Whispersfrommyheart's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘assault

Courtesy of The Kelly File

Courtesy of The Kelly File

Jessa Seewald and Jill Dillard, two of the victim sisters of Josh Duggar, broke their silence on The Kelly File Friday night. I watched, intently, to see how they spoke about their abuse, and how they reacted to personal questions regarding said abuse. And, do you know what I saw?




I saw tears, too, but not where I expected them.

I expected the girls to break down when they were asked about what their brother did. I expected them to react like I did — like so many of us do when we recount our abuse — with tears, anger, and yes, some bitterness that Josh Duggar stole something precious from them — their innocence.

But, they didn’t.

Their body language was relaxed. They looked at ease through most of the interview. They smiled, laughed, and comfortably spoke about what took place in their home. It wasn’t until the subject of the media was brought up that, at least, Jill’s body language changed. She stiffened up and began to cry as she gave her personal feelings about the release of their sealed report. Jill recalled calling her husband on that day, over two weeks ago, when In Touch Magazine posted the police report for all the world to see.

“We’re victims,” Jill Duggar Dillard exclaimed. “How can they do that to us?”

Jill continued to fight back her emotions as she explained how they felt they were being re-victimized “a thousand times worse” than the original offense. She, and sister Jessa, both said multiple times, “We had already dealt with it, we moved on. Josh confessed to us, we forgave him; we moved on.”

So, why can’t America let it go?

Is it because we are disgusted with this kind of “sin”? As well we should be. As one who has endured years of childhood sexual abuse, I can say first hand that molestation is disgusting. It is vile. It is reprehensible. Repulsive. Repugnant. Vicious. Nasty. Shocking. Appalling. And, yes, contemptible. A lot of the posts I have seen over the past few weeks express those very words. Some would like nothing better than to take Josh Duggar out behind the woodshed and execute him. We have no problem understanding, or accepting, the words that express our disgust of Josh’s actions. We applaud those words. We exhort those words. But, there is another word we’ve heard that makes us just as mad as Josh Duggars actions against his sisters and baby sitter. A word that infuriates us and enrages us, and causes us to strike out in shock and disbelief that such a word could even be muttered over such a reprobate .


WHAT? Forgiven? How could anyone forgive what he has done? He’s a pig. A worm. He doesn’t deserve to live. I’ve seen the words written all over the internet, newspaper sites, blog posts, Facebook statuses, Twitter feeds… they’ve all basically said the same thing. “Josh Duggar is a vile human being, and therefore must be punished in a manner that is acceptable to us.”

But, we don’t get to make that call, do we?

Josh didn’t molest us, he molested his sisters and baby sitter, and they are the only ones who get to determine whether or not he is forgiven. Period. And they chose to forgive him.

Deal with it, America.

I was very impressed by Jill and Jessa. They have given us a peek into something holy. A humble, beautiful example of Agape Love. True love that covers a multitude of sin (1 Peter 4:8). Along with a heart of love, they have given us a clear example of what true forgiveness looks like. A perfect example of how our LORD, Jesus Christ, treats every one of us who repent and turn from our sin to follow him.

The Duggar girls aren’t angry. The don’t exhibit signs of bitterness. They aren’t bashing their brother. Instead, their words toward him are seasoned with grace and mercy. They have said they have dealt with it, they have forgiven him, and they have moved on.

I believe them.

Is it possible, the reason we are so outraged is because we just expect the Duggar girls to feel the same way we do over our own abuses (or how we feel over a family member/friend who was abused)? And, because they don’t we think there must be something wrong with them?

I mean, who does that?

Victims forgive.


Because forgiveness doesn’t release the offender from the responsibility of his or her actions, rather, it releases the victim from the prison of emotional upheaval and life altering issues caused by the offenders actions.

The Duggar girls understand this.

They don’t need our help. No matter how much we think our two cents (even this blog post) is spot on, they don’t need our help. They’ve got it covered. And, they don’t need the internet counseling sessions. Their family dealt with Josh’s abuse. DCFS cleared the parents, and even complimented them on how they handled the situation. And, certainly, the girls don’t need our criticism for their right to forgive their brother.

