As a child of sexual abuse, I grew up doubting that God really cared about me. The only one I trusted was me. I couldn’t trust the people who were supposed to love and protect me. It seemed no matter where I turned, people either didn’t care or they joined in the abuse.
I tried to fight against the pain and the hurt, but sometimes that was worse than just accepting what happened.
So I created a world I could live in, on the inside. My brain created a safe place to be. That is where I felt in control of my life. No one could get to me there. I became numb to what was happening on the outside. Others called me a loner, day dreamer and rebellious. Little did they know that I was free inside because I felt threatened in their world.
I grew up in church and read the Bible, but I believed it didn’t pertain to me. I felt and was told that everything was my fault. If that was the case, then I was in such sin that even God hated me. At church, I sat by myself, all alone, silent, trying to be invisible, not interacting with anyone. There was a lot of growing to do and a lot of lies to reject.
For six years, God has been trying to help me understand who He really is. He has been so merciful and patient with me.
Slowly I began to trust and talk to people. Trusting didn’t happen right away, but as I volunteered to work in the church office—I began to learn how to trust. Still feeling intimidated, I opened up a little more to the ladies in the office and tested the waters for quite a while. I didn’t want to be hurt by anyone again, so I avoided anyone touching me. Thankfully, I grew beyond that, because their hugs are now so awesome. Living alone, I don’t get the good physical touches, so it helps when I can squeeze one or two at work.
I have even learned to trust the men in the office. I enjoy the times that I am listened to and not treated like an idiot. In my home, the men either put us down verbally or used us. At church, I feel respected by the men and women. This is a huge difference for me.
Because of everyone God has placed in my life, I have learned to trust Him. I no longer think of myself as a throw-away. Now I believe that Jesus’ love is real. He loves me and calls me His princess. I know now that I am special to Jesus and that all the times I was hurt, He held me in His arms and cried with me. He rocked me and nurtured me when no one else would.
I don’t always make the best choices. So do I put a big “Failure” sign on my head, or do I pick myself up and try again? I choose to get up again and give my heart to Jesus. This is a daily commitment for me.
In time, I will learn to trust with all my heart. Maybe someday there will be a second chapter. Until then, I will stand on the promises of God, my Savior.
– a GateWay Woman