Ever since I can remember, life has been a struggle for me. Everything in my life was negative, including the image I had of God.
I didn't understand why I felt so unloved and unworthy to be loved. I had received Christ as my Savior when I was 14, but no matter how hard I tried, all my efforts were met with condemnation and ridicule.
It wasn't until I was 28 years old and struggling to find the courage to leave an abusive husband that I stepped into a counselor's office and began my journey into freedom. The memories flooded my mind, and I wept bitterly as I told the counselor of my abusive marriage and the rape and molestation I had endured as a child.
Within six months I left my husband, taking with me our two sons. I was five months pregnant with our third child.
Years of self-help books couldn't ease the deep pain and anger I felt because of the way the abuse had stripped me of my childhood and shaped me into the adult I had become. A friend put me in contact with a Christian counselor, and after a 10-year absence, I began attending church again.
God began healing the wounds I'd suffered as a child, and within a few years, I thought I was strong enough in the Lord to handle anything. But after 13 years of raising my boys alone, I unwittingly walked into another abusive relationship, which I remained involved in for 11 months.
What could have been the end of my Christian faith turned into one of the greatest faith-building journeys I have ever been on. Through that relationship, God allowed me to see my heart.
Everything I had believed in and held to be true about myself and God came crashing to the ground. What remained was my faith that God was there, that He was enough and that He was beginning to reshape me into His image.
Through more Christian counseling, my eyes were opened to see the anger, hatred and unforgiveness I had toward those who had harmed me. I learned that my unforgiveness created a barrier between God and myself and held me in bondage. It was then my life began to change.
When we allow the Spirit of God to bind our wounds and reveal His truth to us, the emotional trauma of the past begins to lose its grip. Then we can walk in the freedom Jesus Christ came to give us.
Once I began to find freedom from the past, I no longer considered myself an adult survivor of childhood sexual assault. I'm not just a survivor; I am an overcomer! Through the blood of Jesus Christ, I am overcoming the trauma of my childhood and walking in the freedom of the life I was born to live!