These girls have suffered twice now.

It’s time to allow them the dignity to live their own lives with their own convictions.

I was 28 years old with two children, ages one and two, and five months pregnant with my third when I met with a counselor. I needed courage to leave my abusive husband and thought I could find some there.

Counselor: “Tell me about your childhood.”
Me: (Thinking what does my childhood have to do with anything?) “Well, it was a childhood. You know… normal.”
Counselor: “It was happy??
Me: “I don’t know. It was… norm… (a dam of memories breaks open in my mind)… wait, no, that’s not right.”
Counselor: “What isn’t right”?
Me: “My childhood. It wasn’t normal. I was mo… (there is a flood of emotions rising to the surface)… I was mol… (I am having trouble saying the word. My throat is closing off my words. Tears are choking me). I was molested”!

As that realization tumbled to the forefront of my mind, I felt as though my life shattered into a million tiny pieces. Each shard stabbing me with it’s truth. As the details began spilling out, my soul felt like it was being ripped apart. The pain was excruciating. Unbearable.

I don’t know how long I cried, but when I calmed down he asked…

Counselor: “How have you handled all of that”?

The truth is, most of us don’t know how to “handle” what we’ve been through. We’ve turned to food, sex, drugs, alcohol, self harm — other avenues to dull the pain. We don’t want to feel that kind of pain so we stuff it further and further down by any other thing that makes us feel better.

The other part of the truth is, this: We can’t heal unless we allow the reality of abuse, and the pain, to rise to the surface. To be validated. To be known. To be released.

No matter how painful it is, facing our past needs to be done in order to heal. Mine pounced on me while looking for an ounce of courage. I’m glad it did because today, the pain is no more.

What God has done for me, he WILL do for you!

Many nights, throughout my life, were filled with deep sorrow, hours of shed tears, and my mouth open in silent screams. I didn’t know how to verbalize what I felt inside. Dead. Betrayed. Hurt. Shattered. Alone. Desperate. Needy. Just tears and silent screams. I don’t remember saying too much, except, “Oh, God.” But, God still heard me, and understood. It was during this time I wrote the following:

Whispers in the Dark
The darkest, quietness of night
In stillness as you lay;
The only sound or rhythm heard
Are words your mouth can’t say.

The tears that burn your sleepy eyes
A fist in anger clenched;
The cry that asks “Why me, Oh Lord?”
The soul, in anguish drenched.

And though it can’t be verbalized
Into a single word;
A whisper’s heard with every beat
Your heart is being heard.

God hears you, Beloved. Even though you think he has ignored you. Even when you think he doesn’t care. But wait, if you listen long enough, you can hear it. In the stillest, quietness of night, the heart will whisper the tale of its journey to its Creator. And, there in the darkness…God is whispering back.

Excerpt from, “Whispers From My Heart – Emotional and Spiritual Healing from Childhood Sexual Assault.

I was on a rampage last night.
I had read an article stating the American Psychiatric Association was going to re-define pedophilia as a sexual orientation.
I saw red.
I wanted to blast the APA.

Then today I read this:

“APA stands firmly behind efforts to criminally prosecute those who sexually abuse and exploit children and adolescents. We also support continued efforts to develop treatments for those with pedophilic disorder with the goal of preventing future acts of abuse.”

You can read the entire article here:

I made a huge mistake.
I let my emotions take over instead of researching it totally.
I let my anger rise up and wanted to lash out.

Especially when I read things like this: An Italian Appeals court reverses a 5-year prison sentence against a 60-year old pedophile because the 11-year old girl professes to love him. They were found in bed together, naked, at his seaside cottage. What makes this worse is, the child is from a disadvantaged background and the man, who works for social services took her in.

The Italian court will further victimize this girl if they allow this man to go free.

Then I read this: Where a convicted pedophile has YET to serve out one day of his 43-year sentence due to a rare bond that allows him to remain free while the case is tried on appeal, which could take years. Meanwhile, the victim lives in fear and the father anguishes.

