We are blessed to hear today from Lori Williams, wife of our Life.Church Shawnee Campus Pastor Trevor Williams. I pray her story of unimaginable pain and healing will encourage you during the trials you may be going through. – Amy
Have you ever been paralyzed with fear?
Do you blame yourself for bad things that happened to you or someone else?
Is the pain so deep that you want to give up on everything?
Do you ever feel like you aren’t good enough?
Have you felt alone?
Have you lost trust in everyone?
Do you sometimes feel unloved?
Imagine being raped at 19 years old. That is what happened to me… I have scars from that terrible night that remind me of it every day. After the rape, I was the girl smiling on the outside and dying on the inside.
Imagine trying to fight someone twice your size. Feeling completely helpless because you’re being held down. And no matter how hard you struggle you. cannot. win.
You try to forget the smell of his hands when he covers your mouth and throat so you don’t scream. You close your eyes so you don’t have to look and pretend not to feel. You pray it would just all stop.
This is a favorite quote of mine:
“To trust God in the light is nothing, but trust him in the dark—that is faith.” –C.H. Spurgeon
This is the deal, friends. My recovery was long, ugly, and painful. I was broken in every area of my life. I felt completely lost and helpless. Everything I did was in an attempt to forget what had happened to me, forcing feelings deep down. Trust was lost in every person I knew. I pushed friends and family away. Fear was unbearable at times. I was afraid I would end up alone. Shame covered me. I didn’t understand that God would still love me no matter what my past looked like.
I allowed this event to silently choke years out of my life . I could not break the chains of bondage, and life spun out of control. I felt as though I had been left alone to deal with the mental, physical, and emotional mess that was left behind.
We all have something hidden away, don’t we…some mess that may haunt us?
It may not be a sexual assault. It could be an addiction. Alcoholism. Drugs. Gambling. Porn. Maybe you’ve become a slave to money or food, have a history of abuse, divorce, or unhealthy relationships. Or maybe you’ve had to suffer through the death of a child.
I know I can raise my hand to many of those things.
Pain, pain and more pain…We wish it would just go away.
Let me share something with you. That night was 26 years ago… and I have found freedom, healing, peace, and joy in my life despite those awful circumstances! Please know that you can also have all of those things and more.
Dear friends, I speak from my heart and a personal relationship with Christ. The photo above is mine.
The verse below is a constant, beautiful reminder of how much our God truly loves us. How He will never forsake us. That He is our ultimate protector.
He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Psalms 91:4 NLT
May I share some other truths God says about you?
- YOU are NOT defined by your past.
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20 NLT
- YOUR pain has a PURPOSE.
We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him. They are the people he called, because that was his plan. Romans 8:28 NCRV
- Fear is a LIAR. There is no fear in LOVE.
Where God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love drives out fear. It is punishment that makes a person fear, so love is not made perfect in the person who fears. 1 John 4:18 NCV
- You will have FREEDOM through Christ.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17 NIV
- You will be HEALED.
He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. Psalms 147:3 NCV
- You are NOT alone.
Remember that I commanded you to be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid, because the LORD your God will be with you everywhere you go. Joshua 1:9 NCV
- You will know PEACE in your heart.
Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 NLT
- You will experience JOY.
I have told you these things so that you can have the same joy I have and so that your joy will be the fullest possible joy. John 15:11 NCV
Let me also share with you a few things that I work on daily to keep myself in check.
Think about the picture.
- You must forgive yourself of the guilt and shame.
Go to God and pray. Never let your praying knees get lazy. That is a glorious picture.
- You choose the way you react or don’t react towards others.
Don’t let the words or actions of others control your thoughts and feelings. That is an extraordinary picture.
- Ask God to help you forgive others that harmed you.
It’s the way to freedom and to break those chains of bondage. That is an unimaginable picture.
- Open your Bible.
God yearns for you to know Him. God’s word will set you free.
That is an abundant picture.
- Serve others.
Get into a Life Group, a study group, volunteer, or serve at your church. That is a compassionate picture.
My prayer is for you to trust that God loves you no matter what your past or present looks like.
Lord, we call out to you for your guidance and understanding in our lives. We thank you for your goodness to know the joy and peace you bring to our lives. You are the healer of all healers and we have faith in all that you do. Only through you, God,are we courageous and strong. There is no room for fear. We cling to you, our mighty God. With your unveiling love our lives will be forever changed. Amen.
Love you my dear Sisters,