My Rescue Story

By Guest Writer
PC: Unsplash

***TRIGGER WARNING: This story contains details about childhood abuse & infidelity.

As I was thinking about sharing my story, I felt the Lord saying, “Remind them of my love. Remind them through your own personal story of heartbreak and rejection that my love overcomes all things.” It has no boundaries, it will absorb all our brokenness and make us whole if we choose to operate in and out of it. 

I want to start off by giving you a little background about my childhood. I was fortunate to grow up in a Christian home with two loving parents and a younger sister. Both my parents came from strong Christian families and felt it was important to raise their own family the same way. My father was definitely the spiritual leader in our household and taught us at a very young age what it meant to have a personal relationship with Jesus. From an early age, he did devotions with us at the breakfast table before school. Some of my favorite memories of my father were him sitting in this ugly brown recliner doing his morning devotions and spending time in prayer. I had no idea at the time the impact that would have in my adult life. 

I had a pretty normal childhood up until the age of six and that is when my whole world changed, and my innocence was stolen. I was molested several times by a babysitter and everything I knew to be true, good, and safe drastically changed. From that moment on, I changed from a child that was rooted in love and security, to a child who was consumed by fear. At that moment without even realizing it, every decision I made going forward was rooted in self-protection. I subconsciously suppressed the memories of abuse until college to protect myself and became a child filled with anxiety, shame, guilt, and feelings of unworthiness. Once I started elementary school, it was discovered that I had a learning disability called dyslexia. This brought out even more insecurities and an awareness that I was different.

I had such a deep need for validation and acceptance, especially from my parents and peers. This continued to be a huge thorn throughout my life. I believed the lie I was told by the enemy and others that all I had to offer the world was a pretty face. This lie was constantly reinforced by the world and fed my desire to be accepted. All I ever wanted was to be told I was smart and had something to offer other than my looks. But as a child, I learned to go with whatever got me attention, good or bad, and use that to make me feel better. 

Fast forward to my junior year of college. I was taking a marriage and family class, and we were discussing a chapter in our book about the characteristics of children who experienced sexual abuse. Every characteristic that we read about described my childhood. I suddenly started having night terrors of things that happened to me in my childhood. One day while driving everything that I had suppressed came rushing back: who, what, when, and where my abuse had occurred.

I just couldn’t believe that I had suppressed it all. I finally realized why I was such a fearful and guarded person. I became extremely depressed and even thought about suicide. Needless to say, I dropped out of that semester and went home, shared with my mom what happened to me, and was put into counseling immediately. I wish I could say I was healed after that season of working through what I remembered about my abuse, but all it did was help make sense to why I acted the way I did. My relationship with the Lord was not at all where it needed to be. I had completely run away from my faith and was living only for me. I did go back to college and finish school, but never really healed from the wounds caused from the abuse. 

Fast forward through some years of really rough seasons of making bad decisions and heartbreak such as losing a fiancĂ© in a drunk driving accident and literally swimming out of my childhood home with my family during hurricane Katrina. The Lord was always so faithful and never left me nor forsook me when I needed him most. His love never fails and will always be there when we turn to him for comfort. I did recognize his arms of grace and mercy being around me during these years of wrestling. 

It was two Easters ago that I sat in front of this hollow building with a cross up front to watch the sunrise. God woke me up early that morning, and I just felt led to go to the beach and be with him. I just so happened to drive right up to this spot and see this empty building in front of me and was immediately drawn to the cross on top of it. I knew Hurricane Katrina had destroyed the building. It was just a shell now of an old seafood factory. As I sat there and prayed I felt the Holy Spirit say, “This is your heart...It has been bruised by life's storms and left you feeling empty.” I also felt the Holy Spirit say, “You will never love others well from your places of brokenness! You say that you believe that I love You and my Son died for you, but do you truly live that way?” 

I have come to understand that believing in something and truly knowing it are two very different things. To know it would mean I lived it out in every aspect of my life. Unfortunately, this was not the case. The truth is, I never fully rested in Christ's love for me. I was uncomfortable with the fact that someone could really love everything about me—especially the ugly parts. The weird thing was, deep down somewhere within my broken heart, I longed for it. Isn’t that what we all long for, to be fully known and loved? 

