“Be ashamed to die until you have one some victory for humanity.” Horace Mann
“I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from Him.” Psalm 62:1 NLT
There are victims of child sexual abuse and there are survivors. And then there are the victors.
It is evil that causes people to sexually abuse another person. It is evil that allows someone to steal a child’s innocence and claim it as their own. In a battle with evil, God is the only ally that provides us with any hope of victory. It is God and God alone who can provide the strength and love needed to enable a person who is confronted by evil to stand up and draw the battle lines and move confidently to victory.
In today’s superficial world, things that mean nothing at all are glorified and the One who means salvation to the entire world is relegated to an afterthought. Many people are uncomfortable when the conversation turns to God for they have never fully relied on Him and experienced His power. When we decide to make a stand with God against the evil that walks this earth and preys on the innocent, we are able to confidently draw a line in the sand, look evil in the eye, and say, “Bring it!”.
In this next installment in the story of her personal war against the evil that tried to consume not just her innocence, but her very soul, her identity, and her life, our courageous young friend moves from being a survivor to being a victor as she draws her own battle lines.
Her story continues:
I’m a fighter. My story involves four options; to give up, to give in, to give it all I’ve got, or to give it all up to Him. The way I see it, to give up is to give in. To give it all I’ve got can be selfish, and to give it all up to Him seems impossible. But I have to stop there; even the word “impossible” is contradicting because it says “I’m Possible”. The fourth option is the reason why I’m alive today. Not alive in a physical sense, but alive in spirit. I’m a fighter. I’m alive. I’m possible.
To give up. My mindset for the longest time after the abuse. If I failed at being perfect at any task, I’d give up right away. My life seemed to lack purpose. To me, my body was physically there to be used as a sex object and nothing more. To give up was easy as I walked through life with no self worth and no value – except for what my body was intended to be used for. Most times I had myself beat before I even had the chance to find the strength inside to not give up. In complete honesty, I thought daily of giving up totally. To give up on life seemed way better than the hell I was being forced through. But something, no not something, someone kept me going. I fought an every day battle of even wanting to push forward to the next day. My body was a temple for God. Intended to be used to honor Him and the life he has blessed me with; but how could I not give up on that when my temple was destroyed, not by choice? How was I supposed to not give up when it seemed as if He gave up on me? I fought. By giving up, would believe in the lie that God did this. That God gave up on me. To give up would be letting Satan win. To give up would be to give in to the torture I was put through. I’m a fighter against that lie. As I got older, I wanted to make it evident that I would not give up, I would stand and stand strong. To give up was not an option.
To give in. During the abuse I was made submissive. In every act done or manipulated into doing, I gave in. It was my fault, I was guilty, I was blamed for being too easy. I gave in to those lies. It later affected my everyday tasks and daily routines. I’d be undeceive, unable to make decisions for myself, and easily conformed into the person people wanted me to be. I had no backbone. I couldn’t stand up for myself. I gave in to all the lies of believing I was ugly, worthless, guilty, not good enough, and so much more. I fought every day to build courage. To build confidence to not give in; like I was a branded cow. I was only good for producing one or two things for my “master”. Every time I would give in, that something, no not something, someone saved my cognitive thought process and fought for me. I fought to find strength to develop my own identity, one separate from the one I unwillingly gave into. To give in was weak.
To give it all I’ve got. Well that’s just unreasonable. Sure, ultimately it is my physical and mental strength to give anything I do my very best. But that is not MY doing. This is exactly why I failed myself on so many occasions. I believed it was all me. As a Christian from a young age, I wondered how could my strength to fight this every day battle come from God, when he did nothing to help me when I was crying out to Him silently in fear? The pain I felt was mine not His. The tears I cried myself to sleep with, fell from my eyes, not His. The body that laid there absent-minded was my six year old body NOT His. The fear I felt, my feeling, not His. This phase I went through was all me. It was my battle, my emotions, my body. Every day I gave it all I got. Admitting this I could slap myself for but I will give it all I’ve got because and for Him. To give it all I’ve got can be selfish.
To give it all up to Him. I didn’t give up because, He persevered. I didn’t give in because He fought for me. I gave it all I’ve got because He gave me strength to fight for the next day. The previous phase I went through was the biggest lie I could ever lead myself to believe. Sin was committed against me, Christ’s love was used for me. I wasted so much time blaming God for allowing the abuse to happen to me. But little did I know at that time, that God did something to protect me because He kept covering me with restored purity and new spirit to face another day. Every bit of pain I felt, broke His heart too. The tears I cried, He paid the price for by the blood that covered our sins; even the sin committed/used against me. The body that laid there on so many accounts, was His temple. He knit me together in my mother’s womb. My body is His. Its intended to worship Him, made perfect in His image. He too felt every wrongful act done against me. The fear I felt was heard through my cries but I was too hurt to hear his gentle whispers to “be still, know that I am God, and that He was there for me”. I’m a fighter because He fought for me. Now its time for me to fight for Him. To give it all up to Him is not impossible. I’m Possible.
Since I eventually sought after God and talked to Him about what he already knew, I found a renewed strength to fight back, reclaim what was lost, Become me. I’m possible. I am able to look my perpetrator in the eyes and genuinely say I still love you. I am able to forgive him. I am able to tell myself that I am beautiful. I am able to have hope in a bright future. I am able to love unconditionally. I am able to stand up for my beliefs. I am able to be imperfect. I am able to fight for a better tomorrow. I am able to talk about this and spread awareness. I am able to do all these things because the great “I AM” is alive in me.
I will not give up, because that is not an option.
I will not give in, because that is weak.
I will not give it all I’VE got, because that can be selfish.
I will give it all up to Him, because it is possible.
Thanks to my hero, my Dad, I was reminded that the only option is the fourth. Fight because He fought for you.
This month is Child Sex Abuse Awareness month. I wanted to share this side of my story because it is something worth fighting for. I wanted to take the opportunity to look at God’s prevailing power in such a nasty part of our society and the statistics that are unfortunately true. There is good that can come from this. For anyone who is struggling with being a victim, you are not alone. Fight for another day, because I promise you, its worth it.
He is with you.
God is good.
You can be too.
Give all up to Him.