I’ll never forget how I felt the first time I looked into the mirror after being date raped. I stood there naked, alone and ashamed. I began to question God and his love for me.
God do you care?
God were you there?
Were you there when her world fell apart?
When he took her identity?
When he took her hope and threw it on the ground?
Stepped on it, and tore it apart.
How did you let that happen?
Why didn’t you stop it?
This little girl.
The child you adore.
The one you made in your image. Remember her?
Remember the promises you gave her?
To protect her. To provide for her.
Did you forget? Did you forget about her?
Then she looked in the mirror.
That’s what she saw.
But God, he saw something else.
He hadn’t forgotten his daughter.
In God’s eyes, she was as beautiful as ever before.
She looked into the mirror.
God looked out of the mirror.
God whispered into her ear that he was there.
He had been there the whole time.
He held her hand.
He comforted her heart.
He was angry. Furious.
His heart broke as he watched his little girl hurt from the sin of the world.
God’s precious daughter, don’t lose hope.
God was there with you and with you he will always be.
Years have passed since this event happened in my life, but that moment in time when I stood in front of the mirror will always be fresh in my mind. (Read more of my story.) Have you experienced sexual abuse? Have you felt shameful about your past? Have you wondered if Jesus loves you? I mean, truly loves you, even with all your hurt and pain?
Through my story, God opened my eyes to His life changing love. A similar story happened in the Bible to a woman who had been abused and left isolated and alone. In John 4, we are introduced to the Samaritan woman. Fun fact, this conversation is Jesus’ longest conversation recorded in the Bible, and it happens to be with a woman who is isolated from her community. This woman was living in shame and feeling unwanted.
“When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” …The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” John 4: 7-10 (NIV).
This story is usually told from the perspective that the woman was shamed and guilty from having so many husbands. In the Hebrew world where this story took place, this explanation cannot be true. In the Hebrew culture, only men were allowed to leave and divorce women. So yes, she had multiple husbands, but they all left her. She was not a prostitute. Put yourself into her shoes. How do you think she felt having 5 men leave her?
Shame. Regret. Fear. Struggling to trust men. Struggling to trust God.
In the midst of these feelings, in walks Jesus who looked into her eyes and showed her love and respect. Imagine the life change. The heart change. The transformation. In the Hebrew culture, men did not show this kind of love and respect to a woman, yet Jesus speaks to the deepest need in her heart. Jesus offers her a water that will quench her deepest thirst.
“Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” John 4:13-15.
She knew how thirsty she was. She knew her deepest heart needs were not being met. This woman had been abused by man after man, and had always had a deep thirst to belong and find love. When others looked at the Samaritan woman, they saw a woman with an immoral past. When Jesus looked at her, he saw a woman with a deep spiritual thirst. He offered her living water to satisfy that thirst, and this encounter transformed her life.
You are not defined by your past. You are not defined by what has been done to you or mistakes you’ve made. You are not defined by shame or regret. You are defined by your identity in Christ. You are a holy new creation.
You are free from shame. Do you fully believe this? Are you living like you are a new creation? Imagine how your life would look if you truly believed that God loves you.
When the Samaritan women experienced the life changing love of Jesus, she found freedom from the shame. Then, she ran and told the whole town about it!
Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” They came out of the town and made their way toward him.” John 4:28-30.
When you experience freedom from shame because of God’s love, you’ll also want to tell everyone you know. That is why this ministry was founded. God opened my eyes to His love for me and healed me from my shame. Now I am passionate about helping other women experience his love, experience freedom from shame and experience healing from abuse.
Would you like to know this love personally? Learn how you can have a personal relationship with Jesus.