Rape, the very sound of the word makes people feel uncomfortable. It’s the elephant in the room in many families, and somehow it’s always perceived as the victim’s fault. I’ve always believed that it’s the silence of the victims that have given predators and society the authority to treat rape victims the way they do. Silence is great for most things but NOT in cases of abuse; there should be an outcry. The identity of rape victims are concealed, and I can understand that, because no one wants anyone to know that they were raped no matter the circumstance, so we hide behind the alias while our assailants profess their innocence boldly. While the legal system intended to protect us by concealing us, it has also alienated us and given the advantage to the enemy. Remaining nameless and faceless has harmed us.
My grandmother asked me, why did I put my face on my first book, How I Escaped The Prison of Rape: The Journey To Total Freedom. This book tells the story of how I was molested as a child and raped as an adult. Her concern was that people would come back and point fingers at me, and I told her that it was necessary for me to put a face to the story. Putting my face to the shame the enemy once threatened to expose; was my way of telling hell, I won’t be bullied. The things you continue to hide you cannot be healed from.
Step 1 Admit:
“If you want to experience freedom, you must be willing to reveal the secrets that are holding you captive”- Shirley Gattis
It may seem a little silly that I am saying to you ‘the victim’ that you need to admit what happened to you as if you didn’t know -you were there. But many who have suffered sexual and mental abuse, to admit that it happened makes the abuse real. There are people who believe that if they never talk about it, it’s like it never happened and it relieves them of the pain of reliving the situation. But honestly, we never forget. Admitting to yourself that the abused occurred is the first step toward total freedom.
Between the ages of seven to twelve years, I experienced molestation, and at twenty years old while I was sleeping in my bed, my home was broken into, and I was raped. I tell the full story in my book How I Escaped the Prison of Rape: The Journey To Total Freedom. This was a defining moment in my life, I was either going to have a nervous breakdown or use these tragedy’s like fuel to power my greatness. I honestly couldn’t understand how God could have allowed this to happen to me over and over. I was angry, filled with hatred for my parents and myself because I felt like my life was not my own and that my body was only to be used and abused for a man’s amusement.
Fast forward to my mid-twenties, I decided to give my life to the Lord, and I expected things to get more comfortable in my life but honestly- it got worst. One of the first things God told me to do was to look in the mirror and repeat to myself what I went through. I didn’t quite understand what he meant by this but when I began to say what I experienced there were feelings of rage, shame, anger, unforgiveness that rose to the surface of my heart. Everyone I thought should die for what they did to me faces appeared before me, and I began to cry. I was saved but depressed. Proclaiming my love for God but filled with hatred. So repeating what happened made it real, which forced me to come face to face with my demons.
I WAS raped! I WAS molested! Yes, I WAS lied to! I WAS betrayed by my parents! I WAS, but who am I now? The Holy Spirit began to reveal to me that I only saw myself through the eyes of my past and because of that I couldn’t appreciate who he was calling me to be in my future. Was is past tense meaning that it happened, but because we tend to associate who we are with what we did or what happened to us, we miss who God intends for us to become.
I am reminded of the story of Gideon. God told Gideon that he needed him to lead his people to battle. The Lord told Gideon that he was a brave man and Gideon said, “Not me!” Gideon began to talk about how weak he was and how he was a wimp and all that was wrong with him-sounds familiar? The God that created him told him that he was mighty, but he only saw himself based on who he was and where he came from. We all sometimes do what Gideon did especially when we have conditioned our minds only to see the negative things about ourselves.
So many people are portraying confidence and strength on the outside but are cowards on the inside. Facing your past takes faith and power. But the great thing about it is that God promises that we don’t have to do it in our strength but in his. God is pretty strong so don’t worry about giving him your burdens, in fact, he insists that we do.
Now I no longer associated who I am with who I was because I now know that; I Am Brave, I Am Whole, I Am Beautiful! He turned my ashes into beauty, and he can do the same for you!
What has happened in your life that you have hidden? Write it down.
Step 2 Forgive
Forgiveness frees you from the pain of the abuse and positions you for the promise. Even though we want to hold on to the hurt, it cripples us from genuinely embracing our future. Unforgiveness is like being imprisoned for a crime someone else committed. Our lives are mirrored expressions of our internal thoughts. If we obsess over who hurt us, we will never have time to open up ourselves to the ideas of a successful future because we are consumed with bitterness, hatred, and unforgiveness. I talk more about forgiveness in How I Escaped the Prison of Rape: The Journey To Total Freedom.
