Discussion in 'Praise Reports / Testimonials' started by Alisha Barber, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. When I was 13, I got involved with church. It was right after my mother had gotten lung cancer, I had gotten saved, and then she was healed. I started singing in the choir, joined the church, got baptized, served on the drama team, gave devotions in youth group, and a lot of other stuff, I just don't want to bore you. I was 13 and my parents were not Christians. I rode the church van home from church every Sunday and Wednesday. After I got comfortable and settled into church, I noticed my youth director letting me go home last on the church van and choosing me to be in leadership positions over the rest of the youth. Some of the youth got mad and left our church. It was very evident, I just didn't understand why he chose me. But after a few rides on the church van, I figured out why. He didn't like me for my personality or even my Christ like attitude. He was going down a path that would hurt me more than I ever realized. That began the three years that I was sexually abused. I was threatened with his status in the community and as a new Christian, I thought that everyone's salvation that he had lead to Christ would be thrown down the drain and it wouldn't matter. For three years I thought I was holding the community's salvation in my hands. He was a basketball coach who took the team to state and he was wonderful in the community, but behind his mask, was somebody that only I seen. I played it off like nothing was going on. Defense mechanisms set up in me like I dont understand and probably never will. I was lost and confused. I finally told my boyfriend which was probably the hardest thing I had to do up until that point. I was an only child, my original parents were still married and life was great.....up until I got abused. It was not a one time thing. Every church ride home for 3 years became an abuse session. It took me 2 years after the abuse to realize that I didn't do anything wrong and that God loves me. It took another 6 months after that to forgive him for what had happened. I finally told and it is now in the court proceedings. I am not going to say I was never angry that it happened, but God has opened a lot of doors for me to helpother people with this issue. It has made me a lot stronger person. I still go to the same church because I dont want to run away from issues when they arise. God has taught me a lot and I am not to the point where I praise God that this did happen, but I am to the point that I am glad I can help others throughit. Thank you Lord for Your deliverance and Your daily strength as I am recovering. If there is anyone out there going through this or have a question, please feel free to message me on here.
  2. Sometimes I feel like I'm being so overly cautious when I work with the kids in our church, and then I read stories like this and suddenly feel like I'm not doing enough. A youth pastor, children's pastor, or pastor should never be alone with a single kid. I usually extend that to children, teens, and anyone from the opposite sex because I respect my wife and want absolutely no doubt of my integrity.

    Here we have a youth director who displayed a lack of integrity, not only in what he did, but how he arranged things to create this situation. There is no opportunity for him to claim a misunderstanding, through I'm sure people like this have justified everything in their mind already. I'm glad to see that you have not been destroyed by guilt because in God's eyes, you are innocent. I commend you on your strength to confront your fears and help protect others.
    Alisha Barber and KingJ say Amen and like this.
  3. Welcome to CFS, Alisha.:) Your story sounded so familiar to me, then I realized I had seen it in your profile. Anyway, I'm sorry this happened to you, but I'm glad you're able to talk about it. These things need to be brought out into the light so evil is exposed and we can deal with it in our midst.
    Alisha Barber likes this.
  4. Sorry to hear this Alisha! it is terrible! :(
  5. Yes, it was terrible, but I have been able to witness to so many people through my situation. God has been honored and glorified through this. There have been times where I have wanted all of it to go away, days like today, but then there are other days when I can't imagine where I wouldspiritually be without it happening. I know God is going to continue to use my trials to strengthen me and others (Romans 5:1-5)
  6. Bararenth, keep a definite distance when you are the only adult. Don't ever be to careful. Things like this happen everyday. Satan can get in and use anything.Even be careful when texting or emailing a student if you do that. They can check cell phone records up to 7 years.
  7. I was bullied badly when in school. I used to assume that God allowed it to make me stronger. But the truth is, God did not allow it, the bullies were just very unGodly and I was too naive / dumb / lazy to get muscles and deal with the situation. But God can definately heal us from the worst of experiences and help us to learn from it. God made me see His vengeance on them :), I was challenging Him on that. I was also not that God-fearing at the time.

