Many Thin Places are born of adversity. Thankfully, healing is available through the grace of God. Visit Ginny’s photo blog at GraceGlimpses.com and her RamblinRose blog to see reminders of God’s goodness. (Would you like to share your Thin Place story? Here’s the info on how you can.)
What was to begin a happy season of our new family’s life ended the innocence of a little girl. My new step-father was returning from Vietnam. We were so excited and full of anticipation of finally having a daddy in the house. We went to great lengths to welcome him home: new clothes, food on the table (which had been a rarity) and greeting him at the airport with hugs and kisses. Once home, my mom ran to the grocery store to pick up a forgotten item. That’s when life changed. My step-dad called me into his room to show me some pictures….and it went swiftly into a spiral of abuse that was to last the next 11 years.
Once the sexual abuse began and he realized my mother was (seemingly) clueless, it grew into other areas of life. My responsibilities grew from taking care of his needs to taking care of the family’s needs. When other children, including my brother, were playing outside, I was sorting laundry, cooking dinner and cleaning house. Eventually, I was even grocery shopping for the family while my mom waited in the car outside of the store, smoking her cigarettes and reading her latest novel.
When I was 11, I told a friend I walked to school with what my life was like. The next day, the military police came to my school room and took me into custody. The interrogations and the physical exams that followed were too much for a little girl. Sent to another family to live, I had no idea what I did wrong, other than tell the truth. That became the reason, after the family was reunited, we had to flee and take dishonorable discharge from the military. I was the scapegoat for the family’s problems. Resentment built toward me. I took the blame for our family’s plight—and the abuse continued.
I tolerated what I had to until I was old enough to move away. Not long after that, I was visited by an evangelism team from a local church and accepted Jesus as my personal savior. I wish I could say, “And she lived happily ever after.” I can’t. I had so much anger toward God for allowing this to happen to me. I could not understand why a loving God would allow such horrific circumstances in an innocent girl’s life. I questioned Him. I questioned myself. What was wrong with me that caused this to happen? I was not a happy person.
God has dealt gently with me over the years. He has shown me His heartbreak over the abuse. He has shown me that when it didn’t look like He was there, He was walking right beside me, carrying me and weeping for the choices others made. He has continued to heal my broken heart. What the enemy used to try and ‘take me out’, God has used to help others who have walked this same road.