This month is the launch of Forgive to Live (#forgivetolive) Challenge.
All month you’ll meet women who have forgiven. Some of their stories are hard to read, like today’s. Some will hit home with you. Some will challenge you.
The focus, all month, is on hope — hope that no matter how big the hurt, God will fight with you to wholeness.
This is Liz’s story.
How do you forgive the Unthinkable?
by Liz M.
It was the phone call no mother ever wants to receive from her child.
Holed up in a bathroom.
Telling you she’s been sexually abused and doesn’t know what to do.
To make matters worse, it wasn’t a stranger who broke into our house, or a boyfriend who snuck in the back door. It was my own father. Since that day, I’ve been on a journey to ask the question, “Can you forgive someone who has done the unthinkable?”
Some say you can’t or you shouldn’t. However, after much study, prayer, reflection and godly wisdom, it’s clear to me that you can, because I am in the process.
But only through God’s power … not mine.
Mine is simply not enough.
We were completely devastated. Not only that the abuse gone on for a period of time, but that it stemmed from a man I’d admired all my life as godly and trusting. He had never done anything to me that my daughter reported had been done to her, scarring her for life.
We have been covered in prayer since that initial phone call. And we have benefited from ongoing counseling and a supportive group of close friends in processing the aftermath.
My dad plead guilty to some of the charges. We are awaiting trial. He claims he’s been falsely accused. He struggles to acknowledge what experts agree upon: small children don’t have any reason to lie when it comes to abuse.
My mom’s way of coping is to intentionally live in denial, which compounds our grief. She, a sibling, and an aunt have all called to say that ‘the Christian thing,’ for us to do is to ignore what actually happened and let the family issue the consequences – rather than the state.
Romans 13: 1-14 shows that God doesn’t relinquish justice to grant mercy.
“But if you’re breaking the rules right and left, watch out. The police aren’t there just to be admired in their uniforms. God also has an interest in keeping order, and he uses them to do it.” (The Message)
By allowing the authorities of the state to do their job, we are living out God’s word daily.
From Suzie: Maybe, this is truly hard for you, like it was for me. Maybe you are asking, “How is forgiveness even possible? She can’t change what her dad did, or relieve him of the consequences, and she shouldn’t. So how can she have an unburdened heart?
For Liz, it was a powerful realization. . .
Yes, my father must face the consequences of his sin, but at the same time, I am fully aware of this truth: the day before my dad’s arrest, he was a sinner saved by grace. And the next day when he sat in jail, he was still a sinner saved by grace.
As am I.
Two sinners in need of forgiveness from God Almighty. I love this quote from The Unburdened Heart:
Forgiving is more like writing a book than writing a letter. When I write a letter, I put my thoughts on paper, sign it, seal the envelope, and send it. Writing a book involves what seems an endless cycle of writing and rewriting. ~ Gary D. Preston
Oh, such truth!
Granting forgiveness in my heart is something I can only do because I know I have been forgiven much.
It doesn’t automatically mean reconciliation. Forgiveness also doesn’t mean there are no consequences, because consequences, both good and bad, often change the heart far more than words or reason.
Can I be honest? What we’ve experienced is insanely tough to go through.
I’m mindful that the pain of what’s happened to us simply will not disappear on this side of Heaven. It might just keep resurfacing until we meet Jesus face-to-face.
Meanwhile, I can bring what’s in my heart to Jesus and ask Him to hold the pieces all together. He is helping me to keep “re-writing” the forgiveness chapter as this unfolds, which He, and He alone, is more than capable of doing.
Liz M. is passionate about ministering to women no matter what they’ve done, or have had done to them. She and her husband blog and minister to others, but are remaining anonymous due to the sensitive nature of this topic, ongoing litigation, and to protect their beautiful daughter.
The freedom that Liz and her daughter have experienced is beyond beautiful.
These are real people. I had an opportunity to spend a weekend with Liz and her daughter in ministry. Liz’s daughter is vibrant and in love with Jesus.
She desires one day to lead and encourage other girls who have been sexually abused. She is whole due to counseling, supportive and protective parents, and through God’s healing power. She is the first to say that God has been her strength.
Maybe you have questions for Liz.
Or perhaps you have your own story to share of God’s healing power and how forgiving helped you to live again.
Liz will be checking in throughout the day, and I’ll be here too.
