As it turns out hope is an important part of the healing process. Without hope, I was not going to make it. God wasn’t it, and I knew there was no one else I could trust, so I put my hope in myself – in my own ability to “make it” and to overcome what had happened to me and to protect my new DAUGHTER. But this notion didn’t last for long. I had not been able to protect myself from my traffickers, so how in the world did I think I could protect this precious little girl that I was dearly in love with?
I cycled through this thought process over and over again, trying to convince myself that I could protect myself and my daughter and “make it”, and knowing that wasn’t true and sinking back into hopelessness. I drove myself crazy in all of this, because it made me crazy to think I had to protect her, knowing full well that I couldn’t.
I considered all of the options, and believe me, none of them were good. I think back on that time now and am absolutely amazed at the way God protected me from my own stupidity. Suffice it to say that I wasn’t thinking clearly. It was truly such a dark, dark time.
I have mentioned a time or two already that the Church failed me miserably. I need to go on record saying that I am truly in awe of Christians who are rising up and combating this issue directly, and lovingly embracing survivors in this day. Several years ago, that wasn’t the case. One of the worst things that happened to me regarding the failure of the Church happened when I was only about 12 years old. I was trapped, desperate and miserable. I wanted to die. I had met a youth pastor at a camp I went to and since I was too afraid to approach him directly with my question, I waited for camp to end and then sent him a letter. I had only one simple question: If I kill myself, will I go to hell? I waited for an answer. Six months later, I got a reply: “yes.” That was pretty much it.
That experience had stuck with me for years, and so when I found myself contemplating my options, I remembered that letter. I was trapped and hopeless and completely incapable of protecting my daughter. I hated God. And I knew I didn’t want to go to hell, as I had been told I would. But I also knew that I couldn’t live like this. That horrible state went on for over a year while I was being thrashed with memories of my past.
One day, it finally dawned on me. If I was going to stay here on earth, and there was NO WAY I could protect myself or my daughter, OR heal myself, OR make the nightmare in my head end, that maybe, just maybe, I should give God a try. I knew that there were no guarantees with God. I knew that I couldn’t understand everything. But I also figured that IF there was any hope whatsoever of healing or being safe, that God was the only one who might be able to make that happen. I figured He could, I just didn’t know if He would. He didn’t have a great track record in my book, but I finally realized that He was my only option. I collapsed in exhaustion and turned my life over to Him.