God is restoring me: testimony of a redeemed daughter
Anonymous | SEPTEMBER 9, 2019 | 3 MIN READ
Notice to readers: This testimony refers to sexual abuse that may be triggering to survivors and may be unsuitable for some readers.
My Broken House
I have lived in my home for 9 years now, and for the majority of those years, we couldn’t use one of our bathrooms because the pipes were broken.
This is a big issue for our family because there are 4 of us — my mom, my younger sister, my younger brother, and me — and it’s very difficult for all of us to use just one bathroom.
There’s actually a lot of things wrong with my house. Our once termite-infested kitchen floor needs to be replaced, the hole behind the showerhead in the bathroom needs to be filled, and among other things, both bathrooms have broken faucets. But we couldn’t (and can’t) afford to renovate or fix anything.
That’s because our physical house isn’t the only thing that’s broken. It’s also my family. In high school, I finally told someone that my father had been sexually abusing me for years. He was prosecuted and eventually fled the country to escape further legal repercussions. My family of five became a broken family of four.
It’s been years since my father left. I’ve graduated from college, and now I have a job. I’ve received counseling.
A lot of things are better. A lot of things are still a struggle. We still struggle with our finances. I still struggle with issues of identity, purity, and fatherlessness.
But I know God is faithful. Because he’s fixing our bathrooms.
Over the years, my family has been cared for and loved by a deacon at our church. In many ways, he cared for us in areas that my dad used to. And today, he is fixing our bathrooms for us. All in his own time, with his own tools, at a rate we can afford.
I know it’s small and may not seem like a big deal. But coming from a place where we expected to live with a broken house for a long time, the restoration of our house was something we couldn’t even imagine. We’d become accustomed to our broken lifestyle, and change for the better was something unfathomable.
Likewise, God has been knocking on the broken rooms of my heart this season, asking to come in so he can fix things. And while my house only needs fixing in some places, my heart needs a full renovation.
My Broken Heart
I knew (and know) how painful it will be to let God in, so I’m afraid to open the doors. After all, it’s much easier to shut tight the doors to regret, anger, resentment, and bitterness. But as he constantly knocks on my heart, I am reminded that I am not alone in this journey. The person I am inviting in is the Good Shepherd, my utmost Healer, and my Savior. Even though my fear is so real, resting in the truth of his character makes it a little less scary and a lot more okay.
And so I did, and continue, to let God in. If you look at me now, my external circumstances are still the same. Our family is still a family of four, and my past remains with me. But now, through the transforming power of the Gospel, I have the courage to let things go and yield to God’s control. There are new hurts that surface every season along with old ones that come back, yet by bringing my pain to the Lord, He surely and continually heals me with more of Him.
In addition, through prayer and accountability, I am fighting to hold onto what is true. I fight because I want to believe in God’s design for sex — beautiful, sacred, and whole — and not my idea that it’s distorted and cheap. As I struggle, I am reminded over and over that while God may not deliver me right now, something inside of me has changed. My victories don’t add to my salvation — I am already sanctified and will continue to be sanctified, and my choosing Him means that I choose to live this new identity.
My Full Table
While the deacon was fixing the bathroom, my mom told me to help set the table for our family and our guests, the deacon and his wife who accompanied him. She was mumbling about how we didn’t have many options to put out on the table and asked me to fry eggs, make rice, and set the table.
It really wasn’t much. I popped the yolk on one of the eggs, put too little water in the rice, and couldn’t remember which side the soup went relative to the silverware. As I awkwardly fumbled through such a “normal” routine, it wasn’t until I called the deacon and his wife to the table that I realized: I hadn’t sat at a full table like this in a long time. I hadn’t set the table for more than one guest in years, and there was something nostalgic and special about serving like this. I remembered the days when our family had eaten dinner together until one day everyone started eating alone on his or her own time. I had missed this.
It was a simple meal with nothing special. But as the deacon prayed over our meal, I shed tears because I was so thankful that I was able to experience this moment again. But more than that, my emotions came from my hoping in the Spirit who nudged me and reminded me of the promise that this was the first full table of many more to come. God was not only fixing my bathrooms, but also restoring my table. More than that, He is always inviting me to His full table.
Since my secret has come out, God has been constantly replacing my old identities. In my fatherlessness, the Lord showed up as a perfect Father through other fathers graciously loving me. In my loneliness, Jesus showed up as a friend, bringing true meaning into the words community and fellowship through my church brothers and sisters. In my brokenness, the Lord showed up as a Healer, not by fixing my family, but redeeming us and creating something brand new. I am no longer a lonely, suffering orphan – I am a redeemed daughter with a heavenly family and home.
Anonymous is a young adult living in Southern California with her family, beloved cat, and dog. She spends her free time playing video games, watching Netflix, or sleeping early in preparation for her busy mornings.