If you desire to take your own forgiveness journey, no matter your story The Unburdened Heart: Finding the Freedom of Forgiveness will help you take that first step, giving you the tools you need to heal and live free.
It’s my story of forgiving, but it’s also the story of many others who forgave under extraordinary circumstances. The Unburdened Heart goes beyond saying, “Just do it”, to showing you what it looks like or what it doesn’t, where to begin, and how to live beyond the hurt to become the strong and oh-so-free woman of faith that you know exists inside of you.
Thank you, Suzie, for sharing our story.
Liz, I love how courageous you are and how much I see God’s healing and joy inside of you. One writer once said, “We can become one of two things from tragedy. It will either make us better or bitter.” Your response has not only brought about “better” in you, but I see God’s “better” in your daughter, too.
Okay I started off your article to find out how I forgive my sister who’s done the unthinkable. I only made it about a paragraph before I stopped because my sister not only hasn’t been prosecuted, she’s never even been tried she’s been lying and in the particular situation that happened between us there are a lot of people who know the truth but they’re not telling the truth and are afraid to come out so it’s never come out in the open and somehow she’s managed to turn this to make me look like the bad guy. Now if the truth came out and she was convicted and arrested forgiving would be easy because even if she didn’t admit it the people around us would see that I’ve been telling the truth I don’t know if she’s a sociopath or or what
Oh Liz. I am so sorry. My 3 year old was sexually abused by his babysitter last fall. It was and still is devastating especially since it was the daughter of a prominent leader in our church\community. Even worse, the authorities chose not to do anything about it. We have gone through therapy and have had the body of Christ envelope us with their love and encouragement; and praise the Lord He is healing our son. I have made the decision to forgive and expressed to God my desire but it is so hard to feel it. I am still angry. Angry about how much trauma my son endured following the abuse. Angry about the fear and anxiety I feel in leaving my kids with anyone other than my sister who lives far away from us. I also feel angry that there were no legal repercussions. Again, I know what God wants me to do and I’m desperately seeking Him to empower me to do it but having said that, if I were to be honest, there are days I just want to run her over with my car (yes not godly but that is my honest, raw truth on some days). I also realize I have guilt; guilt of not knowing she wasn’t safe, guilt of not being more in tune with my son, not preparing him for something like this before I started leaving the kids. I was also sexually abused by a cousin and I’m angry at myself for not being able to break the cycle.
There are days where I’m closer to forgiving than others. I don’t want to be angry anymore and I pray every day for supernatural strength of the Holy Spirit to overcome this. Thank you for sharing your story. I can’t imagine how magnified your pain must be given that it was your father but I’m encouraged by your healing journey and will keep you in prayer as God continues to help you to forgive.
I’m keeping my info anonymous too for the same reasons you shared. Blessings in Christ.
Dear AMS …. Soo sorry to hear about what happened to you and to your son. And yet I am so thankful that you believed him and have encouraged counseling. Whether or not there are legal consequences (and the majority of the time there are not), your son will know that his story was not in vain and that his mama can be trusted. That will speak volumes to his future self.
Anger is so tough to process … and is part of what God feels at these situations as well. Keep being honest with God — He knows already, anyway! And He alone can give us the grace to keep on forgiving those who’ve hurt us.
Praying for you to continue to gain healing as well. There are no quick fixes or easy answers for these complex issues, so know that I wish we could just hang face-to-face instead of in this blog. For now, know that I am praying for you and yours!
Liz thanks for sharing something so painful. You’ve touched me today. Praying for God to work through the legal system and help you and your precious daughter to heal.
Thank you, Michelle, for your ind words and more importantly, for your prayers.
There are many dear saints praying for us all and that alone gives me strength to get out of bed every day!! May God bless you as you intercede for those whom you encounter… =)
your *kind words … =)
Hi Michelle, I struggled with beginning this launch of #forgivetolive with such a painful subject, and yet statistics say that multiple thousands of women and families are impacted across the nation. Is it possible to live free and to forgive when something so damaging as molestation takes place? I believe that the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10) but I love the other part of that verse, the part that Jesus wants us to take away: I have come that you might live and live fully (or abundantly). He offers us a way to have an unburdened heart even in the hardest of situations. I love Liz’s courage in sharing her story, and the way she has come today to love and minister to others who are in the same hard place.
