By Karen Hammons: Not smart enough. Not skinny enough. Not rich enough. Just not enough. Labels and categories I’ve lived through. Yet in October 2008 I was faced with a new label to process. One I didn’t want because it just hurt way too much.

Wife of an accused sex offender. According to the legal system the life of my husband and my entire family is still pending. We have basically been on hold with elevator music playing for three years.

I am one who is a shade of gray in a conversation that others want to keep black and white. I’m not the victim. I’m not the offender. I’m one who loves and sees value in both human beings. I choose to look at them without the mask of their label. I choose to see the heart and soul God created for a spectacular purpose that supersedes this ugliness that comes from hell itself.

In a society where the victim mindset is seen as a healthy way to live and where men who have violated are to be castrated and never seen again, I choose to be different.

I choose to see the hope of healing and restoration for both.  It can be lonely because many in my same position choose to hide and give up on that hope. The way society treats the wives of offenders and their children is the same as the offender. They are wounded women and children consumed by a society who only see black and white in this. There is no desire to face the gray side of things.

That’s why I choose to use my voice and be loud.

Loud about audacious grace, unyielding mercy, tenacious hope, and glorious redemption.

I have seen and experienced its reality of being available for ALL who are affected.

Society would like me silent thinking my voice will hurt the other side.  Yet in reality my silence will cause more damage. As it will make others believe that the God who created all the exquisite things we see, feel, hear, and touch is unable to handle this one thing. That it’s just beyond His abilities to bring any good from it.

During this time I have asked God to break my heart for what breaks His. My heart breaks and is sick for the ones who have been violated. My heart breaks for the ones whose addictions and hurts led them to inflict pain. And my heart breaks for the woman and her children that have to face what their husband and Daddy have done in secret.

That’s what breaks His heart. And He wants to heal ALL so they can move forward in a full life sharing hope, radical grace, and love in action beyond the labels.