In the morning I’ll be participating in the Bashful Ostrich 5K for the second time in two consecutive years. The run benefits survivors of sexual abuse. I think sexual abuse is such a prevalent sin. Our society is very sex-centered— it seems that sex is used to advertise almost all merchandise and all we ever hear on TV is sex.
I don’t know what really causes people to sexually abuse others, but I know what the Bible says about humans: “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9).
I know there are many people who have suffered from this type of abuse. They are wounded souls who long to be free of the emotional pain that haunts them. I think it’s good that they talk to someone like a counselor, but I think the only way they can be truly free is to allow God to heal them.
I used to cry whenever I thought about the years of abuse I encountered as a child. I wanted so badly to be free of those memories. I prayed continually but it seemed like God didn’t hear me.
Then after about 30 years of emotional torment, I woke up one day and realized that God had released me from my miserable state. I no longer cried when I talked about the past—my memories were not daggers twisting in my heart anymore.
I remember when I encouraged a small group of women to build on their relationship with God. One woman tearfully asked how I could go on without feeling hurt from my past. All I could tell her was to keep praying and never lose hope that God will heal her.
James 5:13 says, “Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray” (NASB). Luke 11:9-10 tells us, “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened” (NASB).
God answers prayers. Your prayer may not be answered tomorrow or next week, but if you are persistent in your prayer then He will answer. It took almost 30 years for my prayer to be answered, but I am so thankful that I did not give up—that I kept praying to God for relief. God is so good.
I think God didn’t answer my prayer right away because praying brought me closer to Him. The process of praying strengthened my faith in Him, and it was a reassurance to me that I truly believed in Him.
The nearly 30 years of praying and waiting changed me. It was like I was in a washing machine for that whole time. I wasn’t placed in the “quick cycle,” but the “extra clean cycle.”
Satan can no longer use the pain of my past to keep me down. I now pray for the people who sexually abused me. I am hoping that God will change them and that they will repent and ask Him for forgiveness. God can do anything because “with God all things are possible” (Matt 19:26). Thank you, God!