And then there is this one: where a judge gives such a lenient sentence for a convicted pedophile, even after the judge heard letters from the girls and how the abuse affected them.

I don’t understand this.
It boggles my mind.
Not to mention what it does to those kids who were brave enough to break the silence in spite of their fear.

What kind of message do we send the victims when Judges are lenient? Or worse, when they ignore the abuse altogether?

I know eventually there will be a judgement seat where all sins are judged righteously. There will be no political correctness; no media spins; no threats, just God requiring of every man and woman an account of their lives. Then true justice will be served.

Until then we must speak up.
We need to take the power away from those who abuse little children.
The silence must be broken.

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(Courtesy 123RF)
You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed
Psalm 139:16 (NIV).

It was a struggle for me to understand.
Before I was ever born, God knew what would take place in my life… and he let it happen. He knew what those men would do to me, even before they were ever born… and he allowed them to be born. He allowed them to grow into men who would sexually abuse little girls.


That question plagued me for years. It was the source of my discontent with God. The wall that separated us.

Why? God seemed distant. Cold. Uncaring.

Why became the reason of disbelief.

Why? You must not love me. If God loved me, he wouldn’t have let this happen. He would have protected me. He would have answered my pleas for help.

Why became my reason for rebellion.

Why? If you don’t love me enough to keep me safe, then I won’t love you. God doesn’t deserve my devotion. I will live my life for myself. I will do what I want to do. I will use men the way they used me.

Why became self preservation and protection.

Why? Since you don’t love me enough to protect me, then I will live for myself. No one will get close enough to hurt me that way, ever again. I will keep relationships at an arms length. I won’t be vulnerable again.

Why became the fuel for my anger.

Why? You don’t care! God doesn’t care, so why should I? God doesn’t protect people, he is a distant, angry, uncaring deity that doesn’t deserve me. In fact, I hate him! If I could, I would slap him in the face for tricking me into thinking he did care about me.

Funny, even in my anger I didn’t deny God existed…

It’s hard to reconcile a loving, caring, personal God with the bad taking place our lives. One who knew everything there is to know before we even existed. We associate love and protection together. We love our own children and we protect them… or, we love our brother, sister, spouse and we protect them. We do everything we can to make sure they do not suffer. So, when bad things happen to good people (especially) we can’t wrap our minds around it. It is almost unfathomable to us that an All-Powerful God, who certainly has the ability to stop bad things from taking place, doesn’t.

It’s taken me the majority of my life to come to terms with it. Why? no longer haunts me. Sure, I still have questions, but those questions don’t stand in a gulf between God and me. God really doesn’t mind the questions.

In all of the days God saw for me, before even one of them began, just as our verse states, some one else was making plans. Someone who did not have my best interest at heart. Someone whose plan was to destroy my life with God before that relationship ever had a chance to begin.

The scriptures tell us, in 2 Corinthians 4:4, Satan is the god of this world.

Look at what I John 3:7 & 8 says:

GOD’S WORD® Translation
Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you. Whoever does what God approves of has God’s approval as Christ has God’s approval. The person who lives a sinful life belongs to the devil, because the devil has been committing sin since the beginning. The reason that the Son of God appeared was to destroy what the devil does.

By his Word, we know those who are not following God — obeying his commands — follow Satan, whether they accept it or not. Those men and women under Satan’s power are influenced to behave as he would have them behave, to accomplish his end. He [Satan] used those men, in their sin, to create havoc in my life. The ultimate purpose was to destroy my relationship with God (See John 10:10). To thwart the good plans God had for me (See Jer. 29:11).

God gave those men in my past a choice. They chose to sin against God by disobeying his command. And, they chose to sin against me by giving into their sin. Their choices had no bearing whatsoever on God’s intention for me and my life. Not then, and not ever.

Does that make sense?

One of the greatest things God gave us, other than his Son dying for our salvation, is the ability to make choices. We aren’t robots. We have a conscience that should help control our actions. But, when sin has such a grip on us — and child molesters are definitely held in the grip of that sin — personal control may or may not be that easy.

