POWER OF ME | Picking Up the Shattered Pieces-Overcoming Abuse
Forgiveness. Forgiveness is the gift that I give and send to all the young women who have suffered abuse of any kind.
I would say that forgiveness is one of the most powerful action words available for me to bestow upon you. As a survivor of sexual abuse & molestation, I understand that “forgiveness” is essential for growth and healing. For many years I held on to resentment and anger! Feeling as if I was owed something that in reality I really was unable to get back — my virginity.
But, one day I decided to stop focusing on those things that I could NOT change and focus on what I could! I realized that I could control how I maintained and carried myself. I decided to totally give my life and body over to God. In my mind I had to take back what my cousins had stolen (molested by not one but two of my cousins). “What could I actually have an opinion about, since I didn’t have a choice in saving myself for my husband?” I then realized that I had the opportunity to prepare myself for my husband and give him someone who is whole and complete. What the enemy meant for evil through my cousins, I could turn it around for my good.
That meant that I first had to be healed within, which at the time I wasn’t . In seeking total healing from being abused (which for me covered a span of 6-7 years, from the ages of 6 to 13yrs old). I began to pray — requesting to be healed — and I remember hearing one word… FORGIVENESS! Complete healing starts with forgiveness. I wanted to fully understand what it really meant to forgive someone who disrespected and mistreated me and took something so precious. Weirdly enough, I had another shocking discovery, because of the inward torment I daily experienced, I found that I also needed to forgive myself.
I was upset not only at my cousins but at myself. I was mad at myself for not being able to fight them off, upset at myself for allowing “fear” for so many years to rule over me and keep me in such bondage and — to be COMPLETELY TRANSPARENT — I was EXTREMELY UPSET at my body for, after a while, “liking” what was being done to me! Thought you were the only one?? Too afraid to really admit that part right?? I understand.
I thought if I dared to do that then it would be like me stating that I asked to be molested or worse still, I thought that I must’ve “wanted” it. But, the truth is that our bodies are designed to react to such stimuli. It was designed by God, however, for the purest form (between husband and wife). Although my body began to find pleasure in such a horrific act, I hated it and was mad at myself for betraying me, too. First betrayal and abuse from my family members then the betrayal from my own body!! There was too much anger and unforgiveness to hold towards myself.
I then needed to fully grasp the understanding of “forgiveness” so that I could be free of the daily turmoil. Forgiveness, as defined by the Holman Bible Dictionary is an act of God’s grace to forget forever and not hold people of faith accountable for sins they confess; to a lesser degree the gracious human act of not holding wrong acts against a person. Forgiveness is defined by Webster’s Dictionary s: to give up resentment of or claim to requital for (forgive an insult) b. to grant relief from payment of .2: to cease to feel resentment against ( an offender) to Pardon (forgive one’s enemies). Wow!!! Those definitions say it all. Once I was able to forgive my offenders and then myself … I would be FREE!!
Once “you” are able to truly forgive, then you can be fully released to become an active participant in “your” life. Not only will you be able to fully receive and become who God has purposed for you to become, but you shall do it with mighty power. Unforgiveness creates an invisible holding cell or jail that prevents you from moving forward and progressing in your life! I know. I was unable to enter into any healthy form of relationship in the past for carrying the hurt, paranoia, pain and rejection of being abused. Never really feeling confident enough to fully be ME! Trying to guard myself from being hurt by anyone else. That was the biggest trick of the enemy there is!!
He is just using that tactic to isolate you from others whom God sends to you to confirm and affirm who HE SAYS YOU ARE and created you to be so that He can continue to feed you lies! The enemy is the FATHER OF LIES! Don’t allow someone else’s failure in recognizing a precious jewel to keep you in a place where NO ONE else will have the privilege to experience your radiance and splendor because you have allowed another to dim your light. Matthew 5:16,17 says “Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a peck measure, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all in the house.”
16 Let your light so shine before men that they may see your [a]moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and [b]recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Allow your light to shine and forgive! Forgive those that wronged you then most importantly forgive yourself!
Start today. There is no better time like the present.
written by Tiffany Patton
Host and Executive Producer of "ON THE GO with TIFFANY PATTON" // Contributing Writer for Hope for Women Magazine