“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 3:7-14 NKJV…………….
Never mind my second husband’s sexual sin that helped destroy my second marriage. Never mind the man decades ago who was headed toward raping me when I thought all we would do is kiss and hold each other. Never mind the man also long ago to whom I said no to sex who decided he wanted his way anyway and I was too drunk to stop him. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can compare in the way of devastation to the childhood sexual abuse I experienced. There are no words on this earth to describe how being sexually abused as a little girl wrecked my childhood, wrecked my adulthood, wrecked my family, and wrecked any possibility of any semblance of ever having any kind of a normal life. If you know childhood sexual abuse up close and personal, you understand. It is literally impossible to describe the wreckage it leaves not just on one life, but on so very many other lives with whom that life comes in contact. So perhaps it will surprise you when I share this with you.
I am THANKFUL for my history of childhood sexual abuse. How can this possibly be, perhaps you wonder? Here is why.
- Because the Lord entrusted me with my story and knew He could bring Himself glory from it both in the way He has transformed my heart and life and in the way He uses this transformed life to reach others to help build His Kingdom of followers and to bring Him glory.
- Because the consequences of being sexually abused as a child in the way that I was and by whom I was over the period of time I was were so utterly severe and debilitating and brought me along with the sin of how I responded to it with multiple addictions and such to such an exceeding place of desperation that the Lord used it all to draw me to Himself, to sweep me off my feet, to give me new life through Christ, and to bring me into the most indescribably intimate and glorious forever ever-growing relationship with Him imaginable.
- Because my sexual abuse history has given me such an exceeding sensitivity that I am indescribably sensitive to the presence and leading of the Holy Spirit and I am unfathomably sensitive to the needs of others such that the Lord can use me to see and notice and reach out to and minister to people anywhere and everywhere who are in need of Him.
- Because I have experienced such brokenness and loss and hurt and rejection as a result of the sexual abuse that I am broken daily before the Lord and my desperation for Him is ongoing and I am malleable in His hands and hungrier and thirstier to have more of Him, to know more of Him, to love and serve Him more and more, than I can possibly describe – literally by the day!
- Because though I have lost so very much because of it, all the loss I have experienced has led me to a place of maximum availability each and every day to the Lord and to His purpose for my life to help people to find and forever follow Him.
- Because the Lord has taught me about love and forgiveness and mercy through this all in such an astounding way that I literally have sobbed over and again in crying out to Him that He would love and forgive my perpetrator and give him everlasting life, and this love and forgiveness and mercy and compassion He has given me He has taught me to have for all. It is His love in me, and His love through me. For I AM HIS!
I will be honest with you. I cannot recall a day of my life that has not been without struggle, and so very much of this I believe stems from being sexually abused as a child, from the consequences of it, and because my perpetrator’s actions have never been brought out into the light as is the case with so many other stories of sexual abuse. But I wouldn’t trade my story for any other person’s in the world. Why?
Because there is nobody, and nothing, I love more in the universe than God almighty, and the relationship I have today with Christ I wouldn’t give up for anything. The Lord is my Savior, healer, Lord, God, redeemer, master, friend, anchor, hope, peace, and on and on.
It is for the Lord I live. It is for the Lord I breathe. It is for the Lord I press on. And it is for Him and for a world of people in dire need of Him that I walk forward in the love and strength of Christ with the hope and desire that through my little heart and little story and little ministry more and more people will come to know and to forever follow God almighty in Christ, amen!