In my opinion — and this is just my opinion, I haven’t done any research to back this up… yet — Sexual sins are harder to control because of the physical pleasures they produce. The chemicals exploding in our bodies during sexual pleasures are very intimate and personal, and once they begin, are hard to get back under control. This is how I view my rapist, and my molesters. Men, so deeply trapped in their sexual sin, unable to resist the urges that plague their minds and their bodies.

Even though I understand what happened back then, it neither excuses their behavior, nor does it absolve them. I believe, with every fiber of my being they will be held accountable, and if the blood of Jesus has not covered their sin, that particular sin of rape and molestation will be the nails securing the lids on their coffins. They will have to stand before the Living God and answer to him.

Yes, God saw every one of my days, including the ones where terror and pain existed, before even one of them ever came into being. He saw them and provided the way in which those days could be overcome.

Isaiah 61:1 Jubilee Bible 2000
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me because the LORD has anointed me; he has sent me to preach good tidings unto those who are cast down; to bind up the wounds of the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those that are bound;

That is the message today. God saw every one of your days, before they ever began. He knew the pain and terror that would fill some of those days, and he provided the way for you to overcome. He provided Jesus, not only as salvation for your soul, but as healer for your heart.

Be Blessed and #WalkInTruthToday

Boy, it’s hot!
Are we there yet?
I’m thirsty.
The sand is burning my toes!
It’s really hot.
And, I’m really thirsty… and hungry.
Why can’t we go back?
I want to go back!
We should have never come!

The children of Israel had witnessed miracle after miracle in the few short weeks since they left the confines of their prison. The land of Egypt. Pharaoh. Forced labor. Cruel taskmasters.

God showed them his might and power. His strength. He had parted the red sea. He went before them in a cloud by day, and a column of fire by night. In this time, he had provided them and all of their livestock with enough water to keep them hydrated. God went over and beyond what was necessary while leading the children of Israel around in the desert for forty years.

And yet, they grumbled.
They weren’t satisfied.
They were hot.
They were tired.
They wanted a Big Gulp.
Well, okay, there weren’t any 7-Eleven’s back then, but they were thirsty.
They wanted to go back to Egypt.

Why would they want to go back to a place of slavery? A place of turmoil and hard, cruel labor? A place of sadness? Where taskmasters beat them for any and all reasons? It certainly couldn’t be for the pots of meat they said they missed. Ok, well, maybe the did miss the onions and the leeks… they didn’t have a garden in the desert. And, Safeway wasn’t even a thought in anyone’s mind at this point.

They grumbled and complained.
They weren’t satisfied.
On a trip that should have only taken them ten days, they wondered for forty years. Round and round and round they go…


Why wouldn’t they make a straight B-Line to their land of Promise? Why drag over a million people through the desert sands?

Deuteronomy 8:2 tells us:
Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way these 40 years in the desert, to humble and test you in order to make known what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. (ISV)

We have the privileged of hind-sight for the Israelites.
I’m pretty sure they flunked that test.
With flying colors.

Egypt, and its paganistic way, was revealed to be deeply ingrained within the heart of the children of Israel. It’s idol worship — as evidenced by Aaron making the golden calf so they could “worship” a god they could see, even while Moses was on the Mountain receiving the ten commandments. You can read the account in Exodus 32.

The children of Israel may have left the land of Egypt, but Egypt did not leave them.

The bible goes on to tells us an entire generation perished in the desert because of their disobedience (See Numbers 32:13 – the NIV states: until the whole generation of those who had done evil in his sight was gone). They were not allowed to enter the Promise Land. Only those born in the desert, save a few (See Numbers 32:12), were allowed to cross the Jordan. They grouched and complained that Moses had drug them away from Egypt… the entire forty years. They held on to their idols… they complained… they demanded to go back to Egypt…

They couldn’t let go.

I liken the prison of Childhood Sexual Assault to the slavery of the Children of Israel in the land of Egypt. CSA is cruel, harsh, and demanding to the one who is enslaved by it. It becomes ingrained in the heart of its captive. A parameter of what is known. A way of life. Those of us who are survivors learn to adapt to our surroundings.

