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Thursday, 31 January 2013

Raped but not scarred, abused but not crippled

I do not believe God let things happen to us to teach us something, but I do believe that He uses it for his Glory and our benefit.

‘and we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestination to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren’ 
~ Rom 8.28

I never had an easy life, from the age of 4 years I was sexually abuse by several men including direct family members.  A traumatic turn of events that impacted the course of my whole life.

My father was one of the abusers. With my mom working nightshifts at the hospital I was often left alone with him – the whole night. His abuse continued for the most part of my teenage years.

I was a scared little girl who believed every one of the threats he made and the lies he told. He said ‘I deserved what he did to me… and that I was actually looking for it. Those days nobody would have believed me anyway. So I kept quiet. No one knew my secret.

I never had any close friends nor invite any to my home. My father would either chase them away or be rude to them.  He was very possessive and did not allow me to go out with friends or anything. I was invisible to the world and kept to myself. It was only later in my teenage years that I would sneak out of the house to party with friends and would return before he wakes up. He never suspected a thing.

One night in July I sneaked out again with friends to go dancing – strangely enough this particular night my father knew I sneaked out.  At one stage my friends wanted to go to another place, and not wanting to go with them I stayed behind and we’ve agreed that they would pick me up in an hour. I have waited and waited. One hour became a few...

That night someone raped me. I have never been so scared in my whole life.  Shocked, scared and very confused…strange as it may, the only person I could think of to come to my rescue was my father.

I didn’t tell a single sole what happened that night. I was ashamed and scared of what my father would do, and of course I blamed myself. I believed that it was my fault - that I was looking for it… as I was taught. I thought if I don’t tell anyone about what had happened then no one would ever find out.

But God had another plan for my life. By November I started feeling funny and sick. My mom took me to the doctor and informed us that I was pregnant. Another shock!

I had absolutely no idea that I was pregnant. I had no symptoms and didn’t even pick up any weight.  And the thought never even crossed my mind. Apart from the fact that I was so uninformed and ignorant I have erased the whole ordeal of the rape from my mind.  How could this then be? I never slept around.

And then it hit me…I was raped. Remember.

My first thought was to get an abortion. What did I know about raising babies? The shame! My mom immediately interrupted my thoughts and said that we will raise this baby together. I never thought of it again – Today I thank GOD for my precious mother.

Not knowing how to tell my father and waiting for the right time, we kept it from him until the January of the following year. He was very disappointed. Shortly thereafter, when he got a chance to speak to me alone, he said …”so you decided to give yourself to another man, but you wouldn’t give yourself wholly to me". How could he even say such things! I told myself it did not matter anymore… at least the molestation ended.

That year in March I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, perfect in every way. God does make mistakes and His plans never fail.

Even though I worked at a supermarket to help with the financial burden, it just wasn’t enough to make a living for me and my son.  After two years I‘d decided to move to Pretoria and found a nursing job. It was in this time that I’ve met my husband. He was 12 years older than me and I thought he would give me the love I was longing for and needed badly.  I needed security and fatherly love. How wrong I was.

He not only drank a lot but also cheated on me in that very same year. I chose to stay. I had no self-esteem and no self-worth… who would want me with all my baggage? I was very scared of him. Today, my greatest regret is that I had often put him before my son.

My son grew up in a dysfunctional home with no father figure even though there was a man present.  He would seek attention by being naughty, did not perform well in school, always tend to please people and was easily drawn into the wrong crowds.

At the time I did what I thought was best. I didn’t know any better.  I held on to the abusive relationship with my husband – afraid of rejection…and who would want me and my troubled son anyway?

It was only after 11 years of being together that we finally decided to get married. In the 17 years that we were together he continued with his drinking, affairs and the emotional abuse.  I withstand it all….and both my son and I, suffered the consequences. My beloved son was worthless in his eyes, rejected and alone.

I clung to my husband – desperate for his love and affection. Like a wounded animal I stayed, licked my wounds and hoped once more for his attention.

I reached a very low point in my life and during this time my friend invited me to church. I have heard about God but never reached out to Him. And here a new journey began.

I had to regain trust in people and in God. Whom, I have blamed for allowing bad things to happen me. But slowly I started to see there’s life and love beyond my pathetic view of the world.

With every sermon, camp and fellowship with God, my trust in Him grew stronger.  He showed me His unconditional love for me – the kind of a love I was searching for my whole life.

I met people who are His hands and feet - always looking out for me and offered endless support.  Each and every one played a perfect role in God’s plan for me.

Like any other new believer I wanted my husband to also believe in this amazing Jesus. But despite all my efforts our relationship deteriorated and he did not accept my new life in Christ.

My son went to church only because I have forced him. Today I know Gods plan never fails and that all will work out for the good in His time not mine. 

After more heartbreaks and broken promises my husband and I got divorced.  God was my strength through it all.

I never stopped praying. Prayer is the most powerful weapon and God always hears and always answers. My husband left me with nothing. My son got involved in drugs and I was alone. But God intervened and kept us safe. My son broke free from the vicious cycle and has turned his life around.

I have found freedom and liberty. God came for ALL not just for some; His Grace is for ALL the same.

Know that God will never leave nor forsake you. He knows everything about you. Nothing you do or say will make Him love you less.

Never let anyone tell you or make you feel worthless. You are chosen, sanctified, made righteous by Him, perfect in EVERY way. Not because of what "you did’ but because of the FINISHED WORK Jesus did when He did on the cross.

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