Trigger warning: This post mentions physical and sexual abuse, and suicidal intentions. If you are being abused, please seek help from the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 or your local authorities. If you have been having any thoughts of self harm, please contact the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255, or visit their website here. Doing so is completely confidential.
Growing up, my childhood was like night and day.
On the one hand, I had loving Grandparents. My Grandpa was a practicing Minister, and my Grandma was the most faithful example of a Christian Wife and Mother. I spent a great deal of time with them. My Grandpa taught us grandkids all the great “Jesus songs” (I still name my playlists Jesus Songs) when we were young.
They took all the grandkids to church every Sunday and Wednesday night. I grew up knowing that Jesus loved the little children.
“Jesus loves the little children of the world..”Cedarmont Kids
These are the memories that I mostly remember because, on the other hand, my life was a nightmare.
I came to remember in my adult life that the home I grew up in was not the safe place it should have been, and the people who should have protected me the most did not do that.
An evil person lived in our home, a close family member who used every abuse possible to gain power over me. I was mentally, physically, and sexually abused from a very young age until I was 20 years old and gave birth to my son.
This split life is hard to imagine! Believe me when I say that my world fell apart when the truth was revealed, and I actually remembered what had happened to me. I was a mental wreck, heavily medicated, and suicidal.
I grasped for anything that I could to stay afloat. I learned the true meaning of Psalm 18:2:
“The Lord is my Rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my Rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”psalm 18:2 NIV
Finding Comfort in the Lord
The Psalms have brought me comfort that I cannot fully explain.
When David spoke about his enemies and people who hated him, I understood and related to him. When he said in this verse, “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer,” I took those words to heart! I saved them in my mind and replayed them over and over.
As I said, music was a big part of my childhood and has followed me into adulthood. I have come to love contemporary Christian music. The song by Kerrie Roberts “Savior To Me,” came out around when I was in my lowest despair. I stood in my kitchen and sang this song with all of my heart and soul every day for months.
“You have made Your light to shine
Through the darkness of all time
And that light was life
In the face of Jesus Christ
You’ve caused a dawn within my soul
My heart no longer is my own
I wanna praise You now
With every breath that You allow.”
–Kerrie Roberts “Savior To Me”
During this dark time, I was so thankful I had a Christian upbringing that I could run to. Jesus literally saved my life on many occasions.
My faith in God has prevented suicide from me. I believed this life was over and needed to be terminated immediately; I couldn’t bear to breathe another moment.
One night as I lay crying in my bed and thinking dark thoughts, I started to pray, and all of a sudden, I had this calm feeling rush over me, and I smelled the most indescribable beautiful smell that I can still remember, it was sweet and flowery at the same time.
I stopped crying, inhaled this smell, and let it fill my lungs. I stopped praying while this sensation was all over me, and I could feel Jesus in my room. It was the first time in my life that I honestly felt safe and protected. I never wanted to lose that feeling again.
That night, I understood; that He was Savior to me. He is my Rock, my Fortress, and my Deliverer. That night my life changed because I felt God.
I will be upfront; even with this experience, I am not a model Christian. I have a severe issue with forgiveness. I pray about it, take it back, give it, and change my mind over and over.
I have read many devotions on forgiveness and have spoken to my pastors about it many times. I know God wants me to forgive my abuser and pray for his soul.
“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”Isaiah 55:7 NIV
I try to pray Isaiah 55:7 for my abuser, but the words get hung in my throat, and I feel like a hypocrite because I don’t want to have him pardoned. I am not worthy of choosing him eternity; that is for the Lord only.
I mentioned my son, and I want to tell you about him. He has autism. I understand that different factors cause autism; I feel this is because of the close relationship with my abuser, that my son has a disability.
My son has the most beautiful childlike soul who profoundly loves God.
His love and belief humble me. My son prays for me all the time. I sneeze, and he communicates, “I will pray for you, Momma,” He doesn’t just say that; he prays that moment. I am truly thankful for him; he taught me a lot about genuinely trusting the Lord.
God has also blessed me with a loving husband and a true father to my son. My husband is a caring and gentle man who encourages me to pray and follow in my walk with Jesus. He doesn’t push me when I am having emotional issues. I am thankful for his love every day!
I believe that no matter what you have been through, Jesus understands.
He loves you and will protect you.
Reading God’s word will bring comfort regardless of your situation. I feel it is essential to find a verse and keep it in your heart. Memorize the verse and use it when the devil throws lies your way because he will throw up anything in your face every chance he gets. Don’t let him in!
Identify your weakness (mine is forgiveness) and work diligently on it. Above all, know that God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are for you!