Once we begin to walk away from our cruel taskmaster, and believe me, God wants us to walk out, everything that once was taught to us as normal or acceptable must be released. God will deliberately take us through our own desert in order to reveal all that is in our hearts. We cannot allow even a remnant of ground for our former taskmaster to gain another foothold.

We must let go.

The length of our journey depends on us. Our attitude. Our reluctance to let go. Our idols.

What did we pick up along the way?
Low-self esteem?
Identity issues?
Sexual Promiscuity?
Or, the fear of the opposite sex?
The list could go on.

What idols do we trust in more than God?
Religious practices?
Christian books?
Whatever we insert into the place of God becomes an idol to us.

When God begins to work on our hearts, to reveal everything we hold on to and trust in, our job is to let go. Let it go.

It hurts.
I’m afraid.
I don’t want to re-live that nightmare.
I don’t want to cry.

But, in letting go you become free. There is an entire land flowing with milk and honey on the other side of this desert…

I don’t want to let go of my anger.
I don’t want to release my bitterness.
I want to hold on to revenge…
I’d rather stab him in the eyes…

It’s hot.
I’m thirsty.
I wanna go back.

Let the children of Israel be a lesson to you.
Don’t be like them.
Don’t hold on to the past so tightly that you can’t enter into your Promised Land.

It’s going to be hard.
It’s going to be tough.
It might take you longer than a few years to get there, but with each step forward, you will get there.

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I am angry at Wal-Mart.

Usually, I am angry at the prices and how little money I have left over after going to the grocery store. But, today, I read an article  about a 30-year old man, who, during his lunch break heard a woman screaming for help. He went over to her car to see if she needed help. The man, who was on the woman’s hood at the time, lunged at the worker. The worker, apparently protecting himself now, got on top of the attacker. Two other men appeared and began an assault upon the employee.

The Mega-store, Wal-Mart, in their corporate wisdom, fired the young man because he violated the employee non-violence policy.

Besides the fact this is utterly ridiculous, I began to think, and the more I thought about it, the more I began to seethe.

Think about it.

If Kristopher Oswald, the former Wal-Mart employee, had said to himself, “Oh, wait, I can’t interfere. Helping this woman would violate my employee non-violence policy.” What would have happened to that woman? What would that man; those men, have done before the police would have arrived on scene? Would they have robbed her? Would she have been beaten? Would she have been kidnapped and raped? Would they have killed her? We don’t know what the outcome would have been because Kristopher Oswald foiled the attempt.

However, Wal-Mart, by firing Kristopher, has shown a blatant disregard for its female customers. Corporate is saying, essentially, that its employees cannot interfere with, or prevent, any crime, anywhere, on its lots or in its store, at any time. That means if any woman chooses to shop at Wal-Mart during the midnight hours, she is risking her life to do so. Wal-Mart, by policy, will let anyone attack her while the employees look on. The woman will only need to pray the cops get to her before she is maimed, kidnapped, raped or killed. I don’t mean to keep you men out of the picture. I’m sure Wal-Mart would allow its employees to let an assailant rob, maim or murder you, too.

I don’t know about you, but I am wired to help people. Wal-Mart would have to fire me too. Every job I have ever had, I have always tried to protect the owners from thieves, or other people from being hurt. It is beyond me why a corporation would tell its employees not to go to the aid of a woman in obvious distress. If a customer fell on the floor, in an apparent heart attack, is a Wal-Mart employee forbidden to preform CPR? That is violent when preformed correctly. It’s been known to crack ribs. Or, the defibrillators… that is a violent shock to the heart. Are Wal-Mart employees forbidden to put those into use? What about if a Wal-Mart employee saw a customer choking? Would said employee step back… which some employees of other establishments have… because their employee policy says they should? Who is to say a corporation should hold the power of someone’s life in their hand in that manner? No wonder the love of so many people has grown cold! No wonder so many people only think about “My four, and no more!”

How utterly ridiculous!

This article should make every woman so angry that she wants to do something about it…

I am proposing this.

