And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
- Philippians 1:6 NLT
This is going to be as my pastor says, a H.O.T post - humble, open, and transparent. As much as I have tried to push what I am about to write about, out of my head, I know that I need to talk about this. Many of you know that this month is sexual assault awareness month. This month is very important and valuable to me because I was a victim of sexual assault. Honestly I don’t even remember how old I was when it all started happening, all I know was that I was very young. It’s actually emphatically difficult for me to write this right now because I fought for so long to overcome the trauma. I know that I am not the only one who experienced this, so that is why I am going back to the archives of my brain memory to bring it back. I say archives because it obviously can’t be deleted from my life. What happened has happened but not in vain. This time I am retrieving it to memory, for the public. Not to say woe is me, but to bring awareness.
I write this especially to encourage those of you who have experienced sexual assault of any level. First of all let me just tell you this, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I know you must be feeling very empty inside. You probably feel very used, worthless, abandoned, confused, hurt, lost, and lonely. Those are all the same feelings that I would go through almost daily, for a very long time.
80% of victims are assaulted by a known acquaintance. Only 5-20% of sexual assaults are actually reported.
I know how it is to feel like you can’t talk to absolutely anyone because you are restrained by fear. Restrained by the fear of others judging you. Fear of losing people in your life. Fear of people thinking that you are lying. Fear of why the person who assaulted you might do if they find out that you told. Fear of questions like, “what were you wearing”?, “Do you have proof”?, “Are you exaggerating”?, etc.
Fear can have a powerful bondage in your life. Fear is a lie. The truth is that you are not only a survivor of sexual assault but a warrior. The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of us, but those who win battles we know nothing about. I didn’t know how strong I was until I forgave someone who will probably never apologize. That can be hard when they are in your family and you see them basically every day. It was also more than one person in my family that I had to forgive. That’s where my strength came from - forgiveness.
The Bible has a lot to say about forgiveness. Here are a few examples:
Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. - Ephesians 4:32
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. - Colossians 3:13
But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. - Matthew 6:14
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” - Like 23:34
Forgive, even when a part of you feels like it is painfully dying. Despite feeling as if you’ve lost yourself. Forgive even when it’s hard to breathe and you barely recognize life. That is where you will get your strength back. Where you are today, does not have to be where you stay forever. If you’re holding on to what’s behind you, you can’t grab what’s ahead of you. Forgiveness is the key.
Maya Angelou said this, “I can be changed by what happens to me but I refuse to be reduced by it.”
If you went through any type of sexual assault it does not reduce you! It does not devalue you, make you unworthy or impure. You are worthy, you are loved, you are valuable, you are more than enough, you are wonderfully and beautifully made, you were created in the image of God, you are righteous, you are holy, you are a warrior, you are strong, and you are made new.
Philippians 1:6 says, “And I am certain that God who began a good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
HE IS NOT FINISHED WITH YOU YET! He takes you from worthlessness to worthy. If you have experienced sexual assault, this does NOT define you. Your identity lies in Christ and not in any labels that the world gives you. We want to take lies that we have previously believed as victims and replace them with the truth from God’s Word. God has a plan and a purpose for you. This mess will be turned to a message.
1. Is there anyone you need to forgive in order to fully heal?
2. Take time to daily give yourself affirmations from the Bible. It will remind you of your worth.
Father God, thank You for loving us even when we can’t love ourselves. Thank You for always being there for us and with us through it all. I pray that You give us the strength to forgive those who have hurt us. Help us to finally surrender it all to You. I believe that You are healing our hearts from any pain we have experienced. Help us to see this as a testimony for Your glory. Bring us the people who have experienced the same things so that we may give them hope through Your Word. I pray for complete restoration in the lives of every victim, that we may be able to see ourselves no longer as victims but as victors. Give us a revelation of who we are in Your Word, so that we may know that our identity is in You.
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If you or a friend have experienced Sexual Assault and want to pursue healing, CLICK HERE to learn about counseling options in your area.
In Jesus’ Name, Am