Victim or Victor: Dealing with a dark past

Today I want to share with you an email I received from wonderful, godly woman I know. In the past, this woman has faced terrible things, but this is not a story of victimization. It is a story of victory. Praise God that our heavenly Father does not leave us even in our darkest times. I am so happy she chose to share her heart with us on this topic, and I hope it encourages you in that whatever has happened in the past, God can and will give the victory today and in the future. Stop running from your past. There is always so much hope in any life yielded to our Savior.

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Dear Full time Girl,
  Quite some time ago, I replied to one of you blog posts. I believe it was a response to a post a young woman had made regarding having worth, finding worth and feeling worthy in the eyes of her boyfriend, because she had been sexually violated at some point in her past.

I offered to share my story at that time, but have put off the telling of it. This has proven to be more of a challenge to me than I had anticipated. First, because the details and memories are painful. I have spent many years working to gain the victory over my thinking regarding my past. Second, because giving my story tempts me to ask the question: WHY? Why me? Why does God allow bad things happen to Good people, and innocent children?

There are many answers to these questions. They are all good answers, but few of them are easy to accept. I find it amazing that when I struggle with these questions, God leads me to a different answer each time.

Philippians 4:8 “Finally, bretheren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of a good report; if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

This verse was quoted to me by my youth pastor’s wife, one day when I was feeling like I could never be useful in the ministry for God. I had tried to put my sexual abuse in the past, but feelings of worthlessness as well as struggles in my home lead me to seek love and acceptance in places, with people I shouldn’t. I had made some bad choices rather than dealing with the real issue and was left feeling empty and useless. She quoted this verse and told me there were so many other wonderful things I could think and dwell on. It helped quite a bit then, but even still this verse and a great many more have come to mean so much to me.

I can make the choice to hold onto all my mistakes and continue to rely on my own understanding and strength, continue feeling like a worthless victim, OR, I can trust that the God who redeemed my life has a plan for me. He has made me perfect in weakness and has the power to make me whole and victorious over these sins. God has forgiven all that. He has provided love and comfort and given my life worth.

It may not make sense to me, but maybe instead of asking why me? The question could be why not me?

I have learned so much from the things I went through. I have seen and felt the hand of God in my life and have experienced a closeness with my savior that I may never have had He brought me through those trials.

I don’t know how the molestation and other uncomfortable situations I have had to endure compares to the horrors other women have faced, but I do know that God heals and gives grace to move beyond these things. We can choose to feel victimized the rest of our lives, and many people are sympathetic and will make excuses for us if we choose to continue being a victim. I have seen God use others in great ways, those who have yielded their hurt and anger and fear to Him. Like you have said in your blog, these things do not define me. They have been used to teach me and mold me. I am not a victim but a victor! For this I can only give the Glory to God. I am not sure how those who do not know The Lord can deal with these things. I imagine most do not and continue in despair.

When I fall into times of haunting memories, I can focus my mind to think of the truth ( God loved me, gave himself for me, in Him I have worth), honest things( honestly, without the Lord, I am NOT pure), lovely things( HE is altogether lovely), just (if I received justice, I would me on my way to hell), and the Lord will give justice in this situation) , pure things,…you get the picture. That’s it in a nutshell.

On a good note… God has given me a wonderful man, who loves me and knows all about this. He has never once made me feel dirty or ashamed. He knows that I have been made whole and as far as I can tell has never given these things a second thought. That would not be the case if I had continued to make excuses for bad decisions. He saw in me a desire to love The Lord and serve Him in whatever way I can.

You can not move forward if you keep looking back.

Satan would like nothing better for us to live in bitterness and for us not to forgive ourselves or the person who hurt us. Unforgiveness ties us emotionally to that person for as long as we are holding onto the hurt. Move on, be free from that person and trust the Lord! Satan would also like nothing better than to continue to corrupt your mind about your opinion about yourself, and pervert the lovely relationship that is between a man and his wife. What a wonderful God, to heal so completely!

Love in Christ,
Karie Chapman

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11 comments

    • Hello fellow children of God
      I am sitting at my work desk in SOUTH AFRICA this very cold wet Monday loving the freshness of the rain. Wow this has moved my spirit and heart deeply. Thank you for your courage to share in doing so you have brought comfort and hope to me. I’m 31 single and never been married. Sexually violated at 4 or 5 the scars are deeply imbeded. I can relate to the worthlessness the low self-esteem and downright ugliness that accompanies this type of trauma. It was only in the last year after surrendering it to God could I find some relief
      I try to not identify myself as that incident as I know in God’s eyes i am valuable but the evil one comes with thoughts that leaves me so low but I know God has wiped me clean and we cannot undo all the injustices many endure but we can ask our Lord to help and heal us and to see ourselves as He sees us, we are afterall wonderfully and fearfully made in His image
      Today I am so thrilled to have been guided through holy spirit to this site. May it only be a blessing a tool in God’s hand for greater good.

      Like

  1. Thank you for sharing. Your past now serves a purpose instead of serving a shame. By doing this you have taken all the power back which you had previously been robbed of. Good on you for putting God first because it’s so easy to be self focused and just pity yourself. Such a strong woman of Christ. X

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  2. Thank you so much… I am so blessed through your website. I’ve learned so much from your writing. I am from India and I am a youth pastor, I want to use some of article in my teachings. And congratulations on your wedding. This marriage is Blessed!

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  3. True our lord never leaves us even in the darkest hours!!. He s there just beside us,holding our hands .. Its amazing to see god’s love in all times. May god save n bless all his chjldren 🙂 thankq Karie.. God bless u too

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  4. That’s grace, courage, and a heart to minister to others – that’s selflessness. Courage to share that God triumphs over our pain, hurts, and past. Courage to share how Jesus Christ can heal us, help us overcome, and make our every new day truly new. Thank you for sharing! I love you Kari!

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  5. wow!!!! wonderful
    all thanks To God.i had also a painful past.But Lord was with me to bring me through.
    now i am strong beacause He is my strength.
    i Am happy because He is My Joy
    Amazing Love…Amazing Grace. ❤

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  6. this is just everything, I cannot express how this post has just made a amazing and permanent shift in my mind set!
    God bless you for this post because i know i am not the only woman that has been set free!
    the devil shall have no hold over me i have my freedom in Christ Jesus

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    • Michelle,
      I am so thankful this was an encouragement to you. I am saddened that there are so many people that have had to suffer through similar situations. Praise the Lord for his work in your life. I shared my story because
      2 Corinthians 1:3-5
      3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;

      4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

      5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
      God Bless you. –Karie

      Like

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