We can’t believe how quickly this month seemed to have flown by, and hear we are! We are incredibly grateful for those of you have reached out to send support and share your stories with us, “thank you” really isn’t enough...
As we conclude our “Stand Up and Speak Out” series, we hope you continue to encourage yourself through God’s word, and be around people with speak life and love into your life as you cultivate your own voice. To speak more on finding her voice is cofounder, Cristal Lowe.
We have been speaking a lot about of “speaking out” about personal traumas and experiences of sexual assault. Regardless if you’re a public figure or a college student concealing this ‘ugly truth’ is a heavy burden to bare. The fear of coming forward is a difficult sentiment to push through, and I wanted to share my journey in doing just that.
Of course there were thoughts of doubt. “Will they believe me?" or “Will my family look at me with shame etc.?” In addition, to the enemy entangling my mind with thoughts to keep me silent, there were others fear-led sentiments about me ultimately sharing my story, for example, .
I was fearful of my own story not being believed as well as my family’s response. As mentioned before, I feared my father’s set back in his faith, as he just started a new walk in Christ. I continuously battled internally with the fear of people’s reaction and judgements of me because of what I went through. Lastly, I feared the violence and anger that would ensue (the kind that could leave one behind bars) if my loving brothers ever found out who raped me.
As much as I feared these potential outcomes, I couldn’t live with the pain I had endured all these years in silence. When I told my story to my parents and brothers I remember one of my brothers first question was "Do you know where this guy is?" (Even if I had an idea on how to find out I wouldn’t have shared with the) instead, I replied, "It does not matter, what matters is that God is healing me and has seen me through.
As I spoke those words, I imagined how the situation might have been different had I told my story from a place of hurt and anger; and how happy I was knowing what God was doing despite my pain.
When asked now if I would change anything, I would say no. I don’t ever regret keeping silent for seven years and it does not matter what people said or thought about my silence. The point is that sometimes— healing takes time. Individuals going through a situation like mine have to take that time because there really isn’t “a right time” to talk about hurt, pain or loss. I personally got through a lot of silence with only Jesus; and pressed pass the fear of speaking out with Him too. I had to learn to forgive my rapist in order to not to put my love ones in a situation that I would later regret. More importantly, I had let God show me how to love myself through my storm in order to share my story and say in order to love out the testimony that ” GOD is still God.”
I truly had to let God be my rock so I could stand on a firm foundation and speak out about a truth that could have been buried with me. Yes, it was hard, I feared for my life every day because this awful truth. I had become my worst enemy and judge, ready to sentence myself to a shameful death and end things all together because the pain of living with my secret was too difficult to bare alone. BUT GOD! every single day I say “Thank you Jesus,” for His love and mercy who saw me through and restored my once broken soul.
We pray your soul continues to restore in the precious love of God, His love abounds every dark and deep pain you have ever faced, and is there to cleanse us from every disappointment and heartbreak. Giving our hearts to God was the first step to healing, and we haven’t looked back since!
Stay tuned for more testimonies and encouraging words from survivors like us, for brave souls like yours!
With love and Solidarity,
Cristal Lowe and DevinMarie💕
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