Sunday, February 12, 2012

More on S-E-X

Last week I talked about that three letter word – S-E-X.  Sex!  This word has the power to cause many to blush and stammer, giggle and make jokes about it.  It’s highly integrated and mainstreamed in our culture from the clothes we wear, to the billboards we see, to the music we hear, to T.V. shows, commercials, movies, magazines, books and the list could go on and on.  Sex is everywhere! 

With the breaking news of the Penn State Sex scandal, among many others, it makes every parent wonder if they should lock their kids up in the house and never let them leave.  Parents have to worry about teachers, coaches, friends’ parents or relatives, friends’ siblings, neighbors, their relatives, church members, and church leaders sexually abusing their children.   The statistics are frightening:

About Victims

·         44% of victims are under age 18

·         80% are under age 30

·         1 in 3 to 1 in 4 girls are sexually abused

Sexual Assault Numbers

·         Every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually abuse, molested or assaulted

·         There is an average of 207,754 victims (age 12 or older) of sexual assault each year

Reporting to Police

·         60% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police

·         15 of 16 rapists will never spend a day in jail

About Rapists or Sexual Abusers

·         Approximately 2/3 of assaults are committed by someone known to the victim

·         38% of rapists or abusers are a friend or acquaintance

Statistics from (The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network)

Does anyone else want to scream????!!!!!

God created sex and, within His boundaries, sex is a beautiful thing.  He created it to be fun for couples, to feel good, and to bring married couples closer to each other.  Having sex with someone is the most intimate expression of love.  It’s not something that anyone needs to be ashamed of.

But for some, hearing the word sex brings up images of pain, hurt, guilt and shame because they’ve been abused or hurt by sex.  Maybe they fell into temptation and gave away the gift they wanted to give to their spouse.  Even in Christian marriages, sex causes pain, conflict and frustration.  Why is that?  Why is something created by God such a painful subject for so many?

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to speak at an awesome event for teen girls.  My talk was entitled “Dating and Purity” and several girls came to me afterwards with their painful stories, telling me how they’ve been hurt because of sex.  It made my heart break for them and it hit way too close to home.

I have my own painful story about sex…

A month ago, during the second week of Jan., 2012, I celebrated a 10-year anniversary.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t an exciting anniversary or one that I even wanted to remember.  Back in Jan. 2002, while I was out in Denver, Colo.,  I was raped.  I-am-a -rape victim… 

While I was out in Denver, only weeks after I graduated from college, and a year after my husband and I started dating, I was finishing up my internship with a beef breed association in Kansas City, Mo.  My co-workers and I decided to head out to Denver a few days early, since we had gotten everything done in the office, before we had to work at the Natl. Western Stock Show.  We had plans to go skiing and do some sight-seeing.  Unfortunately, our plans got a little side-tracked the second night, and we decided to hit the bars.  We drank an excessive amount of alcohol and by the end of the night, I was raped. 

One of my co-worker’s friend’s friend (got that?) had shown interest in me at another national show only a month and a half earlier in Louisville, Kent.  I made it very clear I was dating my now husband and wasn’t interested in doing anything with him.  I was still friendly but didn’t reciprocate any of his flirting or advances.  Somehow that night, we all ended up in their hotel room.  Again, since I was so annihilated, most of the night is a blur or completely blank.  At one point I woke up or came out of the bathroom to find that I was all alone with this guy in their hotel room.  At that moment, my life changed forever!  He threw me on the bed and raped me.  RAPED ME.  Because I was so intoxicated, I couldn’t do anything about it.  It was a very helpless and out-of-control feeling.  After he was finished, he threw my clothes at me and told me to get out.  I begged him to let me stay until the morning since I was so drunk.  I couldn’t really remember where our hotel was and didn’t want to ride a cab in the condition I was in.  He refused and after I was dressed, he literally shoved me out the door.  I hit the wall and crumpled into a heap on the floor.  Here I was in my early 20’s, being fairly successful, and I had just been raped!  I was in complete shock and denial.  By the grace of God, I made it back to our hotel all the way across town without any other horrible things happening to me.  

