She isn’t one I wanted to stop for.

It wasn’t her pain……it was mine.

After locking my heart and my story in a dungeon for 10 years, I took a chance and asked a few friends who are involved in the trafficking movement for help in the drowning of last year. I remember so clearly now why the dungeon is safer.

Completely rejected, my heart could not have been hurt more, and this pain is still so fresh.*

I want to keep walking but her words stop me. “Don’t I know you? Weren’t we in that thing together last fall?”

My heart – bleeding now from fresh wounds, erecting walls that should never have been breached, is in hiding. I just want to disappear – too much pain to engage even an acquaintance.

I contemplate pretending to be someone else and just walking away. But I give in. “Sure. Yes, I remember you. How are you?”

She’s kind – like most people you don’t really know. Our conversation winds around this and that. And then it’s over.

I walk to my car with the familiar weight, and I am just done.

Done pretending.

Done hoping.

Done breathing.

And then I hear it. It whispers, quiet. That still, small voice. I strain to hear above Rejection’s roar.



And then it’s there again, quiet, but more audible. “Gold,” He whispers.

I ponder and then forget. Move on with my day, my heart heavy with Rejection’s chains.

Hours later, the same voice beckons, “Beauty.”

I’m listening…..

He has my attention. Wasn’t I just praying this morning the words of Psalm 31?

And here it is. The beauty of unfailing love calling to my broken heart, the veil of rejection lifted for a moment. And suddenly there is revelation. A new knowing in my heart.

Can one truly know the gift that is light without first knowing darkness?

Isn’t beauty more beautiful when it was traded for ashes?

Doesn’t joy radiate more abundantly from grief?

Shouldn’t one know true weakness to ever really know true strength?

These things I know to be true. But how do darkness, grief, and ashes bear gold?

In this place of rejection and worse-than-ever isolation heaped on top of all the other pain, where is He and what is He doing in me?

Job said it like this:

“But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him. When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him. But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. (Job 23:8-10 NIV)

And I see it – the gold.

These chains around my heart dull me. In this place of utter rejection and wounds so fresh, I cannot find Him. But He knows the way that I take.. He knows how to find me.

And in the end, there will be gold…….

Because light shines the brightest in the heart that has known the deepest darkness.

And joy radiates most abundantly from the deepest grief.

Unfailing love is best understood by a heart who knows well the deepest kinds of rejection.

And the exchange for these ashes, my life? Beauty.

In the end……gold.

And today, that one little word will inspire me to keep pretending, keep hoping…..keep breathing.

*I continue to experience rejection for the depth of trauma I experienced in being trafficked, in spite of the recent explosion of awareness and the fact that many people now seem eager to do something about this global issue. It seems that people love the idea of rescuing trafficking victims, but are absolutely terrified of encountering the actual pain that is experienced in the aftermath. Maybe their God is too small. Maybe they are busy being heroes and fighting the fight, with nothing left to give to the actual people represented in this evil. Maybe in general they love the idea of fighting something so evil, but aren’t ready to actually sit long in those dark, hard places to really walk out healing with someone long term. This rejection touches the deep, fatherless place of pain inside of me that tells me that it is the same reason my father sold me to start with, the same reason my traffickers could laugh at my pain – that my life is just not worth much.

Please, please do not get involved with restoration of trafficking survivors – personally or organizationally – unless you KNOW that God has equipped you to do so and you are willing to make a long-term commitment to walking – with unconditional love – through healing with them. I’ve said it before, but if you harbor desire for personal or professional gain in your work with survivors, then it is imperative that you NOT be directly involved with survivors, because those motivations will never yield the kind of love or commitment it takes to do this work. Abandonment and rejection are the bedrock in nearly all trafficking survivors stories. To experience these two things again in pursuit of healing is traumatizing beyond words.


About stonescry

A survivor of sex trafficking, being healed by the grace of God.
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7 Responses to Gold

  1. Kate says:

    Beautiful. Thanks for this… it’s a reminder that is always needed.

  2. Becky Daye says:

    Just finished reading your entire blog and I just want to be able to be there for you!!! Ugh- I get so angry at sin and the results of it. But thank you for this reminder to pray. It doesn’t feel like it is enough, but I do believe in a very big God- a God who can do immeasurably more than we could ask or think. And so for you my sister, I pray this- Father God, I will remember this and pray that it gives my sister hope, because of YOUR love, she is not consumed for your compassions never fail, they are new EVERY morning, Great is your faithfulness! (from Lam. 3:21-23)
    Praying that this truth will wrap around you and please know- while you are still waiting for God to answer your prayers of healing, He already has answered your prayers to bless others through your voice. Because I have been blessed today.

    • stonescry says:

      Becky, thank you for reading! So much of this was written before I was thrust back into another season of post-traumatic stress last spring that I am still struggling through. At one point I almost wiped the whole blog off the face of cyber space because my own words seemed so insufficient for reaching my own fresh pain. I’m so humbled and thankful to hear that anything I have written would bless you in any way! Thank you for hearing my heart, story, and voice and most of all, thank you for your prayers. They are a priceless gift to me! Bless you!

      • Becky Daye says:

        I am so thankful that you didn’t delete it. I have no doubt that God will continue to use your story. And I know that is one of the ways that He draws us out of the pits that we are in. And that will be my continued prayer for you- that you will feel His love wooing you and gently pulling you out. And if my words can encourage you to know that you are not alone, then I praise God for that!

        • stonescry says:

          Thank you, Becky! Yes, you have encouraged me more than you know! 🙂 it is a healing thing to write, for sure! I still can’t believe you read through this whole big mess! You are one brave lady!

  3. Barbie says:

    Thank you for stopping by my blog today, so that I could meet you. You are very brave and courageous and I am so thankful you are sharing your story. I cannot imagine the horror you have experienced and I am so sorry for what happened to you. I can never think for a moment that I can understand your trauma, but I will use my words, my blog and my platform to bring awareness. I blog for various organizations that are exposing this darkness and I will continue to pray. There needs to be so much more education and awareness. Your voice will be heard and many will experience through your courage.

    • stonescry says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words, for hearing me, and for using your voice to bring awareness! My heart and prayer right now is that we could move beyond mere awareness and really begin to pray into establishing restorative community and avenues for true restoration and healing for those coming out of the nightmare. It takes true, real-life community to heal from this trauma. I am praying to see a day when the Church can really welcome such brokenness with open arms. It is easy to speak, easy to blog, easy to fundraise and easy to busy ourselves with hero-minded activism. It is so much harder and less glamorous to stop and just listen and love one single, broken individual. Stopping for the one and mucking around with them in their darkness, pain, shame and mess is so much harder, so much less glamorous… much more like Christ. I want to encourage everyone who reads my words to use their voices to raise awareness….yes…..but more so to do the harder task of stopping for the one ugly, broken mess in your path and resolving to stay – resolving to love, for the long haul. This is the far more difficult task in fighting human trafficking. And if those who follow Christ don’t do this, who will? When you pray, would you pray into this with me? Thank you again for taking the time to stop by, read, pray and comment. Bless you!

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