the Hope of Survivors

Imagine the Unimaginable by Kim

Imagine the unimaginable, a woman abused as a child by a family relative…left to hold and keep a secret that would eventually lead to a life of more abuse. Abuse from others and, even more sadly, to herself. Placing that abuse in the back of her mind, trying never to remember, only to be sought out by a person who called himself friend, spiritual brother, boss and, yes, her pastor. He constantly hid behind the pulpit and politics of his religion. He used his position and power to seek her out. Already broken, not once, not twice, but several times in her life, he brought further damnation into the inner parts of her soul, only for his earthly pleasure to feed his narcissistic and sexual addition.

He did not come to her as a lion to sheep but as a father to his infant child—gently, softly and caring—ultimately, abusing her sexually. He drew her into his sickness, only to bring back the memories of childhood abuse she thought she had forgotten.

They are both married with children. She fights with her spouse and herself as she’s left to keep yet another secret. The only one she can talk to is the one who abused her. The days and nights grow dark. Only thoughts of suicide seemed right. A call out to God, “Why has thou forsaken me,”—again? Questioning, am I your child? Are you really God? Do you really exist? He’s my pastor, my boss, how do I live my life with this lie that will never die?

I confessed to the love of my life—my husband—and to the church what happened between the pastor & me. He lied and denied everything. I was shocked and devastated. In their so-called wisdom, the elders of the Church decided to protect the pastor at whatever cost. After 15 years of ministry at the church, we were excommunicated.

My husband, by the Grace of God (being a victim also), stood by my side. I was depressed and confused. Was God’s plan for my life to live a life as an abused woman? Was this my identity in Christ? My husband searched the Internet to find a counselor for me. God sent him The Hope of Survivors. He began to converse with Steve Nelson who began to explain their ministry to him. He then referred me to Samantha Nelson for online counseling.

She began to counsel me and, without knowing me, asked questions that shocked me. She asked had I been sexually abused as a child. I answered, yes. She then began to explain and educate me as to what was happening to me. For the first time, I felt the Holy Spirit of God come in and bring me peace and begin my healing. I was shown in the Word of God, for the first time, the truth about Pastoral Sexual Abuse. I learned from the Word of God the responsibility of the Church on how to deal with pastors in this type of situation. I also learned preventative things that churches can do to protect against such evil misguidance.

I then attended one of The Hope of Survivors Hope & Healing conferences in Minnesota. I shared with a room full of broken women and men from all over the United States, different religions, race and creed. I then began to realize just how big this problem is and the anointing on Steve and Samantha to carry out God’s plan for healing of survivors of abuse.

They are the chosen ones sent by God to give hope to the hopeless, to educate communities, churches and the world on pastoral sexual abuse and prevention, to help women turn their shame to glory. If there were no Hope of Survivors, I would be living a life without hope.

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If you are a survivor of pastoral abuse, we would love to hear your story and possibly make it available on this web site for others to read and renew their hope. You can use a pseudonym if you choose and rest assured that all personal information will be kept private and strictly confidential. Please contact us.

Please note: We do not necessarily agree with or endorse all the information contained in the survivor’s stories. We do, however, feel they have some valuable information that could be useful to you in your recovery. It helps to know you’re not alone, that others have shared your pain and have healed, by the grace of God, in their own time and way.

The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart...Psalms 34:18