Rape. It’s ugly. Unwanted sex. Against your will. Even though you say NO, he does it anyway. The enemy has come to kill, steal, and destroy. Surely those who rape others are operating in his Kingdom. It is wrong. And yes, sometimes it seems like they get away with it. But God saw. And I truly believe that God will take vengeance on these killers of the soul. But this post is not about them. It’s about us – the women who have endured rape – and what it does to you.
I have to admit I was raped when I was 16. I didn’t want it – it happened. And I still remember trying to ‘wash myself clean’ in the shower. It was like someone had taken part of my soul that day and I couldn’t get clean. I felt dirty. I felt used. I felt ugly. My vision of what love should look like changed. I was no longer innocent and pure – not by my choice – but by the willful coercion and stealing of another person.
Did I get help – yes, but not until I was in my 30’s and after my first divorce. I want to share with you here what I learned. Maybe it will help, maybe it won’t. It was part of my journey. But now, because of this, I am sensitive to the Spirit of Lust. I see it operating in others sometimes – and I hate it. It came from the enemy. It is unfaithful and a liar. It is not love. So, this is why I am sharing.
Unconsciously after the rape, I was determined to get back at him – only I didn’t know where he was – it was a one night thing. So, every relationship I had after that with a man – whether friend or lover – I was trying to ‘make them pay’ for what the rapist did to me. I was a flirt. I would especially try to steal away someone else’s boyfriend just to prove to myself I was better than that other girl. It was a game – a contest – and I was determined to win. I would let someone fall in love with me and give me an engagement ring – accept it, and the next day throw it at their face. I was angry. I didn’t believe in love – and I was out for revenge. I wanted every man after to ‘pay’ for what happened to me. Only I thought I was ok. But I wasn’t. I had bad relationship after bad relationship. And I blamed them, all of them, when really I was the one with the problem. I needed healing. And I was destroying every relationship I could along the way just to prove that love didn’t really exist. I was acting like a hurt little two year old – and I was a tornado in the path of everything good.
I do believe that rape opens the door to the Spirit of Lust. I only started flirting like that after it happened. Before that I was ok with me. I didn’t have anything to prove to anyone. I didn’t need a man to feel good about myself. I believed in myself and my abilities. I had hope. But after – it was different. I saw myself differently. I saw men differently. And I didn’t believe in love or myself. I thought I needed a man to make me a person. I knew part of me was ‘missing’ and I thought I had to go find it. I was wrong.
Yes, rape is ugly. You feel like someone ripped your heart out. You feel like you will never be whole again. But there is healing. There is hope after rape and after abuse. I can tell you from experience – no man will fill that hole in your heart – only God can. And He will heal all the broken places – if you let Him. But that means you have to STOP – stop dating – stop flirting – stop trying to break up good marriages just to make yourself feel better. I took a year off from seeing anyone after I finally got help. I needed to learn how to be good to ME without a man. I needed to receive the help. And I did it with NO MEN ALLOWED! I had a female counselor. I had female friends. I didn’t pursue conversations or dates or anything with ANY MAN! It was the best thing I ever did for myself. And it was the first time since I was 16 that I felt good about myself.
If you have been raped I urge you to get help. Talk to a Christian Counselor today. Don’t live years upon years with feeling bad about yourself. It was not your fault. You did not ask for it. He was wrong – and God will take care of it, I just had to let Him. I had to release the Abuser(s) to God and trust that He would take care of it – and get on with my life. Lust is not Love. Lust takes, lust kills, lust destroys all that is good. Lust is all about ‘ME’ and ‘my needs’.
Here are some great words about rape, what forgiveness is, and what forgiveness is not from FAMILY LIFE:
What happened to you was a great evil, so forgiveness won’t come easily or in a moment. It will be a journey of many small steps. The alternative to forgiveness is living in fear, escapism, bitterness, and/or depression. When you live like this, evil still controls you. Forgiveness frees you to live a life of love towards God and others. Forgiveness frees you to be a servant.
Often those who have suffered a great evil think that forgiveness means excusing the evil. So before we talk about forgiving your attacker, let’s talk about what forgiveness does not mean:
- Forgiveness does not mean what happened to you was “okay” or can be excused.
- Forgiveness does not mean that what happened to you was a small, unimportant thing.
- Forgiveness does not mean you will forget what happened to you.
- Forgiveness does not mean you shouldn’t seek to have the rapist punished by the law.
What forgiveness does mean
Forgiveness says to your attacker that what happened was wrong, destructive, cruel, and inexcusable, but you are choosing to not take personal vengeance. Why? Because God says, “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:19). And God has shown mercy to you (Romans 12:1).
Thanks for listening,
(All images from Pinterest)
Diana Rasmussen is a Faith Builder, Worship Leader, Veteran's wife, and Customer Service Rep. At her blog Prayers and Promises she shares from her heart on how to find hope in this crazy world!