My dad named me Grace, with the understanding of what that word meant, and realizing that his daughter is the grace of God along with His abundance of Grace that kept him alive through hard and difficult days.
“For by Grace you have been saved through Faith, and it is not from yourselves it is a gift of God”. Ephesians 2:8
Having gone through discrimination, since birth, because of my dark color, spiced with sexual abuse and assault since the age of 5 till the age of 20, with the topping of physical and verbal abuse, feeding the greed of a shame based, community centered culture, have only created an environment of hostility and bondage in my life.
What does it mean to have a normal childhood, a normal adolescent life and a normal teenage life is far from the knowledge of my dark, 2 decades of my early life.
Rebellion was a seed planted by my first abuser, although it refused to reveal until my early teens, abundantly nourished and watered by the religious hypocrisy within the minute fibers of the family, the church and the community.
Teenage years were marked by the growing dark desire for vengeance and blood, fired by the nightmares of past traumatic experiences, adding more trauma into the cabinet of my mind, body and soul, as the days went by my abusers. How and where can I escape from this piercing darkness, was not just a question, but a search for flight.
My moment of escape was granted; not knowing that in the coming years, this darkness will only deepen, the dungeon will only be closing its teeth to devour me, shortening the life of freedom.
Away from home, from family, from church and the community, whose face was always like a vicious mad dog, snarling at me all the time, I was enjoying the fake freedom, the air that seemingly did not suffocate me. It seemed like a glimmer of hope when I met this charming man, who lavished me with words of praise. It felt like the first signs of rain, in a sun scorched parched land. I yielded myself to that welcoming, refreshing praise and honor.
He had me captivated in his charm and charisma, profusely generous with love and protection, with praise and admiration, that my heart felt full and overflowing, throbbing for his presence at all times.
This relationship grew rapidly, my heart set for an inseparable bond for ever. The morals and values taught to me by my parents and church, were being erased one by one, replacing them with immoral thoughts and values.
I was an employee at his brothers Hotel as a receptionist and was a complying witness to prostitution and trafficking, that brought in huge revenue. Girls from respectable families, who were housewife, college students, high school students, were brought in to quench the thirst of lustful men, often times leading to a police raid, but only to find the law enforcement officers, taking advantage of the vulnerable girls and assaulting them at the police station. Many times, the girls would stay back after their hour with the client and retell the plight dealing with the shameless johns and the lawless law enforcement officers. In between all this, I was protected because of my relationship with this man. I took console in that, desensitizing my heart towards the girls and their plight.
In spite of knowing his lifestyle, I was willing to marry him, as I knew that no one can love me and protect me as he can. I ran away again to another distant land, to get married and to become a mother. It was during this time, that he had approached me several times to be intimate with his friend, to which I refused, as I was not willing to share my body with more than 1 person. After the birth of my baby I was able to see more of his vicious side putting pressure on me to let my womb be used to bring about a child for his friend and his wife who were barren.
At the point of suicide, I felt the warmth of God leading me away from death and with the promise of a new life, I embarked on a journey of Possible freedom, just by faith, that I am saved by Grace and I do not deserve to be forgiven, but forgiveness is available if I would walk into it.
After a couple more years of isolation, immense physical, emotional, mental and spiritual trauma, I decided to heed the advice of my physician, and go back to my parents, to rest my body and mind.
The promise of life was now gradually beginning to have an outline, as I was getting healed from severe brokenness. In the next few years, I was able to see the Grace of God revealed in many aspects of not just my present life but also how His Grace followed me and pursued me even in the past.
Healing from trauma takes time. There are several layers of pain, of betrayal, of shame, of guilt, that have to be peeled out one at a time without hurrying the process of healing.
An object of shame to the community and church, a victim of religiously blinded set of rules, judging fingers and mouth were always around me to remind me that I am worthless.
How could I fight a system that is bound on defeating me? I realized I had developed a resilience and courage within my heart to fight and not to give up. Having learnt to fight every trauma with coping mechanisms, I was now prepared to fight using my weakness as my strength. The more I shared my story with complete openness, laying everything about me bare before others, my trembling spirit grew more stronger and bold, bringing healing and comfort.
It has been over 26 years now and for the last 2 decades I have worked with hundrends of young broken people and seen a transformation in their lives. I have seen the grace of God work in me and through me, in bringing healing to other broken people.
Who was I and where was I is a question of the past that continues to be part of the story, without which the glory of redemption becomes faded. Redeemed in His blood, victoriously leading others to that path of redemption is where I am today.
Just as God asked Adam “ Adam where are you?”
The question God is asking you today “Where are you?”
Where God wants you to be is a beautiful place of redemption and restoration.