Liz, thank you for sharing your story. I will be praying for your family as you all go through this. I’m glad your daughter had the courage to come forward and tell you. This way she doesn’t have to go through and deal with this alone. I was date raped at 19. I didn’t tell anyone because I was afraid of being judged and no one would believe since he was one of the most desired guys on campus. I felt dirty and was ashamed for years. I thought I had done something for this to happen. After that, I believed sex was all men wanted from a woman and I lost myself and became promiscuous. I felt if I liked a guy, I would just give it away instead of having it taken. I’m so grateful for a friend who invited me to church and reintroduced me to God. Since that day, I’ve never been the same! I finally found my self worth and was finally able to talk about it. I hate that I suffered in silence for so long. If I would I have had the courage to come forward I could have saved myself a lot of heartache. Now that I’m 30, I can see that God put me on that path to help someone. I haven’t helped her yet, but I’m patiently waiting for my chance!
I am so sorry to hear about what happened to your body. And saddened that you were suffering alone. And yet … amazed at God’s grace in bringing you a friend to ‘reintroduce’ you to God. What a gift!!
It sounds like God is doing an incredible work in your life in preparing you to minister to others who’ve been in your shoes. I hope and pray that you continue to work out your salvation and forgiveness, and that you plans for helping young women will come to fruition!
Be blessed, as you prepare to bless others
By the way, Courtney, I do know your name! Not sure why that didn’t show in the beginning of my note. Please forgive me!? ~Liz
What a hard story to read and live, but I love the way you didn’t hide it and have the law involved…it is very powerful for a child to be vindicated, ( they understand being bad= punishment) plus you are protecting other potential victims…in my case, at age 4, it was swept under the rug, because it upset my mom and grandma…(In our family, we never wanted to upset anyone)…after much Christian counseling and being saved by grace, I’m able to be and advocate for others and I drag all the dirt out in the open…that which is hidden isn’t dead!
I love the image of dragging the dirt in the open. That way it doesn’t remain buried in your heart and identity. It’s dealt with, and you aren’t identified by it. I also love how Liz advocated for her child and yet left her heart open for God to work in her and her family so that He could do a healing work.
We were so very blessed to have received wise counsel from the get-go, encouraging us through the uncharted legal waters (some of whom had been in your shoes decades ago). But … extended family members have continued to blame us, and ask us to ‘drop the charges’ — not realizing that this is a criminal case, and the charges wouldn’t be dropped, even if we begged them, unless the prosecutors didn’t think they had a case.
And indeed, you are so right about not burying this dirt. That’s exactly what the enemy wants!! To have us think we’re alone in this muck and nobody, not even God, can overcome it. That’s a lie from the pit!!!
Because those of us who are Christ-followers know that the same resurrection power that brought Jesus back from death is still in the business of bringing other dead things back to life, even my parents’ faith. We continue to pray for long-term healing for everyone involved, and hope and trust God’s glory will be made known!
The problem with such a case is that the penalty can be so severe that the idea of healing and reconciliation for Liz and her father and her family disappears entirely if her prosecution goes through. From what I understand, Liz’s relatives are begging her to drop the case, because if the prosecutor’s succeed it will mean an automatic life sentence for her father, and a life without her husband for her mother. A guilty verdict will mean that Liz and her siblings would be deprived of their father for the rest of their lives, and her children and their cousins would never see their grandfather again. The emotional torment and suffering on Liz’s mother would be immeasurable. How much more Christian would it be for Liz to seek healing and forgiveness within herself, and to try to find the courage, the strength, and the grace to let her family heal and then come back together. How much better would it be for her to hear the great desire of her father seeking forgiveness from the ones he loves so dearly.
Hopefully the prosecutor and judge involved can figure this all out. Liz, it’s heartbreaking that your father didn’t get help sooner, or think about these consequences before committing the crimes against your daughter — because regardless of what happens in the case, she will be affected by his actions for the rest of her life. I’m sure you know that, though.
The issue addressed in this post is “how do we forgive the unforgiveable?” For Liz and moms across the world, it would seem unforgiveable that a grandfather would molest his young granddaughter. That’s a life altering act that (as you can see through some of the comments above) mark the heart of a young girl.
I can also see a family devastated by a man’s actions. A mom and grandma who loves her husband, who hates what happened, who is devastated by the loss of a daughter and granddaughter for something she didn’t do. How hard is that for Liz’s mom?
