Read the sections of Hidden Joy, titled “With Gratitude…” and “Our Journey BEGINS.” After reading, record in your journal your thoughts about proceeding through this study. What do you hope to gain through this study? What are your doubts about going through this study? Fears? What is your goal? Record a prayer for yourself. Write honestly to God. Be real, no masks, no hiding. If you are willing, share your prayer for yourself on Melissa’s blog today, but if you want to keep it between you and God, that’s totally fine too! It’s good to pray for yourself. Don’t ever feel selfish about doing that. In John17, Jesus prays for himself, His disciples, then for future believers. He begins with Himself. If it’s good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for us!
The first question is about my thoughts about proceeding with this study; I have to say that satan is already trying to work on me.
Compared to many other women’s experiences of sexual assault, what happened to me, at least in the physical sense, is pretty minor – or at least, I’m sure that if I told a woman who had been violently raped about what had happened to me, she’d probably raise an incredulous eyebrow and say something to the effect of, “And that wrecked your life?”
This is the kind of stuff that’s been going through my head from the time I sat down and got this blog started and through the reading of the assigned part of the book. The author, Wendy, stated without detail what happened to her (I know she tells the whole story in the next chapter but I’m not reading ahead). And what happened to her is enough to frighten most women in to hiding and paranoia – as I’m sure it did to her.
So yes, what happened to me seems small. No one stole my virginity. Though I was molested for many years and endured other types of sexual assault, no one stole my virginity. I did my best to, and for the most part succeeded at, keeping myself out of the sex assault victim’s chair.
However, the effects of what happened to me colored my life in a big way nonetheless. Primarily, it completely screwed up my view of what love was and how it was shown. I know my parents loved me then and love me now. And I know that because they treated us lovingly when we were children. I don’t remember them ever saying “I love you.” Perhaps they did, but I don’t remember it. And it doesn’t really matter now and I don’t hold them in any way responsible for what I’m about to say, which is: The worst of the sexual assault I endured was the first time someone ever said “I love you” to me. This went on for a few years, I’m not even sure how long; but his hands all over me and exposing himself to me while telling me he loved me and wanted to marry me went on throughout my last years of elementary school. How could that not confuse someone?
So yes, what happened to me (and I haven’t mentioned it all) was not nearly as brutal and violent as what has happened to many, many other women. But it affected my life negatively just the same.
What I’m saying here is that I will not allow satan to trivialize my experiences. I will not allow him to deceive me into thinking that I don’t need healing, or that I have a lot of nerve to think that what happened to me is any big deal (which is a thought that he has put in my head). My life has been too screwed up to think that I don’t need some healing anyways.
So what are my thoughts about proceeding with this study? Oh yeah, I’m doing it. And I am going to find healing and maybe even be able to help others.
My goal in doing this study, is to become a whole woman and to learn ways that I can help others do the same.
Dear God, You work in mysterious ways. The connections that brought me to this study are unlikely, but they brought me here. And I know it’s Your doing and I thank You for it. I pray for Your hand to be on this. I know how crafty the enemy is and he’s already been trying to minimalize my life in my own head. I want to submit to You so I can resist him. I pray that you guard my heart and mind as I do this study. I also pray for all the women who are in this study with me. I’m sure there are many who need Your healing desperately and who are probably afraid to face this pain head on. I understand that fear, Lord and I know You can give strength to these women as You have given to me to be able to look this pain and fear in the eye and still stand firm. Lord, thank You for this book and it’s author and for Melissa for heading up this study. Bless them both and all the women involved in this study. Thank You for everything You do here. I thank You for the healing we WILL receive. In the name of your Son Jesus, Amen.
Be blessed, sisters and brothers,