knew confronting the lies and revealing the truth was my cross, breaking these generational chains. That was my cross. Even if I stood alone.
I had to choose. I asked myself SO many questions like...
Can I do this?
Am I willing to look like a fool?
Am I willing to be slandered and forsaken for TRUTH for HIS righteousness?
I was driving my van one day, and I was in tears. My heart was shred in pieces. For weeks I had felt a deep tormenting, and this was a torment, I believe was from God. God wanted me to pick up my cross. He wanted me to bear it. He wanted me to break these generational chains. He wanted truth to come to light, and He was NOT going to let up on me until I STOOD UP and bore my cross.
I remember strength welling up in me. Then, out loud through tears with a shaking voice I said,
“Okay, God, let’s do this! No matter what the cost, I’m in!”
As a result, I lost so many people and places that were precious to me. My family and I have been the recipients of slander, threats, stalking, and harassment.
Ya’ll, I share this with you, not for you to feel sorry for me. DON’T PITY ME.
I share this to help you see that living your purpose comes at a cost.
Following Jesus FOR REAL comes with a price.
If we are going to be a new generation, if we’re going to rise and break chains of our predecessors, then we have to take a stand, and that stand WILL cost us something. Also, that cost will be uncomfortable. But the cost isn't the End.
Yes, I have endured years of harassment, stalking, and intimidation. However, my children are safe and generational chains ARE BEING BROKEN!
Abuse has been cut off and out of my children’s lives.
We don't serve a God of broken endings. We serve a God of REDEMPTION.
The freedom we gain by laying down our life and bearing our cross isn’t for us only. Those of us who have experienced freedom have the privilege to lead the way and helps set others free.
So my redemption story looks like a lot of things, and one of them is founding a nonprofit called Together Brave where ALL survivors of abuse are
Together Brave exists for advocating, educating, and empowering survivors of abuse through online classes to aid in their healing journey.
Survivors can take these classes anonymously and at NO COST.
We also exist to educate and empower parents, friends, and anyone who wants to be AWARE of potential signs in victims and the signs of possible perpetrators.
And now, my challenge to you…
PLEASE SHARE THIS!
Statistically, you could have around one hundred people on your friends list who is a survivor of abuse or assault, and they may need this. And also, I want to ask you…...
What’s your cross?
What is it God is calling you to confront,
Let’s be BETTER TOGETHER. Because we are TOGETHER BRAVE.