How can you forgive someone that hurt you so bad that it shifted the direction of your life? Through Christ. We, humans, are so obsessed with being in control of everything, but we were made to be reliant and dependant on God. It is he who will give you the power to forgive so that you can live out your God-given destiny. Our flesh alone is incapable of genuinely forgiving without God’s help. Trust that God will help to heal the wounds of yesterday so that you can embrace the possibilities of now!
Who’s on your black (do not forgive) list? It’s time to forgive and let go!
Step 3 Faith
It was my faith in God that secured my victory. The Bible tells us that Jesus took it all to the cross. He took sickness, debt, death, divorce, lack, he took it all to the cross, and our faith in him secures the blessings that were released on Calvary. Faith is not believing in an invisible character and hoping that what we think will come true. Religion is an active relationship that honors communication and trust. Our faith in God gives us the power we need to overcome anything that comes our way because we understand that the battle belongs to him.
God doesn’t expect us to overcome our past in our strength but in his. The Bible declares that his power is made perfect in our weakness so if we believe that he can restore us he will. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen. Some things we ask God to do for us may come instantly, but on the other hand, sometimes it may be a process.
It’s important for us to remember the times that God has delivered us from trouble or given us undeserved favor so that we use that experience as markers to remind us that if he did it before he will do it again. What has God brought you out of and do you believe he can do it again?
It was Job’s faith that kept him, through his time of struggle when his wife told him to curse God.
It was Joseph’s faith in the spoken word of God that he would do great things that kept him when he was sold into slavery and falsely accused of rape.
The woman with the issue of blood-it was her faith that healed her.
It was Noah’s faith that built a boat in the face of ridicule and laughter.
It was Abraham’s faith in God that kept him on a journey when he didn’t know where he was going.
What is your story of faith?
Step 4 Process
Everything has a process. We must understand that during our journey to total freedom it will take time for us to be completely free. It will take time for you to feel safe again. It will take time for you to love again and don’t be so hard on yourself because you are not further than you think you should be. There is no time limit on you. The only expectation of you is to allow God to work through you because you can not do it alone, believe me I know. In my flesh, I couldn’t forgive or feel compassion for the man that raped me or the men that molested me.
The world was created through a process, by our creator who could have done it in 0.0 seconds but he didn’t, to show us that everything we do will take time, thought and commitment. I don’t always like to stand on the line at the bank or the amusement parks, I love to get immediate assistance, but it doesn’t work like that all the time. It’s through the processes of life that we learn to have patience, compassion, forgiveness, and love.
Trust the process. What’s so funny is that we hate the process it takes to grow, we want what we want, and we want it now but love processed food that’s designed to kill us. The irony of it all is that process regarding journey or growth is one of the best things that we can experience. Now, I know that when we are going through the process, sometimes it’s painful and uncomfortable but at the end of it, we always leave as winners if we stuck with it.
Joseph endured the process. God gave him a dream that he would be great but he did not know what that greatness entailed. God’s dream for him caused his brothers to hate him and attempt to kill him. He was sold into slavery, falsely imprisoned and during all of this, the Bible never states that he complained or disbelieved the dream God gave him. Although he faced great opposition and wrongful imprisonment he continued to work in excellence until one day his dream became a reality.
Many of us would have given up during that process because we would have allowed the enemy to trick us into believing that God is not going to do what he said, but that’s a lie. The process is necessary to ensure that a strong foundation is set to build a lasting structure. If there are cracks in the foundation, it doesn’t matter how beautiful the building maybe the whole thing will come crashing down. The process establishes us for longevity, and it builds our faith and shows us who we are. My former pastor always said that if God gave you something before you were ready for it, he has cursed you.
Describe a process that you endured in the past and how did it help to make you a better person?
Step 5 Prayer
Prayer is one of our most potent weapons. Many people see prayer as a last resort, but it’s our first line of defense. Prayer God’s way will provide you the protection, peace, and prosperity you need to live.
How do I pray? Well, the Lord’s Prayer is an excellent guideline for how we should pray.
“Our Father which art in heaven”: Here we are worshipping who he is and where he is in humility and love. Prayer must begin with praise and thanksgiving.
“Hallowed be thy name”: Hallowed means to make holy or to demonstrate as sacred. This is an extension of the first line which is acknowledging his holiness.
“Thy Kingdom Come thine will be done on earth as it is in heaven”: Here we recognize that God is in control of everything and we begin to declare in word on earth so that it is established here as it is in heaven. For example, if you are praying for healing the Bible states that there is no sickness in heaven so praying for healing is manifesting heaven on earth.
