Source: Your Body
The rapist fled…
I remember receiving that call from the detective, “we gave him the opportunity to come in, but he did not. Now, we have an arrest warrant.” My mind was racing. I just knew that the perp was looking for me — this time to kill me and my family. My thoughts misled me to believe that I was going to die. My thoughts were held captive by the enemy. The enemy wanted me to believe that I was going to die. The enemy used the perp to further attack my thought process. However, God instructs us to guard our thoughts because they are the SOURCE of TRUE LIFE (Proverbs 4:23). The enemy knows the power of mind and uses every scheme, trick, or gimmick to corrupt our thoughts, which in turn distracts us from our purpose. Of course, the trauma effected my thought process. The enemy used the trauma to deter me from seeking God. The enemy used the trauma to paralyze my spiritual growth. The enemy used the trauma to mentally control me. While I could not see it at the time, God placed people in my life to strengthen my mind; so, I could fulfill God’s vision for my life.
For 4 months, God peeled off layers of hurt and pain that began in my childhood. First, I attended one-on-one counseling sessions that revealed an issue of control and abandonment. The control issue explained my response to the rape. I could not accept the fact that someone actually used power to take my body without my consent. I thought to myself, “to manipulate me was a great victory for B#@*n because he has broken me, made me weak, powerless, and dependent. All of my life, I was the backbone of my family. My family and friends valued my opinions and decisions as well as relied on my strength, encouragement, and counsel; yet, in a matter of minutes, all of my of strong qualities were stripped from me. I no longer was viewed as the strong, independent, and intelligent woman. Now, I was the weak, powerless, and vulnerable woman, who was raped because I allowed a man to manipulate my mind and body (wow, that’s a powerful statement). Since control in situations and people is a strong quality, I could not accept being rape. Therefore, I suffered while healing. All I wanted to do is seek revenge. I wanted the rapist to pay for hurting me. I wanted to regain the power and control, I once had.
However, God had another plan to remind, who is ULTIMATELY in control. I am never control of anything because GOD is the supreme perfect being, who is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. The rapist is not God, I am not God, my mom is not, the prosecutor is not God, the judge is not God, the detective is not God, and the list goes on. God is the Alpha and Omega. He is the Creator of All Things.
I attended a group session for African American women survivors. God revealed himself in that session. Although we did not focus on the biblical principles, we talked about the origins of rape in the African American culture. God told me that if my ancestors, who were slaves were able to stand strong on God’s promise, then so I can.
When Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, he was distressed and deeply grieved to the point of death. He also asked God to take the excruciating pain from him since it weighed so heavily on him; yet, he obediently accepted God’s will for his life (Matthew 26:38-39). In turn, God silently shaped and molded Jesus into the Savior of Humanity.
Transformation of the spirit is required to live in purpose or according to God’s plan for your life. One of the key stages of transformation is Limbo (an intermediate, transitional, or midway state or place). During the stage of Limbo, God molds and shapes your character to execute His plan for your life as He did with Jesus. While God is at work, He maybe silent or appear not present, which makes the transformation quite uncomfortable. God purposely makes it uncomfortable so we deny ourselves and trust Him with our entire being. Jesus endured the heavy sin of humanity by trusting God in the moment of uncomfortableness.
If Jesus experienced a stage of Limbo, then surely we are not exempt. Now, I understand the reason I was met with such resistance and adversity from the Prosecutor’s Office. God wanted me to become comfortable with telling my story by making me uncomfortable. I noticed telling the details to the police was completely different from telling the details to the prosecutors. The police questioned for clarity with respect and compassion. They believed my story; in fact, they went above and beyond to find out the true identity of the rapist, keep me apprised of developments, and ensure my safety. The Prosecutor’s Office, on the other hand, were Satan’s workers.
The Prosecutor’s Office scheduled a meeting with me 3 weeks after the rape. The meeting was scheduled at 8:30 A.M., but my friend and I sat in an isolated area for about an hour. My friend and the prosecutor were arguing about the lack of compassion and callous attitude of the staff. The prosecutor attempted to persuade me not tell her about my rape. I could not believe this woman! To receive this type of treatment from a woman was most upsetting. She prejudged me since she had never been raped. She only knew rape from a legal perspective; so, she could not identify with the pain or struggle in telling my story. Her line of questioning was quite demeaning:
How could a 32 year old woman get raped? What did I say/do to put myself in this position? What was I wearing? How did I know that I was raped if I was asleep? Did I have a romantic relationship with him? Did I have romantic feelings from him? How long did I know him? Why was I hanging out with him at night? Why did I travel 30 miles to hang out with him? Where did I meet him?
After I spoke to her, I felt like I caused the rape because she challenged every detail of my story. She determined that the details of my story were “weak.”
Yet again, I was raped — with her words (victim-blaming). I am not sure which was most devastating since my spirit was already broken and I felt God failed me. I thought the legal system was supposed to encourage justice, but their representative just weakened the system. I suddenly felt a surge of energy run through my veins when the prosecutor left the interrogation room. A powerful source gave me strength and confidence to demand justice. When the prosecutor returned, I boldly demanded she do her job and handle my rape case because it was my expectation and the right thing to do. After what seemed like pulling teeth, she finally agreed and immediately went before the judge to execute a subpoena. This was a victorious moment. I spoke up, demanded justice, and now they were going to get the rapist. God was turning it around for me!
Wait a minute, here is the GAME CHANGER:
The rapist fled for 5 months…
After the rape, I did not know what to expect. I eagerly awaited the test results from the rape examination. “Did he have STDS? Did he have HIV or AIDS? Am I pregnant? Is there enough evidence to prove he did this? Did he drug me? Is it too late for the drugs to show up in my blood? Why am I still bleeding?” I thought of every possible reason why this man would inflict such excruciating pain on me. What made matters worse? He kept calling me to get a reaction out of me, but I could not; instead, I went to the police.