    It is nice to hear you say you have forgiven him!
  8. Sorry to hear your story and glad to know that justice is being pursued. I am VERY impressed that you go to the same church not wanting to run away from issues. Take heart, God is with you. Keep up the good work. I believe everything happens for a reason.
    Alisha Barber likes this.
  9. My policy on these things has led to some interesting situations since people are really just not use to it. It was similarly difficult to explain to people my courtship. It always leads and led to some interesting situations and odd looks. But, when I first started going to seminary, a friend shared a story with me.

    A pastor was a driving by another church late one night and saw a lady outside the church in the rain. He pulled up and allowed her to sit in the car with him until some other people showed up to open the church and let her in. We can sympathize with the situation easily, and everything ended up fine. But, it doesn't take much imagination to see where things could have gone horribly wrong. The woman could have easily accused the pastor later of anything she wanted. Such accusations don't need to be true to destroy your witness. The woman could have been perfectly respectable, but the dozens of people that drove past that night could have viewed the situation with particular interest and the rumors could have spread indefinitely.

    I understand the need to be extra cautious. The difficultly lies in the fact that people aren't really taught that. This Youth Pastor prayed on the indulgences and trust of those he was supposed to be helping, but also on the fact that nobody questions these things. It's unusual to try to protect people, and people don't perceive of the need. I was fortunate enough to have meet a youth pastor many years ago who taught me the right way to protect children. He often had to take teens home, but he never put himself in the position to be alone with any of the girls. He usually took me home last because I'm a guy, and at the time I was 18. Accountability is important, and we need to take a closer look at people who avoid it.
    Alisha Barber likes this.
  10. It makes me terribly sad to have to agree with you. How dark is the plight of the church and the world that a Pastor can't be trusted around little ones or those of the opposite sex? I remember when I was growing up, the Man of God who mentored me was often looked at with suspect eyes over how much time we spent alone together. I used to get pretty worked up over and and defensive of him, because honestly nothing out of line ever even remotely came close to happen, and he was like a second father to me. It never seemed to bother him, and when I pressed him about it he told me of a similar event to what you're describing that happened in our church when I was still too young to remember. It really breaks my heart that things like this happen, and that those who have been entrusted with leading and caring for others in the Kingdom can carry out acts so rupugnant. I really am sorry for what happened to you, and I praise God for the strength and faith you've displayed. I pray that He will continue to work through you and lift you up, and to raise you up to be a light to others.
  11. Thanks. I really need prayers the week of Thanksgiving and the week after Thanksgiving. These are the dates for the plea bargain day and trial, and I am getting weak.
  12. Nothing has happened to me. I was referring to the OP's youth pastor. Sorry if there is some confusion.

    We will keep you and your situation in prayer.
  13. That part was for the OP as well haha. I should have separated it...
  14. i admire u alisha..God bless u more..:)
  15. Well, the court stuff is over! Praise God!!! What a great Thanksgiving! I am praying for all the people going through any part of this. This is hard, but you learn to lean on God. He always pulls through in the end and His hand is over you the whole way! Thank God that He is omnipotent and omnipresent!
  16. Hey dear!
    Being a victim of both sexual and physical abuse, I can understand why you would feel guilty over it. I fought guilt for years over the sexual abuse, but God definitely delivered me from that and made it known that it wasn't my fault. I'm still trying to come to grips with it not being my fault with the physical abuse though.

    Know that you are loved. I'm so glad you no longer don't have that guilt and that forgiveness has taken place! NOt a lot of people can forgive those who have hurt them....especially in that way.