“Give this day our daily bread”: God is our provider and here’s where we make our requests known. God provided for the Israelites every day after they left Egypt with manna from the heavens and it was only enough for that day so that they would learn how to trust and rely on God for their substance and not to trust in a system or a man. Many times when God disrupts the flow of our increase, or blessings is because he doesn’t want us to see the person he’s using to do it or the system he used as the source, they are merely the resource, but God and God alone is our source. So every morning wake up with new hope and expectation and do not limit him to one way of doing things.
“Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” Here we are confessing our sins. Although God already knows what we have done the first step towards forgiveness is admittance. As we confess our sins, God gives us the power we need to forgive those who have sinned against us.
“And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” Here you are repenting for your sins and asking for God’s protection from evil. It’s important for us to realize that we cannot escape temptation on our own, no matter how “good” we are or how much self-control we have. We are fully dependent upon the Holy Spirit who lives in us to give us eyes that see temptation coming and a way to escape it.
“For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, Amen.” Here we are reaffirming his authority to do all that we’ve asked and agreed that it is done. By closing our prayers with “Amen,” we are declaring that we truly believe that God has heard everything we have said and that He will do it.
Effective prayer is using the word of God because the Bible declares that His word shall not return unto him void. What do you need right now? Whatever it is, locate the word of the Lord that speaks to it and write your prayer down.
Step 6 Family
Deuteronomy 5:9-10….for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
What we don’t know about our family can hurt us. As a child, I was molested a few times, and I never understood why. Then when I was raped as an adult, I thought I was safe in my bed, but the boogie man was still able to creep in despite my security alarm system and double-locked doors. Here I was again asking the same question, why me?
It was a few years before the rape when my mother told me that she was molested as a child by her step-father and when she told me I didn’t completely understand what she was saying to me. I knew that she also experienced what I went through, but it wasn’t until I gave my life to the Lord that he showed me that the spirit of perversion never left her life because the curse was never broken and it visited me in the next generation. Many people believe that the things that happen to them is merely just the way things are in their family when in fact it’s a demonic spirit that has established a stronghold in that family and unless someone breaks the curse the spirit will continue to pass on from generation to generation. I truly understood that it wasn’t my fault and that I was indeed dealing with a satanic interference that was designed to destroy my mind and my life.
After I was made aware of this, I began to study the word of God to see how I could destroy this generational curse so that it doesn’t pass down to my children. The Lord just told me to repeat the word and to call out the spirit of perversion out of my life and to destroy the spirit and any evil covenant my ancestors may have made with the devil. In addition to this, I continue to lay up prayers for my children not out of fear but out of wisdom. Your prayers are never wasted, and prayer prepares the way for them and creates a spiritual path for kids to follow.
Our prayers speak! Even while the Prodigal Son sat in the mud, the bible says he came to himself and he got up and went home. The prayers his father prayed over him covered him in the pigpen and spoke to the king in him to arise which eventually happened. The benefits of the father’s prayers weren’t seen right away it took some time for the son to come into agreement with the word so don’t give up praying even if it seems like nothing happens. Your prayers are breaking down the walls of defense until it penetrates the heart.
Can a spirit that has been cast out return? Yes. Luke 11:24 “When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, searching for rest. But when it finds none, it says, ‘I will return to the person I came from. This is why the bible tells us to be alert and sober because the devil seeks whom he may devour. So it is essential for us to pray without ceasing.
Step 7 Purpose
Why were you born? Why did you survive the abuse? The answer to this question is -purpose. God has a specific plan for all of our lives, and when you understand your purpose, you will know why you survived the tragedy.
Your purpose should not be mistaken for your gifts. Your gifts will guide you to your ultimate destiny but should not be mistaken for your purpose. Jesus was gifted. He was able to heal the sick, walk through walls, disappear into thin air but although extremely gifted that wasn’t his purpose. His purpose was to die on the cross for our sins and to be resurrected on the third day to ascend to the right-hand side of the father. That was Jesus’ purpose, however, along the way he healed the sick and blessed people by his gift.
Our gifts are what God uses to bless others, but our purpose is the reason why we were created. Many of us have the same gifts but not the same purpose.
Can we forfeit our purpose? Yes, we can. Moses did that through disobedience. In Numbers 20:8, the Lord told Moses, “Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes, and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.” Numbers 20:9-11 records Moses’ response: “So Moses took the staff from the LORD’s presence, just as He commanded him. He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, ‘Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?’ Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.” The Lord was displeased with Moses’ actions: “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them” (Numbers 20:12).
