I have survived many hardships in life. When I was just a child, I was emotionally and mentally abused by my mother. I had an angry and violent father who was an alcoholic. I was no stranger to pain.
The worst abuse that I had ever encountered didn't come until later in my life. It is the kind of abuse that can strip one of their spirit.
At 13 years old, I was sexually abused by a man whom I believed was a warm and comforting light in my somber life. He first acted as a father to me, and desperate for a stable and loving parental figure, I had overlooked the signs of darkness within this man's heart. It carried on for nearly four years before I could escape the unrelenting suffering that plagued my soul.
Some might question how God could allow such a thing. Why did such needless grief need to infiltrate my life?
Years later, I learned that my perpetrator was killed. His life was taken from him at the hands of another one of his victims, a young man, not much different from myself. It was only a few moments of his life, yet this boy found himself on a very dark path.
When I heard this story, very suddenly, my suffering started to make sense. I intervened on his young man's behalf. I helped counsel him, console him and put him back on the path to God. Now, that young man has become a pastor.
While I wish nothing more than to have the dark spots of my past erased, that young man helped to show me that my past sufferings could be used for future good. My pain was used to help heal his. I have been able to show that a troubled past, does not deter you from walking alongside God and finding his hand again.
I continue to share my story in hopes of inspiring the same reaction in other victims of sexual abuse. It is, in large part, why I have chronicled my story in my memoir, The Heartest Story Finally Told, Jesus's Glory Divinely Bold.
All of my life, I had felt that God was with me. Even through the worst of my abuse, there wasn't a second of my life I didn't believe God was standing, steady and resolute, at my side. Of course, there were moments I could not feel his presence. There were times of doubt, when it seemed that my pain was greater than my Savior's love.
The key is in remembering that the pain, strife and sorrow is only a small line in God's greater story for you. That the suffering can be converted into a story of God for His glory. For him to use, as well as others.
I went from a boy who experienced nearly every form of spiritual, emotional and physical abuse one could endure, to a solider and preacher of His endless mercy. Today, I am happily married to my beautiful wife, who has helped bring three beautiful stepchildren into my life. I am the owner, president and CEO of a successful company in Ohio. I find it impossible to believe that the contrast between where I started and where I have ended up did not take place without a predetermined path set by the Lord. He gives me the life I live today.
Dan Quenneville writes under the pen name Alter Pain in his first novel The Heartest Story Finally Told: Jesus's Glory Divinely Bold. Quenneville shares how he was guided through a troubled past by his love and faith in God. He now looks to share his story in hopes of inspiring other to open their hearts to God and move past the shame of prior traumas.
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