It is a sad fact that in todays society, many females are victims of abuse. I say females because you do not have to be a certain age to get abused, it could happen to anyone. Another sad fact is that many of these victims actually know their attacker. This can cause feelings of anger, confusion, distrust, vulnerability and even guilt. But sister I am here to encourage you that you are a victor and not a victim. You do not have to hold onto the hurt anymore because I know someone who is just waiting for you to realise that He loves you so much more than anything and He wants you to realise that all of your troubles are temporary.
I pray that as I write this that I will be able to encourage you to grow and for you to know that you are much more than your past, I also pray that this letter will encourage you to tell someone about what happened to you and that you will able to pray to God and express to Him how you feel right now and also about how you have felt. This letter may not contain many biblical scriptures but I pray that God will use me to bless you.
How can you believe in a God who allowed this to happen to you? How can you pray to a God who allowed things to go as far as they did? How? I am a true believer that your tests will always turn around into your testimonies. God puts people into our lives for a reason, some people stay in your life for a lifetime but others are there to teach you a lesson and to help you grow. It is often with hindsight that we are able to look at certain situations and then finally understand why things happened the way that they did. People often say that God will not give you anything that you cannot handle, but that is a lie. That statement comes from a misinterpretation of 1 Corinthians 10:13. There is nothing in this world that we can do on our own, when we leave God out of our plans we will never be victorious. You can look back in the Bible as far as Genesis 11 where we are told about the Tower of Babel, the people attempted to build the tower so high that it will touch the heavens and at first it appeared as though they were succeeding, however when God saw this He had to confuse the people and stop them from understanding one another and then they failed. At first it appeared as though they were succeeding but God showed them that if they do not include God in their plans, they will never succeed. It is from this perspective that I have come to understand that God will put us through situations that we cannot handle because we are not omnipotent, God puts us through situations in order for us to turn to Him and become fully dependent on Him for our deliverance because He is the only one who can bring us through our tests.
Psalm 34:17-18 says that “The Lord hears his people when they call to Him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” I cannot even describe just how true this is. You are a daughter of God, He will rescue you physically, mentally and emotionally and He will remain close to you. But wait a second, how could God allow this to happen to you? The truth is, how can God rescue you if have not been crushed, what would God be restoring? You might be thinking that it is not fair because your sister or your friend did not need rescuing, but God has a plan for every single one of us. There are some of us who are able to believe in God when everything is perfect but for some of us, it takes a death or a metaphorical storm to draw us nearer to God. God knew us so well that He knew how to draw each and every one of us nearer to Him. I can personally say that I was truly stubborn and that is why God had to make certain things happen to me and put certain people in my life, some positive but many negative, to draw me closer to Him, but I only realised this in retrospect, so just keep holding on.
Psalm 119:71 says that “My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees.” This scripture totally sums up what I am trying to explain. The suffering that you went through after being abused be it; depression, anger, doubt or fear has made you the person that you are today in Christ. You are alive and you are still standing. You may still be suffering but if you tell God about your problems and lay all your worries before Him, He will bring you through this. God just wants you to believe that He can, God wants you to know that He loves you and that He can rescue you. God wants you to know that if you come to Him, He will make you feel whole again, you will no longer have to go back to that bottle or man that you found your self-worth in. You will no longer have to cut yourself or make yourself sick because He will take the burden off of your shoulders. You will no longer have to cry yourself to sleep at night thinking about what happened to you because God loves you so much and He is the greatest comforter that you will ever know or need.
Isaiah 41:10 & 12 tells says “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand…You will look in vain for those who tried to conquer you. Those who attack you will come to nothing.” To my sister who has been abused, this scripture is truly for you. This scripture does not just remind you that God will help you and strengthen you but when you read the last two sentences it tells you about what will happen to your abuser. It will do you no good to keep thinking about your abuser or thinking of a way to seek revenge, you might even desire to know why they did it, but in this scripture God is telling you that none of these things will bring you comfort or closure. When you lay all of your worries down before Christ you will then find all of the closure that you could ever dream about. When you begin to understand just how much God loves you and when you realise that He will never ever let go of you, these facts will comfort you.
I find that one of the hardest things in life can be forgiving someone who has not said sorry and probably never will. I used to think it was impossible. In my head this is how forgiveness was meant to happen; 1) A hurts B, 2)B is sad or angry, 3) A feels remorseful, 4) A apologises to B, 5) B accepts the apology and 6) then they both move forward. Maybe that was just me being naive but that was honestly how I thought that forgiveness was meant to come about. So with that idea in my head I found it hard to understand how it was possible to get to step 6 without steps 3-5 ever actually taking place. How can you forgive someone if you have no evidence that they feel any sense of remorse? How can you forgive someone if they have never apologised? What exactly would you be forgiving? That idea of forgiveness is the world’s view of how to forgive. However, when you get to know Christ and allow Him to transform your mind and when you read His word, you will begin to understand how to forgive without ever hearing the word ‘sorry.’
Ephesians 4:31-32 says “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behaviour. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” The last line truly sums up why we should forgive. If we want to be Christ-like we must forgive. Once we recognise the importance of forgiveness, we will then be open to learning how to forgive. This scripture shows forgiveness to be a solitary action, it is an instruction of what we must each do individually. God does not say ‘wait for so and so to apologise and then…’ He just says to do it. Once we know what is required of us we must automatically do so. If we sit around waiting for an apology to come so that we can forgive them, we may find ourselves at the feet of the Father before we even get this apology and then we are going to have to explain to Him why we have not forgiven our abuser after all of this time.
Another thing that I want to encourage you to do is to speak to someone about what has happened. This person does not necessarily have to be a counsellor, it can be someone who you know, a family member or friend. Finding someone to talk to about this can be hard, especially if the person who abused you is a family member or friend because this means that you might be frightened to speak to mutual friends about what happened because you are scared about the repercussions that this might have for your abuser. When finding someone to talk to about what happened to you, it is also good to think about what kind of person they are! Are they trustworthy? Have they told you about someone who they know that had got abused or been cheated on etc.? If so then maybe this might not be the right person because the same way that they spoke about that persons secret, the same thing could happen to you! It is also important to decide whether or not you want to report this to the police, if so you should definitely make sure that you have told someone who you know prior to going to the police because they will be able to support you throughout the process. When trying to decided who you should speak to, pray to God, ask Him to show you the hearts of people who you want to trust in. Ask God to give you strength as you speak to them and to give them the knowledge about what to say to you to support you throughout this time.
To my sister who has been abused, this is my prayer for you. I pray that you will know that you are not alone. I pray that you will know that you are special and treasured. I pray that although terrible things have happened to you, that you will not be defeated by your circumstances and that you will not define yourself by what has happened. I pray that you will realise just how beautiful and special you are, God made you for a reason and saved you for a reason. I pray that you will not lose faith in God and that you will be able to understand and believe that He is your shelter. I pray that you will be able to forgive whoever abused you, I pray that you will be strong enough to move on. I pray that you will be able to forgive and to learn and believe why it is so important to forgive. I pray over your relationships. I pray over your relationships with your friends and family and that you will not place the blame on them for what happened and that you will be able to trust them. I pray that you will be able to love again. I pray that what happened to you will not effect your future relationships. I pray that you will leave whoever or whatever it is that you may be currently finding your value and worth in and that you will turn to God. I pray for you and with you. I just want you to know that God is as real as you and I. I pray for you because I love you. I pray for your friend or family member or whoever it is that you are going to confide in, I pray that they will be able to know what to say to you and I pray that they will be able to keep it a secret if that is what you desire. In Jesus’ name, Amen.