Email Corporate here:

And tell them two things. #1. They should be thanking and praising Kristopher Oswald, from their Lithonia, GA store, for not only saving this woman from harm, but also from saving Corporate from a possible law suit from either this woman who screamed for help, or the woman’s family if she would have died because of Wal-Marts policy.

And #2. We, as women, should tell Corporate that we no longer feel safe shopping at Wal-Mart because of their blatant display against the safety and well-being of the woman Mr. Oswald helped to save, and their ridiculous employee non-violence policy.

Inundate corporate headquarters…. NOW!


Have you ever dressed up and felt like you were someone else?

When I was a little girl, I used to go upstairs in the attic of our house to play, “Make Pretend.” I would take my mother’s knee length (to her) wedding dress and put it on. I would find high heels to put on my feet. I put lipstick on and those earrings with the screw on post. I’d also get my mother’s make-up and mascara, and make my face look as beautiful as I could. When I finished, I would tease my hair and hairspray it in a bouffant hairdo before getting a tiara and placing it on my head. Then, I stood in front of the full length mirror I became someone else.

I became someone else.

Escaping reality. For a brief moment, as I twirled the full skirt of the wedding dress, I was a princess. I was loved. I was special. Soon, a prince, on a white stallion with a flowing mane and tail, would ride up and fall in love with me. The moment he saw me, he jumped off of his beautiful horse, get down on one knee and exclaimed his undying love for me. He would take my hand as he stood up and kiss me, on the lips. Then, sweep me off of my feet into his strong, muscular arms and we both rode off together, in the setting of the sun. We lived happily ever after. Just like in my favorite fairytale; Cinderella. Fate smiled down on an abused girl and sent her a rescuer.

Who would rescue me?

In my fairytale world, I wasn’t that little girl men used for their own sexual gratification. I wasn’t bullied and beat up by my classmates and siblings. No one caused my insides to break and bleed. Men didn’t take dirty pictures of me. Or lead me away from safety to rape me. In my own little make-believe world, I mattered. I was safe. Popular. My make believe friends heard the words I said, and noticed when something was not right.

I day dreamed a lot.


I found an old report card when I was in the first grade. My teacher had noted how I had gone from a friendly, smiling, outgoing, straight “A” student to a very quiet, withdrawn, sullen student with a tendency to daydream and stare out the window. I no longer participated in classroom discussions. I wasn’t doing my homework anymore. I was failing. My teacher was concerned. I don’t remember my parents being too concerned, though. Of course, my mother was dealing with 5 other children, mainly on her own. My father, since he was in the Navy, was gone a lot. He insisted that I needed to study more. Do my homework. Quit acting childish. Stop being stupid. But, really, I don’t blame my parents anymore.

My family was broken.

Back in the late 60’s and early 70’s, child rape and molestation weren’t topics anyone would discuss openly. Those were things that were swept under the rug. Hidden in a closet. Out of sight, out of mind—so they thought.

All of my siblings were sexually abused. Each of my three sisters, my two brothers and me.

My Parents were broken.

My parents separated, twice. Each time, because of their 6 children, my parents would reconcile. When they fought, my mother would provoke my father on to the point of smashing his fist through the bathroom door. He never hit my mother physically—though he wanted to. My mother verbally stabbed my father in the heart any time she could. She reduced his manhood in an angry statement. Once she got him good, she twisted it deep. My father usually reacted and when he did, my mother would condemn him for losing control. My father, I think, took some of his frustrations out on his children. Overreacting to simple things. Using his belt, roughly, to discipline for minor infractions. Slapping to prove his point.

Yes, we were fractured every which way.

So, I drifted into a day dream world every chance I got. At home. At school. During sexual abuse. When my parents argued. Anything was better than reality I was born into.

As I became an adult, my make believe world was transformed. I no longer played dress up, and I had long given up on a Prince riding up on any horse. My reality had not improved much since childhood. I was still broken. Now, I gravitated toward those things I hid from as a child. Anger. Hurtful words. Control. Fists. Sexual abuse. But, I still found myself drifting off, day dreaming away from reality.

I was still pretending.

