My daughter, Deborah, shares more about the work of God in her life. She says, “I really, really hope that this speaks to someone. Someone who is hurting, and who feels irreparably damaged.”
I am a privileged person. So privileged. Not because I’m white, not because I’m a woman, not because of anything that can be brought down to worldly things. I am privileged because I have God in my life. Please don’t stop reading, because there is more to that statement than you think.
When I was 13, I lost my virginity to rape. The boy I lost my virginity to was 16 years old. For so many years I hated him. I wished him dead. I was so damaged because of what I had been through, and no part of me ever wanted to forgive him. No part of me ever thought that I would be whole again. Through the years more events occurred. More assaults, and abuse, and a lot of dangerous and damaging situations that I subjected myself to. Needless to say, I became a virtually irreparably damaged person. So I thought.
I went through a lot as a teenager, a lot of it my own doing, and some of it not. My parents didn’t think I’d live to see 16, and frankly, I didn’t want to. Every year that went by I would find ways to try and numb the pain of my memories and trauma, my body physically fighting to stay alive, but my mind and my heart had little intention of making it very far through life. I used drugs, self harmed, attempted suicide, and partied my life away. I damaged my body, and my psyche, and those that I loved. I would scream and cry because I thought that I couldn’t ever be normal, or sane. I hated everyone, and I hated the idea of God. I hated it all because I so desperately wanted to be normal and undamaged. I wanted to be secure, and stable, but I had absolutely no idea how to be. I couldn’t do it on my own.
I fought the idea of God, and scoffed at people who believed. I deemed them stupid, and was certain that they only believed because they hadn’t been through or seen the things that I had been through and seen; and if I found out that they had, then I just assumed that they had found their crutch and that it helped them get through life. Little did I know that people would one day look at me in that exact same light.
This is already long, so I am going to try and summarize it to the best of my ability.
Since becoming a Christian my life has changed drastically. I have changed drastically. I used to be such a negative person. Always sucking the life out of fun events with my negativity, unless those fun events included drugs, booze, and other dangerous methods of trying to achieve some level of disassociation from my life. I now attribute this previous negativity to a complete lack of gratitude. I felt as though I had nothing to be grateful for. I felt as though I had been treated unfairly, and that the world was a terribly disgusting place, full of terrible and disgusting people. The latter part of that statement is true but what I didn’t understand is that I was, and am, very much one of those terrible and disgusting people.
I found redemption in Jesus Christ, and in God the Father, and the Holy Spirit. I found abundant gratitude, because I realized the grace and mercy that had been shown to me. You don’t know the freedom that comes along with being grateful until you have it. I realized where God had been in those moments where I didn’t see Him. Now, I am so immensely grateful for that trauma, and those tough times, because I am so immensely grateful for the relationship I have with my Lord. He turned all the rubble into gold. Something only He can do.
One of the things that stands out most to me, is that the boy I lost my virginity to, I have come to forgive. You may think that I don’t, but I do. My heart hurts for him because he, too, was just a child. I pray that He finds the same grace and mercy that I have found, because it is there. Because he can be forgiven in the same way that I have been forgiven. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but it is one of many things that I have been healed from through the power of Christ alone.
I’m 100% aware of the fact that the grace I have towards him can absolutely not be attributed to myself, because I know myself. I know how much I hated him. I know the changes that had to occur in my heart and mind in order for me to forgive him, and I know that those changes were not my doing, but Gods.
This may seem like some jibber jabber that some damaged person may spout, and I know that people will probably think “what kind of delusional person forgives their rapist?”. But I’m not delusional at all, I simply know how depraved I am. I know the atrocities that I have committed, and I know that I am no better than that poor, lost 16 year old boy was.
I know who I was without God, and who I am with God. I know that boy didn’t have God. I know that he needs God. I know that you need God. I know that I need God.
I am never able to glorify my Father in the way that He deserves. I will never be able to achieve that. I just hope that these little bits and pieces of my testimony, scattered across some random posts, will speak to someone. Please believe me when I say that I could never have become the person that I am today without God in my life. I wouldn’t be free of mental illness, and of anger and resentment towards the world. I wouldn’t be free of addiction. I wouldn’t have thriving and healthy relationships with those I love most in the world. I wouldn’t be grateful for what I have, even though this week has truly been a terrible week for me realistically speaking, I would probably be sulking in self pity if I didn’t realize how blessed I am to know the Lord.
I know that God has been so incredibly gracious towards me, and He has been so gracious towards all of us. I want everyone to know Him, because I know that the light in my life is HIS light. I wish I could show people what is in my heart, and my soul, and my mind, and that I could articulate the magnitude of the change.
Anger turned to love. Resentment turned to forgiveness. Disgust turned to empathy. Idleness turned to a desire to serve. Tears turned to laughter. Damage turned to healing. Darkness turned to light. That’s what it is. All by the grace of God, and by the grace of God alone.
I really, really hope that this speaks to someone. Someone who is hurting, and who feels irreparably damaged. I hope that you may allow God to work in your heart, and your life, because I truly can not emphasize enough just how much He will change everything for you. I know it, and I believe it with every fibre of my being. If you need guidance or help, please reach out. I don’t know much, but I know a lot about the grace and healing power of God. I know how present He is. I know that He desires a relationship with you more than anything.
May God bless you and keep you, and smile when He looks down upon you.
You are so unbelievably loved.