Live Brave, Not Safe

I haven't written in a long time; but God has lit a spark in my heart for writing especially right before Sexual Assault Month.  April is right around the corner and I want to write and encourage you live brave. I want to share a little story with you.
     I haven't been to church in a long time by long time I would say it's been a few months. This past Saturday my husband and I finally made it. I was so excited and I had a really strong desire in my heart to be there. I am so happy that we were there. We had a guest Pastor as we sometimes do and his name is Pastor Oscar Muriu and he is from Kenya.  God has gifted him with a beautiful way of telling God's truth; His words are from the Holy Spirit and they cut right into your soul. This Saturday the sermon was titled, "Live Brave, Not Safe".  He posed a question that was like a dagger in heart. He asked, "What you are living for worth Christ dying on the cross for?". Whew that gives me chills and I think about it. Do we live bravely for God's higher purpose or do we live for ourselves in our 'safe' place? What does living bravely look like for me is the question I was asking God as the sermon went on.  As the sermon came to a close; I intently listened to the worship music that filled the auditorium; I let it seep into my soul. I was seeking the answer to my question.  Then I heard, "Start the Conversation". Tears immediately welled up in my eyes and I knew exactly what God was challenging me with.
     God just told me to start the conversation for those who have no voice. He calls us to reach out to the broken, speak up for the people who live in fear and shame, those stuck drowning in their safe place.  Sexual assault survivors are those people who live in silence, in their brokenness trying to break through and find some hope in their hopeless world  I know this because I lived it; I am a survivor who lived in safety for 12 years.  I lived and breathed my pain, I numbed to escape  but I had a choice; a choice to live or die.  I was living hoping that something would happen to take me out of my misery even sometimes longed for death.  God intervened in my life and gave me choice; do you want to live like your dying, or do you want to die to your old self and live in freedom with me. I chose God because my way of living wasn't working for me.
     I started this blog a few years ago because my first step to freedom was to tell my story and break my silence.  God led me on a healing journey and led me to His higher purpose for my life.  I won't sit here and tell you that it was easy or an overnight transformation. I had to live bravely and put in the work, there were tears so many tears, there was paralyzing fear, and most of all there was a lot of healing. God challenged me to step outside of myself, my false safety and encourage other survivors to be brave and speak out.  He had me to do it first so that I can sit here and tell you all about it. It's life changing when you do something for others, but it doesn't come easy.  I went from living in this fantasy world of safety and I stepped out in faith and trusted that my obedience would be blessed.  My hope of this blog was to let survivors know that there is hope, that something in my story would give just one person hope. Hope for living, and knowing that they don't have to continue to live like they are dying. 
     When I first started telling my story to others I was so scared, terrified of their reactions.  I would study people's faces as I said the words out loud, " I was first raped when I was 16 yrs old." Silence and uneasiness would fill the room. Some would have a look of shock on their faces, some would have a concerned look; and others would cry with me as I told my story.  Sexual assault isn't a conversation that anyone wants to have. Churches don't want to have this conversation either.  they are willing to donate money, provide for children in need, feed the homeless, assist the elderly, but are churches willing to start the conversation? Are churches ready to live bravely for God and have the conversation that makes people squirm in their chairs? 
    April is around the corner and it's Sexual Assault Awareness Month, it's time to live brave, not safe! Let's Start the Conversation!!!!

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