Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Finding Hope in God

I would like to share with you some of my story. I grew up in a dysfunctional environment. Actually, calling it dysfunctional is putting it mildly. My parents divorced when I was five years old and soon after, my mother remarried. That man, who became my step father, also became my perpetrator. At the age of eleven he decided I was old enough to receive an education in sex and became my abuser. I was one of the lucky ones, the ones who were believed when they finally told. When I did tell my mother, she immediately left my step father. I spent the next few years drowning myself in drugs and boys as my mother walked around having a nervous breakdown. I tried very hard to bury the abuse but it just seemed to ooze out in other ways. I was hurt, abandoned and broken.

At the age of 16 I began to date someone seriously. I was crazy about him. I had always known that his parents were "religious" but didn't really know much else about them. I had only met them once or twice in the two years we dated. I didn't know this then, but he had grown up in a Christian home. Right before we broke up he decided to share something with me. He told me that if I truly believed that Christ died on the cross for me that I could go to heaven. That's it, that's all he told me. But it gave me hope, a hope I had never been given before. I remember that night, talking to God and saying "I do believe, I do believe that Jesus died on the cross for me, please help me"

Something changed in me that night. It really was like I was blind and I could finally see. I remember walking outside the next morning and the sky was so blue and beautiful. It looked totally different, like I was really seeing it for the first time. I began to hunger to know who God was. I found a bible in my sister’s bookshelf and began to read it. I was drinking in every word and the words came alive on the page. It was my only connection to God. I knew no one that was a Christian.

Several months later my roommate came home from work talking about her boss at the gas station she worked at. He was telling her all about Christ and she began to share with me. I knew I had to talk to him. He was the most dynamic man and he LOVED God. He led me to a church and eventually I even became a part of his family. His mother gave me a place to live, his sister became my best friend and he became one of the ministers at my church. I had a loving Christian family for the first time in my life.

I would like to say that this was the end and I happily served God the rest of my life but I didn't. After about two years, God began to ask things of me that I wasn't willing to do. Mainly he wanted me to trust him and obey. There are many reasons that I won't go into but I couldn't allow myself to trust completely and I fell away. I stayed away and lived in sin for eighteen years. It wasn't until life became so unbearable that I finally let Him take over and have my whole life.

In spite of my rebellion, he greeted me with open arms. He began to heal my past and bless my future. I don't deserve the love and acceptance he has given me but I am grateful for it anyway. It has been in my surrender to Him and my trust in Him that I have found what I always needed. I found someone to really love me unconditionally, flaws and all. I found true acceptance. I didn’t have to change to come to Him, He would change me. I found a hope for the future, one that I could count on to be filled with joy.

In the last six years, He has restored me. I am no longer haunted by the things of my past. He has changed me and made me worthy to be called a child of God. I am becoming who He intended me to be. If you allow Him, He will also do that for you.

5 comments:

valerie lynn said...

I have an award waiting for you my friend! God is indeed faithful and just! He can restore and bring hope to those who do not even feel worthy! Praise the Lord for your testimony! AMEN!

Sister Alissa Lynne said...

Praise the Lord my sister....what a blessing to have a mother who believed you so that the abuse did not last forever but even one time can change your life forever. I am also a survivor of abuse from the age of 6 to 16 - I wrote a book about it. It is free book and it was my healing book. I am thankful to the Lord for saving me and giving me an awesome testimony and I am thankful to see that others are opening up about their lives so that we can all be set free...Keep holding onto Jesus and know that the Lord is with you and even if no one says a word...your testimony has touched someone because the truth always does. God Bless and keep moving forward in Him!

Sherri Watt said...

Thank you so much Valerie Lynn and Sister Alissa Lynn for your comments. God was really pressing on my heart to share this, so I believe someone must have needed to hear it today. I too have been very open with sharing the things I have been through. It is only when things are out in the light that God can heal them. Part of the armor that He tells us to put on is the belt of truth. This truth is being honest with ourselves and others. If we hide things in the dark it only gives the enemy things to hold over our heads. We are not meant for that, we are meant for freedom. Freedom comes in the light... God Bless and I love you!

Lori said...

Sherri,

I read your words, and let me just say that God has annointed your writing. By experiencing all the ugly things that happened in the past...God has prepared your heart to share things with others, things that only God knows who needs to hear, and trust ~ someone needs to hear. Bless you!

Caribbean Shulamite said...

All I can say is Blessed be the Name of the Lord! He alone does marvellous things...