But what can happen is that we can place a burden of wrongdoing on the innocent party, and call that forgiving. In this case, there’s a justice system that will decide what is fair and what is not. But beyond that, God is big enough to heal the hearts of all involved. As I sat with Liz, her heart was broken over what happened, and the loss of those she loved. But as a mom, she had no other option but to protect her daughter. In this instance, forgiveness was and is opening her heart to the fact that God is merciful and loves her dad. She’s praying for bitterness not to live inside, but freedom. But whether a man who molests a child is prosecuted or not is not in her hands. It’s in the hands of a legal system, and my prayer is that God will work through every step with every family member, because this is painful.
The enemy had a heyday in this instance, and yet our Heavenly Father is great enough, merciful enough, big enough, to do His will in this situation.
And Will, I also wonder why reconciliation and forgiveness is impossible if the prosecution goes through? When a father crossed a line to view or touch a granddaughter sexually, every consequence from that second forward is his to own, not those who were impacted by that decision.
I so look forward to reading your book and to moving forward with forgiveness into wholeness and peace. I have had acquaintances who have similar stories and I am so thankful to Liz for sharing it. The realization that forgiveness can be an ongoing process as things surface and emotions swap us is so encouraging. thank you.
It’s not a one-time event. It’s an invitation from God to allow Him to be angry for you (for He hates sin) and yet fail to meet evil with evil, so that you can live free. And show others how to live free in the process.
“The realization that forgiveness can be an ongoing process as things surface and emotions swap us is so encouraging.” — AGREED!!
This is one of the greatest lessons I have learned about forgiveness. As Matthew West’s song goes, “Help me now, to do the impossible…” because in our own power, apart from the Holy Spirit, forgiveness truly IS impossible. (https://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=WLPKY7NX)
So I keep praying and asking the Lord to empower me to extend forgiveness. There are triggers that still arise frequently, and I must ask God to continue to do a work that I cannot.
As the song continues … “the prisoner that it really frees is you…” and nothing could be more true!
I too was sexually abused by my father. I tried suicide three times, God a couple of times, and counseling a few times.. It was along time and Christian counseling that led me to know and believe that i had to forgive my father not for his sake but for my self , ME !! My abuse is still a part of my past, but it does NOT define me !!
I too was abused by my father. I tried to committ suicide 3 times, I tried God a couple of times and I tried counseling a couple of times. I was so tired of hearing its not your fault, you just need to get over it and move on or you are going to split your family. It was after Christian counseling that I understood that I needed to forgive my father for ME . not for him and his sake, but for ME!!!! I know my past is always a part of me, but that’s what it is the …..PAST. I forgave my father for his action. it is my past, but it does NOT DEFINE MEAND WHO I AM !!!!!
Yuck. Just yuck. Abuse of any kind is just awful. I am so sorry about what your father did to your body.
At the same time, I am sooo very thankful that your life was spared, and that working with a Christian counselor proved helpful in your forgiveness journey. Who wants to live with all the junk that comes with bitterness anyway, right?? =)
Indeed, the past IS the past…
Yesterday is History
Tomorrow is a Mystery
Today is a Gift, that’s why
its called the Present!
Liz, the very best way for those of us who have been violated in the most heinous of ways is to see forgiveness lived out in the life of another. “If she can do it, so can I.” Your story is so important. Thank you for your courage to share it with us today. May God continue to use your story mightily to lead women to trust God that their freedom will be found in forgiveness.
Blessings to you,
You are too kind. Thank you, Wendy, for your sweet words encouragement. I know your story has encouraged many, as well!! Me included!! =) Hugs to you!
Liz and Susie,
For several years my husband and I have been searching for answers. Why did our precious boy suddenly become an angry tween and, later, rebellious teenager? After seven years of struggle and multiple counselors, our son finally shared that he was molested on a school field trip.
We’ve been praying earnestly that God would reveal the truth…but I’m heartsick. I, was abused by my stepfather through childhood and as a teen. Now–because I was naive and thought my son was safe–my boy is suffering.
If I’m honest, my struggle is in forgiving God–admitting my distrust and confusion. Praise God that His mercies are new every morning because I need His mercy more than ever.
Wow. Seven years is a LONG time to be seeking answers for your child. I am so sorry to hear about what happened to your son. And yet hopeful that God can bring you an ounce of peace now that the truth has been revealed. Mind if I pray for you?
