When I was 19, I was raped. Just the thought of sharing that experience on here hurts, but someone out there needs to hear it. Maybe someone who has been hurt and feels alone. I haven’t really talked about this for years, but God has been impressing on me to talk about it now. I am not telling this for sympathy. It happened a long time ago. I have been happily married for 10 years and have 2 sweet daughters.
For a year after that awful night I was a mess and of course had trust issues as well as fear. I didn’t even tell my parents for a year because of how ashamed I felt. One lesson I learned from this is how important our reaction is when life is scary and messy. I had been in church all my life and loved God, but this threw me. I allowed my circumstances to push me away from the One who could comfort me best. Instead of running to my Father, I ran away. I should have clung to my God and given Him my burden, but I chose to carry it myself. My shoulders are too narrow to lug anger, bitterness, and fear. I should have taken my questions to my Bible and prayed for healing with a trusted Christian to sort it all out. I am sure I made God sad that I rejected the help I needed.
Looking back now, I see clearer. I have seen and lived more and can testify that what I just said is true. The times I go to Jesus when life gets difficult, He gives me peace. When I tell Him I trust Him with my future, the mess in front of me grows dim. It doesn’t disappear, but it doesn’t overwhelm either. Not obsessing over a situation also frees up my mind to see the good around me. Even if there is chaos and turmoil around me, I know there is something good ahead of me. My story isn’t over, even when life seems dark.
When money is tight or there is a sudden job loss, God is there waiting for us. When there is sickness or death in the family, God wants to help. When someone we love hurts us deeper than we thought possible, God is there with tissues. When life is unpredictable, God wants to show us how predictable He is. He hung the sun, moon and stars and wants to shine His love into our lives!
Another reason to share this experience is that what the enemy means for evil, God uses for our good. He certainly never wanted something bad to happen to me, but I refuse to let it fester, to become my identity, and crush my spirit. He healed me and gave back what I thought was lost. For years now I have felt like I am supposed to use that night to help someone. If even one person can benefit from the darkness I went through, then none of it was wasted. I am not an expert on anything, but if anyone reading this needs to talk or wants me to pray for you, leave a comment. You don’t have to include the reason for prayer. I understand things are personal. Please know you are not alone!
Looking into the black hole that life can seem to be will make it look like the situation can’t be redeemed. That we can’t be redeemed. But in the right hands, nail-scarred hands, anything is possible. God desires to turn our anger into love. Our fear into joy. He wants to be the one to wipe away our tears but we have to let Him. Will you turn to God for help?
It is obvious to me that God put this on my heart right now, this week. Easter is a few days away, and the God who loves you wants you to know He sees your pain. He wants to be your rock, your unmovable, unchanging rock. People will hurt you and their feelings will change, but God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He created you and knows you better than anyone. Go to Him with your pain and confusion and let Him be your everything. He will wipe out the past and let you start fresh. Meet Him at the cross and let Him show you how much He loves you.
“All to Jesus I surrender
Lord I give myself to Thee
Fill me with Thy love and power
Let Thy blessing fall on me.
I surrender all.”
Thanks to Holley Gerth for allowing me to link up to her blog on Wednesdays!