Many have heard about the Chibok school girls who were violently abducted by Boko Haram this past April. With hope and pleading the hashtag #bringbackourgirls has demanded their freedom. And now CNN among others is reporting that Nigerian officials are saying that an agreement has been reached and the girls will be released soon.
While I am hopeful and prayerful that the girls really do get released, I wonder like CNN does in their article, “Will they really finally go free?”.
I cannot imagine the trauma those girls have endured, but I know the traumas those I love and I have endured. I know that every trauma personally seems unsurmountable.
So while I pray for the physical freedom of the Chibok school girls. I pray all the more fervently for their spiritual and emotional freedom. Because we can secure their physical freedom, but will they really finally go free? I pray for the aid workers who minister to the girls upon their physical release. That somehow they will have the words or the silence to bring comfort and healing to them. I pray for the families that are forever changed by this, that are experiencing their own trauma, while not fully being able to comprehend the trauma their daughters have endured. As well as a second trauma in a sense, by sitting by feeling helpless, longing to help their daughters and having no idea how.
While the Chibok school girls have experienced far worse trauma than most of us could ever fathom, it in no way diminishes the importance of us healing from our own traumas too. Just like the girls will need counseling, love, and support upon their physical release, we cannot expect to make it through the trauma in our lives without some help.
So while we pray for the Chibok school girls and we demand #bringbackourgirls, let me ask you when will you really finally go free? Because isn’t that part of why the Chibok girls story resonates so deeply with us? Because we need freedom too, but it is easier to fight for their freedom that our own. What if #bringbackourgirls could be used to demand the freedom not only of the Chibok school girls but of every woman or girl who has had her freedom taken through trauma?
If you are really finally ready to go free, please seek out the help of a counselor who can help you through the process. Freedom is hard to fight for, but every woman, man, and child deserves to live free.