How you turned out so well?

Ask Karen AvatarDear Karen:  I would like to know how you turned out so well? It is obvious to me that you are truly blessed with writing skills and your ability to communicate your struggles in life through words and faith. I thank God for you and reaching out to share with others…I answered my own question!


Dear Nancy:  Thank you for your inquiry. The first time I was asked this question, I had a comical response.

“Turned out so well? I was RAPED, abused (physically, mentally and sexually), neglected, beat up by boyfriend after boyfriend, husband and sister; my brother committed suicide, another favorite brother died a year later, my mother almost killed me, I nearly died several times over, I let evil people into my son’s life…turned out well?”

But the woman continued, “You’re beautiful, articulate, obviously educated and look normal. You got your son away from those people.”

With huge eyes and a mouth dangling on the floor I simply replied, “God!” Quickly retreating to that quiet place within to ponder and talk this question over with our Lord.

This is a very tricky question and one I challenge my fellow sisters with similar experiences to answer either here or on their own blogs.  For me, it was easier to share the details of the rape than articulate how I survived.

In short, I succeeded despite the tragedies. In fairness I never felt I had a choice and question my success.  I still wonder if I was just too stupid to lie down, cry out for help or otherwise do something to bring attention to the abuse. I admire women who seek help and even those who fall apart. I feel my success was a smoke screen to hide the shame.

I recognize I was outwardly functional but living a lie.  It was impossible for me to see much less celebrate my accomplishments when they were so intertwined in heartbreak and pain.  I look back and see failures, misfortunes and missed opportunities.

I feel this fits in with todays’ daily post because I left a lot of things behind when I burnt my bridge crossing over to safety.

For example, I was gang raped in college by my brother’s friends, my parents beat me up (again) and my favorite brother committed suicide during my senior year.  While I agree it is amazing I even graduated, I still regret not publishing my research paper. My research paper is one of those things I still mourn, among others.

My success began when I said good-bye to my abusive relationships and made a commitment to keeping my children safe and learning to live in truth. This is a really great prompt and one that deserves a more complete answer.  For now, my simple answer continues – God and lots of therapy!

In peace I will lie down and sleep,

for you alone, Lord

make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8

Thank you, Lord for meeting me in my heartache, embracing me, wiping my tears and leading me to safety.  Please Lord Help me to find the words to help others.  Amen.

If you have a question, topic, biblical sister or verse you feel would inspire a great post? Or if you want to know more about something I’ve already shared, please submit your idea on my “Ask Karen” page—if I use it, I’ll credit you. And anticipate your feedback!

7 thoughts on “How you turned out so well?

  1. Wonderful question – I’m not sure there is one answer that fits all. Just like each person’s abuse is different, so is healing. I think healing is a process. And it happens incrementally. For me, I was raped and abused by my father with my mom’s full knowledge from the age of seven until I was fifteen. Then there were other abuses and sexual situations I’m not proud of. Even in the midst of the pain of abuse, I have subsequently found that God was there helping me survive, but I didn’t see how until I got more healed. God used many ways to bring me to a position where I could be healed.

    For me, the first step was forgiveness. I had to forgive my abusers. That did not mean that my abuser was absolved of the abuse, but I no longer carried them around with me. They had (the are since dead) to face God, but after they were dead, I was still carrying them around with me because of unforgiveness.

    I also had to realize the extent of my abuse, to realize I was a victim. I had blamed God for not protecting me, turns out I was blaming the wrong one – it wasn’t God, it was satan that permitted my abuse.

    I spent years in therapy which helped me with some issues, but real healing didn’t occur until I finally was able to see God as a loving Father, and began to take things to him.

    My healing took years, and was not easy. I had to move from feeling like a victim to feeling like a victor. I had to change my way of thinking and reacting. I had to learn to trust others. There were many situations. But with the help of God I finally was able to embrace life and healing.

    Do I still have problems? Yes. Do memories still emerge? Yes. Do I have more healing to do? Yes. But I don’t have to do it alone. I can bring my problems to God and to trusted spiritual advisors. As was promised me by my mentor/pastor, my memories are now just that, memories, but they are not charged with harmful emotions. My full testimony is on my blog. And I’m currently writing a memoir that I hope will help others.

    And God can bring about healing and healing situations before we even realize He is there. Prayer is great. The Word of God (Bible) helps. We can choose what we think and focus on. If we fill our minds with positive spiritual songs and the Word of God it crowds out worries and hurt.

    It is not an easy solution and it will take time, but healing is really possible.

    • Thank you Heather for your inspiring testimony! It is so important to forgive and let go!
      Lord thank you for my sister Heather! Give her your guidance and blessing as she puts her story in text. Continue to bring her healing. Peace. Amen!

  2. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Burnt… the bushfire aftermath | Fasting, Food and other musings by determined34

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