At the police station, I learned this man was not who he said he was. He had given me a fake name and address. Also, his rap sheet indicated he was a criminal. I was infuriated, as I still could not comprehend why he did this to me. Watching television shows like “Law and Order: SVU”, reading urban fiction novels about rape, drugs/alcohol, and night life, and seeing/reading images/discussions on social media negatively influenced my thoughts about this rape. I could not think of anything positive about the situation, only the worst. Actually, I had convinced myself that this man purposely raped me to contaminate my body with STDs or HIV/AIDS.
As you can see, the enemy used T.V. shows, books, social media, and music against me. I vividly remembered every negative aspect of what I previously watched, listened to, or read. I read urban fiction novels a decade ago, but the enemy surely reminded me in 2013.
[We] must protect our thoughts against the enemy. The enemy attempts to use our thoughts to rob us from a good night’s sleep, destroy us with reminders of our past, and control us with the norms of society. Since the norms of society goes against God’s laws, television, music and social media have a major influence in our thought process. The enemy uses these mediums to control our minds, which in turn, leads to death. Bottom line, these tricks are designed to kill us. As I mentioned above, I thought the worst of the situation because of what I read, heard, and saw. My thoughts determined my mood, feelings, and outlook on life.
I was depressed, fearful, and anxious because my thoughts were not of God. I forgot about the promises of God. God wants us to “carefully guard our thoughts because they are the source of true life.” (Proverbs 4:23). As words give life, so does our thoughts. If our thoughts are of God, then we experience God’s presence, in which we can feel joy, love, peace, comfort, and strength in the midst of unfortunate circumstances like rape. Yet, we have to chose the source of our thoughts.
Each day, we have to cast down each and every thought that goes against the knowledge of God, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of God (2 Corinthians 10:5). We have to chose what we watch on television, listen to on the radio, read in books, and accept on social media.
At the beginning of my recovery from the rape, I did not understand the importance of keeping my mind focused on God because I lost faith in God. I allowed my flesh to dictate my thoughts and responses. Thus, God forced me into a state of “limbo” or “wilderness” to get my attention, show me the importance of keeping my mind on Him, and begin healing me.
On December 30, 2012 at 2:20 a.m., I awoke to a man penetrating my vagina with his penis while I was menstruating. I had on my coat and boats. My shirt was still intact, but my pants and underwear were pushed down to my knees. When I woke up, I could not move, scream or yell for the first few seconds. Once, I realized what was happening to me, I yelled and ran away from the perpetrator. At that very moment, I felt a part of my soul depart and darkness enter. I was embarrassed, afraid, and hurt, but something deeper pierced my heart – death.
“Oh my goodness, should I call the police?” “What am I going to do?” I was too terrified to call the police and the nearest police station was in the heart of Detroit. I decided against going to Detroit and made my way towards home. While driving, I questioned God. “How could you allow this to happen to me? What did I do to deserve this? What am I going to do? How am I going to tell my mom? What will people think?” Negative thoughts began to plague my mind: I deserved this, I asked for it, I am dirty, unclean, unrighteous, disobedient, and worth nothing, just die. I talked myself into driving off the ramp of the 96 and 275 interchange, but a voice from within screamed “NO!” Instantly, my best friend called and talked me out of committing suicide.
Once I made it home, I sat on the bathroom floor, in a pool of blood, grieving, weeping, and recapping the details of the evening. I could not remember the details of what led to the rape. I only remember putting on my coat, feeling extremely drunk, and falling asleep on the couch. I kept asking God, “why me?” I was so angry with God because I could not understand why he did not protect me. “I believe in You, I praise and worship You, I have a relationship with You, I want to be the best woman for You; yet, You allowed this man (the perpetrator) to rob me – steal a piece of my soul and create a soul tie, a bond, a connection that I did not want nor asked for. Seriously, Lord, how could you have forsaken me?”
When circumstances or situations arise, the natural response is to quickly seek God’s attention, refuge and relief. Me, on the other hand, I did the opposite: I stopped attending church, church-related events, and bible study; I stopped praying to God; and I stopped worshipping and praising God. I gave up on myself and God. Most devastatingly, I lost faith in God and His promises.
While I gave up on God, God did not give up on me for he reminded me, who was there in that moment of darkness. Ironically, the best way to get my attention was to interrogate me, as if I was standing trial:
Who woke you up at 2:20 am on December 30, 2012?
Who gave you the strength to run?
Who kept your mind?
Who covered you from the spirit of death?
Who told your best friend to call you?
Who told you, “no?”
God reminded me of the many years of vacation bible school and memorizing Psalm 23 all of those years. While I did not get it then, I realized that God had implanted His word in my heart, so I would remember that God is my source of strength and Protector in moments of adversity.
The perpetrator could have killed me, I could have committed suicide, I could have contracted HIV (other STDs), or the alcohol and drugs could have damaged my mind, but God (my Shepherd) was with me; protecting me while I was face-to-face with Death. The enemy thought he had victory over me. The enemy thought he could steal, kill, and destroy me, but God (my Shepherd) covered me with the Blood of the Lamb. I gave up on God (my Shepherd) and loss faith in Him, but He loved me so much that He fought for me and spared my life with His rod (mercy) and staff (grace). THANK YOU, JESUS!
Here is the game changer: Remember when I explained how the perpetrator had stolen a part of my soul and created an unwanted soul tie? Well, God (my Shepard) loved me so much that He restored my entire soul and desecrated that unwanted soul tie. God performed the impossible. He took a damaged, tainted, and dark soul and returned it back to His likeness because I belong to Him. Not one impurity, defect or contaminate can taint or destroy a soul created in the likeness of God.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.