Tag Archive | rape

I’ll build an altar to praise Him….

Today I came across something I’d written years previous: “God is asking me to go back and get the pieces of myself that I abandoned as a young girl. They are pieces of my heart that were left behind because it was just too painful to bring them with me. But now as an adult God is asking me to bring them to the forefront again, to remember them, to bring them to Him, because now as an adult I need them to become the beauty that God created me to be from the beginning…. I need them because God wants to turn my ashes into beauty and He can only do that when I bring them to Him.”

As I look back on the path behind me, in my minds eye it’s as if I can see places along the way marked with an altar of stones…those places where I picked up the pieces of my heart that were lost, stolen or broken or simply never uncovered…and as I picked up each one, sometimes with deep pain and endless tears, other times with intense anger but always with an expectation and a hope, would I lay them at the feet of Jesus.

Small altars along the path of my life built with rough rocks and stones symbolizing memories, brokenness and pain that I needed to surrender, to lay down…those deep places of the heart and spirit that needed His healing touch…. these altars along the path marked my journey with the Lord.

Canadian musician and songwriter Steve Bell, whom I’ve had the privilege of seeing in concert, sings a song called: Here by the Water

Soft field of clover
Moon shining over the valley
Joining the song of the river
To the great giver of the great good

As it enfolds me
Somehow it holds me together
I realize I’ve been singing
Still it comes ringing
Clearer than clear

And here by the water
I’ll build an altar to praise Him
Out of the stones that I’ve found here
I’ll set them down here
Rough as they are
Knowing You can make them holy
Knowing You can make them holy
Knowing You can make them holy


I think how a yearning

Has kept on returning to move me
Down roads I’d never have chosen
Half the time frozen
Too numb to feel

I know it was stormy

I hope it was for me learning
Blood on the road wasn’t mine though
Someone that I know
Has walked here before

I came to the place in my life where no longer could I hide the stones that I’d been given: stones of abuse and rape, stones of abandonment and rejection. They were getting too heavy to carry so I would drop them but no longer could I step over them either.

The stones were not smooth but were jagged and rough, causing me to stumble along the path sometimes cutting my feet. As I looked back I also saw places along the trail stained with blood marking the path.

At the time, although I wasn’t sure how God could make my stones holy, deep down I knew He could, that He would.

How would He bring good out of evil, how could I sing, how could I praise Him….how could He, how would He heal me…and yet, I knew…that somehow, the God of all creation, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End…would bring healing…I had a flicker of hope ignite deep in my spirit and I knew…I believed, and I hung onto HOPE!!

And I began to sing…as God took my bloodied and battered heart and begin to heal it, to mold it, to soften it…. I sang, and hand in hand together God and I walked this rough and uneven path.

This was certainly not the road I would have chosen as a young girl…but I am here today, alive, healing and still singing!! Why can I sing…because I know that I do not walk this road alone.

There were times along the path of healing that the stones were so sharp I felt like my heart was being ripped to shreds.

The trail is stained with my hurt, tears and grief.

But the blood on the path….the blood is not mine…it was shed for me, definitely, but is is mine, no….and the tears…well, they’re not all mine either…..

 And here by the water
I’ll build an altar to praise Him
Out of the stones that I’ve found here
I’ll set them down here
Rough as they are
Knowing You can make them holy
Knowing You can make them holy
Knowing You can make them holy

All the stones….rejection, abandonment, anger, fear, abuse, rape, self-pity, approval, addictions, striving…..today they are all holy….because I chose to lay them at the feet of Jesus and build an altar to praise Him, rough as they were….. so that He could take them from me, use them and make them holy.

And He has……

 

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The Man With No Face

I am small in my bed.  I must be five or six.  I am on the bottom bunk.  I look up at the wooden slats supporting the mattress above me.  The glow-in-the-dark stars are there so I won’t be afraid.  There’s an amazing mural painted on the wall.  The Cat in the Hat balancing on a ball.  My mom painted it.  My mom is the best artist I know.  Two squares of light appear in the corner and move slowly across the wall, then disappear into the closet.  After a minute they appear again, this time starting from the closet and moving in the opposite direction.  The fading whine and rumble was louder that time.  Must have been a truck.

