I wrote a very condensed version of a Contact Church member's story on my blog last month. This time, I will let her tell her story in her own words. She wrote this for Ron and Judy Babbit's newsletter to supporters of their ministry with the Contact Church.
"I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, incest, rape, physical and emotional abuse. I am overcoming chemical addiction, alcoholism, co-dependency, and sexual immorality. I still struggle with control, anger, un-forgiveness, fear, and feelings of inadequacy. It is a blessing for me to be a light of God's grace, glory, forgiveness, and unfailing love, and how it has been demonstrated in my life.
"I was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. My childhood was chaotic at best. Very little consistency ever, well actually there was some. I knew there would be drinking, fighting, drugs, and yelling. Around age 8 or 9, myself and other family members were molested by a live-in babysitter who was a 28 year old male. After all the fighting and everything else in our home, it changed a lot of things. I began withdrawing and isolating myself. I went from a straight A student to a straight F student. I felt so dirty, angry, ugly, unlovable, and ignored. Couldn't my mom see, didn't she know, did she even care, and how selfish was it of me to feel that way when she was the one being beat up everyday. How could I even tell her? Nevertheless, these feelings went on for a while until one day my mom demanded to know the truth. With a lot of resistance I finally told her.
"Shortly after that my dad showed up. I needed my dad to love, approve, and protect me. When my dad began putting me in his bed I began having what I call emotional blackouts. It stopped with me and began with my sister. When she told me I called the police and had us removed. My sister and I were taken to a Tulsa shelter for children and then to DHS where my mom and dad would both exit the elevator and dad walked out of our lives. I began lying to myself about what my dad did to me. You see when I called the police I told my sister's truth not mine. I wanted my dad to be anything other than what he was or actually what his sin had made him. I still love him very much and accept all the things that have brought me right here today and made me into the woman God called me to be.
"My mom kept me for a little while longer and then gave me a choice to go live with my grandparents or she would separate all 5 of us into foster homes. Now my own mom was giving up on me. I was delivered to my grandparents. My grandpa began touching me in ways that made my skin crawl and I remember the alcohol on his breath. I began to despise the smell of alcohol especially after a 3 day drunk.
"I began seeking attention by kissing and touching, after all I could control that part or so I thought. I began trying to find love in sexual relationships. I tried to build a marriage on sexual relationship, in fact 2 marriages on sexual relationships. My first marriage took a turn for the worst when he joined the army. I felt abandoned and I didn't know how to be alone and unprotected. I cheated, got pregnant and was faced with what I had done almost immediately. I believe God had convicted me. Consumed with guilt and the fact that I couldn't hide what I had done, I called Russell and told him. While Marvin Phillips had baptized me 7 or 8 years earlier at Garnett Church of Christ, I still had doubts about his love for me. But God was working out my salvation and still is."
To be continued.