Let me start off by saying that this, more than anything, is me stepping outside of my comfort zone. This is me stepping out on pure faith. About 95% of my blogs talk about me healing (or trying to heal) from being raped as a child. I share my lessons and blessings as it pertains to being a survivor, and how I moved from victim to SURVIVOR (yes, in all caps). Yet tonight as I was doing my devotional work, the Lord said something clear as day to me: “It is time to tell it all.” To understand what I mean, open your bibles to Luke 7:36-50.
This woman is listed in the bible as a sinner, yet her name and sins are never mentioned. As I learned from my devotional study, those items were not important, as she was the object of the lesson- not the subject. The subject of the story is Simon. Simon is a Pharisee (better known as one of Jesus’ haters) and he had invited Christ to his house this particular evening. Simon did not really know who Christ was and was most likely looking for an opportunity to trap Christ, hence his invitation. However, this sinner-woman knew exactly who Christ was and she entered into Simon’s house (uninvited) so that she could beg forgiveness. She sat at His feet; wept bitterly; and washed, dried, anointed, and kissed the feet of Christ. Simon, of course, asked if Christ knew who this woman was, to which Christ responded by saying that she was forgiven of her sins. She was the object of Christ’s lesson because, yes she had sinned, but she boldly entered into Simon’s home, not caring about her past, so that she could be in the presence of Christ. She did not allow her past to prevent her from her worship of today.
And that is why I am here, on this post, today. That story messed me up. Now mind you, I just read that story about 10 days ago in another devotional study, but it did not carry the same meaning then as it does today. Today Christ is requiring more of me because He has taught me more (January has been a month full of lessons…and we are only 19 days in!). Today, Christ is telling me to tell you all the truth- I am a sinner.
Yes, I was raped as a child. Yes, that was the most horrible thing that ever happened to me. No, it is not the worst thing I allowed to occur in my life.
I had no control over my brother’s actions when he raped me as a child. I had no say in the matter and I barely had a voice during those years. The courage that I developed to finally say something came directly from the Lord- not me. Between my father leaving me as a child and my brother raping me, I had a pretty distorted view of men. I was hypersexual and desperately seeking male attention.
I remember that I used to stuff my bra with tissue as a 5th grader, because I wanted boys to notice me. The biggest joke of my life occurred shortly after that when I hit a growth spurt and I became fully developed…very early in life. I needed boys to see me. I needed boys to like me. I needed their attention.
So when they were not giving their attention freely, I did more to seek it. As years passed, I became very open and free with my body, thinking that my actions would cause one of my crushes to finally like me back. After awhile, I saw that the boys my age were not responding so I gladly accepted the advances of men who were way too old for me. They gave me the attention and the comfort that I needed, so…
By the time I got to college, I had decided to stay clear of the significantly older men and focus on my college-aged peers. My freshman year of college was an alcoholic blur (that was very hard to type). By sheer accident, my best friend and I ended up in a coed, multi-class dorm. DISCLAIMER: my best friend did not spend her year as I did; she and I are twins in many ways, but not in our dealings with men. While she spent most of her time studying or hanging with me when we were hanging with the girls, I spent my time hanging with boys. An upperclassmen football star, to be specific. He was exactly what I did not need in my life, yet I was naïve and insecure so I gravitated towards him. Always loosened by alcohol, I spent my first two years at college trying to drink away the pain of my life.
Little known fact? That is why I transferred colleges. I left because the college was small and my name was too known on campus. I am NOT proud of that but it is my truth.
After that, I was “reformed” and practiced serial monogamy. Once in a “committed” relationship, I felt comfortable enough to share the parts of me that God had intended for my husband only. I gave and gave more of my spirit and in turn received the tainted spirits of the men that I had been with (go read about Soul Ties).
Face it; I was a promiscuous, almost-alcoholic who only pretended to know God. I saw more bars than churches and I knew more Baltimore Club Music than I knew bible verses. I partied hard- smoking that Mary Jane here and there, drinking vodka like water, and giving my body away to one boyfriend after another.
I was a MESS! How could God ever use someone like me? Better yet, why would He ever want to use someone like me?
Please believe me when I say this: I am skipping A LOT of the really bad parts of my past. I was absolutely horrible to myself! I had no respect for myself and I allowed others to treat me with the same disregard.
I honestly cannot tell you why God chose to spare my life. I cannot tell you why He chose to forgive me for the way I treated myself. Yes, I was raped for two years, and that is horrible, but the way I treated myself was just as bad. I cannot tell you why God kept my story from having a different ending. But I can tell you that just like He forgave and saved me, He can forgive and save anyone.
When I think of the sinner-woman in Luke 7:36-50, I see myself. Completely throwing myself at the feet of the Lord, crying serious Viola Davis tears, and pouring my heart out to Him…without ever uttering a word.
That was me in 2017.
I wept bitterly to the Lord, asking Him to take over my life. I did not want to live in the pain that had consumed me for my entire life; instead, I wanted to walk in His will. I was tired of being broken and battered. He saved me, completely freed me from my past, and then told me to sin no more.
Have you ever heard of those twins, Grace and Mercy? No, they are not really twins, but they represent gifts of the Lord. Simply put, Grace is when God decides to bless us in spite of us and Mercy is when God prevents something from happening, even though our actions deserve it.
God’s grace… God’s mercy…
…the reasons I am here today.
Despite me and my horrible treatment of the one temple that God has given me (my body), God decided to use my testimony to free someone else. He alone converted my pain into purpose.
Once again, I limited God by thinking that this ministry was just to help people heal from pain inflicted on them. As it turns out, it is a ministry to help people heal- period. Whether it is from the pain that others caused or the pain that we caused ourselves, God is calling us to come out of that pain and bondage.
Beloved, I do not know who you are or what your story is but know this: Christ can heal and save you from it all.
I am no one special- I am just a sinner saved by grace.
Flawed by nature; saved by grace.
That is M.E.
Regardless of who the subject is in your story; you are the OBJECT LESSON and our stories can end the same way:
“I was, but God…”