I was beaten. I was raped. I was silent.
Not anymore…because I’m not the only one, living with this darkness.
He wasn’t a stranger in an alley. He was my boyfriend. I said no. He didn’t listen. Suddenly, everything changed. The world around me kept spinning, but those moments for me stood still. When I close my eyes, I still see him; That flash of anger in his eyes. In an instant, I became a statistic. A cold, hard fact lost in a desensitized world. I believed the lie that speaking out served no purpose. If anyone knew what had happened to me, I’d be the one getting the dirty looks. Not him. I’d already learned that most abusers walk free, unattached to the consequences of their choices. Meanwhile, I’d lose friends. My family would never look at me the same way again. I’d be viewed as damaged. Shame seeped into the depths of my being. I blamed myself. So, I buried every last traumatizing memory and walked away with a fake smile on my face. It was too hard, coming forward with my story. Instead, I quietly suffocated in my pain, locking myself away in the dark.
Eleven years later, I’m walking into the light. I won’t keep silent anymore. In the silence, evil wins…but evil made a grave mistake: It had forgotten Whose daughter I am.
“I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God…” Romans 8:38-39
This is my journey. A journey millions of others are on. From darkness to light. From victim to survivor. From broken to beautiful. My first instinct was to do the hard work of healing before I shared my story. I wasn’t sure I could help anyone right where I’m at. I wanted to present myself as someone who had it all together; someone who knew the answers. But I’m not there yet. Chances are, many reading this may not be either. The search for our true identity, the one that was ripped from us at the hands of abuse, doesn’t need to be a journey we venture on alone.
The truth is, I’m terrified. The fear of facing what haunts me has kept me frozen in time for years. Today, I’m choosing a new life. I’m rewriting the story. I’m following His plan…because we’re never too far gone, never in too deep. His love can reach us, no matter where we are. Today is the day I stand up and walk into the light, with The One who loved me at my darkest.
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.”