Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Set Free from the Chains - Part III of Persevering in this Race of Life

<If you missed the previous parts to my story, checkout Part I and Part II>

Things improved greatly since my junior year of high school in my struggle to heal from being molested until my sophomore year of college. I had helped to organize a missionary forum through our Student Missionary Fellowship during a missions conference week. One of the missionaries who was on the forum looked, acted, and sounded like the man who molested me. I experienced for the first time the “feeling” of the sexual abuse rather than just “seeing” it as on onlooker. This sensation rattled every fiber of my being.

Now I must say that God definitely has a sense of humor, because He chose to use a guy friend of mine (the closest and one of the first male friends I was ever able to have after working through my issues in my junior year of high school) to be the one to minister to my deeply troubled soul. This friend called me on the phone that same night and realized something was terribly wrong. He met me outside my dorm where I poured out my heart to him. He held my hand to comfort me (and I didn’t even flinch) and stood at my side while I called to talk to my parents. God certainly does work in mysterious ways, and little did I know that God had ordained for this guy friend named Tim to become my husband in a few years.
Tim and me at the Christmas Banquet in 1999 (this was the first event that I had ever gone to with a guy escort besides my dad) - We were really good friends at this point but far from dating
This picture was taken during Spring Break, days before the dark night of the Missionary Forum. Tim & another good friend from college came to my house for Spring Break.  Also present in the pic are my sister & brother (this was taken outside our church)

A wonderful psychology professor at my Christian college offered to provide free counseling. Tim attended the sessions with me for moral support. Through those wonderful counseling sessions, I came to the realization that God was powerful enough to totally remove those scars that I had convinced myself that I had to live with. This professor used thought-stopping therapy with me by using specific Bible verses about thoughts that I had to memorize for the purpose to quoting in my head every time Satan had my mind drift to my struggles, which proved to be extremely helpful.  In the end, I gained complete victory over being molested and was able to forgive my molester and live a life free of pain, fear, and hate. Like the songwriter Chris Tomlin wrote about the power of the forgiveness of sins in “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)”, I could say, “My chains are gone, I've been set free.”

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