My prayer is for you to receive what I share with love and grace. For you to use discernment, rather than emotions, in how you respond to my open letter.
For 26 years, as a woman of faith, I have enjoyed fellowship in person and online with other believers. As an author, speaker, and wellness advocate, I've enjoyed connecting with a variety of Christians from every walk of life.
With over 2,000 friends on Facebook, 90% of those I know and follow are believers. Through the years, I've treasured the friendships that I've formed on Facebook. It has been such an honor to have the opportunity to meet a few of my Facebook friends in person.
Keeping that in mind, please understand that I care about my Facebook friends. I want to remain friends with you. I prefer to avoid conflict and division with you. Therefore, I am going to be transparent as I write this letter from an authentic place in my heart.
Please understand that my intentions are pure. I want to be in harmony with fellow Christians. I pray that you can gain insight and wisdom from this message.
Recently, I openly shared my personal opinions about being a survivor of sexual assault. As a female survivor, I advocate for other survivors; females and males who are young and old.
Although it's a touchy topic, I believe that the only way to break the stigma of sexual assault is to write about, talk about it, and give other survivors hope for healing from this traumatic experience. Of course, not everyone is willing or ready to discuss it. Some folks get uncomfortable and they don't know how to respond to it.
What directly led to sharing my own thoughts on several Facebook posts about sexual assault was the recent news pertaining to Brett Kavanaugh allegedly assaulting Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. As we have learned through the newsmedia, this alleged incident happened when they were both teens.
Let's make it crystal clear from the start that we didn't observe the potential assault. Under no circumstances can we make claims that either person is innocent or guilty. Yet, we can trust that God knows and He may bring it to light in the future.
Despite the fact that you and I don't know for a fact whether this sexual crime happened or not, I've read plenty of posts from my Christian friends who have outright stated that Dr. Ford is a "liar" and that Brett Kananaugh is a "good man of faith."
This has troubled me, especially since as Christians we are supposed to be compassionate and offer grace; even to Democrats and people who have different beliefs than us. The Bible declares that believers are to be salt and light in our world saying, "Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person." Collossians 4:6 (ESV)
Remember that Jesus purposely hung out with the prostitutes, lepers, thieves, and tax collectors. He was compassionate to everyone, not just the religious leaders.
Christ cares about people who are sexually abused and assaulted. He has compassion for them. And He commands us to have compassion for them, too.
In Hebrews 13:3 (MSG), it commands, "Look on victims of abuse as if what happened to them has happened to you."
Yet, dozens of Christians on Facebook (even some who are rape survivors) lashed out at me when I shared my horrific experience of being sexually assaulted three different seasons in my life. As a toddler, the abuse lasted approximately one year. Therefore, it was repeated physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.
Not only did some of these believers on Facebook harshly judge me, condemn me, and victim-shame me, they had the audacity to write inappropriate comments. Several wrote that females have lied about being raped and that innocent guys had to spend time in jail from a wrongful conviction.
Regardless of whether it's true or false, that type of response was unnecessary. Essentially, it minimizes the intensity of trauma inflicted upon those who have legitimately been sexually abused and/or assaulted.
In addition, who are we to judge when or if a victim should or should not report the crime? Who are we to victim-shame Dr. Christine Ford? Or assume she's fabricating a story? This is a very complex and complicated situation. And there are hundreds of reasons why people don't report sexual assault.
According to statistics, 80% of women do not report sexual assaults. This doesn't mean that it never happened. This doesn't mean the individual didn't suffer anxiety, depression, PTSD, chronic physical pain, or spend the rest of her life haunted by this nightmare.
After reading the insensitive and cruel remarks on my Facebook posts, I was shocked. Truly, it rocked me to the core. In effort to reduce this trigger to become re-traumatized, I opted for a Facebook fast. It's for my sanity, my peace of mind, and to pray for wisdom.
Initially, I felt hurt, rejected, and frustrated. Now that I've had more time to process the negative comments, I feel numb and disappointed in Christians.
Seriously, many of these believers need to take a time out to examine their own hearts, minds, and souls. To ask themselves: What would Jesus do? How would He respond to the sexual allegations, to the division between Democrats and Republicans, as well as how some Christians have mistreated me?
I can imagine Jesus weeping next to me. That He tenderly extends his arms to hold me while the tears slip down my face. He understands my suffering and pain. He knows what it's like to be ostracized by religious people.
My Abba Daddy knows that I've spent a lifetime struggling the deep wounds of trauma sustained from sexual assaults. He sees how the hurtful comments by Christians have cut like a knife. And He yearns for me to work through my battle scars, to be healed, and to be set free.
Ironically, I'm not the only woman of faith attacked by other Christians for sharing why I didn't report two out of three sexual assaults. Evangelist, author, and speaker, Beth Moore, joined the chorus of females explaining on Twitter why she didn't report her sex abuse. Beth Tweeted: "He lived in my house." #WhyIDidntReportIt
Following her Tweet, she received a backlash of negative comments from Christians. One of them remarked that he was disappointed in Beth Moore as a religious leader for siding with Dr. Christine Ford. In response, Beth made it clear that she "supports other survivors of sexual assault."
As for my own self, I've stated on social media that I advocate for survivors of sexual assault. I don't consider it political. To me, it's not about being a Democrat, Republican, or another party.
Instead, it's focus is on people. Hurting, broken, traumatized people. I want to be a voice for the voiceless. To give other wounded souls a safe place to share their own story and to give them hope for healing.
The truth about my own journey to recover three sexual assaults is that I am still in a process. A long, drawn out, utterly painful process. I guarantee that I am not even remotely close to being healed from my last sexual assault that happened by a relative 12 years ago. Not by a long shot!
I am not 100% healed from the two childhood traumas. I may never be healed on this side of heaven. Those battle scars are like an onion. It burns badly. Layer after layer is being peeled away. And it hurts like hell.
As a woman of faith, I expected other Christians to offer me empathy, compassion, and encouragement. A little bit of kindness goes a long, long way. For those of you believers who did reach out to me or write a loving comment on my Facebook posts, thank you. I sincerely appreciate your prayers, support, and encouragement.
For those believers who felt the need to lash out at me, judge me, or behave negatively, I am praying for you. May Jesus soften your heart.
We are in end times. Have no doubt, the Book of Revelations is happening right now on earth. It's relevant today as it was yesterday and 2,000 years ago.
Our faith is being tested. We can no longer be lukewarm Christians. Either, we stand firm in our faith (spiritually mature) or we will fall hard (lukewarm believers). "So, because you are lukewarm - neither hot nor cold - I am about to spit you out of my mouth." Revelations 3:16 (NIV)
The Bible reveals what we're going through at the moment. "There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God--having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people." 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV)
Today, I stand for Christ. I stand for His truth. I stand for compassion. I stand for empathy. I stand for suffering people who've experienced sexual assaults. I pray for the Lord's mercy, grace, and forgiveness for each one of us because we desperately need it.
May God's will be done on earth and may He someday say to each one of us, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."