Why would a good God allow something so terrible to happen to you? Have you walked away from God because of your assault? Do you feel like God abandoned you?
You’re not alone.
After the assault, I sat in my room contemplating atheism
In the week that followed my assault, I thought to myself this is it. This is one of those decisive moments in a person’s life where you let a horrific experience draw you closer to God or turn you away from Him.
I was just beginning to grasp that what happened to me wasn’t consensual. I was afraid to go to school. I feared I would see his face every time I turned a corner. I felt ashamed sitting in church. I was certain that somehow everyone knew what had happened and what I’d done. The assault still felt so visceral to me, so surely everyone else could see it.
I contemplated turning my back on God. After all, God wouldn’t have allowed this horrible thing to happen. He hadn’t protected me, so maybe He wasn’t even real. Maybe He’d just been a figment of my imagination.
I couldn’t shake the thought that my life was better with God, assault and all, than it was without Him
But as I sat there and contemplated becoming an atheist, hopelessness and emptiness filled me. I felt like my spirit was dying. Though I was angry at God and didn’t understand how he could allow this painful thing to happen to me, I couldn’t shake the thought that my life was better with God, assault and all, than it was without him. An unexplainable peace and joy transcended me. I felt life return to my soul.
A song came to mind.
A few days earlier I had come across the story behind this hymn. It told of a missionary who, as he and his family were killed for their faith, he sang this song.
That day as I sang, I said to God, “I don’t get it, God, but I trust you. You’re worth it. My life is yours forever.”
God has been an integral part of my healing journey
Since that fateful day, I have embarked on the arduous path of healing. It has been challenging, life-giving, painful, imperfect, and it’s never followed a straight line. I cannot tell you how many times God has met me on that journey. He’s been my closest companion through it all.
God reminds me of my worth and value in Him when I feel worthless. He cries with me and laughs with me. He is righteously angry with and for me. He emboldens me to face my fears. When I sob in bed, he nurtures and cares for me. When I don’t have the strength to carry on, He carries and empowers me. When I process my trauma in therapy, He sits right beside me. There isn’t enough space in this post to tell you all the things He has done on this journey.
We are not promised a suffering-free life
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”John 16:33
The painful and scary truth is that we aren’t promised safety in this world. When we give our lives to God we aren’t promised that we’ll never experience suffering. In fact, John 16:33 suggests that we are to expect it.
I wish I could tell you that you’ll never experience pain but my experience and yours says otherwise. We can’t put our hope in a life free from suffering. But we can put our hope in God!
No matter what trials you face, God promises that He will never leave you. He will be by your side and caring for you through it all.
The Gospel is good news for survivors!
As a survivor, I have found so much hope in the Gospel. When I feel unworthy, unloved, and defiled by the assault, I am reminded that God loves me with an everlasting love. When I beat myself up for things that I think I did to warrant being assaulted God reminds me that He has paid the price for all of my sins and that He never blames the victims of violence. When I feel like redemption will never be possible and that my life is irreparably broken, He reminds me of the power of the resurrection. God is in the business of bringing dead things to life and making all things new.
Have you walked away from God?
So have you walked away from God? Maybe you resonate with my story. Laura and I started this ministry for people like you. We know your pain and we grieve with you. And through our own testimonies and the Bible we believe so strongly that God grieves with you too. He has never left you. You can come back to him at any time. You are never too far gone.
Or maybe you have never known God’s love. You can know Him! Send us a message or click here to learn how to start your relationship with God.