I woke up the next morning and, like almost all rape victims, I blamed myself because I was so drunk and decided if I didn’t tell anyone, it was as if it never happened.  It was a moment I would try to forget and move on with my life.  And, for the most part that worked.  At first I thought about it a couple times here and there.  At the one-year anniversary I remembered it and after that I NEVER thought about it again.  I medicated the memory out of my mind by drinking almost every night.  That went on for several years and, as you know from my other posts, I continued on with my drinking and partying lifestyle until I became pregnant with our daughter.  In order to survive, I shoved the whole rape deep down within my sub consciousness and didn’t give it another thought for over nine years.  That all changed Mar. of 2011…

Many of you know that this year has been a very challenging one for our family.  In Dec. 2010, my husband and I made a pact that we wouldn’t let another year go by like the last ones –we wouldn’t continue to let the dysfunction from his family affect each of us, our marriage and our kids any longer – we were going to stop the cycle!  Due to the stress with my husband’s family, the two of us have had our moments with our marriage, as well.  One night in Mar., we had an argument.  We both ended up praying separately “Help us God”.  Be careful what you pray for cuz you never know how God will answer that prayer! The next morning I decided to listen to a Hearts CD called “The Uncommon Woman” by Susie Larson.  While I was listening, she talked about how she had been sexually abused by her older brother’s friends as a 9 yr. old in the laundry room one day when her parents weren’t home.  She never told anyone and tried to act like nothing even happened.  She went through the rest of her childhood and teen years appearing on the outside she had as if she had her life all put together.  Good grades, good athlete, big achiever, popular.  BUT, on the inside she hid a dark secret.  The statements that brought me to tears went something like this: “When you don’t deal with the past, you can’t have good relationships with those around you.  They might be o.k. for awhile, but at some point, your past will affect you and your relationships.  You won’t be able to experience relationships to the fullest or on a deep level unless you deal with the past.  No matter how hard you try, you can never get past those issues unless you finally deal with them.”  BOOM!  Instantly this exact thought came into my mind: “Tell {my husband’s name} you were raped!”.  The strange thing about this thought was I hadn’t thought about being raped for almost nine years and I didn’t even remember that it happened.  I honestly thought “What – I was raped?!  How could that be?!”.  I dropped to the floor and started sobbing.

Later that afternoon I told my husband I was raped.  He was the first person to find out after 9 nine years of keeping this secret hidden.  After a couple of months of counseling, I finally told my family.  Every time was very emotional, but the great thing about telling them, was it wasn’t a secret anymore.  Instead of having to deal with it alone, I had a support system and I had my family praying for me.  This secret had no power over me anymore!  It’s certainly been a journey this year, but I can honestly say I’m healing and doing much better now that I dealt with my secret.  God saw me that night in Denver.  He saw the pain I hid.  God sees you and He sees your secrets and your struggles and your fears.  Don’t hold it in anymore!  Share your story and begin to heal!  Cuz here’s the truth – you’re NOT alone!

Here’s a verse that I’ve held on to this year:

New International Version (NIV)

16 Therefore confess your sins [hurts, struggles, fears, secrets] to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. James 5:16

I love that!!!  Many of us may have been hurt because of sex, but life doesn’t have to end there.  We can tell a trusted friend or family member, a counselor, or whoever and get our secret out.  Then we’ll be lifted up in prayer and the enemy has no power over us.  Once we seek out professional help, we can finally begin the healing process.

If you’ve been affected by sexual abuse, molestation, or assault, help is out there!  I encourage you to visit (The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) and to contact Focus on the Family at to find a Christian counselor near you.

No matter where we’re at or what we’ve done or what’s been done to us, we can go to Jesus!  Enjoy the "Come As You Are" lyrics...

Come as You Are Lyrics by Pocket Full of Rocks

He's not mad at you
He's not disappointed
His grace is greater still,
than all of your wrong choices
He is full of mercy and he is ever kind
Hear his invitation, His arms are open wide

You can come as you are,
with all your broken pieces
And all your shameful scars
The pain you hold in your heart,
bring it all to Jesus
You can come as you are

Louder than the voice that whispers your unworthy
Hear the sound of love,
that tells a different story
Shattering your darkness and pushing through the lies
How tenderly he calls you,
His arms are open wide

You can come as you are,
with all your broken pieces
And all your shameful scars
The pain you hold in your heart,
bring it all to Jesus
You can come as you are

You can come as you are

You can come as you are with all your broken pieces
And all your shameful scars
The pain you hold in your heart,
bring it all to Jesus

You can come as you are

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