A Story of Healing After Rape

  by Tammy, Idaho

 

When someone has been raped or sexually assaulted, they obviously need a great deal of support from the people around them as well as from people like the police, doctors, godly counselors, and so on. Many people simply do not know how to help somebody through the trauma of rape or sexual assault, and so they become bewildered and feel that they are in some way failing the person they care about.

Every person responds differently to abuse, although there are certain feelings that are common, such as fear, humiliation, anger, numbness and guilt. The feelings a person has may vary from week-to-week, day-to-day - even minute-to-minute. What is important is that someone who has been attacked is allowed to experience their feelings without fear of having them judged or dismissed.

Are you a rape victim? I may not understand exactly what you're feeling, but I do understand the devastation of rape. I was raped years ago, but in some ways it still seems like yesterday. Even if you were raped years ago, you may be suffering today. I hope that my story will bring you some comfort and healing.

When I was a teenager, I dreamed of one day marrying as a virgin bride. The groom would be a wonderful man whom I would love and cherish for the rest of my life. My future seemed exciting. Then one night when I was fifteen, on a casual date with a school friend, I was raped. This "friend" knew I didn't want a reputation for sleeping around, so he threatened to tell everyone we had slept together, using fear to trap me into a relationship. He played mind games with me, and abused me physically and sexually. It was like going through the first rape all over again. I couldn't believe he'd bullied his way into my life; I hated him! He talked about marrying and having kids together, and for the first and only time in my life I contemplated killing myself. Trapped in silence, I lost 20 pounds from depression and stress, I didn't tell anyone. Why didn't I break the silence? Maybe I was ashamed. Maybe I was trying to bury my past, where my uncle had sexually abused me. I remained silent and tried to live a normal life, all the while feeling worthless. Then through a number of circumstances, the twisted relationship came to an end-but its effects haunted me. I tried to numb the pain by partying and rebelling against my parents. I was angry and critical, trusting no one. I felt entitled to hate the person who had abused me. My heart cried for revenge.

As the years passed, I allowed hatred to become part of my everyday life in the name of "justice," but it robbed me of joy and wasn't pleasing to the Lord. I knew I had to stop reliving the abuse in my mind and stop keeping a record of wrongs. Then one day, I began meditating on two scriptures:
"Although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools" (Romans 1:21-22). "Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled" (Hebrews 12:15).

I looked honestly at my heart, and I saw unforgiveness and futile thoughts of revenge. As a result, I was blocking God out of my life when I needed Him most! I was a Christian woman, God's child, and a pastor's wife, yet my hatred was destroying me. Like Romans says, my heart was darkened, but God shined His light into it! I gave it all to God, asking for His forgiveness. When I did, I not only received His love, but also His thoughts. Having the mind of Christ, I was then able to see things more clearly-from God's perspective. I was able to genuinely forgive the one who raped me.

As Jesus hung on the cross He said, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34). Are you keeping a record of wrongs, harboring resentment, or jealously? Confess now and ask for God's forgiveness. God promises, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).

Rape is unacceptable, but holding onto the past won't heal the wounds. You can try to bury it, but you'll still be filled with fear, shame, resentment, self-centered desires, jealousy and anger-and it will control your life: your marriage, children, friendships, school or job performance.

You may have turned to drug and alcohol abuse, fallen into depression or brooding in anger, taken to suicidal tendencies or eating disorders. Stop and think about how the pain and memories have manifested in your life.

I didn't want my pain to surface in destructive ways, but I had to be honest about how it was destroying me. Life is too short to let anger rule! I wanted to understand and apply forgiveness so I could be set free. I wanted to love and care about people without fear. I wanted to live the full life that God has for me!

-Tammy Brown
Author of Healed and Set Free...from lingering hurts Bible Study

Help Links

If you were raped recently, seek help or call the national sexual assault hotline (1-800-656-HOPE). Please report this attack to the police. Take that step for yourself, and for the rapist's next victim. Know that God loves you and His heart is breaking for you.

"The topic of rape is something rarely talked about, but has effected so many women's lives. My friend, Tammy Brown, shares her personal story and offers words of hope and healing. Calvary Vista Women's Ministry hosted a "Live Free" conference about a year ago and Tammy was our speaker. Since then, we have had many women go through her "Healed and Set Free" Bible Study and lives are being changed!
-Pastor Rob and Denise Salvato,
Author of Longings of the Soul

More Healed and Set Free Featured Stories:


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Healed and Set Free from A False Identity - By Nichole
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Healed and Set Free From the Worry of Death and Sickness - By Debbie
Healed and Set Free From the Pain of a Devastating Divorce - by Gina
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Surviving Rape - by Kay
Healed and Set Free from Loss of Loved Ones - by Meryl
My Marriage Was Over! How God Restored Our "Love Account" - by Teresa
Whole From Years of Self Destruction - by Tami D.
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Healing From Fear & Trauma - by Cheryl
Abortion Wounds, by Andrea
My Abortion, My Secret Heart Ache, by Julie
Something Had To Change or I Wouldn't Be Here Today - by a 28 Year Old
My Neighbor Sexually Abused Me - Getting Past My Past - By Beth, New York
Healed & Set Free From My Father's Sexual Abuse
Freedom in Christ - by Sherry
God Brought Me out of the Fog - by Susan
God Can Heal - by Alisha
My Life Was Forever Changed - By Loren
From a Walking Disaster to a Woman Who is Thriving - by Chrissy
A Story of Healing After Rape - by Tammy
How to Heal After Sexual Abuse - by Sindy
Learning How to Forgive People in My Past - by Melissa
Freedom From Being Isolated in Silence - by Shelly
Releasing All the Pain, Anger, Guilt and Shame I'd Kept Inside - by Brooke
Letting God Heal My Heart After My Parents Divorce - by Dyan
When The Woman You Love Was Sexually Abused and How We Became Healed and Set Free Together - by Pastor Rick Brown

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Healed and Set Free Cover
Healed and Set Free is a 9-week journey in which you will learn four biblical tools that will guide you in overcoming past hurts and equip you to respond in wisdom, find peace when offended and gain a deep understanding of how to truly forgive others.
Healed and Set Free Back
The newly revised edition now includes the leader's guide in the book, a brand new chapter on marriage, as well as new devotionals, more verses and more stories of God's grace healing people through the Healed and Set Free Study.
Healed and Set Free is a 9-week journey in which you will learn four biblical tools that will guide you in overcoming past hurts and equip you to respond in wisdom, find peace when offended and gain a deep understanding of how to truly forgive others.

What's New: The new edition includes the leader's guide, a brand new chapter on marriage, as well as new devotionals, more verses and more stories of God's grace healing people through the Healed and Set Free Study.

Healed and Set Free is a 9-week journey in which you will learn four biblical tools that will guide you in overcoming past hurts and equip you to respond in wisdom, find peace when offended and gain a deep understanding of how to truly forgive others. Leader's guide included.
Ordering information: Click here to order online. Details: Paperback, 352 pages, 7" x 10", $13.00

What They Say

"Healed and Set Free has been a wonderful class. I recommend it to anyone who is wanting to make a change in their life and truly be healed and set free from past hurts." - Tracey

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