I believe that the events that happen in our lives are just parts of our story and they make up who we are!
When I was 35 years old and a relatively new Christian I was praying one morning and begging God to heal me from the sexual abuse I had suffered as a child. God gave me a vision of a tapestry I had been attempting to complete for years for my then husband. It was a huge tapestry that needed to be done on one of those roll frame things (I am not really someone who would normally do a tapestry but I was trying to be creative!). I had completed less than a quarter of this tapestry and God said “Your life is like that tapestry, it is only partly completed and the abuse that you suffered are only a few stitches that will make up the whole of your life. Put it into perspective!”
It was a real “WOW!” moment for me. I had been making my whole life about the abuse yet it was really only a few stitches in my life. I do not mean to minimise the pain that abuse causes, the pain is real and can be paralysing, but when you see these events as just a part of the fabric that makes up your life then you can start to see the other “stitches” too, the good stitches, the funny stitches and you can start to move forward.
Too often, we allow fear and shame to control our lives when we have suffered abuse and we shouldn’t. Abuse is something that happens TO us, it is not something we proactively CHOOSE! We should not be ashamed of being a victim of abuse (although I do not like the word victim it is appropriate here). I believe that when we can stand up and tell people what happened to us then we will be totally set free from fear and shame caused by abuse. When we can say this happened TO me, not I DID this, then the power satan tries to put over us through fear and shame is gone! Isaiah 42:16 tells us that the Lord makes darkness become light and He will do that for you too!
I encourage you today to stop being ashamed of your past and treat it as the stitches that make up the fabric of who you are today. God doesn’t want us to be ashamed (Isaiah 54:4) so own your story! Stand up and be proud of the woman you are today and go out and share what God has done for you!