by Lavinia Masters
Sometimes in life we find ourselves so stressed out and overwhelmed with our circumstances that we become just plain exhausted from trying to continue on especially after so many problems, issues and trauma. In our minds we began to wonder why are we here…what is life really about…was I designed to live, work hard-only to die one day without anything or defining my life’s worth or ever knowing my true purpose.
As a person you realize that you have tears but why do we shed them…are they only to be shed for pains and sorrow or will we ever get to the point where we will shed them for joy. Then I realized that we all have feelings but why do we hold them in…are they apart of us to be hurt and to only experience some of the most excruciating pain or traumas that this life can bring or will we ever use them to experience joy and laughter or that type of love that is unprejudiced and unconditional.
Defining our life and purpose can be like an open dictionary as for many of us it has so many descriptive words with various meanings. To others is a tedious journey as they set out to discover who and what they are…why they feel the way they do or experience the things they have encountered-it appears to be a long and winding road that one must continue to travel until they get to their end…which unfortunately many interprets as death. I need to you to understand that life should not always equate to death but should be paralleled with purpose and when we get to this defining moment in our lives we should all ask ourselves…what is my purpose in this thing is called life.
Honestly I feel that my defining moment was that the night of July 31, 1985 when I was brutally raped by the hands of a deranged stranger. I survived that ordeal with many questions, much confusion and major pains physically and emotionally. However as I rose above the ashes of victimization I was like Nehemiah when he said that he saw the distress they were in as Jerusalem lied in waste and the gates thereof were burned of fire as he told them to come and let us build up the walls of Jerusalem that we may be in no more reproach…in other words no more shame.
You see Nehemiah knew that he had purpose and had to build the walls even though he was in great sorrows yet the destruction that was behind him was not greater that the victory that was before him as he realized that life was not over for these walls unless he saw no hope for his future. He recognized that there was no use in “rebuilding” those things that was destroyed but to “build” or start over and pick up where life left him in distress and seek new beginnings.
As victims of sexual violence we too are in great distress. Many of our lives are like the walls of Jerusalem and just as those walls were destroyed so was your confidence, your faith, your passions, your securities, your truths, your laughter, your trust in man and for many your trust in God. The gates that guarded our hearts and minds may have been consumed with the fire of maliciousness and deceitfulness of men hearts but we must build so that there will no more shame in your life.
Please know that the hand of God is upon you and you have to build. You must build so that others will no longer see your brokenness, your agony that comes with defeat, your nakedness as you lie exposed as a victim and not a victor…build with those things that will make you stronger and more secure before your attack.
Once you realize that the God of heaven will prosper you as his servant can build with courage, forgiveness, confidence, empowerment, motivation, faithfulness, hope for your future but most importantly the trust in God that when he said in His word that He will prosper you in your construction…that He will do just that.
Please allow your hands, body, mind and soul to be strengthened so that you may build the walls of your life…the same life that the enemy tried so violently and viciously to destroy as a result of sexual trauma or any other trauma that left you standing alone among the ashes.
- With purpose you have wings to rise above your ashes and or past hurts.
- With purpose you have the strength to build no matter your present condition, state or circumstances. With purpose you have the confidence in knowing that one day your life will be restored no matter how long it seems to take.
- With purpose you continue to love and forgive others no matter what they have done or attempted to do to you.
- With purpose you build your life over even in the midst of doubters, haters and all the nay-Sayers. With purpose you realize that you can do all things though Christ that strengthens you…but you have to realize and do it with purpose.
Unfortunately in this old life we will have many things that we will encounter and many hardships that we must endure. Some will be sorrowful and bring us much pain and disappointment while at the same time make us feel that all hope is lost…but we must find our defining moments and realize our purpose in the midst of our pain. This is when you can build; this is the moment you must stand in confidence as you know that God has His hand upon you.
I am sure that Nehemiah wept as he saw the walls and gates of Jerusalem destroyed just as I did for years after I was victimized by my assailant but just as Nehemiah knew that the walls had to be restored- I knew that I had to recover all in my life…therefore my house went under construction. Now that I realize my purpose…the tears I shed are of great joy and gratification. The feelings that I now experience are no longer filled with defeat and pain but of great triumph and victory. I am that Phoenix that rose above the ashes and defined my moment with purpose. Now I look forward to the day that you realize that you are a survivor; define your moment, find your purpose and build your house. Construction is a process and so is your healing.
Lavinia B. Masters is the Founder of S.A.V.E. Ministries which assists victims of sexual abuse and intimate partner violence in the Dallas, TX area, and the author of Breathe Again.