Thursday, October 2, 2008

my story, my voice.

this is my story and my voice. today i will share my experience, hoping that you, will one day, share yours. whatever walk you may come from in life, i believe that we all have our own stories to share. some parts may be wonderful, others may not be. but each person's story unique, each is special in their own way.

this is not an easy thing for me to write. this requires utmost vulnerability. but i know that it must be done. because if this story can enlighten just one life to come to the saving and healing knowledge of Jesus, then i have done my part in knowing that my life and my experiences has served a part of its purpose.

i was a victim of abuse - physically, sexually, emotionally, verbally. it didn't happen just once either, it was repetitive and went on for years and years. you can just imagine the ways that i learned to numb myself from feelings, from guilt, from shame, from wanting to give and receive love. i taught myself that my emotions were not real and because of that, i lived a life with a heart so hardened, i didn't care about anything or anyone. i masked my pain with alcohol, with partying, with relationships, with drugs, with an "i dont care about anyone" attitude, with a hard heart. i struggled with my beauty, my identity, my sexuality.

the results of abuse in one person's life have a long time effect, especially if it's sexual abuse. we believe the lies that are told - that it was our fault, that we wanted it, that we deserved it. we embrace a poor image of ourselves and end up living out those lies as if it was our real identity. i grew up in complete mistrust, in deep pain, in darkness. thinking to myself, "there is no God, for how could He allow something like this to happen to me if He loved me".

i began a journey in my life to find answers for myself. but that led me no where. i grew up with so many set backs, so many fears to the point of paranoia. the repercussions of abuse go deeper than what most people can begin to imagine, because it scars their heart, their mind, their soul. i thought my life had no hope. i found myself on a path of self destruction as i tried to look for answers to heal my hurting yet hardened heart.

my Answer came when i met Him. and just like saul on the road to damascus as saul was on his way to do more destruction, He stopped me with His saving, Amazing Grace. in no other eyes did i find the answers but in His. no one but Him could get me out of that lifestyle of despair.

the One i was mad at for so long. the One i ran away from. the One i hated. He understood all along. people beat Him. people spit on His face. they hit Him. they mocked Him. they whipped Him, they kicked Him, they tortured Him, they abused Him. He did NOTHING to deserve it, but He took it in anyway.

He knew He needed to go through with it because 2,000 years later, a child would go through some form of pain and abuse. He knew that years later that same child would look upon His Word and see that He could relate to how she felt. He KNEW what was going on, He knows how it feels. His life was a life that is worthy to emulate, with His example of Love, of Forgiveness, of knowing His identity, of Redemption and Restoration, despite the pain that was caused by the abuse He faced.

and it's because of that, that i fell in Love. asked often by many, why i am such a Jesus freak... my answer is because i KNOW i have found Truth. He is Love. He saved me, He changed me. He is so undeniably real in my life that no philosopher or other belief can change how i feel, because i've felt His Love first hand. i've come to accept the fact that the pain that we face in this life won't go away, because we are alive. we would have to be dead to feel no pain. but in the midst of problems and trials, He is the One who is able to give a new beginning and a purpose, every day.

He taught me, that I could love myself, because He loved me first. (1John4:19)
He showed me that He is able to erase the sting of the past. (Isaiah 1:18)
He set my identity on Him and i am the apple of His eye. (Zechariah 2:8)
He reminds me that my past is not me and I am forgiven. (Psalm 103:12)
He tells me He makes me new. (Revelation 21:5)
He shows me that He wants me to be free. (Galatians 5:1)
He has redeemed me. (Job 33:28, Psalm 71:23, Isaiah 43:1, Isaiah 44:2)
He taught me that forgiveness is a must for me to move on. (Matthew 6:14, Collosians 3:13)
He showed me that restoration was possible. (Psalm 23:3, Psalm 71:20, Isaiah 57:18)
He tells me that i have a destiny, a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11, Provers 23:18, Jeremiah 31:17)

in fact, the miracle of His love was able to transcend beyond what i could imagine, because one of my abusers has asked for forgiveness from me and from God and changed his lifestyle and ways completely. there is now, restoration in the relationship, because instead of acting out of wounds, we see Jesus in each other. and the sting of the past is not there anymore. tell me, is that not a miracle working God?

this doesn't by any means, negate the importance of counseling, prayer, friendship, surrounding yourself with a healthy environment and again, prayer. these steps were necessary for me to walk in the path of healing. but it was by His mercy and grace that brought me through.

today, I live so whole, so free. free to hope, to live, to love, to forgive, free to laugh. free to be me - THE REAL ME. not masked by pain anymore. truth be told, there are still days when the fears that once gripped my heart comes back to haunt me. but even in the midst of that, i face the reflection of my heart, which is the Word of GOd and i see and choose to believe the Truth that is written about me.

i have come to terms with my past and that is why i can share it with you today. it is what it is, but i will not let it get the best of me. i ask that those that have similar pasts would see that it's possible to be free. there is no fear in love because Perfect Love casts out fear. (1John 4:18-19)

in the beginning, i said i was a victim. i said was, because i am not a victim anymore. i am victorious in every way. i walk in Love and i celebrate my life, knowing i have a story to share and a purpose for my life. i pray that you will find it in your heart do the same, because your story (whatever your story is) is important and needs to be heard and know that your life has a purpose as well.

dear reader, if you are a victim of abuse, please listen to my heart when i tell you that no other arms are safer than His. run to Him. He is waiting for you. if you need someone to talk to, i am here. call a hot line, tell a trusted friend, gets some counseling. if you are in any kind of abusive relationship, please get out NOW, please say something and get help. yes, change is possible, but he or she will not change with you there. YOU WILL NOT CHANGE THE PERSON. don't try to be the sacrificial lamb, coz there's only one person who can do that and Jesus took that place already. you need to get out. the first step to healing is to admit that it is actually happening to you. do not be afraid to tell someone. i write this to let you know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE and that there is no need to feel ashamed.

if you are the abuser, please please please STOP. the sooner you stop, the better. get some help. get some help. i cannot say it enough - GET SOME HELP! my abuser did and his life is now changed. i've forgiven him and there is no scarlet letter hanging around his head anymore. there's still hope for you, if you are willing to change. you need counseling, you need forgiveness, you need Him. like i said, the foot of the Cross accepts anyone who is willing to change, so there is hope for you but
i beg you, please stop and get some help.