When Jesus died on the cross for us, it was a finished work. He even spoke the very words “it is finished” and took his last breath, meaning from that day forward God no longer saw our imperfections. He saw us whole and pure. We were completely forgiven. My biggest regret up until this point has been taking everything that has happen to me in my life as a direct reflection of how worthy I am of LOVE!! I let life’s circumstances, other people, and my own flawed thinking determine if I WAS WORTHY of Jesus hanging on the cross for me. I tried to love others from my broken places, which led to not loving people very well. 

If we allow Jesus to heal those broken areas, we can love from a place of wholeness. In scripture God says he is the living water and we will never be thirsty if we drink from his well (John 4:14). We will love others without expectations. It will be unconditional and selfless just as Christ’s love is for us. Little did I know that I was about to go through a season where these realities would become my truth. 

2018 was the most difficult season of my life. My husband of ten years had an affair and decided to walk out and leave our family. In my battle to save my marriage, I was faced with feelings of abandonment and rejection that fueled old patterns of self-protection. His actions reinforced the lie that I was unworthy of love that I had believed for so long. Once again I found myself a prisoner of those lies. 

As I was crying out to the Lord, He spoke to me and said, “I am about to move mountains within this home.” That is what I held on to throughout our season of transformation. While in this season, I knew the Lord was speaking to me about what I had allowed to become an idol in my life. I had become so codependent on my husband to validate my worth. This expectation caused so much damage in our relationship. My husband had his own battles he was fighting with alcohol and pornography, and I wanted to be the “fixer.” I had the counseling background and thought I knew better. I wore my judgmental hat proudly never seeing that his insecurities were rooted in the same place mine were. I justified my need to fix him all the while hiding my own insecurities of shame and unworthiness. By trying to be the fixer I felt validated and worthy, and he felt alone and judged. “But I was helping him,” I would tell myself. This lie was the demise of our marriage and what I believe led him to give into the affair. He needed to be seen and loved for who he was and where he was at the time. I realized afterwards during the separation that this woman spoke to the place of brokenness in him that was also created by a place of unworthiness in his own childhood. 

Here we were two people that really did love one another, but allowed the devil to use our insecurities against us and each other. We were the perfect storm. After many months of separation and God really doing an overhaul in both are hearts, we chose to fight for our marriage. I knew in that decision that I would finally have to come face to face with what I had always used as a crutch to justify my behavior. The victim mentality would no longer be welcome in our home. I drew a line in the sandI always struggled with feelings of shame and unworthiness stemming from my childhood sexual abuse. Feeling that I was damaged goods or unlovable drove my identity. The affair was just the icing on the cake to many years of believing that I was truly unworthy of love. But with all those thoughts swirling around in my head, I wasn't going to let them steal anymore of my family’s future. I decided for the first time in my life I was going to TRY and let the Lord fight for me. I came to realize I had a hard time being submissive. It was rooted in the robbing of my innocence. The evil that destroyed my youth was once again trying to destroy my future. History has a way of repeating itself if you allow it. 

Once again, the Lord would use a powerful image to break me free of a lie that I had believed. As I was sitting in worship and praying early one morning while watching the sunrise, I was reflecting on what has been holding me back from truly embracing my freedom in Christ. I am a visual learner, so God always speaks to me in visions and pictures. He gave me this vision of me as a little girl sitting by myself with shackles on my feet. I was hitting the shackles with a sledgehammer trying to break them loose. God revealed to me that it was “me” trying to set myself free. He showed me that I was not fully trusting in what Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross truly represented for me, but in my own self-protection. Then I saw myself look down and see that the shackles on my feet were already loose, I could easily slip my feet out and was in fact free but was acting as if I was still in chains. I heard the Holy Spirit say to me, “I have already set you free my child. You were set free the moment that I died on the cross for you and all mankind. I meant what I said when I said, ‘It is finished.’ ” 

I realized that I was still trying to break free from something that God had already set me free from when I accepted him as my Lord and Savior. Then all of a sudden, I saw Jesus appear and scoop my little girl frame into his arms. I just wept! In that moment I realized that I didn’t need that little girl anymore to protect me—I had Jesus and so did she. Truth is, I have always had him. 

I think sometimes we are all guilty of going back to our places of comfort even if that is in shackles. Our places of chaos can seem better than places of transformation because somehow we feel more in control there. Healing is tough stuff, but with the Healer we can be reassured over and over—like in my case—that God uses all things for our good and his glory. There is so much beauty in our surrender and our obedience. This is the place where we can most glorify him. 

We are posting this piece under the title "Guest Writer" due to the sensitive nature of the content. Thank you for understanding!


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