Anyone who has suffered asks God why and where were You? And how each person wrestles with these questions and answers them is different. Below is one woman’s journey to discover God’s answers for her.
For much of my life, I was furious at God. During my childhood, I had been sexually and physically abused for 10 years by close family members. For two of those years, I was locked up in my bedroom and deprived of basic necessities and outside human contact. I lived in an emotional and spiritual darkness that hardened my heart. I believed that a good God would not allow such atrocities in my life.
For me to move forward and out of my anger, I had to ask God some very tough questions: Where was He when I was being abused? Why didn’t He stop the abuse? Is He good? I have asked these questions for many years. God didn’t give me quick, easy answers to these questions; instead, He has allowed me to struggle with them while I sought to know Him better. God is too big for me to understand, but He has given me some truths that have given me hope and courage as I have faced these uncertainties. I want to share those truths with you so you can also have hope.
As I was pleading to God for answers, I felt a nudge to read Genesis 1:2. I felt it was a very unusual passage to read considering the questions I was asking God. “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”
That scripture spoke to me in a way that took me by surprise. In the darkness and emptiness, God formed the earth. What spoke to me was that, even in darkness, God is present and will accomplish His work. Was He possibly using the darkness of my past to form and make a beautiful creation within me? If God can form the earth in darkness, surely He can do a work in me! The rest of the verse says that His spirit was hovering over the waters. I know God was hovering over me in the dark times, and I believe He was weeping alongside me. He was the one who provided me with the hope to survive. Hope was not something I could have manufactured myself.
God also led me to Psalm 139:7, 8, 11, 12: “Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths you are there. … If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me, even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day for darkness is as light to you.’”
These Scriptures brought me life; they helped transform my view of God.
There is absolutely no place I can be that God is not also there. God showed me that He was there even in the void of the darkness, the emptiness of despair, waiting to create something beautiful with something so evil. He was never absent, only hidden from my sight at the time. He knew what I had to endure to become the vessel He wanted to create. He could have stopped it, but, in His sovereignty, He knew that His plan for my growth was more valuable than anything I could have hoped for. His glory is the ultimate reason for this. Because of His hands on me, forming me, I now bear His fingerprints and I have been given the autograph of His goodness.
I believe God hates sin but that He allowed it to change me, to form me into His vessel. I feel God loves me too much to allow me to live an easy life.
I don’t believe God wanted these evil things to happen to me. I don’t believe He caused it to happen, but I do believe He allowed it, and He was there with me never closing His eyes. He sees evil and uses it to further His purposes.
Do I now believe God is good? Yes, absolutely.
Do I like the way He works? Not all the time.
Would I change the way He did His miracle in my life? No, because I see His way was perfect.
If your story has the same themes of pain as Ginger’s, we grieve with you. Sexual abuse is one of the deepest wounds a woman can experience. We hope and pray that the God of comfort will show you His love as you seek Him.