And the angel said unto them, "Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings
of great joy, which shall be to all people."
Last week I looked at the story of Jessa, a young woman who had been raised by her parents for the purpose of sex trafficking. As hopeless as her story seemed, God stepped in and delivered her, giving her a life that she thought she could only dream about.
This week I am looking at another testimony of deliverance from sexual abuse. Unfortunately, sexual abuse is all too common, yet, even in these crippling circumstances God is able to step in and turn lives around like only He can.
This week’s story is of a young woman named Shakeisha. She too grew up in a home environment where sexual abuse was normal. She was abused by a number of relatives and the very neighbourhood where she lived reeked of abuse and violence. She found solace at a school for the performing arts where her artistic gifts were recognized and encouraged. She especially found her place on the harp. Her music teacher gave her opportunities to perform all over the city and she enjoyed it. Unfortunately, however, his interest in her went beyond music and he too began abusing her. He made her believe that her family did not love her but that he did. She saw nothing wrong with it at first because she had been living a life of abuse for so long since the age of six. He was also a respected deacon in his church and made his family and church friends believe that she was just a student he mentored. He even used the Bible to convince her that there was nothing wrong with what he was doing to her. When she did realize it, she felt trapped and unable to escape his hold on her. Even when she went off to college in another city, he would frequently visit her and so the abuse continued.
As I listened to this story, I once again sensed the feeling of hopelessness, as if things could never get better, that no matter where she turned, it seemed that she was destined for a life of abuse. You can almost sense her feeling of resignation because this was the life she knew to the point where when it kept on happening it seemed as if she had no choice but to accept it.
The story of Naomi in the Bible comes to mind here. Naomi and her family experienced famine in their home town of Bethlehem, Judah. They moved to the city of Moab where her two sons married Moabite women and everything seemed to be going well. Unfortunately, although they escaped the famine in their home town, Naomi lost her husband and two sons in Moab. It seemed as if the place of solace and hope, turned into a place of death and loss. She was discouraged, she was bitter and on her return to her home town of Bethlehem, Judah, asked to be called Mara because God had dealt bitterly with her (Ruth 1).
Have you ever been in a season where no matter where you turned you seemed to be facing one challenge, one let down, one discouragement after the next? When you think you are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, it simply turns out to be another tunnel, another challenge, another disappointment, another negative report, another negative situation.
I am sure this is how Naomi felt and she simply gave up. She returned home when she heard that God had lifted the famine in her home town but she had already lost everything and saw no hope for her future. But God stepped in when she least expected it and through her Moabite daughter in law, Ruth, was able to redeem her deceased husband’s inheritance. As impossible as her situation had seemed God turned things around for good and Naomi’s latter days were even more blessed than her former (Ruth 2-4).
It was the same with Shakeisha. Shakeisha began praying to God and it was discovered what her abuser was doing to her. He was arrested and put in jail. She finally surrendered her life to Jesus and is going through the process of healing from of her abuse part of which includes forgiving those who have hurt her. She went on to complete her Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in music and has become a music teacher. She has learned that she is not alone and that God will help her. She learned that He loves her and has learned to accept His love. She also learned that only God could release her from her trapped life and give her a life of fulfillment, hope and freedom from the bondage of abuse she experienced for years.
These stories although different in nature and circumstances, are similar because each person felt trapped and believed that they would never be able to escape their difficult circumstances. Many times, that is exactly how we may feel but knowing and accepting that God loves us and that He has a perfect and beautiful plan for us can give hope in the face of hopelessness. Knowing that when we cry out to Him, even though it may take some time, He will answer, He will step in and turn things around, He will do what only He can do, He will work things out for our good.
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your life as personal Lord and Saviour, I encourage you to do so now. Jesus is there waiting for you to call on Him, waiting for the opportunity to show you His goodness, His love, His mercy, His deliverance... He is just waiting to give you hope in the midst of your hopeless situation.
This blog provides inspirational nuggets inspired by the Word of God and serves to encourage and motivate Christians in their Christian walk.