This post has been sitting in my computer for a long time, waiting for the right moment to be shared. Right now, at the end of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, it is time for people to hear my story.
For as long as I can remember, I have been obsessed with stories of princesses in despair and their prince that comes to save them. I never bought into the way of thinking that I needed to do things on my own, because I know how beautiful marriage is and what a beautiful picture it is of Christ and the church. I loved the idea of coming together with another human who loves God as much as I do and creating this whole new life. I fantasized about how perfect life would be without loneliness and how amazing it would be to have a man that solves my every problem. This way of thinking was so flawed, however, and lead me to a terrifying mindset. I got to a point where I just NEEDED a man at all times. I surrounded myself with nothing but friends that were male, and I made it a point to be a attractive to them so that I would be worth saving. I became comfortable in my serious problems with depression and anxiety, as it gave men a reason to save me. I was constantly on the lookout for the next feeling of infatuation with whatever man came next.
During my freshman year of college, I completely snapped. I couldn’t do it anymore. Not only were men not taking the pain away, but they were adding to it. I didn’t want to live anymore, and after another break up I just lost it and almost had to drop out of school against my will because of it. Life was bad, and I still wasn’t looking in the right place for love.
I met a boy in a class, and we hit it off right away. He was kind. He told me repeatedly how much I had going for me and how much God loved me. He had one of the best singing voices I had ever heard, and he would sing to me in his car while we drove around until I felt better. Everything on the outside seemed to be showing me a man who loved God and was exactly what I needed in my life. But that was not the case.
Months went by, and while we didn’t necessarily stop being friends, we definitely were not as close as we used to be. For the longest time we would hang out and have fun together. And I will be completely transparent and admit that we did some stupid things. Even though we were not even dating, we did some things that definitely should have been reserved for a marriage relationship. I told myself it was okay because it wasn’t sex, but I knew all along that I was giving myself up in ways that I shouldn’t have and breaking vows that I had made to God. In time, however, we moved on and I started dating somebody else. And then we broke up. And in that dark time of yet another breakup and yet another heartbreak, I received a text message that would forever change my life. It was that same friend from the semester before, asking me if I wanted to hang out. I thought to myself, “What’s the harm? We can talk it out, I’ll come back here, I’ll go to sleep, and it will all be okay.” Boy, was I ever wrong.
That night, there were a lot of things that were taken away from me. One of those things was my free will. Saying no did nothing. Telling him to stop what he was doing to me was pointless. I had no control over what was happening to me, and for the first time in my life I experienced true fear. A sense of security was taken away from me. Who would he tell? Who would believe me when I said that I didn’t want it? How could I ever live as if I were a beautiful creature of God again? I could no longer feel clean. I felt dirty, every second of every day. I felt like a fraud, leading others in worship when I was in so much pain. I felt like a whore. I felt like a piece of trash that was done and could never be used again. You really can have no clue how low of a feeling it is unless you have experienced it, and what breaks my heart is that statistically there will be a very high amount of people reading this that have experienced the exact same thing.
The reason I am sharing this story is because I want other people, especially people who have been through this, to know that you don’t have to sit back and take what happened to you. I didn’t. It took me months, but I finally found the courage to walk into the office that handles these situations at my school and schedule an appointment. God gave me the strength to go to that meeting and tell them what had happened and seek justice for the situation. Through the faithfulness of Christ, the investigation ended with him being found guilty and punished for what he did to me.
There is justice in the world. No matter how small and torn up you feel, God can give you the strength to stand up for yourself and what is right. Nobody should ever be made to feel like they have no choice. Don’t let the person who hurt you get away with what they have done. My healing process is still happening. It’s been a long road, but I have finally gotten to a point where I can see God’s sovereignty and love and I know my worth. No matter what has happened to me, he still looks at me and sees nothing but perfection through his Son. When God looks at me, all he can see is the purity and holiness of Jesus. I’m now walking with my head high, because I know that I am beautiful, loved, and that I still have a purpose. Sexual assault is not going to ever hold me back from the call God has on my life. And I know that, one day at a time, he is making me new and beautiful and something worthy of love.