There is someone in my room.  It’s a man.  His hair is black.  He is over me.  I am being squished.  I am being pushed.  I can’t breathe right.  His hand is over my mouth.  His hand is on my mouth and I can’t scream.  My hips are being pushed down, down deep into the bed.  I struggle to get free, but I can’t.  I can’t move.  I am too small.  The man is too big.  Pain washes over me.  Waves of pain.  Wave after wave of unbearable, unimaginable pain.  Oh God, make it stop.  Please make it stop!  I am being punished.  I am being vivisected.  I am … BAD!

   In my memory, there is something strange about the man’s face.  It’s all gray.  It’s missing.  Somehow I took a giant pink eraser and rubbed it out from the picture.  The man’s identity was something I refused to see.  It was the truth I refused to know.

Ambivalence

Ambivalence. A word that is hard to describe when it comes to sexual abuse. Dr. Dan B. Allender defines it best in his book, The Wounded Heart, as “feeling two contradictory emotions at the same moment.”

A warning that parts of this story may be difficult to read…. I share it not for the graphic nature, although I will try to be sensitive and leave out specific details, it may be offensive to some readers. I hope that through it you may come to understand the damage done to a child’s mind and soul, and the lies as children we come to believe….. it is only through the amazing grace and love of our Heavenly Father those lies are broken and hearts healed.

I was sharing with a friend on the Ransomed Heart forum how difficult it is for me to receive any compliments. Most of the time they just roll off my back, they never penetrate my heart. This is an area that the Lord is still healing in me…it seems to be a long, slow process. The following story may give you some insight as to why this is a very difficult area for me.

“You want this don’t you? Tell me that you like this.” These were the words spoken to me as a little girl while I was being molested. Left with no choices I simply repeated what I was told to say. Because I knew that if I cried, or if I didn’t tell him what he wanted to hear, I would get beaten.
And if I ever told anyone he promised to kill me. I knew he would make good on those threats. I knew all about beatings. And so I lived in fear and I suffered in silence, weeping on the inside, tears not allowed to be shed, silent tears swallowed and buried. I hid behind a mask, my soul slowly dying and becoming numb. How does a small child process all this?

The physical wounds would heal but the internal wounding would take years to heal.

It was only at night alone in my bed that the tears would come. I would weep quiet, silent tears so no one would hear, crying out to a God I didn’t know but believed was out there some where. Crying out for my mother to come and rescue me. I knew she was in heaven watching me from above but I needed her here…. why did God take her away? I needed her. Maybe this God would come and take me to her. And so every night I begged Him to come and get me too. But there was only silence.

By the time I was a teenager and my body began to develop I was often “teased” and complimented about my maturing body. In that attention I knew a vague sense of dominance, power and attractiveness when someone would comment on my body. Having never felt valued in any other way I began to realize that I had something of value, something men wanted. My soul, hungry for attention and love, began to soak up the attention even though at the same time it left me self-conscious, uncomfortable and feeling cheap. My pleasure turning to disgust.

But the initial pleasures of being pursued or wanted lingered in my soul. It left me confused as to why I could feel two conflicting emotions at once. I felt anger over their attention and yet a sense of pleasure at the same time.
It was during this time around age 15 that I was date raped by two young men. I won’t go into the sordid details or events that led up to this. Only to say that I was drugged and then raped. Hours of my life a total blank. Yet I did wake up for a brief moment during the rape only to hear the words, “you are so beautiful” and then I went blank again…..the drugs continuing their effect.

What does a young woman do with those words?

This is where ambivalence comes in. The very thing that was despised also brought some degree of pleasure or satisfaction. For me personally, my body never betrayed me physically in that it responded with pleasure in the act, but it betrayed me emotionally or sensually. I found pleasure in the interest and attention but loathing it and the power I felt, at the same time.

I deadened my soul and that’s why after the rape I became part of a group or gang, I became one of the girls who was used sexually…. it offered a certain degree of power even though it left me feeling used and ashamed…..two conflicting emotions. I finally walked away from that lifestyle and eventually an increasing prim and proper aloofness began to grow and remained for years, and still does to some degree.


I need to leave this for now and will continue later…..