the Hope of Survivors

Trusting God When It Doesn't Make Sense by Joy

TrustIf God exists, why doesn't He stop murderers from killing? Why doesn't He stop rapists from raping? Why doesn't He stop suicide bombers from bombing? Does He have all the power? Is He an all-seeing, all-knowing, loving God? Is He indifferent? Why does a good God allows so much suffering in this world?

These were some of my questions where answers seem so bleak.

Well, we don't question the purpose of suffering when we think someone deserves it, right? We don't say it's unfair when a murderer, a rapist or a drug lord got killed or imprisoned for life. It is justice. They deserve it. It's the consequence due them for all the evil things they had done. These maybe our thinking.

But how about when bad things happen to innocent, good, Godly people? We find it unfair, irreconcilable, unjust, hard to understand. It just doesn't make any sense to us.

I am impressed to share with you my story, my testimony of God's love, healing and presence in my life. Stories about God's love, grace, healing, restoration, answered prayers and manifestation of His mighty power are meant to be told and shared. It is my hope and prayer that I could somehow shed some light and inspiration to my fellow travelers in this journey of life. It is my hope and prayer too that when the enemy is permitted to bring horrifying circumstances into our lives, we will still be able to say as Joseph once did, "You intended to harm me but God intended it for good." (Genesis 50:20)

So, here it is... my journey with God towards hope and healing.

My innocence was taken away from me at a very young age. When I was 4, 5, or 6 yrs old (can't really remember), I was the victim of child molestation. Young, tender and so innocent as I was, I didn't know that I was victimized at that time. A neighbor did it to me. The son of my parent's co-workers, a co-church member. I was a 2nd year college nursing student when I finally realized and understood what really happened to me. I was 16 years old. It was the most painful, confusing, scary, heart-wrenching moments of my life. My life's scariest and lowest low point.

I started having a hard time getting or staying asleep, losing concentration and focus in my studies and questioning my worth and identity. I can no longer keep it to myself so I became honest and told all about it to my parents. Seeing my parents very hurt while I was telling them what had happened to me was like I was scraping an even bigger, deeper, more painful wound in my heart. Only a few trusted people know this about me until now. And now, you.

How could a loving, "good", caring, holy God allow me to be molested at such a very young, tender age? Where was He when it was happening? Why He didn't stop it? We were faithful Christians, His followers, why did He open the hedge of His protection? Is there anything that would work together for good out of this, a purpose in all this? This tragedy brought negative thoughts & self-perceptions to me as a teenager. I almost gave up and thought there'd be no hope for me. I became reserved, withdrawn and aloof. I was bitter, angry, depressed, lost, torn. I came to a crossroad. A difficult and an important life choice had to be made whether to give up or move on, whether to distrust or still trust God's goodness.

I grew up as a Seventh-day Adventist Christian where reading the Bible and praying everyday were usual practices in the home. We were taught to read it everyday. So, I read the Bible. Everyday. But to be honest, I read it just for the sake of reading it. I read it because we were told to do so. Until the reality of what happened to me dawned on me, broke me into pieces, knocked down the very foundation of my faith, shook my every reasoning and understanding. Then the reality of a fallen, sin-marred world where we can be victims of other people's evil choices molded me to feel even more angry, bitter, afraid and hopeless. So, I searched for meaning, for answers, for reasons. I screamed, yelled, shouted at God. When I prayed, it was as if I was wrestling with Him.

God, in His love, mercy & grace, had given me new hope, strength, courage & answers to my questions through His word. For the very first time, I started reading the Bible intently, sincerely, prayerfully. Where else could I go? Where else could I rant, complain and demand answers? Only to God who's Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent, to the God who created me. I started consulting and holding onto His Word and promises. In my further search for meaning and understanding, I also delved into reading Ellen G. White's books like the Patriarchs and Prophets, Prophets and Kings, Acts of the Apostles, Steps to Christ, The Great Controversy, etc. Through these readings I saw the patient, loving, merciful, gracious and just dealings of God to us sinners. I've come to realize and had a clearer picture of how sin had horribly ruined everything (since from the very beginning of earth's history), its effects in our present time and in our very own personal lives, how sin will end and what God has in store for His faithful ones in the future.

I realized that the greatest tragedy and loss in life is not the difficulties, hardships and trying circumstances we go through. It is not the illnesses, disabilities, financial crisis, physical or emotional pains, abuse, broken relationships, rape or even death. Instead, the greatest tragedy is our failure to recognize what, how, where and who God is. And our ultimate tragedy would be to reject Him, to not to have a personal relationship with Him and to fail to understand His purpose and truly grasp the reality of our destiny with Him. His heavenly throne, His life, His dignity, He gave all these up for us. He unselfishly and lovingly paved the way and means of our salvation through His cruel death on the cross. And to miss the reality of His sacrifice on the cross, as well as His second coming, will be our eternal loss. Yes, He's coming back again for you and me. Saving us from this sin-sick earth. It will happen. Soon. Very soon.

There is still this inescapable pain in my heart. I felt violated, ruined, victimized. But all these, I am surrendering to God. As I think about it, I realized that the measure of time and the momentary afflictions we're experiencing here in this sin-sick earth are NOTHING compare to the eternal bliss, infinite love and glorious moments we will be having someday with our Savior, Jesus Christ. I am looking forward to that glorious coming of Christ and that blessed moment when God will change everything in a twinkle of an eye, "He will wipe every tear from our eyes. And there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (Revelation 4:13)

I am 30 years old now and I've come to a point in my life where I am at peace with my Lord and can say, "It is well with my soul, Lord. You are Sovereign. You love me. You are good. You are just. I don't need to understand everything now but time will come You will make me understand fully Your will and purpose in all these. I trust You, Lord. I surrender everything to you. May You be glorified and lifted up in my life until You come."

I have already forgiven the person who did it to me for God had lovingly & freely forgiven me my sins. I praise God for the overwhelming love & grace He had manifested in my life that no bitterness, anger and unforgiveness reside now in my heart.

My fellow believers in Christ, I invite you to do the same. I invite you to cast all your cares, burdens, anxieties, hurts, pains, frustrations at Jesus' feet and be assured of the peace and rest which can be found only in Him. (1 Peter 5:7) I encourage you to trust Him and to believe in His goodness, "And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:7)

God is good.

God loves you.

Be assured of these.

P.S. If you know someone who needs to read this story/testimony, please share this with him or her. Let us be a blessing to that person by helping him/her know that there's hope and that Jesus loves them so much, too. Thank you.

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If you are a survivor of clergy sexual 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