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.
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,