LEARNING TO STAND FIRM IN TRUTH
I have a faint memory from when I was four or five years old: I was hanging upside down on the railing of a ramp outside the church, laughing and playing as the adults walked inside the building for service. This is a picture of who I was as a child: free-spirited and happy, I had not a care in the world. From a young age I knew I was different, set apart, and made for a greater purpose. Even in the darkest of times, when I was running as fast as I could away from God, this certainty of purpose remained constant. The redemption of the Lord is beautiful and it’s so apparent in my life.
Purity was taken from me at a very young age and, along with it, went my voice. My mouth was silenced by shame and guilt. I came to believe that if I spoke up, if I told the truth about what happened to me, that I would say too much or the wrong thing and I would end up in trouble. Fear controlled every piece of me and I lived in that state for almost 20 years.
I was forced to watch pornography for the first time at a neighbor’s house at age nine. I started seeing a counselor in about 7th grade because my depression was evident to everyone around me. Then I became addicted to pornography at 14. The first time I was sexually abused, any control I thought I had over myself left.
Where was God? Depression overwhelmed me.
Why wouldn’t he save me? Anger.
Why wasn’t I protected?? I must have to protect myself.
Fear and isolation, like two best friends, swept me up as If they had been waiting for me to run to them for safety. They held me tight and whispered in my ear to keep my mouth shut and I would stay safe. I welcomed a faux comforter into my home that took the place of the Holy Spirit who had been my dear friend and protector since the young age of seven. I no longer communicated with him - I didn’t even know Him anymore.
THEN I HIT ROCK BOTTOM AND KNEW I NEEDED TO MAKE A CHANGE.
I was accepted to a ministry school in Northern California where I learned to be honest, vulnerable, and loved. I practiced choosing life over death daily. Three solid years of healing happened in this place: tons of classes on wholeness, the Father’s love, sexual purity, and all of the inner-healing and counseling sessions I could attend. It was like I was being re-birthed. I was baptized at 21 years old and fully surrendered control over my life to the One who wrapped me up and whispered in my ears only pure love and protection.
When I moved back home to Texas in 2015 I saw the Lord move quickly to bring me community. It was beautiful to see Him help me get settled in. But, after I was a little settled, all of my old thoughts and patterns of life came back. It was like nothing had changed, I just had a few more tools in my toolbelt to battle the enemy with.
I got into a relationship that escalated very quickly, less than a year went by and there I was again, ruled by the darkness of my own selfish desires. I was back to my old patterns: replacing all I knew of pure love with something physical, leaning on someone else to be #1 in my life. My old friend faux intimacy crept in and snuggled up with me again.
HOW do I get out of this cycle?
The answer was honesty - radical, uncomfortable honesty. I had never trusted a man before and he said he wanted to marry me so I told him every single one of my secrets. I began seeing a counselor who encouraged me to share about the abuse in its entirety with my parents. I expected, once they learned the entire truth, that I would receive shame and condemnation because that’s what fear had told me my entire life. But that’s not what happened. Instead of anger, my dad was waiting for me with his arms wide open, waiting to embrace me and love me. I felt protection from my earthly father for the first time.
TRUST & PROTECTION WERE BECOMING THE NEW ANTHEM OF MY LIFE.
Just when I thought everything was working out, the man I thought I was going to marry cheated on me, something I found out in the most horrifying and traumatic way. The man I loved betrayed me. Though it was truly awful, I felt comforted at the fact that the Lord protected me from something that could have been worse had it not ended.
Looking back at my life, in even the darkest of times, I see Jesus.
I see where He picked me up and where he taught me how to live and love.
I see where He increased my discernment and where He taught me to SPEAK again.
I celebrate over myself because I finally chose to trust a man!
I finally surrendered secrecy to the Lord in its entirety.
I chose to fight and do the hard things!
And I feel like a victor in the process.
Still the thoughts of shame and guilt still haunt me as I get ready in the morning or when I lay in bed at night. But, when they come, I remind myself that shame and guilt, condemnation and lies were trampled on when Jesus chose me before the beginning of time.
HERE IS THE TRUTH I STAND FIRM IN.
I am a champion over my mind and my thoughts do not rule me.
I am fully surrendered to the process and I do not let the past dictate my future and the promises the Lord has spoken over me.
I am wholeness and progressively becoming more and more whole.
I radiate purity.
I have a voice that was meant to be heard.
I am protected.
I am a daughter of a Constant Father who never changes His mind about me.
My name is Cynthia and I am FREE.