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The long version of my testimony

I am not sure where to begin, so I will begin at the beginning. I was born on June 8, 1981. I am the oldest of a “mixed” family. My parents got divorced when I was really young. I grew up with my mom for a time, until I was about 7 or 8. I am not sure what happened first, but I was saved in the backseat of my grandparents’ car and also molested by my own grandfather when I lived with them for maybe a year or so.
My dad remarried in 1989. My step mom was really nice and she helped me through puberty, because I couldn’t call my mom every time something happened. I started to drift away at this time. My step mom didn’t know why, neither did my dad. When I was about 10, I blurted out that grandpa had molested me and my dad talked to him, but that was all. Nothing else really happened.
I also got baptized when I was about 11 years old by my step grandpa. It didn’t really change my feelings toward my grandpa, who had hurt me so much, or myself! I still felt guilty, ashamed, and alone. I think I thought that if I got baptized somehow God would take away all those feelings that I had that I deemed “bad”.
For a while, I walked around like nothing was wrong, but at home, I had changed. I stayed in my room a lot and kept to myself more. I didn’t talk a lot at school or at home. My mind was always thinking about my hurt and I didn’t know what to do about it. I was just a little kid. The problem was that I thought everything was my fault.
Also, it didn’t help that my dad was physically abusive. He would hit my siblings and me. My dad and my step mom had four children together, but at this time not all of them were born yet. I felt like nothing was going right. Everything was going wrong!
My life didn’t mean a THING to anyone. I thought about killing myself, but that seemed a bit too easy. When I was about 13, my grandpa (the one that molested me) came to get me to help clean these big houses. There, he molested me again. I thought, this isn’t right. Before I didn’t know if it was or not, but now I KNEW that what he was doing wasn’t right.
I wanted to scream, but my voice didn’t seem to work. I felt trapped, alone. It was like my grandpa knew how vulnerable and alone I felt. He wanted to keep doing it so that he had control over me. I didn’t want it. I hated him for what he was doing to me!
I had started to come out of my shell, but I backed into my little “protected” space again. My step mom must have thought something was terribly wrong, which of course there was. I couldn’t tell anyone. Grandpa told me to NEVER tell anyone. What was I supposed to do?
I had started going to youth group at my church, but after the second molesting period, I stopped going. I felt so out of place. Then, I started going again. It was like God wanted me to go. Like He knew I needed whatever the youth group could give me.
The youth group was going to the Brethren National Youth Conference, and I decided to go. While there, I told my roommate about what grandpa had done. She was the first one I told other then family. My roommate in turn told our youth leader.
My youth leader, Deb, came to me and said that my roommate had told her about something that had happened to me. I spilled everything. I didn’t go into full detail about what had happened, but I told her more than what I had told my roommate. I cried and cried after I told the full story. She comforted me and hugged me. The most important thing she did was tell me over and over that is wasn’t MY fault.
That idea and knowing that someone cared for me and that I could talk about it gave me strength. Deb went to Children and Youth services. My step mom has asked me why she did that and I told her it was part of her job. I had to tell my story to policemen and to my lawyer. I had to go to a gynecologist, which wasn’t fun! I had to testify against my grandpa at a court hearing.
I know though that what Deb had said went with me, but not only that. I also know that my grandma went with me, too. The wife of my grandpa, who had molested me, had died about the same time I was to testify. I could feel her presence with me and that gave me much needed strength.
This youth leader showed me a kindness that I will never forget. Deb helped me see that it wasn’t my fault, that I was loved, that God could do something with me. She also taught me that speaking up about something like this is the best healing anyone can ever receive. It is hard to know when to talk about this, but I know that talking about it heals me.
While I was still in college, I told my testimony many times. I read my testimony in classes, to two youth groups, and told some friends as well. I am just ashamed anymore. I am willing to speak out and say YES this DOES happen. I will not put it under the rug and hope it goes away.
I have learned that even though I couldn't see Him, God was there with me through this all. Now, when I tell my story, I don't cry like I used to. I feel the pain still, but it seems that God is saying "Jen, I love you. I want you to rise above this and help others." That is why I tell people. To let them know they aren't the only one. Who wants to be the only one in any situation? No one. but who thinks they are? The person going through the situation.

and now..now I'm 23. I am married and have a great relationship with God and my husband. The relationship with my grandpa (the one who molested me) never became healthy. I forgave him, but I didn't get a chance to say that to his face. He died last year. My relationship with my father is getting better, but it will take time. Time that we don't have, but time that I need to have to get throuh all of this. It is amazing that I could forgive my grandpa faster than my dad. Maybe it was because my dad never said Please forgive me or I'm sorry. I think it was because he has been abusive ever since I can remember. God is working on me though. Some day I pray that my dad will see me for who I am! I am a survivor, not his victim!
I like to believe God bottles our tears...and creates with them the most fragrant perfume...

Keep sharing the aroma of Christ my sister...:love:

2Co 2:14 Thanks be to God! He always leads us triumphantly in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of knowing him. To God we are the aroma of Christ ...

Eph 5:2 Live in love as Christ also loved us and gave himself for us as an offering and sacrifice, a fragrant aroma to God.

im really sorry this happened. im glad u shared ur story. it helps me and it means alot. im glad everything worked out. a couple months ago i decided i forgave my cousin and i told him that i did. but idkk sometimes i feel like i dont.
Thank you so much Giggles4God...:)

Thank you so much Giggles for this testimony...:) This give me strength to tell my own story...and it is because of you.. Thank you very much...:)
Thanks for sharing your testimony Giggles,you are a brave,beautiful and truly blessed person,and I thank The Lord I have just met you.:dirol:
Giggles you are one brave lady for sharing your testimony, which was compelling and sad. Our Lord Jesus Christ is walking hand-in-hand with you, helping you to overcome your pain. Thanks for sharing.
We serve a God who is able in every situation to accomplish His purposes! Thank you sister for sharing your testimony here.