Written by Teresa H. – Angels by Grace Pub. April 2003
I was sexually abused from the time I was three years old until I moved away from home at the age of sixteen. My father was an alcoholic and my mother abused prescription drugs.
I was unusual as a child, in that I did not keep the abuse a secret. I remember at age six, we all were at the dinner table. I told my mother what my father was doing to me while I would take my naps. I was severely punished by both for speaking “such lies.” It was at that point I learned that I was not safe.
My childhood was not a time of fairy tales, teddy bears, and play. Instead it was a constant battle for survival. My father was a very violent man. He often beat my mother and all six of us children. Several times I remember him holding a gun to our heads threatening to kill us all. It was a childhood of sheer terror.
As an adult I continued to live in the fear that had been embedded in my heart. I was no longer living in my parents home, but my childhood experiences were deep in my memories and had damaged my heart and soul.
Consequently, as an adult I was able to function in the world, but my mind and emotions were stuck in “the child.” My life continued through two abusive marriages, which ended in divorces, and the birth of my two children.
I was extremely depressed and felt no hope for the future. I often considered suicide. My “condition” prevented me from being there for my children. I felt absolutely no connection with God. It was as though God had abandoned me. After all, I was “damaged goods.”
I spent most of my adult life trying to figure out why God, if He was so loving and kind, would let bad things happen to innocent children. I finally concluded that I was not worthy of receiving God’s help and He obviously did not love me. I was one of His mistakes.
Even though I felt so permanently damaged, I felt so miserable, that I sought help through counseling. I knew logically that my children needed me. Therefore, I had to make some effort to “get better” for them. Needless to say, the counseling did nothing but stir up my anger. I felt I was nearing the end.
In the summer of 1997 I entered a crisis. My third husband decided to leave me. He was convinced that God was directing him to do so. Within days he left with all of his belongings and headed home to North Carolina. This was my absolute bottom. I found myself on my living room floor crying out to God.
The next day I remembered the name of a Christian counseling center in a church the children and I had visited that Easter. I called and scheduled an appointment that afternoon. I thought it would help me recover from my husband leaving, but God had another plan. His plan was to help me heal from the abuse that happened to me as a child. His timing was perfect.
I began Christian counseling on a weekly basis for the next year. Through prayer and going back into the memories, Jesus was able to show me where He was in each situation. Jesus lovingly walked me through each memory and then coaxed me out. The spiritual experience of Him actually carrying me out of each abusive situation healed my heart, spirit, and soul. He restored me to centeredness with Him.
The Lord is now using me and my healing to help other women in their recovery process. I can say now that I am grateful for my childhood and who it has made me today. God took a horrible life and transformed it into a glorious journey with Him.
Blessings to you.