My Identity in Christ (Part 1)

My Identity in Christ (Part 1)

2 Cor 5:17 “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he (she) is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

John 15:15 “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”

When I was a little girl, I remember having an overall sense of happiness and freedom to be a child. But as I grew older and began to develop the awareness of my identity within my family unit and became the victim of verbal and physical abuse, my perspective on who I was began to change.

In my mind’s eye, I was ugly, stupid, and overall, a pathetic girl that no one loved or wanted to be with. I can remember my father saying over and over, “Why can’t you be like your brother or why can’t you be like your sister?” He was referring to the older siblings that had gone on and became successful, in his eyes. Out of his frustration and unchecked anger, he lashed out and made us feel unwanted as he put us down by abusing us verbally. My mother was a quiet, submissive woman with multiple (total of 15) kids to care for. She wasn’t involved in our lives except to care for our physical needs. And the brothers that were still in the home, treated me with great contempt and regularly beat up on me. At age 11, I was being molested by two of my older brothers and by the age of 12, I lost my virginity to a drug-addicted man that was 14 years older, who lived in the neighborhood. He literally took advantage of my desperate need for love and affection and convinced me to cooperate with his selfish intentions. I told no one as I thought they would blame me; I believed in my young heart that it was my fault.

I felt like such a failure, that by the time I was a young teen, I began to medicate with wine and beer, and at one point, I felt so hopeless, I attempted to take my own life! Obviously, I wasn’t successful, but at the time, I believed that I was a failure even at that! I not only felt unworthy to be loved but I also felt dirty and had a great sense of shame that covered me like a thick cloud.

As I grew into my teens, I continued to abuse alcohol, adding hard liquor and was introduced to all sorts or illegal drugs, which I experimented with daily. I lived a destructive life of substance abuse and promiscuity. And at age 24, I committed what I thought was the unforgivable offense by having an abortion, essentially ending the life of what would turn out to be my only biological child. This event plunged me deeper into a sense of self-loathing and emptiness that I had yet to experience. By the time I was 25, my sense of self-worth was in the pit; I had no hope and no purpose for my future.

Then it happened! The Lord Jesus, who had been pursuing me for years through the witness of other Christ followers, opened my eyes to His amazing acceptance, love and mercy for me. And I can remember the sense of hope and love that flowed through me like a rushing river! It was incredible! My self-perspective changed that day. I dared to believe that I could be something more than I had settled into. And I embarked on a lifelong mission to get to know the God who would be willing to die for me, a pathetic, sinful, ugly and stupid girl. It took years of Bible reading, support from other believers in Jesus and some Biblical counseling, for me to accept my new identity as I embraced 2 Corinthians 5:17, which tells us, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he (she) is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

Today, after walking with the Lord for over 37 years, having His amazing Holy Spirit living in me, I embrace the truth that I am God’s precious daughter, loved and cherished beyond my wildest dreams! He has given me dignity, self-worth and a future hope. I no longer condemn myself because according to Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” I no longer accept the attempt of others to manipulate or put me down. I have come to understand that I can have boundaries and stay in control, by the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Blessings,

Luci

From Shame to Victory (Part 2) The Abuse Started in Adolescence

The Abuse Started in Adolescence

My dad had a workshop in the basement where he had pin up girls on the wall. He had playboy and Penthouse magazines in the cupboard that my brother and his friends would look at.

Around the time I was between 8-10, I walked down the stairs and found my dad watching a pornographic movie while having a meal. I was horrified. My father was so disrespectful to women and he constantly joked in a demeaning way in front of my mom and other women.

Dad would drink every day. And every Friday night he cashed his check and came home with his weekend alcohol supply. Dad would always be in a good mood. He would take a shower and his friends would start rolling in. He always smelled so good. In the beginning, it was exciting for me to see who would stop by; I liked having company. But as the weekend parties continued it became evident that my dad’s friends wanted to do inappropriate things to me.

My mom would usually stay upstairs and lose herself in her books, trying to ignore everything around her. I would hang downstairs trying to get my dad’s attention over his friends and his drinking. When I was between 8 and 9, I recall one of his friends pinning me down, laughing and holding my arms down while he tried to kiss me. I was kicking and screaming, telling him to stop as my parents watched. I couldn’t believe they weren’t helping me! Felling vulnerable, I spent many years pushing the bed across my bedroom door, afraid someone would come and hurt me. Because of my parents’ and my brother’s behavior towards me, I learned that I had no value. My mom never wanted me and I wasn’t worth being protected by my dad; I felt so unloved.

During middle school, my brother and I always came home to an empty house. The two neighbor boys would come over and try and kiss me, pin me down and they would force me to do inappropriate things with them. I was told not to tell or I would get beat up. I never told.

So, I would race home, grab all the hangers and pens in the house (my brother could open the door with a metal hanger or the ink stick of the pen), lock the bathroom door before by brother got home so he couldn’t beat me up. I would wait in fear as he banged on the door telling me to open it. Eventually he always found a way in. I would run through the house and try to get away as he threw knives at me. If I made it back to the bathroom the knives would be stuck in the door. He would beat me up! I didn’t tell because nobody stopped the other bad things that were happening to me. My mother always justified and made excuses for my brother’s behavior because he was her favorite; my dad was hard on my brother; I was dad’s favorite so I got the brunt of that from my mother.

 

Rhonda’s Blog

From Shame to Victory (PART 1)

Read PART 3 (My Broken Teens) HERE