I am at a place where I can look back on all the terrible events of my life and not feel pain. I gave my pain to Jesus and stopped looking back. I would like to share some of my story, because I couldn’t ever find anyone who could understand what was going on inside me. My goal in sharing is to help others see that it is possible to get free, and stay free. Please know you are not alone.
A little background ... I was raised in a church. I attended youth groups and went through confirmation. I had perfect attendance at Sunday school most years. I even taught Sunday school when I was old enough. Sadly, I never had any kind of relationship with God. Looking back, I’m not sure many people there did. I think we were all just part of a church, and we did what was expected by our family and community. I never heard anything about demons, that’s for sure!
From the outside looking in, my family looked just as normal as anyone else’s. We went to church every Sunday, participated in community events, and we were pretty well known because one of my parents worked at the school. Nobody knew what my life was like, and for a long time I had no idea there was anything wrong with it.
My parents were alcoholics. I lived in fear of the next time that they would drink so much that they would become violent with each other, or worse, me. My father turned a blind eye to his friends sexually abusing me for years. My mom turned a blind eye to my brother physically abusing me as well. When I was still pretty young my father died, and my mother began bringing home any man she could find at the bar. When I told her one of them was being inappropriate she didn’t believe me. I saw rejection everywhere I turned.
The feelings I had led to my own self-destructive behavior. I started cutting when I was about 12. I would sit in my room for hours carving away at my flesh. It was the only thing I knew to do to numb the pain I felt. Then I started drinking. My parents provided alcohol to me and any of my friends that wanted it. I was able to numb my pain that way for a while. The problem with cutting and drinking was the pain always came back, and usually worse.
My next attempt to numb my pain was sex. A married teacher of mine offered to have sex with me and I took him up on it. I thought if I could find someone that cared about me I would feel better. Obviously, a married man 20+ years older than me did not care about me at all, but I couldn’t see it at the time. I did whatever he wanted seeking his approval, but of course I never got it. It just made me feel worse and worse about myself.
The first time I was raped, it was by a guy that I had gone on a date with. After the date we went to the place he was staying to make out, and he didn’t stop. I blamed myself for letting it go too far before telling him no. He told me it was my fault. I fought him, and when he was strangling me I realized that if I continued to fight he would probably kill me. For a year I kept that to myself, festering like a sore, until I just couldn’t keep it contained anymore. I wanted to hear that it wasn’t my fault.
Statistics show that after someone is raped it is highly likely they will be raped again. Well that held true for me. I was raped by a group of 3 men at work. As a result, I got pregnant. It was the most horrific thing I could imagine. I hated who I was. I hated the thoughts that I had. I wanted to die.
Throughout all these things I began to dislike God more and more. I couldn’t understand why he was letting these terrible things happen to me over and over again. I didn’t know what I did to deserve the things that were happening to me. I couldn’t talk about any of it, so nobody understood. I tried to lock it all away, but it would all come back like a flood and there was nothing I could do to control any of it. I tried to read scripture but I literally couldn’t make myself open the Bible.
A good friend introduced me to Belle and her husband, and I thought they were all crazy. I had never heard of these demons they talked about and I didn’t want to do the work they seemed to think was necessary for me to be free. I was afraid to scare them away if I told them how truly bad it was. I gave them little snippets, hoping to not run them off. In retrospect I think they understood what was going on better than I did. I told them that I had a switch inside me that I couldn’t control. When the switch flipped I wouldn’t want help anymore. That happened several times. I would just completely shut down and get very defensive with them. I knew they were only trying to help, but I just couldn’t prevent that switch from flipping. I also knew without a doubt that I wanted help, but I didn’t know how to make them understand that. One day as I was leaving, after basically wasting everyone’s time, I got to my car and realized I just couldn’t leave. I sat in the dirt and stared at the chickens for a very long time. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. Leaving felt like giving up on myself, but staying wasn’t an option either.
A few months later I had a near death experience, and realized that I couldn’t die like I was living. I didn’t want to spend eternity in hell. It was time to get free, no matter what it took.
I called and talked to Belle’s husband, who seemingly has the patience of a saint. I cried and begged him for one more chance, and for some reason they gave it to me. Walking in the door that day I knew I was going to come out a different person. They walked me through some of the exercises. The biggest for me was replaying those terrible events from my past and seeing Jesus physically present at each one. In some scenes he would be sitting in the corner, sometimes standing right beside me, but always weeping. He couldn’t make those terrible things stop, but seeing Him cry for me changed everything. He loves me the way I always wanted to be loved. I never got that love from my parents, or the men that I slept with. I finally could stop seeking that, because now I knew what unconditional love was. I was finally at peace with the things that had happened to me. I was able to forgive those people that had hurt me, even the ones that never asked for it. I got free that day, and I will never go back to that old me!
Today, my life is so much different. I sleep at night. I don’t stress over things I can’t control. I give my problems to God. I have the most amazing relationship with Him. Most importantly, I cannot wait to see Him in the throne room because I know I am saved.
I know that this may have been hard for some of you to read... it is raw, sometimes brutal, and very emotional. But it is not uncommon. It makes me sad that so many Christians are suffering pain and spiritual wounds because they have not been taught that satan can use not only your sins, but the sins of others that have been committed against you, to keep you in spiritual bondage. Could Jesus intervene and stop the abuse? Absolutely! But one of God's sovereign characteristics is that He does not interfere with the free will of those He has created -- even if it means we might be damaged in the process. To do otherwise, would not glorify Him when we allow Him to show us that He was present during our pain. And in the process, He helps us to forgive those who have sinned against us, just as we want to be forgiven our own sins. And we come out the other side of Deliverance a changed person; a transformed person; a free person. Praise God for His Sovereignty and His Abounding Love!
Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God”