However, God still works everything together for our good because Moses’ disobedience made room for a new leader, Joshua. So although Moses did not see the promised land, he performed the meaning of his name to be drawn out. He took God’s people out of Egypt.
Elijah was a prophet who did mighty things by the hand of God, but his purpose was to train his successor Elijah. After purpose has been completed death is imminent. There are people who die before their time, but as believers, the bible says that death should not be a surprise to us. When we are actively walking in destiny, death comes at its appointed time.
Why are you here?
Step 8 Love
Loved died on the cross that day. The very definition of God is Love, and it was because of his love for us that he was able to grant such a great sacrifice. Love is the cure to hate. Love is the cure for crime. Love is the cure for everything that we need, and Jesus demonstrated that on the cross because he took everything there and it was his love that proves, love covers a multitude of sins. Love is sacrifice.
What is your definition of love?
Step 9 Power
Power- and I’m not talking about the television show. God has given us the power to tread on snakes and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Luke 10:19 KJV Notwithstanding in this rejoice not that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven. We have the power to rule and reign through Christ apart from him we can do nothing. Our very existence proves that he is real. Even to those who are not in Christ or who don’t believe in him or give him credit for their existence they are here because God allows it. Purpose keeps us breathing. Purpose is the calculator of time. I believe that when we have completed purpose, we have completed our life on earth. Judas proved this. Judas was purposed to betray our savior it was all apart of God’s plan. Although I do not believe that his suicide was a part of God’s plan I do believe that his death at that time was. He completed his course.
The enemy can not take our power away from us, but he can trick you into believing that we have no power. He will exaggerate your issue, blow it up until you either command him to flee, or you accept the things he is saying. Our power cannot be activated outside of Christ because it’s through him that we have the victory.
Our power is translated into our speech. By the way, we speak of the things that oppress us. The Bible declares that life and death are in the power of the tongue and to defeat the enemy, we must open our mouths and declare the word of God. The word is life, and it has the power to destroy the altars of our enemies and build tabernacles of faith. We have the power but most times we fail to activate it because we have been tricked into believing that it’s just rhetoric, but it’s not, and your knowledge and revelation of the word of God determines your level of survival. For many, I know it may seem like a daunting task to locate scriptures that are needed for your particular situation but an awesome book to read is Prayers that Rout Demons by John Eckhardt. This book has opened my eyes to understanding. He simply collected scriptures and created prayers and confessions for different scenarios and struggles. Since I have been reciting the prayers, I found in this book I have received so much revelation and insight. The reason the book is so powerful is that you are declaring the word of the Lord.
As believers and people of God, we must use our most powerful weapons which are our mouth and the word combined to activate the power within us. We can win the war against our minds, our souls, families, finances, health if we would only speak to the mountains in our lives. It’s time to activate the power within
New beginnings aren’t always beautiful. Think about a contractor who is about to build a house on a parcel of undeveloped land. There may be weeds or just dirt, nothing appealing to the eyes but he smiles because he holds the blueprint for the project so he knows the beauty that shall be revealed. Or think about the car manufacturers they get all these parts together that look like junk unassembled, but when they put them together, it’s a Mercedes Benz. I learned this the hard way. I would get excited when I heard the number 8 preached on because 8 is the number of the new beginning. I would believe the word, stand on that word and everything that was supposed to change in my life seem to take an awkward shift backward not forward. It was in this revelation that I realized that new beginnings aren’t a one-day event it’s a process. The Bible declares that in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, we know that the creation happened in seven days. Six days God worked, and on the seventh day, he rested. When God created the heavens and the earth the earth was without form, there was no beauty in it, so God began to add animals, foliage, and man. As God created the earth every day, he added something that would add to its beautification and life. Everything in life is a process even your new beginning.
So God has delivered you from the hurt of the rape and molestation, and as you look around your life, it seems as though nothing has changed because everything either looks the same or looks like nothing at all. If this is you, your new day has begun. Here’s what you have to do now. You have to begin to create your world by your words and moving in the direction of the spoken words. The enemy will attack your mind and bring back old feelings of insecurity and pain to make you believe that nothing has happened. But the word of God declares that who the Son sets free is free indeed so as you walk into your new life you must transform your mind by reading God’s word which will create a new thought process for you. Once you begin to change your mind with God’s word your life will start to line up because it is also written that so a man thinketh in his heart so is he. Faith is voice-activated. So speak it until you see it.