I had the incredibly pleasure of meeting a wonderful ray of sunshine this weekend. If you have never met one of those, you are truly missing out. What I mean is: the souls who seem to always have a genuine smile. They warm your heart simply by greeting you, they make you feel loved and accepted, and the darker it gets, the brighter they shine. Sweet Katherine is just such a soul. Her story truly blew me away, and I knew I had to share it with you. It is such a perfect display of how God is able and willing to make beauty from ashes. I believe your heart will be as touched as mine was.
"My name is Katherine. My story is a difficult story with many chapters that seem impossible. My story is graphic and hard. But my story is also an example of how God heals the brokenhearted and brings hope to the hopeless.
"When I was around 6 one of my brothers, in his brokenness, started sexually abusing and molesting me. He did this almost every day until I was around the age of 10. At the start of the abuse I didn't realize anything was wrong, but soon my unknowing turned into fear and confusion. Its strange looking back now on how I didn't tell anyone about the abuse. I guess after many countless threats and enough force, I went into a hopeless, shameful coma that took me many years to come out of. My entire childhood turned into a scary nightmare. I would get home from school and fear for what was to happen next. I was so use to the pain that it became who I was, and I eventually numbed it all out. I identified myself as a bad girl that needed to be hurt. I became her. She was me, I was her.
"Months turned into years and my life at home became a big secret that I sure was good at keeping from everyone, including the rest of my family. I would live a life at school and in front of adults that included smiles and lots of fake actions, but when I would go home I would feel the real things that were going on. I was the furthest thing from happy or joyful, and the things that were being done to me were the most adult things that anyone could ever experience. I was being taken advantage. I became somewhat of a rag doll. All of my innocence and all of my joy were were being taken from me every single day of my life, and I couldn't stop it. I was so small. I was so frail. I was so little. I was a blonde haired, green eyed little girl that was in desperate need of a hero. I needed someone to knock down that door and say that I was worth saving. I needed someone to hold onto me and never let me go. I needed love and protection, something that every child on this Earth deserves. My brother exploited me on the internet. He took videos and pictures of me doing unspeakable things and put them up on a web page for men and women to look in the times of their brokenness. I was exploited for the whole world to see. I was a toy for anyone to do everything to. I was full of shame, I was broken, I was completely alone. Who could save me? Was I ever going to be okay?
"After all of the abuse was over and I grew older, I threw myself into coping mechanisms. I tried everything possible to get the stains off of my skin from the abuse. I self medicated every day with anything that made my problems seem just a little bit smaller. These coping mechanisms worked at first. They made the pain dull for a few moments, but then after I was back in my own reality, the pain came back. And this time, it came back stronger than before. I wrestled with the question “WHY ME”. Why was I that little girl? Why was I the one who had to go through all of that? Why me? I was utterly broken, like I had never been before.
"Little did I know that that hero I so desperately wanted as a child was with me. I did have that savior that I had always dreamed about, and his name was God. God intervened, and he did it perfectly. He took that little girl that was now an adult creating more problems for herself, and wrecked her broken world. He was here to heal me, save me, redeem me, and cleanse my body, heart, mind, and soul. Even though it seemed as though my life was over, He said that it was just now starting. God, being the gracious and loving God He is, chose to pick me up out of my deep, dark, self-medicating pit and give me hope and a new life in Him.
"MY LIFE IS NOT OVER. I have been abused, taken advantage of, and hurt. I have done things out of my pain that are nowhere near glorifying to my Savior, but God says that I am made new. Out of my brokenness he has created a new life for me. Its hard and it's a challenge every single day, but goodness my savior makes it all worth it. He says that I am beautiful. He says that I am no longer a victim. He says that I am innocent. He says that I am made NEW. I get to be an overcomer with Him holding me and guiding every step of the way. I still struggle with depression, and wanting to self medicate with earthly tools, but my God says that I now get to rely on him for everything. He is healing my heart; he is showing me how to not only survive in this life, but also how to truly live and breath with Him. All I have to do is trust him and love him. That's it.
"I pray that if you are in the midst of trauma, or if you are dealing with the aftermath of it, you hear and know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. You are not a piece of trash, nor are you worthless. You are beautiful. You are loved. You are pure. You are cherished. You are a jewel. You are everything good, through Christ and Christ alone. Know that my heart breaks for you and that I’m praying for you. I’m praying that you allow God to do a mighty work in your life, because oh man He will. You just have to let him into your heart and life. Life for people like us is not easy, but heck life for every single person on this earth isn’t easy. What is easy is my Fathers yoke and love. He is the only reason I’m alive today and He is the only reason that I have hope for facing each and every day. Life is still a challenge, and I pray that it never becomes “easy”. It is in moments of my brokenness and pain that I get to completely rely on God’s love and strength, and that is absolutely beautiful. Stay strong my loves. Don't lose hope, because He is nowhere near finished with you yet.
"To Him be the glory forever and ever, Amen.