"...for the first time in a long time, I felt free."
People often ask how did I know who to turn to or open up to about my rape experience. I didn't know who I could speak to, but out of desperation I opened up to a few people. My experience varied in responses. Some left me more confused about speaking out about my experience. Sometimes the response was no response...it was as if I said nothing important, or maybe they didn't know how to react or knew what to say, but I was left thinking maybe my experience was not as bad as I thought...
After opening up to those handful of people I was close to, I definitely was not encouraged to tell anyone else. I figured I would try to not think about it and act like it never happen.
So, like many, I continued to hurt in silence; that's how I learned to deal with it. Looking back now, I realize how incredibly unhealthy that was for me; I became depressed and so broken, concealing my pain from my family until I found True Love Worship Center.
I recalled one bible study being let my Pastor Mark Jackson, the sermon was on "choosing your friends wisely " I felt the urge to share my story but afraid that once again I would just be left hurt. Suddenly, Pastor Mark asked "anyone would like to share their testimony?" I felt my heart racing as I raised my hand thinking, "oh gosh, Cristal--no. just say never mind." But I stood up and began to share my story and the importance of choosing your friends wisely I felt a sense of relief then, like I was called to be in front of people, and praying for groups of woman
Now at the moment, I knew I had share my story with the right people, that was the first time I ever shared my story my experience with more than 15 people but I felt a release, literally felt as if I had shed 10 pounds off of the heaviest burden I'd been carrying for years. It was then that God allowed me to see purpose...it was then that God allowed me too see how He could turn what was bad for good. It was THAT moment when I felt as if my voice was finally being heard.
I'm not saying your voice will only be heard at a church, but that's where my voice was first heard. Where I felt safe to speak out; that's where my healing started and can't thank True Love Worship Center for being my place of safety the place where I was able to open up and begin a healing that I had been yearning for for far too long. The first time in a long time I felt free... -Cristal
Till next week survivors and supporters;
And with lots of love, 💗
Cristal Lowe & Devin Marie
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.