Gracefully Truthful

Faces of Grace

Every redemption story points to the Grand Author who writes the very best stories of all!

I was devastated. I had to leave my beloved Social Work career. It was my purpose. Or so I thought. Next came deep depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and hitting rock bottom.

“I was sexually abused” took me almost nine years to verbalize. Only a few have known my darkest secret. I struggle daily with the affects of sexual abuse, I know Christ is my victory.

I was the “good” child who did not openly rebel and excelled in studies, my parents often contrasted me with my older siblings who were disobedient and struggled in school.

I grew up in a home where we didn’t talk about church. Ever. When I was about eleven we started going to church. Every Sunday, unless someone was deathly ill. It was an odd experience.

When I heard pastors preach on grace and say God wanted a personal relationship with me, the concept felt foreign. The Creator of the Universe wanted to know me? What could I offer?

My coming to faith was simple. I realised God wasn’t only someone I could read of from long ago, but that He was real and active today. God’s truth was the one thing that brokemy anxiety.

I wasn’t one to go to parties, or do inappropriate things,
but if you would look at how I was acting in comparison to the next person,
you couldn’t tell a difference.

I did not return to church until I was 33 years old. I had finished my service in the military in Omaha, Nebraska. I felt there was a void in my life; I had no purpose. I realized I needed to reach out to God. 

I adored every part of church, from the Wednesday night teen group to Sunday mornings with my friends. Then something happened that shook me to my core and made me doubt it all.

I strove to be the right person while working hard to have the right friends. I looked for personal happiness in friends, my spouse, and my children. My relationships became my idols. 

Three years later when my baby girl died, grief gripped me again. This time my spiritual life was much stronger, so I was able to cope better, but I vowed never to have any more children.

No one had a name for what I was experiencing,  but as a Christian, shouldn’t I be free from depression? After all, I was trying to be the best Christian girl I could be.  What was I missing?

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In Catholic School, I learned about Jesus, but at home, my father’s alcoholism was advancing. In an 8th grade creative writing class, I began writing poems to Jesus, pleading for help.

In my despair I turned to my church, but was told to snap out of it and get over it. The lack of compassion and empathy led me to a place of angst before God where I nursed my wounded heart.

The message was about abortion. I was post-abortive, a truth that had been buried deep within me, and not one I believed I could ever bring to the light of day.

If you asked me to choose one word to describe my overall relationship with God, it’s “trust.” I have to trust God loves me. I have to trust His grace and forgiveness are enough. 

Jesus has healed the brokenness I’ve experienced within my family. He’s shifted my perspective on my life; where once I felt alone and abandoned, I am now a fully complete person in Him.

When I was 15-years-old, I was rape and became pregnant. I felt “used” and “unworthy”, I was sure my life was ruined, and I’d never find someone who would love and cherish me.

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