I still did not want to be myself. Instead of putting on a pretty dress and lipstick, I now hid behind a smile and obesity. I dressed myself up as happy. The world saw a happy, albeit large, extremely sweet person with a dazzling smile.


But, if someone had taken the time to research the look in my eyes, I’m sure they would have found the brokenness inside. Messed up. Hurting. Dying.

What does your smile hide?

Counseling has helped. Allowing Jesus Christ access into the caverns of my heart, and letting him expose the wounds so that I could deal with the issues, has also helped. I’ve grown since my first session. I’m no longer that scared little girl. I now understand how much I am loved even when I am alone. And, I understand who my enemy really is. I know that way back in the late 60’s and early 70’s, Satan tried to steal my heart and soul away.

And, I know Satan has tried to steal your heart and soul away.

I Peter 5:8 “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” NIV

But, Jesus is greater and we no longer need to fear what he tries to do.

I John 4:4 “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

Be blessed and walk in truth today.


I was afraid of him. Even though his three daughters were my friends, I didn’t like him, and I certainly didn’t like to be alone with him. My father worked with *John aboard the USS John King. I was 7 or 8 years old when we lived in Norfolk, Virginia.

“I don’t want to spend the night.” I told his oldest daughter the evening they had dinner at my parent’s house. I thought it was settled until my father told me to get my stuff when they were ready to go.

My eyes widened with fear. I could hear my heart pounding. “I don’t want to.” I told my father. Silently, I plead with my father to understand my words. Don’t make me go there!

“Why don’t you want to go?” My father asked.

“I just don’t want to. I want to stay home.” I told him.

“That’s not a reason.” My father told me, “Go get your stuff.”

“No!” I screamed running from the living room. “I don’t want to, please don’t make me go!” Fear had taken over.

I had to think fast.

I can’t go.

He can’t get me.

I have to stay home.

“Cheryl Ann!” My father yelled at me. “What is wrong with you? Go get your stuff. It’s already settled and you are going, now stop acting like a baby!”

That night, John snuck into his daughters’ bedroom. I heard the floor creak and instantly my body is rigid with fear. I begin pleading with God to save me from this monster.

His footsteps are closer. “Oh God help me please! Don’t let him come and hurt me!” I screamed in the silence of my mind. I couldn’t breathe. My heart was pounding so hard.

“Pretend you are asleep” I told myself as I felt his weight on the bottom bunk. “Oh God,” I cried, “Please stop him!”

He didn’t.

John began his assault on me while his wife slept across the hall, and his daughters slept in the bunks above me.

He raped me.

When I cried out from the pain, he hurried out of the room and back to his wife’s bed. I limped to the bathroom and locked the door. My privates burned. I checked to see if I was bleeding. I slumped to the floor holding myself; tears falling; willing the pain to go away. I wanted my mom, but I was too afraid to call home. After the earlier fiasco, I was afraid I would make my father mad.

A knock on the door provided a friendly voice. His daughter heard what happened. She was sorry her dad hurt me. Another knock struck fear in my heart. Her father told us we had had enough fun for one night, it was time to go to bed.

He got away with it.

The next day his wife went to work and we put on our bathing suits to swim. His daughters begged me to ask him for soda. “He won’t let us have it, but if you ask, he will let you have it.” They told me. “He likes you, so he will give you whatever you want.”   I finally gave in to their pleading. He went to the door and told his daughters to stay outside, that when I was finished I would bring the drinks outside. He had me pour the soda while he molested me underneath my suit bottoms.  It was surreal that a grown man was getting off while I poured Pepsi into four glasses, like nothing was out of the ordinary was taking place.  

He did apologize for hurting me.

There was no other repentance.

From the time I was 7 or 8, until I turned 15, I was molested and raped by 8 different men and boys. It didn’t matter how far from the original abuser my parents moved. Somehow, there was always someone waiting to pick up where the other on left off. I began to believe that men’s sexual gratification was the reason I was born. My cross to bear. No wonder I was mad at God! No wonder I was depressed! No wonder I wanted to hurt men before they hurt me! Now it all made perfect sense.

Now what?

How do I begin to overcome sexual abuse? How do I trust God again when I blame him?





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