As a woman who has been sexually abused, I’m thankful for men like Sam Eaton. Men that proclaim the message that we are not forgotten, not damaged and loved more than we can comprehend.
If this post touched your heart, make sure to send him a Tweet or Facebook message and thank him for his guest post. JP Ministries loves you Sam!
I was a painfully stupid 19 year-old.
I was insecure and made a lot of stupid jokes. It was a cold Iowa winter’s night, the type of night where normal people hibernate indoors. Not us. We were young and invincible as we made our way back from the sketchiest of bars. All you could see in the 2am sky was the cloud of smoke rising from the warm breath of our huddled, slightly intoxicated pack.
The group went their separate ways as I hung in the hallway with a girl I was proud to call my friend. As we stood chatting, somehow as a drunk guy and girl passed us in the hallway, an inexcusable joke escaped from my lips; a joke about rape.
Instantly, her face filled with a deep pain that I had only seen a handful of other times in my entire life: once on the day my dad left. Floating through the hallway were words I could never recover. The agony on her face instantly told me a secret that she didn’t want anyone to know. We spent the next several hours on her dorm room floor talking it through and sobbing as she recalled the lowest moment of her existence.
I have never cried harder in my entire life as my soul ached for the horror that lurks in our messed up world. I cannot even imagine what scum would force himself on a woman. Could there be a more cowardly act?
Did you know this terrible nightmare affects more women than most of us realize? According to this 2011 study, nearly 1 in 5 women in America have been sexually assaulted. (And this statistic represents the reported cases. Most cases go unreported meaning this statistic may be even more frequent.)
1 in 5.
But what can we do? These past few years God has been teaching me this incredible truth: one man who stands up for what is right can truly change eternity.
So today, I am taking a stand in this open letter to anyone who has lived a nightmare like my dear friend.
You are not forgotten, you are not damaged, you are loved.
And this is for you: An Open Letter to Any Woman Who Has Been Sexually Assaulted
Words cannot express how much my heart hurts for you and the terror you have been through. The truth is, I don’t know how to write this letter or what to say, only that is must be written for there are unspoken words you need to hear. Starting with this:
You are beautiful.
You were created in the image of a perfect God – his final creation and his masterpiece. You are the most incredible thing He ever made and there is nothing a man could ever do to take that away from you.
First and foremost, you are His. God holds you in the palm of his hand, loving you as the perfect father cares for his baby girl even when you can’t feel his arms around you.
You are not loved for your looks or your talents.
You are not loved for what you can give him.
You are deeply loved just for being you.
I know it might seem like that suffering will never go away. Perhaps there are days when you’d rather just give up. Maybe you have deeper struggles than anyone knows. That voice, my friend, the one telling you the pain you have experienced is deserved, that somehow you could have prevented what happened – is a LIE.
NOTHING you did is to blame for what happened to you.
NONE of the pain you’ve felt is your fault.
You are BLAMELESS no matter what the worst voices say.
No, you are not damaged.
No, you are not broken.
No, you are not hopeless.
For God can and will redeem every single part of your story.
If you are in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinth 5:7 (NIV)
Yeah, it might seem impossible today – like healing will never happen, but please know that the men who follow Jesus are here for you to support you in any way that we can. We are here to pick you up, dust you off, and protect you from the worst this world has to offer.
Please, be brave and ask for help. Find a program, a trusted friend, a counselor, a pastor – share your struggle no matter how hard it is. Start a personal relationship with God. You too can be a new creation in Him.
Your story is NOT defined by a terrible moment.
Your story is defined by God and what He has to say about you.
And the rest of that incredible story is waiting for you.
You’re not worthless.
You’re not unlovable.
You are beautiful.
You are blameless.
You are loved.
Your Brothers in Christ
Looking for ways to help?
- Share this message so we can spread God’s truth to as many women who need to hear it as possible.
- Care for all the people in your life with the deep, meaningful love of Christ.
- Volunteer or give financially to organizations that do incredible work. Click Here for a database of Sexual Assault Organizations in your area.
For the Men:
- Mentor as many young guys as possible. The world is doing a terrible job of teaching boys how to be men. It is our duty to stand up and turn the tide.
- Take a stand for the women in your life and show them they can always count on you to come through for them.
With the Deepest of Love,
Meet Sam: Sam Eaton writes at RecklesslyAlive.com and is a monthly contributor of JP Ministries. Sam’s heart for Jesus is contagious. He’s a music teacher by day, and a youth ministry and worship musician by night. You can friend him on twitter @aliverecklessly.
Christineat (7 years ago)
Sam: I thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing such a heart-felt, sincere letter that I know will help heal some broken hearts. Thank you for being a Christian willing to help others & encouraging people to reach out to other Christians in their suffering. You continue to inspire me with your heart that is so in tune with Jesus & the empathy you have for all. What a wonderful example of being Jesus to all. God bless.
Sam Eatonat (7 years ago)
Thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind words. I am really praying that it reaches some women who need to hear it. God bless my friend!
Courtneyat (7 years ago)
You literally touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes. This is such a beautiful reminder that most importantly God cares for me, but also there are men on this planet who care too. Thank you for writing it, and praise God it got to my eyes!
Sam Eatonat (7 years ago)
So glad I could be the vehicle for God’s incredible love for you today. Blessings to you my friend.
