This is what I do, don't try to understand how I do it; I don't really know either

Posts tagged ‘healing’

Walking Out My Own Personal Redemption

I grew up in Cranbrook, a small town in the Kootenays. I went back during the holidays to visit some family and friends. Going back to Cranbrook is always hard for me because there is so much pain and bad memories from there. I was asked to speak at a church I have never been to before, but I know the senior pastor. He wanted me to share my story. I wrote 3/4 of my talk before I left for Cranbrook. The day before I was to speak I found out that the church did not meet in the location I thought it did. It in fact met in a building where a lot of painful memories were formed for me in childhood.

God has timing right where He wants it. If I had known farther in advance I probably would have cancelled and if I had known upon arrival that morning I probably could not have gotten through the door. As it was, it gave me enough time to wrap my brain around what this would look like to be back on that property,stand at the front and share my story. At that point my story already contained a lot of the things that happened there, without me knowing where I would be standing when talking about it. It was too late to go back and re-write the entire thing so I finished it and told God to do whatever He wanted with it.

We arrived a bit early so I could do sound check but also because I knew I would need some time. I walked through the building and a flood of memories came back, some good and some bad. I went upstairs and to the room where I learned my alphabet. I went downstairs to where my desk was and the school entryway where I used to hang my coat and backpack. I went into the bathroom and it was much smaller than I had remembered it, but it smelled exactly the same. The main floor has a room that was used as a sanctuary for church but when we had school it was a gym. The platform area was so much smaller than I remembered as well. I know I used to run around on it but I couldn’t get more than a few strides on it now if I tried.

I cried. I sobbed really hard actually.I cried for the precious little girl who walked in those walls so long ago and things that happened to her. I sobbed for the scars that would forever remain. Then I stood in front and shared my story. I talked about those things that left the scars but I also talked about how God has been able to use those things to help others. That is the whole point of my story – that those things did not destroy me, though they could have. I have found healing and hope and I want other people to have that too.

That morning broke some things I didn’t even realize still had a hold (funny how that happens). Some people were there who used to attend with my family back then and their validation that those things did happen and they were wrong, was very affirming. We need to talk about the dark places. They will never find light if we don’t.

Below is a link to the message I gave that morning. It is raw, it is real and it is me.

http://www.ihopecranbrook.ca/podcast-messages/2014/12/28/god-loves-restoration

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I was raped

This past week I became aware that a woman in India was gang raped at the orders of an elders council. I found this to be abhorrent and shared this story on my social media to bring awareness to the atrocities that go on in our world. If people don’t know, then they can’t take action. It is my hope that with knowledge people will do what they can to bring about the change that needs to happen in our world to speak to the value of human life.

One of my facebook friends private messaged me that she did not feel that story was appropriate for facebook and that she changes the channel if there is stalking or rape on it. If we ignore the problems they will not go away!

This made me wonder if part of the reason it is easy to turn away is because the victims are nameless and faceless people. Sure rape happens, but if it’s not someone we know then we can pretend it doesn’t. It’s when crime comes close to home we realize how great the problems are.

So that’s why I want to share part of my life story publicly. I want to put a name and face to rape. It’s mine. I was sexually abused as a child from a young age to age 10. My parents knew nothing about it while it was happening. I was raped in high school by an older boy and again at a party in my early 20’s.

I have spoken to too many women who have been through what I have been through. Some had never told anyone what had happened to them. What I went through is still painful even though I have found a lot of healing, but I am grateful that I have been able to use what happened to help other women who know the shame that is left like a residue on your soul.

If you want to pretend this doesn’t happen, then you can no longer look at my face. I am proof that it does and that we have to talk about these issues and take action. Praise be to God that I am also proof that you can go through horrific things and find healing and wholeness. It is difficult to share my story, but I do so because though the scars remain, THEY DO NOT DEFINE ME.

I bring a reality of hope, of life after the darkness.

So how do you help? You help by being a part of the change that has to happen in our culture. This is a fantastic 12 minute video from TedX that will explain the sexual objectification of our culture: http://www.upworthy.com/being-a-sex-object-is-empowering-oh-wait-no-it-s-not-here-s-why-2. Men and Women should watch that video and take the steps she suggests. Things have to change! We should be outraged at what has become normal. If we can not change things here, how can we make changes around the world – changes that will stop women from being raped, stop children from being sold and stop lives from being lost.

If you have been a victim and need help or someone to talk to contact me through social media or my email on the contact page. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

I can only imagine how incredible it would be to live in a world where people saw the value in each and every life.