We have had the joy to meet many women whose wounds are different from mine, but follow a similar theme….women who have been raped. I am so excited that Jackie is going to be blogging once a month, specifially with the goal of ministering to these individuals-although we will all glean great wisdom and hopefully be inspired in our own journeys.
Here is the first part of her journey……
My name is Jackie. I am 53 years old. I have been a Christian for 33 of those years. God has changed my life in ways I never imagined He would. 33 years ago I was at rock bottom. I had tried to fill the void in my life through many things that this world had to offer and nothing satisfied. Honestly, many of the things that God has set me free from since that time had no real lasting effect except for the promiscuity that I was involved in and……..being raped. I was raped two times – both by people I knew.
After all of the things – alcohol, drugs, etc., on the 'outside' were gone, you couldn't really tell I had lived the life that I had before God set me free. But there still was all of the 'junk' on the inside of me....
self-loathing, insecurity, body image issues, bad feelings towards men, etc., that would not go away quite as easily as the 'outward' things. I ignored them for such a long time. They led to things like eatings disorders, both anorexia & bulimia. Ever so slowly would I touch on one or another of these issues, only to, many times, shrink back from the enormity of it all.
Then I met the man I wanted to marry. He was so accepting of the way I was, and who I was. Little did we know the difficulty my past promiscuity and rape experience would present in our marriage. Sex had become an enemy of mine. I found I couldn't let even my husband go to that intimate place – even within the bounds of marriage. I didn't know how to relate in any different way to my husband other than the negativity that I had experienced in my past. Try as I might, over several years, through counseling, prayer, etc., I could not get free from my past. Through 28 years of marriage, this has been an issue – a difficult, frustrating issue. For my husband, who wants to relate to me sexually as any normal husband would, and me, who had constantly felt like a failure, like I'd let my husband down.
Then I read Lauren's testimony on her 'Held Ministries' blog of how God had done such a work in her marriage and the sexually-related issues her & her husband dealt with. I realized there was hope! I began to see the lies I had been believing for far too long. I felt hopeful. I felt compelled to share my story with Lauren, and I did! That is why 'Held Ministries' means so much to me. What the enemy meant for his gain, God took and used for His glory!
God has since linked me to a wonderful mentor that has been leading me through some steps to help me achieve permanent freedom in Christ over the bondage of my promiscuous past and the rape experiences.
See, I had always believed the rapes were my fault. I felt responsible & ashamed. Jesus Christ has set me free from that lie and I am learning to walk in the freedom!
I am so excited to be writing for 'Held Ministries' and pray God will use me to minister to any who may have been in a rape situation. There is hope and freedom available for you too – through the precious blood of Jesus Christ, and pursuing a relationship with Him.