I Was Sexually Assaulted… But God Forgives Me (sexual and spiritual abuse)

Hey, so before you read any further, there is a very strong trigger warning. This story contains explicit sexual assault. And also some anger seasoned with a sprig of bitterness. So you don’t need to leave a comment telling me I’m bitter. I’ll own that the pain is still there. Though Jesus and I are walking through it daily. So if descriptions of sexual assault, or mild anger trigger you, then this might not be the best piece to read. Okay? Thanks!

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3 or 4 days after the birth of my first child, I lay exhausted and hurting in our bed. It was early evening and the baby was finally napping instead of screaming. I was laying next to her, trying to doze.

I woke up to a sharp pain, and found my husband’s hand inside my hospital mesh panties. I said it hurt and grabbed his wrist, trying to pull his hand out. His arm may as well have been made of iron, for all I was able to move it. He continued to try to stimulate me. 

After I repeated how much pain it was causing me, he begrudgingly pulled his hand away. He was angry. He told me how he was just trying to make me feel good, because I was so beautiful laying there with our child. And he loved me so much.

“I know.” I whispered. “I’m so sorry, but I just had a baby and it hurts so much. Please don’t touch me there.”

I must have fallen asleep because again I woke up to the agony of his hand rubbing my sore and torn postpartum genitalia. I made him stop again. THis time he was very angry. He didn’t say anything, but his jaw set in fury and he stared at the ceiling, refusing to look at me or answer me as I tried to get him to talk about it. 

I gave up trying to get him to talk. Laying there, I felt sleep threatening again, and I was scared. What would he do if I fell asleep when he was this angry? Would I be sexually assaulted again? Would it be worse? I was so scared, imagining what the pain of a full rape would feel like with my small tear and postpartum pain. I couldn’t leave him this angry at me. It didn’t feel safe.

So I gave him a h**djob. “Thank you.” he said, then went to sleep.

Guilt and shame washed over me. I looked at my baby.  Motherhood itself felt as if it had just been degraded. Stolen and defiled. I cried until I fell back asleep.

Later I would talk to our pastor about it, and about my deep shame and guilt. He very helpfully told me that it was ok. God forgave me of my sexual sin.

He didn’t name this for what it was, sexual assault only days postpartum. He didn’t tell me I was being abused, and needed help. He didn’t ask if I was ok. He didn’t ask if things like this had happened before. He didn’t ask what else was going on in my marriage. He didn’t help me.

Nope. Our pastor told me that my sin, the sin of a sexual favor in order for me to not be assaulted, was forgiven.

And do you know what is unfortunate? This was MILD compared to what so many wives I have sense met have endured from their husbands. And the response of the pastors is almost always the exact same as mine.

We are told to submit more.

To forgive and not speak of the abuse.

To hide our husband’s sins against us.

Not to seek help or dishonor his name.

Not to gossip.

And that divorce is not an option. That this is God’s will for us.

I stayed in that marriage for nine and a half years. And in the end, my husband was the one who chose to leave. No matter how bad the mistreatment was, I never felt able to end it. I thought God would hate me. I thought my children would be easy targets for satanic attacks if they weren’t under my husband’s authority. I thought this was my cross.

I thought it all. All the things. They were all my truth.

I worshiped a God that demanded the human sacrifice of wives, at the hands of their husbands. I worshiped a God that delighted in my sufferings. I worshiped a God who future faked with false promises, and manipulated people in order to get the worship He craved.

In short I worshiped my husband, in god-form. A narcissistic god.

And this was backed up by a stack of spiritual abuse lies from pastors and theologians. 

But God has been so good! He is daily walking with me now, showing me that this is NOT His heart for women. He is showing me how grieved He is by His words being used to bind and enslave, instead of set free. He is breaking my chains of false beliefs in who He is.

That’s why I’m writing a book. “70 x 7 Chains” is a conversation about what we are told God wants for women… and what He actually shows us His heart to be.

This isn’t what God wants for women. And it’s time to stop letting the church use His WORDS to hide His HEART.