I remember it like yesterday.
It was the day I “spilled the beans.”
There I sat in the gazebo. It was late afternoon. The warm sunshine brightened the landscape around me. The birds were singing cheerfully. But I didn’t notice.
I was dead on the inside. I had died years before.
How I got to this place in my life where I wanted freedom is still a mystery to me. But, in God’s time, I saw a ray of hope. I clung to it. I wanted to be free so badly. I realized that I needed to tell someone. Someone who could help me. Mysteriously, a loving Father steered this broken little girl to people who pointed her to Him.
I proceeded to rid myself of everything I could think of that made me feel dirty, unlovable and used. Though there was much about the abuse that I didn’t remember at that point, there was still plenty of junk that needed to be released. Things that had been done to me. Things that I had done.
There was no emotion as I hauntingly told of the fantasies and masturbation. The magazines. The cursing. The pictures I took. The attention men had given me that I both hated and craved. I couldn’t make eye contact with my dorm mom. I tried, but it was impossible. I was too ashamed.
It wasn’t pretty. Rather, the things I disclosed that day were ugly, evil, and vile. I felt like I wasn’t worth fighting for. In a way, this was my last hope.
The dorm mom listened with rapt attention.
Finally, all the ugly was out. Out of the dark and into the Light.
There was a moment of silence.
And then came the question that changed my life: “Ann, do you believe that God loves you?”
My mind instantly kicked in. “Of course! I was taught that before I went to Sunday School!”, I was about to say. But I stopped.
Did I? Did I really believe that Jesus loves me?
Suddenly, the realization swept over me.
“No,” I managed to stammer shamefully.
How could He? I was ugly. Dirty. Worthless. Besides, I had done terrible things!
A wave of emotion caught me off guard. I began to weep in earnest.
In that moment, I met Jesus.
I felt His arms go around me. I saw His tears mingle with mine. I heard the compassion and love in His voice as He gently whispered, “Ann, it doesn’t matter. I love you. I always have, and I always will.”
I’ve never been the same since.
Instead of pushing God’s love away, I began to choose to receive it. What a difference it made! It changed everything for me.
Oh, I’ve had plenty of ups and downs. I still do. (Just ask my husband!) It hasn’t been an easy road. But the answer to that important question marks the beginning of my journey to freedom and healing from sexual abuse.
I don’t know where you’re at in your life. Maybe you too, feel emotionally dead. Maybe you are the little girl or the little boy who feels worthless and dirty. Or maybe you feel like you’ve done too much evil and that there’s no hope for you.
Let me tell you: There is hope in Jesus Christ. Not only hope, but also healing. He loves you more than you know. He loves you no matter what you’ve done or what others have done to you. I beg you to believe that with all your heart.
It’s safe to come to Him. He won’t turn you away. He does not despise a broken, contrite heart. Tell Him everything. Spill it all. Get rid of all the filth.
Maybe you want to meet Jesus, but you feel incapable of coming to Jesus. If so, find someone whom you trust who knows Jesus and has experienced His love in a personal way. Then, spill the dirt and grime. Don’t hold anything back from the Light. Choose to begin your journey of healing today.
And so, I ask you: “Do you really believe that Jesus loves you?”
Your answer to this question could change everything for you. Just as it did for me.