“Lord, end the legacy of sexual perversion within my family and begin with me,” I begged of the Lord.
One of my father’s brothers sexually molested and raped me. Some effort was put in place to protect me from this uncle after I spoke up, but my father gave me stringent orders never to speak of this to anyone.
Later my father molested me.
Silence grew to be my new language.
Growing up within the church, I have memories of knowing Jesus died on the cross for my sins and of believing Jesus dwelt within my heart.
From an early age I discovered that hard work and excellence in academics paid great praises, so work and school became my safe places and a false god.
During high school, the stability of my false gods began to lose their appeal.
My parents divorced, my boyfriend dumped me, and my high school required me to graduate.
Emotionally limping through my graduation, I found myself silently cornered by extended family members into taking a week-long visit to my uncle’s house. I had been sworn to silence and believed I could not protest the trip.
Every night I prayed, quietly crying and begging the Lord, that my uncle would not come into my bedroom.
Thankfully, only fear assaulted me.
Anger and bitterness seared the silence within my heart as I began my freshman year of college.
This anger and bitterness consumed me to the point of misery. At a rock-bottom moment, I heard Jesus whisper to my heart, “It’s time to come home to me. Trust me with your heart, your life.”
Home to Jesus I went. By facing the pain of my past and through telling my story, I encountered a tender, gentle Savior who beckoned me never to stop talking about Him.
To Eastern Europe I went post-graduation to share the transforming truth, grace, and love Jesus offered to me with young adults on the college campus.
While overseas, I wrote a letter confronting my uncle and extending forgiveness to him based upon the love and forgiveness extended to me through Christ’s death and resurrection.
My return to the States lasted only a few months because the Lord had one more trip for me: to Japan.
In Japan, I remember coming across this passage in Psalm 139:
Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,”
Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You (vv. 7-12).
This took my breath away that even in Japan–the remotest part of the sea–the Lord’s hand had led me there.
And lead me, He did.
The Lord revealed that even the darkness of my abuse is not dark to Him because the night is as bright as the day from His perspective.
Nothing goes beyond His notice.
And, yet, He makes all things work together for good–darkness being alike to light–for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Rom. 8.28).
While praying in Japan, I begged the Lord that He would end the sexual perversion within my family, starting with me.
Upon my return from Japan, police began investigating my father for rape of a minor. Five days after I married my husband, my father was sentenced.
His sentencing didn’t ease the healing process or lessen any anxiety. It did, however, force me to confront other layers of silence, namely depression, and trust Him once again to save me.
My story continues with each year as I trust in His faithfulness to Himself, and as I dare to voice the freedom and grace and hope and peace He continues to lavish upon me.
For this extravagant love from the Father above, I am thankful.
What’s your next step?
What’s your story? Pray and ask God to reveal how He has protected you and met you in spite of the pain, fear or anxiety. Where are you in the forgiveness process, in the speaking-up process, in the living-a-life-of-joy process? Give thanks for what He has done and move toward Him for continued healing.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God,” (2 Cor. 1.3-4, NIV).
Join me on the healing journey.
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