I was sexually abused repeatedly throughout my childhood and adolescence. I carried the pain and resulting dysfunction into adulthood and my marriage. The one thing that I know for sure and want to share is that God never left me. What's more, He desperately wanted me to find wholeness and peace. To other women and men that have been abused, I want to tell you that He loves you deeper than the ocean. The Bible says that He thinks of you all the time. He has searched your heart and knows you. What He sees is not shameful or dirty. You are clean and beautiful in His eyes.
When I could not take the pain and mess of my life any longer, I cried out to God and said, "You have to help me ... I can't go on pretending nothing happened and I'm OK." I had done what many of you have or are doing. I had convinced myself that I wasn't angry. I wasn't mad at my Mom for letting it happen, for knowing and not stopping it ... I wasn't angry at the perpetrator, after all I had "forgiven" him. What I thought of as forgiveness was really a form of denial. As a Christian, I know that forgiveness is necessary. But, what most people don't understand is that forgiveness must come later in the healing process. God wants you well above all else.
Unless we own up to the anger, the hurt, the shame, it is pushed down inside of us and we turn it on ourselves. We lead emotionally defeated lives full of self-doubt, self-loathing, and self-destructiveness. Worse, we aren't able to be the parents and spouses that we are called to be. We don't know how to love and nurture ourselves. How can we give what we don't have?
The Word says that when we cry out to God, He hears us. He heard me and led me to a wonderful counselor at a local center for sexually abused women. She is a professional that has been trained to help women like me. She was understanding, non-judgemental, and supportive at every turn. My husband is my best friend and he was a wonderful support and help. When I needed to rant and vent about it, when I needed to cry, when I had nightmares or was afraid for no reason, he was there.
As I expressed and released these emotions, thoughts, and memories, healing came. I went to counseling, I took it to God, I talked to Steve, and I wrote in a journal (journaling is very therapeutic). At that point, nobody could listen as much as I needed to talk. Once I had broken the silence and stopped lying to myself and others about my life, it gushed out of me. And now, I am a brand new person.
It was so hard to revisit all of the pain and hurt. But, as I worked on wrong thinking patterns inside my head ("I'm bad ... everyone is going to leave me ... nobody could ever know me and still love me ... there is something wrong with the way I look ... I deserved it ... I'm crazy ... etc.,etc.) and changed that, the real me was literally set free.
I can't tell you how amazing I feel. I went from feeling unhappy and insignificant to knowing that I truly can do all things through Christ Jesus. I hope that this helps someone else. I know how it is to need and search for answers and never find anything that helps ... my heart's desire is to save someone else that endless grief. God wants you to be a whole, healthy person with a whole, healthy marriage. He created us to be conquerors and to know peace. And ... to have a complete, exciting, wonderful marriage. It's all waiting if you have the courage to reach for it.
Lastly ... fight. Fight for yourself. Fight for your family. Fight for your marriage. Fight for your future. You can do it. You are an overcomer. God Bless.
Copyright © 2003 Kelly B.
All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.
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