Father God, we lift up Tammy and ask that You will continue to do a mighty work in this family. Help Tammy (and me) to release all hint of guilt & responsibility that this abuse occurred while our kids were out of our sight. Keep the lies from the evil one at bay, and help us to extend grace to ourselves because apart from Holy God, there are no perfect parents.
I pray, Lord God, that Tammy can begin to keep honestly assessing the situation and gain freedom in your mercy and grace. God, I thank you that we CAN go to you in our doubt and confusion and that Your Holy Spirit can bring clarity and healing. We pray Tammy will continue on that path!
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
So amazing running into this post today. I wrote late last night about my experiences and how God has helped heal me.
Our family has also had to deal with a family member breaking the law and reporting it versus denying it. Absolutely the right thing to do, otherwise we are enabling them to continue. Blessings to you and your family.
Glad you ran into us as well! =) Thank you so very much for sharing your heart! LOVE this sentiment:
“I love Jesus because he continually invades my life in a very personal way and fills in the gaps that not one other person can fill.” That is TRUTH, girlfriend!
Thanks, too for your encouraging words. It is tough, tough, tough to speak up for truth when the enemy is doing his utmost to perpetuate lies. And by all means, we did NOT want this abuse to continue, and pray that is always the case. It remains to be seen how this will all conclude…
For now, we can all cling to the truth that …
Jesus loves me, this I know. For God’s love letter to humanity, the bible, tells me so. =)
Abuse hurts way longer than the initial incidents and especially wounds when family do not acknowledge the abuse. I was abused by the 3 most important men in my life growing up; grandfather, father and step-father and each time and person hurt at a different level. The hardest person to forgive was myself and to not listen to the abuse that continued in my own mind. Forgiveness is a repeat action that takes a life time and is a choice. Learning which “truth” is really the truth is important. Finding those who will strengthen others in words is crucial and having friends who know us on a deep level is important also. Without God’s grace and mercy I know I would not be alive today; because the emotional pain was too hard to bear alone. Thank you for sharing your journey and mostly for accepting God’s comfort along the way.
Ouch. The words in your e-mail are painful to read; I can’t even imagine what that was like to endure, and I’m so saddened to hear you lived through it.
Thank you for sharing your story with us. It is encouraging to see how God’s grace and mercy have kept you in His care. 2 Cor. 1:4 comes to mind…. “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”
God, I pray for Meeshia to continue to forgive …. and to extend grace to her own soul. We know, Lord, that some things in life just never make sense, and certainly abuse in any form (but especially from family) is one of them. Help us to focus our thoughts and our actions on knowing that the God of all comfort loves us and pursues an intimate relationship with us through Jesus. We thank You for loving us, Lord, even when we have a tough time loving on our own selves. Thank You, Father, that through the shed blood of Christ, You see us as holy, blameless, righteous, and fully pleasing. Amazing!!
In Your Son’s precious name I pray, Jesus.
Thank you for sharing your story as an encouragement to others that when we choose to forgive we can walk in victory. I was raped by my first husband while we were going through a separation/divorce back in the late 80’s. I knew a judge and asked him what my chances were in the legal system. At that time he said slim to none because we were married. He did send a letter to him that threatened legal action and apparently that scared him enough to leave the state and we never saw one another again. The judge was a Christian and encouraged me. Without that bit of encouragement I don’t know as I would have forgiven my former husband and moved on. Thankfully God’s mercies are new every morning and like you and your daughter I have learned to live a joy filled life.
Eeeek. Not fair! I’m so sorry for what your husband did to your body. But PRAISE GOD for that godly, righteous judge! What a gift, and a tiny sliver of Heaven on high! Isaiah 5:20 was in my devotional time this morning…
“Doom to you who call evil good
and good evil,
Who put darkness in place of light
and light in place of darkness,
Who substitute bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter!”
Glad to see you’ve learned to live a joy-filled life!!
When I was 5 years old, my younger sister was born. In my first recollection of being molested by my step father, she was only a baby. The abuse continued throughout childhood and continued until I was about 13-14. At first when the abuse began, I was convinced that if I told anyone what was going on, I would get taken from my mother and would never see her or my father again. When I was old enough to know better, he then convinced me that it was all my fault and that I enjoyed it as much as he did. I held this deep dark secret inside for many years. It ate at me! The day I turned 18, I couldn’t hold it in any longer and told my mother and father what had happened. I received very different reactions from them both, which highly disappointed me. I strayed from God at a very early age, and always kept the question “Why does God allow bad things to happen?” in the back of my head and deep in my heart.
