Wednesdays. Wednesdays have always been hard for me. Growing up as a pastor’s kid it was a non-negotiable to go to church on Wednesdays, aside from the obvious Sunday attendance. I fought my parents every time I could on it. I was that pastor’s kid who avoided being at church any chance I was given. Eventually this led to Wednesdays having a negative connotation for me. Wednesdays became excruciatingly hard this year. Especially after the incident. The incident that changed my life.
Let me backtrack a couple months so we can be on the same page. You see, 2018 has been a year of trauma for me. I began the year rehabilitating with physical therapy after tearing both rotator cuffs last December. This being said, I could not lift a single weight- not even 5lbs- for MONTHS and as an athlete, this was debilitating. A month after, I became severely sick and went through a few hiccups with my medical team as they investigated the cause, only to discover it was gallstones. BIG ONES. All the while, I had to stop working out and change my diet due to the pain my body was enduring and all the foods it was rejecting. (All this happened while I was living in an entirely different state with loved ones living thousands of miles away.) I had surgery shortly after in March and then my healing process began. I had to end my work contract early and move back to life in Texas. Unfortunately, I recovered slowly and had to continue treatment for three months. These three months became a season of my life where I had to learn to rely on others for help. I could not do a single thing by myself...not even walk down the grocery aisle by myself. I was filled with a surge of depression and felt like a complete failure. Even worse, I had to go to my belated college graduation and face people I used to go to school with. UGH, WHAT A DRAG. Shortly after settling into life in Texas, I was in a car accident early June. BOOM, more physical trauma. By the end of June I was finally able to workout and lift PAIN-FREE after many months of not being able to do so! I continued to build up my strength into third week of July after enduring all the other physical trauma I had had earlier in the year. That week, on a Wednesday, I received the most brutal kind of trauma I would never wish on anybody.
You see, I never thought I would live to tell the tale that I have experienced abuse in every aspect: emotional, physical and sexual. That I had become another #metoo statistic. A sad, grueling, debilitating statistic. Worst of all? I knew my perpetrator and it wasn’t like most rape cases that get announced on TV and movies where the women are fighting for their lives. Was I fighting for my life? Yes. But it was different. I came out alive, but nobody told me I would feel dead inside.
Fear and panic infiltrate my every being. Sleeping has become a battle. Literally. I found out the other week that I fight in my sleep and if you sleep close enough, I will slip you quite a bit of jab crosses to accompany my lack of security that I have felt since the incident. I cannot remember the last time I had a good night’s sleep. Every tear running down my face carries the weight of this big secret I have to carry. Along with it? Shame, guilt and worse of all the “disgusting no-one-will-ever-love-you” feeling.
Controversial topics that I never imagined I would have to think twice about became my daily battle. I had to juggle topics such as, “Should I keep my rapist’s baby? Can I live with a choice like that? Can I live with the choice of birthing a child that will remind every second of the incident? What would God think of me if I got an abortion?” I began identifying more and more with the servant Job as he shared in the passage, “What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me. I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.” (Job 3:25-26, NIV). Suicidal thoughts have flooded through my mind like a river. I feel I would be better off dead than dealing with this life-altering pain. It’s a raging war inside, it’s a fight everyday to choose life.
I have always felt a sense of shame in sharing my story with others. My past hurts and current turmoils. As if my skeletons in the closet were too much for others to bare. Growing up, individuals would tell me that I was too loud or too straightforward, or too this or too that. That’s what I felt, was told and believed. I believed I was too much and what I had endured was far too much for others to handle or to be shared. But that’s where the devil ensnares you into not sharing your story with others. Aside from the emotional and physical trauma I endured growing up, this last one is the one that hurts the most. Mostly because it happened during my adulthood and I was supposed to be “big enough” to defend myself. Yes, I may not understand the incomprehensibility of God’s purpose for all of this, but perhaps He is going to use this to strengthen another person’s faith through my story.
Like I mentioned, 2018 has not been an easy year for me. Yet, through it all God has continued to show His steady grace and never ending love. I have continuously returned to studying the book of Job during my quiet time in the midst of all my pain. God reminded me of His servant’s suffering and Job’s choosing to be knee-deep-honest with God, sharing the good, the bad and the ugly. While delving into the book of Job, God stuck out a phrase to me: Must we not praise God in the good and during the storm? I came to the realization that although I am enduring the most painful days of my life and I cannot comprehend how horrible things happen to good people, God in His infinite love is ultimately good. He can use what Satan intends for bad, to become good. At the moment I may not foresee or understand how I will come out stronger, but I know God is using this to push me towards my purpose.
I have come to be OK with not being OK. As humans, we must understand that we live in a broken world and the never ending battle of being human is to be broken...and broken is its own kind of beautiful. Bad situations can become opportunities to learn and adjust. No matter what battle you are facing, God is a BIG enough God to guide you through it. Run to Him. He is NEAR and in CONTROL, even though it may not feel like it at the moment.
So repeat after me: My current situation is not my final destination.
Shower yourself with the Truth in God’s Word. You are LOVED, CHOSEN, and EQUIPPED for something greater than yourself. Don’t worry, God is moving mountains that you don’t see.
“Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you…”
-Psalms 55:22, NLT
“‘But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the Lord…”
-Jeremiah 30:17, NIV
“Jesus replied, ‘You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.’”
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