I have had that little voice in my head for the past few years telling me to write this and I have been coming up with every excuse in the book why not to until today, when Facebook asked me if I wanted to be friends with the man who assaulted me.
I realized there are so many men, woman, boys, and girls who have to deal with the same thing every single day and I am writing this to tell you, you are not alone. I understand the night terrors and I understand your trust issues. Personally, for me, I kept my assault a secret and then piece by piece I uncovered it and there are still some things I still haven’t told anyone. Being a survivor of sexual assault is something we must deal with daily and some days are worse than others. I remember many days where I couldn’t even physically do anything, but then I fell in love with Jesus.
Psalms 34:4-5, “I sought the LORD, and He answered me from all my fears. They looked onto Him and were radiant, and their faces will never be ashamed.”
I had so much fear. I was so ashamed. But, God took that all away. Now I have learned to stand tall and be confident because my identity is in Christ.
Psalms 94:19, “When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, your consolation delight my soul.”
With Christ I have learned to trust Him in that everything will be okay. With Christ I have learned to smile.
1 Peter 5:6-7, “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you.”
I love all these verses, but 1 Peter 5:6-7 really speaks to my heart. I was completely broken. I had nothing left to give and I remember so many nights falling on my knees and weeping until I’d fall asleep on the floor. I was completely humbled by my mistake in trusting someone I didn’t know and not listening to the warnings my friends gave me. I had to be drowned to be able to be saved. God was and is my Lifeguard. He saved me and once He pulled me out of the water I was able to breathe again.
I grew up in a Christian home and in a Christian community and yet, I had to fall straight on my face to actually see God was real and that He was there all along the way. Just like 1 Peter 5:6 says “that He may exalt you at the proper time.” even though I grew up in a Christian home I didn’t truly see God until I had to go through that experience and realize how mighty He is. Sometimes we don’t see God’s plan in the moment. We must have patience and know God may have a different plan then we do.
I remember the exact moment when I knew God was real. It was the morning that my parents just found out I had snuck out of the house to meet this guy. They were furious. Which any good parent would be. But, of course, I didn’t tell them the whole story since I was more scared of what this guy would do to me than what my parents would. After a heated discussion, my mom left for work and on the way there she called me and said, “God has wiped your crimson sins away and has made them as white as snow.” As soon as she hung up the phone I began to sob in the living room and right then and there I felt God wrap His arms around me. It felt like the Angel of God was in my living room protecting me from whatever evils were trying to attack me. That is the moment I knew God was real and it is the moment I fell in Love with Jesus.
Was life easier when I fell in love with Jesus? Yes and No. When the devil finds out you switched sides, he is not too happy about it. I still have trouble with PTSD to this day and I know I will for the rest of my life, but falling in love with Jesus has given me a reason to keep putting one foot in front of another and keep pushing myself forward every day. We are not put on this earth for ourselves. We are put on this earth for Jesus and to grow His kingdom for Him. Once I realized my purpose, everything else started to get a bit clearer.
I wouldn’t change what happened to me. Actually, I am thankful it did because I fell in love with Jesus, I met my darling, gentle, and very patient husband, and I have been able to be there for individuals that have gone through the same thing and help them get through this crazy, emotional journey that survivors have to go through. There are a few things I want to tell you and I hope it helps you in your journey of healing, whatever you may be going through.
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! There is an old Japanese art called Kintsugi. Kintsugi is the art of repairing ceramic objects with gold, silver, or other precious metals. I absolutely fell in love with that because so many times we think that because we have been broken we cannot be put back together, but when Jesus puts us back together we have a beautiful story to tell of healing and we have purpose through Christ.
YOU ARE WORTHY OF LOVE! Have you heard of the story of Hosea and Gomer? God told Hosea to marry a harlot and have a family with her. She ran away a few times and Hosea went and brought her back each time. My favorite book is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. Her book is based off of Hosea and in her book it shows the healing process of someone who has been used against their will and it is an emotionally raw book to read if you can relate. I would definitely recommend it; step by step you follow the character and by the end of the book you can see how you were healing as the character was.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE! According to www.RAINN.com every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted. Also, every 1 out of 6 American women and 1 out of 10 American men are victims of sexual assault. There are survivors surrounding you wherever you go so don’t be afraid to ask for help or to tell someone; they might just be able to help you!
Remember God has a reason for everything, even if we don’t know why in the moment. Don’t forget to smile and treat others with love and respect because you don’t know what they might be going through.
Dear Lord, thank you so much for this opportunity to share my story and to bring awareness and hope to those who are hurting and broken. I ask, God, that You will comfort them and wrap them up in Your loving arms and let them know You are there and real and that everything will be okay. I praise You, God, for Your love and Your grace and, even when we fall astray, You are there. Thank You, Jesus, for watching out for all of us even when we can’t see you. Please, Lord, be with anyone reading or hearing this prayer. Please heal them God. Show them that You are their Father and You have them in Your hands. Thank You, Lord, for second chances. In Jesus name, Amen.