After many years of doing things my way and trying to handle the hurt and pain on my own, I found out a few years ago that I couldn’t. I then turned to God for help. I later chose to write a note to my abuser and forgive him for all that he had done to me. It wasn’t easy and it is completely a daily decision that I make to keep on forgiving. Satan tries to throw things at me almost constantly by sending me people that knew me as a child and suspected it but never did anything. People that could have stepped in to stop the abuse, but chose not to. Why would God allow that to happen? Why does God allow innocent children to suffer? These questions want to surface from time to time, but while building my relationship with God, he has revealed to me that things happen to shape me into what He wants me to be and that He isn’t done with me yet. I choose God!! The same God that sent His son to die for my sins and my abusers!! How could I not forgive?
I so wish I could just give you a big ol’ hug in the midst of such pain. Awful, awful what happened to your body and your sister’s as well. And I am soooo saddened by your parents’ reactions.
I’m guessing that by now, you know that you are not alone … Most (73%) child victims do not tell anyone about the abuse for at least a year. Nearly half (45%) of victims do not tell anyone for at least 5 years. Some never disclose at all (https://cachouston.org/child-sexual-abuse-facts/). Experts differ as to why that is the case. We are so thankful our daughter told us about what happened, but it had been going on for a while before she finally had the courage to disclose the abuse.
You are soo right in acknowledging that God died for all of us! (Romans 5:8) We’ve all got issues, and all are in need of a savior! (Romans 3:23) … Some days, I take comfort in a pastor friend’s perspective. He had been through the ringer, and simply said, “You’re right, life isn’t fair. We all deserve to die in Hell.” In other words, though I should be separated from God for eternity, I am not. I can have life, and have it abundantly (John 10:10) here on earth, PLUS we get to spend eternity in Heaven! CRAZY!!
Maybe, just maybe, God allows this junk to happen so that we can start a new legacy, and speak up for those who have no voice. Lord willing, that is the case!
I so needed to read these stories of forgiveness and truth. Like many of the stories I was abused mentally and sexually by some of my mothers boyfriends and stepdad. I supressed the memories and they came back into my life just recently when my daughter hit her teen years. The hardest thing I struggle with is the denial on my mothers part, the blame she puts on me for causing trouble. I have a half brother and the truth about what was happening to me was kept silent because he was protected. I come from an Asian family so boys are revered. I thank God that I gave my life to the Lord 11 years ago now. I still question why this happened to me and yet the more I study God’s word and the very real human characters of the Bible I understand that this is not the end just the beginning.
I am so grateful for a loving and supportive husband, I get up in the morning and while we may not have many material assets I know we are a family rich in love. Something I did not have as a child. Please pray that I can forgive my mother, for some reason I struggle to do this. My Christian counsellor has helped me see its because of the lack of protection as a child. She does not have my beliefs and ridicules me because the Bible says honour your parents. I choose for now to keep myself safe from her vicious words, but I fear for my children. I fear that something bad will happen to them because I chose to stand up to my mother and face the ugliness in my childhood. I so need your prayers.
Indeed, what a gift that loving and supportive husbands are for those of us whose parents are kinda messed up!!!!
As I read your story, I am hopeful that you & I can honor our parents by honoring the author of parenting, God the Father, first and foremost. We can bring honor to them by living our lives in such a way that would glorify God & not bring shame to their family name … but also stopping far short of worshipping them and their (at times ungodly) choices. We can hold fast to keeping God as our priority relationship, then our husband, then our children. (Luke 14:25-27).
Father God, I lift up Kuona and her situation. Those repressed memories and triggers are so very painful. I pray, Father, for Kuona’s mother to somehow come to know you. Give Kuona and her husband the courage to stand strong in the midst of the persecution they face from her family. Help them to stay strong in their relationship with You and with each other. Thank You, Lord, for the gift of Christian counselors who can help us deal with huge difficulties in life and have the strength to keep … on … going. Help Kuona to be the kind of parent YOU want her to be, and to silence the voices of the enemy that scream at us that we don’t measure up. Thank You so much, Father, that through the shed blood of Jesus we are loved with a ‘regardless of’ kind of love that is whole and complete and totally unconditional.
