Days like today make me feel secure in my faith and filled with the warmth of God’s love.
A friend of mine got me in contact with a young 17-year-old woman who was a rape survivor. This young woman confided in my friend that she was struggling with what had happened. When I was called and asked to speak to this young woman this was all I knew. I did not know the specifics behind the rape or how long ago it had happened.
When I meet with survivors (or speak with them on the phone) I like to have enough time set aside to hear their story. I believe the number one step in healing is to be able to talk about what had been done and to feel secure and safe talking to someone who can relate to those feelings. When I was given this young woman’s information we were not able to connect due to her work schedule so for now we’d been texting trying to find a time to meet.
Anxious to speak with her I asked if there was a way to meet with her briefly, long enough to get a book and charm to her, something to give her encouragement and strength. We finally had the chance to meet briefly this morning before she went into work.
I met at her work place and in the few minutes we had I asked a question that led her to divulge a few facts that tweaked my memory. The more she spoke I realized why everything was so familiar. I knew her story. It was five years before when it happened…yes she was 12 almost 13 years old. When it happened a friend of mine had heard about the situation. She didn’t know the young girl so what was being told to me was third party information. At the time I was still in youth ministry, not yet called to do what I do now with Hopeful Hearts Ministry but I still felt a strong desire to talk to the young girl.
This young woman’s story plagued me at the time. The little facts I knew then were enough for me to picture the events in my mind and feel the fear she must’ve felt in that moment. I want to share her story but I’d rather meet with her for a longer period of time before I do so. It is of public record, which is one of the facts about her case that made me so livid at the time. She went to the police. Not all of the parties involved were arrested or even brought in but one was and only received 5 years, and I’m not sure he even had to serve the entire sentence.
I remember hearing about this. About the injustice of the lack of sentencing. And about how this young girl had to continue to endure being near other parties of the case.
I prayed for her. I prayed I’d have the chance to meet with her one day. It took almost five years but God finally made it happen. There I sat before this beautiful girl, a young woman now, who radiates strength and courage.
This makes me excited. You know why? Because what had been done to her did not get the best of her. She is reaching out and she is fighting back. It isn’t an easy road for her but the key point is she survived.
I can’t wait to work with her and see the plans God has for her graciously unfold. And I can’t ignore the fact that He HEARD me!
God is so good!
Prayer is our lifeline. When you feel as if He isn’t listening pray some more and remember stories such as this. And pray for others! We are a community of believers and we need to stand in the gap for one another!