Trusting the Truth
My whole life I have struggled with fears and insecurities. In the last year I have finally grabbed hold of what was causing this to haunt me. My parents got divorced when I was 2 ½ months old. Between the ages of 3 and 4, I was sexually abused by my father. Even just writing those words feels strange. Father is the correct word, because this man was never my Dad. For years, after school when most kids were just playing outside I was going to counseling multiple days a week. I didn’t even details about my body parts, how was I to understand why that had happened to me.
Fast forward years down the road and my Father had re-married and had another daughter. My older brother Taylor was starting to ask questions about our Father and wanting to see him. My mom didn’t want to keep us from anything so although she had full custody she agreed to supervised visitation with Taylor. He came back from that trip raving about his “new sister.” I was of course beyond jealous. That was MY big brother and I wanted to meet this “new sister.” That was when our Father came back into our lives. After that, our Father spent years popping in and out of our lives. Sometimes he would call on birthdays, sometimes he wouldn’t. He would make promises he never could keep. Inconsistency is the best word to describe him.
Once I was the appropriate age to enter into relationships I started to realize things weren’t right. I was severely insecure. I was always scared of being left alone. I felt very ashamed of what had happened to me and felt that if I told anyone they would think I was “gross”, “untouchable”, or worse.
In December of 2008 I met the man I will call my husband in about a month. I was full of fear when I realized I would have to explain to him what happened to me and why my relationship with my Father was so tumultuous. How do you tell this man that you think you want to be with forever that you have this “incident” in your past? I wasn’t even sure what to call it at that point. I was scared he would think I wasn’t worth it. I didn’t think he would want to become part of a family that had that lurking in their family history. He came from a very secure family where his parents are still married. How could I compare?
It is amazing how God works all those little things out. First, when I told him I don’t think you could have seen a more patient and kind man. He just held me, never made a strange face and never thought twice about it. Telling him started making me feel less insecure about what had happened.
Then, January of 2010 I went on a Youth Winter Retreat. The focus of the retreat was about figuring out your “calling.” At that retreat I prayed and I felt God pulling on my heart to do something about what had happened to me. If I just sat here and wallowed in my sadness and self-pity about how much it sucked that I went through that, then the bad guy wins. God is bigger than that. Yes, this horrible thing happened to me when I was young, but God has a plan and his plan is to make some good come out of my pain. Once I felt that calling I spoke with Janeese Spencer, a minister and counselor at our church and she said that God will give me opportunities to tell this story, but first I had to just tell someone so that people even knew.
A few weeks later I told my story to my small group at church and told them that I felt the Lord calling me to share this story because I knew I could touch people’s lives because of it. God started moving. About two months later our church was having a night to share Small Group Testimonies and I was approached to share my story. So I shared my story in front of a very large crowd of my friends and strangers. About two weeks later, I found a job opening with the Family Sunshine Center to be a Prevention Educator. The Family Sunshine Center was where I went to counseling after my abuse. A large number of the people who heard me share my story knew people that worked at the Family Sunshine Center and called in to give their recommendation for me. You tell me God doesn’t move? Without a doubt I have felt God move more in the past two years of my life than ever before. I am now working at the Sunshine Center as a Prevention Educator to help break that cycle of family and domestic violence. Let me break this down for you, I felt God pull on my heart in January, I told my small group in February, I shared my testimony in April, I found the job opening in May, I interviewed for the job in June, and my first day was July 12th. That is how God moves.
God is still working on me and helping me to let go of my fears and insecurities. My father will never be a Dad. Instead, I have better than that. I have a Heavenly Father that will always be there and will always be a Dad and wants the best for me and shows me that daily. I am about to marry the man that my own Heavenly Father hand picked for me that encourages me to be the Godly woman God called me to be.
If you have a testimony you feel led to share, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org