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There were so many days that I would pray and beg God to save us. To just let us leave and go live with someone else. I would ask Him why. Why did I have to go through this abuse? What did I do to deserve this? Why can’t I just leave and never turn back? There were nights when I would sit alone in our room and I would notice condensation on our window. Wondering if I wrote help on it if someone would see it before he did and rescue us. But my fear paralyzed me.
This is the fifth post in this series, to start from the beginning, please click here.
Disclaimer: I wrote this in 2013 to share my testimony with the world in the hopes of helping other children faced with abuse. Most times, you will be the only person to advocate for a child that cannot stand up for themselves. Children in abusive situations are taught to conceal every aspect of abuse, so if you by chance are able to see something, it may be the only opportunity for rescue a child has. Please take the appropriate steps to report child abuse. I have since rewritten and updated these posts to make them more understandable and up to my current writing standards.
When I heard the gospel
When someone tells a child who they are for so long it’s hard to not believe it. He made me believe that I was Satan’s daughter. That I was somehow related to the devil and inherently evil. I was the liar. The cheater. The thief. I could never ever do right. If I was awake, I must be up to something wrong.
So when we went to church I thought the sermons weren’t for me. We went and sat in the pews, followed his rules with our hands in our laps and listened to every word while trying to memorize the sermon. Because we would have to give a summary afterward to prove that we were paying attention. Although I don’t agree with the technique, I’m still grateful that I heard those sermons. I knew that I was a sinner, not because he convinced me that I was, but because I was smart enough to know that everyone was a sinner. So I did hear the word of God. I just didn’t believe that someone as horrible as I was, was included in the people Jesus died for.
But when I was eight years old, we went to the Tacoma Dome for something special. I don’t remember who was speaking but it was someone really important. I want to say Billy Graham but I don’t want to be quoted on that. All I know is that it was a big event. We were surrounded by so many people that I felt safer than usual. And I listened, intently. And something got through to me.
I had heard the gospel. When we got home from church, while I was supposed to be on restriction, I went into our little walk-in closet, got on my knees and asked for forgiveness. I asked Jesus to come into my heart and to rule my life. I also asked Him to save me from the horrible mess of a situation we were in.
The next day at school I went out to the playground and told everyone I knew about Him. And I kept telling until I came to a point where I thought we were never going to be rescued. When I got saved, I had no one that I was close to-to tell about my decision.
With no guidance, I didn’t know a lot about God. I just thought that since I gave my life to Him that He would do anything that I asked. But I was wrong. I didn’t understand the concept of God apart from what everyone knows, that He died for our sins.
As the days passed, my heart grew harder. I became angry with God. Angry that I was still sitting in the same spot on my bed. Angry that I was still getting beat daily. Just angry. I thought that God didn’t love me. How could this be love? I must have thought God was some magic wizard in the sky that would wave a wand and make everything better. I knew absolutely nothing about God. Now I know, that there is a purpose in all things. Maybe I went through all of that, so I can share this with you.
Even with my back turned, He was still there
Looking back now, I see how God gave me relief even in the darkness. I see the peace that He gave me in the midst of it all. And I see the people He placed in my life so that I could see that good exists. I’ll always be grateful for the summers I spent at my grandmother’s house. The Sundays I spent at my uncle’s house. Or a friend’s mother that saw me at the grocery store and bought me a piece of candy when I was in kindergarten. There were so many little moments that held me over until the next.
The best to look forward to was spending the summers at my grandmother’s house. A whole summer without him was always a dream come true. We could be in a house surrounded by love for us and try to be children. We could sit at the kitchen table with our Grammy and laugh until our sides hurt. When I look back and search for the happy moments when I was a kid, those are what I remember. They are a ray of sunshine in the rest of my muddled dark memories.
It seems like my life has always been made up of these moments. I can’t look back and not see God helping me. I know that God doesn’t make choices for us. That if we were His robots and He controlled us that he would have never laid a hand on me. I know that he chose to beat us and my mother chose to let him so I don’t blame God for any of it. Now I know we are part of a fallen world that has been tainted rotten with sin, and that sin controls people and their choices. I thank God that I am free from that control and I hope he is too. It’s hard to know if my mother is, she says she’s saved but if I were to judge her fruit then I would be forced to believe something different. I pray for her salvation. And I hope that one day she wakes up and realizes what she did.
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Please feel free to share this, my hope is that through my brokenness I can save other children from abuse.
Are you a victim of abuse? How can I pray for you?