Wednesday, September 9, 2009

She obeys, He frees... She Speaks Part 8

I didn’t realize just how raw the story was, until I tried to figure out how to share it, how much to share, and how to fit it into just the intro of my talk.

Honestly, I was scared. It was one thing to share this specific story in writing, in general terms, on my blog, but it was completely different to do it in person, with more specifics…

So, there I was crying in the atrium of the hotel, trying to pray and surrender everything to God.

I finally was able to settle down and practice my talk, trying to time it and smooth things out. Just in time too, as I had to head upstairs to get together with everyone in my evaluation group.

I seem like I am skimming over so much. Everyone who spoke did so well. It was good for me to know that everyone was just as nervous as I was.

One amazing thing was how God really designed all of our talks. We all had different stories, different verses to talk on, different lives. But God designed each of our talks. We really all spoke about much of the same thing. How God has created us special, with our own unique talents and gifts and backgrounds. How much He loves every one of us.

God blessed my heart through each of my sisters there.

When I got up to give my talk, I was so scared. I was afraid to open up with the story....

(I know, I have been holding back what it was, because, well, though I have talked about it here on my blog as I was working through it in counseling... it's still hard to share)

......the story of how I was raped by a boyfriend in college......

I didn't go into detail. I couldn't. I didn't have much time to even fill out the story enough, or ease into it any.

It took all I had to follow God's prompting to share that story. It led so well into why I felt separated from God, and unable to receive His love, or believe that He could love me at all. The whole verses that I picked, that God gave me, were from Romans 8:35 and 37.

You know the part:
"Who shall separate us from the love of God? Shall trouble or hardship, or persecution or famine, or nakedness, danger or sword? No, in all these things were are more than conquerors through Him who loved us."

It's a reminder for me, even today, right now, this very morning as I write this. No matter my past sins, the ways I fall and stumble along, God still loves me. He still looks on me with compassion and mercy. He lavishes His grace on me. Nothing can separate me.

Nothing, not even the nakedness I felt from the rape could ever separate me from God's love... even when I felt dirty, and lived with the lies that I wasn't worth anything more than being used by others.

After sharing, I finally felt such a relief.

Not just that I had shared my talk, but that I had followed God's prompting to share some of the hardest, most painful parts of my story, trusting Him to use it as He will.

I may have the opportunity to share my story, and/or a talk soon. Like in February as I am on a committee to plan a women's retreat for our church. We probably are going to use 3 people from our church family as the speakers, as we don't have a very big budget. It seems that all three of the speakers are on the committee right now. Funny how God works like that.

It may be harder to share my story, and any message God puts on my heart, with people who I will see all the time in church. However, God has put a burden on my heart for the women in our congregation that I see every Sunday. I wonder how many of them are living with secret depression, or secret shame and hurt and guilt... with burdens that they aren't supposed to be carrying... at least not alone, without others to help them.

All I know is I walked out of the speaker evaluation group with a new lightness in me.

The only way I can describe it is as if I finally got "permission" to really share my heart, and God's heart for women in pain and bondage. I had a release of sorts. From fear, from hesitancy, from resistance.

I walked into the dinner that night, in preparation for hearing Jennifer Rothschild speak in person. I had recently read through her "Self Talk, Soul Talk" book, and was doing her bible study, "Me, Myself and Lies." Both were incredible and I was greatly looking forward to what she had to say.

I didn't expect what she said, and how she shared her heart, to touch mine as much as it did. I couldn't explain it even now, though I will try...

God used her to speak right into my heart and life right where I was at....

(to be continued)


Laura said...

Oh, Heather.

I can't imagine how hard that was for you. I'm so proud of you, sweetie! I wish I could have been there to hug your neck.

I am blessed to be going to see Jennifer Rothschild this Friday and Saturday here in my hometown. I'm very excited.

thinking of you.

Deb said...


I feel your heart.

The pain.

And how He's begun to heal all of the brokenness.

He's really good at that.

Sweet dreams.