Rape is not just a physical and sexual assault – it is a psychological and emotional assault too. As I reflect on my experience of being raped and the emotional rollercoaster that ensued, I am still amazed at the lies I believed. These lies became my reality. Worthlessness. Blame. Guilt. Shame. Feeling trapped. Hopelessness. Defeat. Being unlovable. Being unmarriable. Being un-datable. Humiliation. As I have shared and met fellow survivors I am seeing a common thread that runs through our aftermaths – we believed the lies. For whatever reason, I and others have allowed our self-image to be completely transformed and shaped by a traumatic event. By someone else’s horrific and violent actions. By someone else’s complete disregard for our value and worth, our voice, our freedom of choice and our will.
Don’t believe the lies! Being raped doesn’t place shame upon the victim. It doesn’t place the blame on the victim. It is not your fault! I don’t care if you trusted your rapist, put yourself in a vulnerable situation, wore something provocative, or were drinking or using drugs – it is not your fault! As I have stated before – there are no “rape-able offenses!”
Being raped doesn’t make you un-datable, unlovable, or unmarriable. Let the blame, the shame, the humiliation, and the guilt be placed on the rapist. Our culture tends to victimize perpetrators and blame the victims. Don’t believe the lies! A rapist may have had a bright future before them that is now in jeopardy because of their actions, but guess what – so does the victim! Don’t believe the lies for one minute that anyone can walk away from being raped unchanged, unshaken or unscathed.
Don’t let your rape define who you are as a person. You are so much more than that! You are a daughter of the King – Beloved (Galatians 3:26 & 1 John 3:1-2 NIV))! As a Christian believer, you are chosen and special (1 Peter 2:9 NIV). You are a masterpiece formed by the handiwork of God:
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesian 2:10 NIV).
The God who created the light and dark, the heavens and the Earth, the land and the water, plants, the stars, the sun, the moon, the planets, the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the animals also created man. His masterpiece. The culmination of his creative efforts – man. He created man and when He surveyed his creation He declared it “good (Genesis 1:31 NIV).” He declares you good! You are His creation – His masterpiece.
Regardless of what anyone can do to you, it does not detract from your value and your inner beauty. It does not detract from the fact God created you. He decided this world needed you! He created you and everything that makes you beautiful and unique. In all the world, in all of time, there has never been and there will never be another like you. Ponder that. Let that sink in. God looked at His creation and decided He needed you. You are not a mistake. God intentionally made you. Do not let what has been done to you or what you have done make you lose sight of this amazing reality.
God loves you! He loves you so much He put a plan in place before He even created man to redeem man in order that man could remain with God forever (2 Timothy 1:9 NIV). God loves you so much, He did not even spare His only son, but sacrificed Him on your behalf so that you could spend eternity with Him (John 3:16 NIV). In light of God’s relentless and overwhelming love for you – don’t believe the lies! Jesus said:
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10 NIV).
Don’t let your worth or your hope be dictated or destroyed by a “thief” who tried to steal them from you. Jesus came so that we could have abundant life. Jesus came to make every bad thing become untrue. To make every lie we allow ourselves to believe untrue. Don’t believe the lies any longer!