In Jesus’ Name I pray,
I hate being part of this crowd. I, too, was sexually abused by my grandfather from as far back as I can remember until at 11 I finally told my parents. He also abused my cousins as I now know. My parents believed me, but my aunts and uncles did not. Worse, to my surprise, my parents gave ME the choice as to whether or not I still wanted him in our lives???? Eventually due to my father’s job, we moved 100’s of miles away and life was one again normal. I’ve lead a normal life, I have a wonderful husband and 2 beautiful kids. Never has the abused held me back. Until about a year ago. It all came vomiting up like the stomach flu. I couldn’t think, I was sick, I hated my parents, I hated my grandfather, I hated my grandmother, I hated most of my family. Looking back it seems to me everyone played a part in not helping me. I went to therapy because literally I was going crazy. But then, once I let out just a little of my memory and pain, I regained composure. One residual effect – I want nothing to do with my parents. How could they idly stand by and not know? How could they let a child of 11 decide what was best? And when my grandfather died, we drove 100s of miles back to the funeral, and my father walked me up to that casket, sobbed and asked me to only remember the good times. The good times?!?!?! I have a lot of healing and a lot of forgiving to do. Maybe this book will help. And I pray for all these women/girls who have gone through something heinous like I have. I love God, I love Jesus, and they are the only reason I’m not crazy – although this post might sound like I am.
Hey there Lynn~
How awful. I am so sorry to hear about what you endured as a child.
You write that you have “a lot of healing and a lot of forgiving to do” … and I truly do believe Suzie’s book can help in that endeavor. There are soooo many misconceptions about forgiveness, and Suzie really does a thorough job of helping to explain them.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting, and it doesn’t ever mean excusing or condoning “evil.” And that’s what abuse is by definition, according to Dan Allender in ‘Bold Love’ — when someone goes out of their way to harm an innocent person.
I hope and pray that you can continue down this path of healing and forgiving. Your sanity is at stake and I do believe you’re not crazy! So let’s keep it that way!! =)
I shall be praying for God to do a mighty work and bring you immense comfort and peace and Lord willing, a renewed perspective and relationship with your parents …. and I thank you for sharing part of your journey with me!
Your story is very inspiring to me. My husband molosted my daughter for a couple years. She accused him and I made the mistake of not believing her due to her seemingly being a “troublemaker”. He stopped at this time and she did had straightened up for a while. A couple of years later, she began to get into trouble again and again made the accusation that he had done this in the past. I didn’t believe her again…. until he told me she wasn’t lying. He felt so guilty for what he had done and wanted her to get the help she needed, that he stepped forward and admitted his wrongdoing. I felt like my world completely fell around me. My husband was an amazing man. You could ask anyone, my other kids, my parents, all of our friends, and the list goes on. When the truth came out, no one could believe it. It was then that I finally turned to God. I finally became a Christian, and so did he.
We dont live together anymore, and the law is involved and still an ongoing case. But with God’s amazing way of giving us supernatural abilities. My family is actually healing. Our old friends (non-Christians) have not been able to “get past it”. But my immediate family, my parents, and our church family are moving on. My daughter is becoming an amazing young woman (although still hasnt completely given her heart to the Lord-but always is involved with church). I have a younger daughter that is his biological daughter. She does not know or understand all that has happened, but I felt I had to be able to forgive her dad.
God called me to be a Christian when he did for a reason. I have strongly felt that he wants me to forgive and stay married to him. I will not live with him until my other girls are grown, simply because I couldnt take the chance of it happening again (even thought I don’t believe he would again). But we will all continue to be a family.
A year and a half after it first came out, I still struggle with forgiveness. Every time money problems arise or any other issues, I blame him and get upset again. But I’m well on the way to complete forgiveness. I have an amazing Christian counselor that is also helping guide me the way God wants:)
Such a brave and beautiful post. Thank you!
I am so sorry liz and I’m praying for you and your family.
It happed to my 5 Years old grand daughter her 12 year old big Brother raped her. and her mother is more interested in the Brother staying out of jail and pressuring her to forgive him and telling what your Brother did is not that bad he should not go to jail.or if you don’t forgive him God want forgive her the mother is really confusing her and she is very angry but she loves her mother and will do whatever it takes to make her happy we are going to counseling but she is very confused
Your answer was just what I nedede. It’s made my day!
Of course, this is terrible and unbearable. But such is our reality. You are a very brave man, thank you