Debby’s Story

Posted: September 4, 2012 in abuse, coersion, counseling, Genesis Process, healing, life's hurts, secrets, Sexual Abuse
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Downcast eyes pour over the pages of scripture with an expression that speaks of an almost angelic innocence. It is an image that would make any parent proud.
Indeed, Debby’s own parents are proud. They genuinely love and care for her, but are unaware, perhaps, of her heart’s deepest needs. She is a freshman in high school on the cusp of womanhood. At a time when life should be filled with football games and nail polish, teddy bears and sleepovers, a more sinister reality awaits her. It will happen in the shadow of a steeple, within the confines of her church and Christian school.
But not yet. In this moment Debby is unscathed. Possessing an innocent naiveté, she is painfully shy around boys and has never been touched or kissed. Her dreams include getting a part in the Spring Musical, or a spot on the volleyball team, and someday, someday winning the heart of her prince.
And then life changes.
The student leader of Debby’s Christian youth group begins to take notice. At 18 he is bound for college and a bit of an enigma to the teens in his charge. She is flattered by his attention, the envy of the other girls who titter together about how dreamy, how handsome he is. Unwittingly she is led down a path, one that seems strewn with light and love, but will soon veer off into a destruction that will very nearly destroy her soul.
By the third date this youth leader has taken Debby to a secluded place under the guise of romance. There he will combine tender words with stimulating touch to gain a heartless dominance over his victim. She is no match for his charisma, and when he has her exactly where he wants her, he convinces her to perform an act she finds unutterably repulsive. She is caught and he knows it. His coercion has trapped her in a silence that walls her in with shame. There in the dark she guards the secret that keeps her captive.
Over the next three years the abuse will continue, bruising her in unspeakable ways. She wants it to stop, but is so afraid. The truth would destroy her parents. What would they think of her? She already knows what she thinks of herself.
This fear of exposure, combined with a shame and guilt that keeps growing, begins to consume her soul, shredding her delicate sense of worth. But maybe, she tells herself, it will yet be alright. Maybe he has plans of marriage. Perhaps that which she’s given will end up being nothing more than a small deposit to secure his love.
Tragically her abuser’s intentions are not nearly so noble.
And when Debby finally finds herself discarded, she is utterly bereft, believing herself far too damaged for anyone to love, too dirty to be of any value. She is completely crushed, left without a glimmer of hope. But life goes on.
High school ends and she begins living on her own. Other, older men begin to ask her out. Again she is flattered, wanting to find value in their desire, but she has no idea how to act, how to build a healthy relationship with a man. All she’s ever known was learned at the hands of her Christian youth leader, the man who abused, then discarded her.
She is invited to parties. In her awkwardness and fear she begins to drink.  Alcohol’s numbing effect holds the lies she believes about herself at bay, but she is easy prey under its spell. She is date raped again and again, further proving that she is good for one thing and one thing only…to be used by men.
What do you think? :  Is there any real hope for someone like Debby, someone so badly broken?
How could this girl who feels so worthless and dirty ever be clean? What kind of future could she possibly have?  Could anyone love her? Could God?
Does Debby’s story sound familiar? Do you or someone you know struggle to believe that God can and does restore broken, hurting people? In next week’s blog we’ll introduce you to Debby as she shares her story of redemption “out of darkness into His marvelous light.” I Peter 2:9

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