TTat (7 years ago)
I am an atheist, but I believe your kindness here will be quite the comfort to some of my Christian friends who have been sexually assaulted. I will be sharing it with them <3
joypedrowat (7 years ago)
Thanks for sharing it with your friends! Just wondering, how did you find this blog post? We are glad to have you here!
Jennifer DeFrates/Heaven Not Harvardat (7 years ago)
Sam, I’m glad you are able to give a voice to the voiceless. I recently shared my story on my blog too. It is a story that needs to be told. The statistics are 23% of women report it, I would guess at least double that don’t report. It is terrible and awful and I don’t know what I would have done without my faith. http://heavennotharvard.com/2016/06/10/what-rape-did-to-my-life/
Rachelat (6 years ago)
I somehow stumbled across this article and ended up weeping before I was even done reading. Last night as I cried myself to sleep as I’ve done for a while now, I asked God to just take away the guilt- to speak to me- to make it better- something. I think this article was his answer. Thank you for delivering some healing to me, straight from the Father. My words can’t really express how much I needed to read this.
joypedrowat (6 years ago)
Hi Rachel, I am so glad God brought you to this blog. You are Loved. You are guilt-less in any abusive situation. I’m praying right now that you go to bed tonight feeling comforted and loved. Also, check out this post on how to heal from abuse: https://joyskarka.com/2017/01/how-to-heal-from-sexual-abuse/
Beccaat (6 years ago)
Sam. You are a gift from God. I recently told about being sexually assaulted every day for a year by my babysitter’s daughter. I didn’t tell anyone for 11 years and it has been the hardest journey of my life, but this is the most amazing thing I have ever read. I thank God for you.
JM Camposat (6 years ago)
I had read this post some time ago, I even left a long commented but something went wrong and it didn’t post. Probably God’s way of telling me I talk too much.? I just had to say THANK YOU for the beautiful post. One of the terrible affects of sexual assault is that it can really warp your perception of men. Men like Sam go a long way in helping women to heal and to trust men again. Thank you both for this post and for your ministry!!! God Bless!!
joypedrowat (6 years ago)
Hi new friend, I’m sorry your old comment did not post, but we are so glad you found the blog post. Yes, I am so thankful for men like Sam. God bless!
Myaat (6 years ago)
God didn’t help me. How could he have? I looked to Him and I prayed and all I got was the urge to kill myself. I was thirteen. God isn’t what I look to. Not everyone believes in God, and not everyone will appreciate what He stands for. I understand that some people do believe and that this belief lifts them above it all, but to me, using God as a way of helping me cope with what happened is ridiculous. How does God excuse rape? Personal strength is what kept me going. That, and my love for life. Life is rare and beautiful and so short… Too short to be spent constantly sad. Dont look to God, look to yourself. You are strong, determined, and able. You are not damaged, not broken, and not disposable. (To the author: I’m not trying to demean your letter, it was very nice and heartwarming to many. It just… Struck a chord within me. After it happened and I got depressed, all my parents could do was ignore it until I was suicidal, and then they threw religion-literally, in the form of a cross necklace and a rosary- at me as if that would fix everything. That’s all the healing and validation I got from them and it’s left a deep wound… And so I apologize if my comment sounds rude. I’m simply putting my thoughts out there.)
joypedrowat (6 years ago)
Hi Mya, I’m so sorry you experienced the pain of abuse. I was raped in college, and I know how painful the experience is. I’m also so so sorry that your parents responded in that way. I want you to know that their response, is not how Jesus would respond to you. Religion as you described will not heal anyone. For me, a personal relationship with Jesus brought me healing. Experiencing his love through his love letter of Scripture is what changed my life. I had no strength apart from God. I can’t imagine the pressure you must feel trying to carry the weight of all of this on your own shoulders. I’m praying that you experience Jesus’ love. Love, Joy
anonymousat (6 years ago)
Thank you so much for this post… God brought me to it at the right time. It means a lot to me personally and God spoke to me though it… thanks for being willing to talk about such hard subjects.
kerenat (4 years ago)
As a rape victim this touched me deeply. BUT as a Jew…. i think for me alot of the good things were lost as you claimed Jesus would help. that putting my belief in god and his son would heal my pain. it’s been 13 years and no amount of prayer has saved or healed me. at all. neither did praying to every and any god ever believed in as the rape was happening. your words are truly touching. but god has nothing to do with it. I believe in God. I keep kosher. I keep holidays. and pray on Fridays. it has no healing power for me. and not even my husband understands. he doesn’t even try to. I still have horrible nightmares. and he brushes them off even if I wake up screaming and crying. I am alone. I think only a rape victim can understand the lonliness that comes along with it.
joypedrowat (4 years ago)
Hi Keren, I’m so sorry that you’re going through that. As a rape victim myself, I completely understand the pain and the loneliness. In my life, I tried and tried to find healing on my own and couldn’t. It wasn’t until I had an intimate relationship with Jesus, then I began to see how he knew my hurt and my pain. He related with my suffering when he died on the cross. But it took me a while to work through all the pain and to fully surrender it. I spent many nights wondering ‘why me’ and ‘did God care?’ You’re not alone in your pain. <3
Mariaat (4 years ago)
Screw that bullshit, I don’t want to be beautiful, I need to stay strong. And if I am a “God’s masterpiece” or anything like this – my abuser is one too, because it works that way.