    I'm glad to see that God's strength and His love poured out over you during those times!
    Alisha Barber likes this.
  17. Wow Alisha you are so strong, it takes more than a man to go through what you went through and still have the heart to forgive. In a way I think that the terrible things we go through be it , the hopelessness of poverty, the trauma of abuse , isolation due to your sexual orientation, loneliness of social anxiety and the daily battle of depression not only help us become stronger people when we over come them , but ultimately help those who are still stuck. And dwell in the place we'd thought would last forever. Because we were in their shoes we can boldly tell them that they will make it through , to the otherside, and tell them god hasn't forgotten about them nor has he brung all of it on them either. I think in the midst of a person's struggle they just someone to love them, any one to care about them , and a person who won't forget about them and that's why we are here , to tell them if god can heal me he can do the same for you. Still in sad, angry and mad all of this happened to you were are supposed to be his representatives and some people just , don't seem to care.
  18. Hi Alisha,

    The lingering effects of abuse are something I am intimately familiar with, and sadly not just for myself. A number of my poems are about child abuse and behind them all are real victims. But here is one I will share with you and others here by way of encouragement. It was inspired by that master of survival, the good old Australian Eucalyptus tree, or as we call them here Downunder "Gum trees". A gum tree is one of the most tenacious forces of nature you will come across and is extreemly difficult to defeat. Bruce Willis (Die Hard) has nothing on these things.

    The funny thing is it once got a "Highly Recommended" in a poetry competition as a highly unusual poem about conservation.:) I am sure though victims of abuse will not make that mistake.


    I was a young and tender shoot
    Hugging my mother, reaching for the sky.
    And you crushed me under your foot
    Grinding my face in the dust and the rocks.
    Afraid I dug my roots deeper and grew a different way.
    And I survived

    I was a willowy sapling
    Dancing with joy, the wind in my hair.
    And you bent me and stripped me
    Twisting and tearing 'til the sap flowed free.

    In pain I thrust deeper still and grew a different way.
    And I survived.

    I was a young tree
    Growing tall, claiming my place in the sun.
    And you cut me down
    Tearing at my flesh 'til I could stand no more.

    But my roots remained and I grew a whole new way.
    And I survived.

    And now my roots have found the hidden stream
    The rock that anchors, the cleft that hides.
    I tower high above you, arms upraised to the heavens.
    Not as I could have been, not as I should have been
    Yet clothed in beauty with a graceful strength.
    I look around and you are but dust in the wind
    But I ... I survive.

    D.J. Ludlow Copyright 1996
  19. My heart goes out to you Alisha. I was abused by one who abused hundreds and still walks the street today after over 45 years. I thank the Lord always for his forgiveness for my part in the crazy affair. I know I am forgiven and I have no problem forgiving that man.
    Years later I ran into him in a store and went home under terrible anguish as I new he was still prowling the streets. I new my brother had been molested by him as well so after much prayer I called him and asked him to join with me to get this guy off the street. After the trial the guy was put under city arrest and is not allowed to be with anyone under 17 years old.
    I know he has molested hundreds and perhaps over a thousand kids because I ended up living with him for 4 years. He was professional. The way he operated was the same with every victim. He befriended them, became a father image (all of his victims, including me, needed a father) taught them manly skills etc. then slowly he moved his hands. It took weeks for him to captivate his victims and know-one ever told because they loved him.
    Sounds crazy doesn't it.
    I will never forget a time when I was 8 years old (before I met this man) I asked my mother why my dad was the way he was. He never talked to me, never played or joked with me, wouldn't let me do anything that the man of the house would do. She explained that people are the way they are because of their past. Our history creates us thru experience and decisions we make. My Dad had a severe curvature of the spine. He was an only child. He was taunted in school. He had an accident when he was 17 where a tree fell on him and broke his leg. It was pinned together. During the second world war he was not allowed to help and join the army. He would have yelling matches at night with my mom where he would curse himself and tear himself down as a useless person. My mom would cray and try to lift him up. She could not stand to see him like that. And this was why he was the man he was. But he always worked and put food on our table. I had 7 brothers and most of us were molested by one man.
    When I came to Jesus at 33 I new I was forgiven. I new that that man could also be forgiven because he is just another victim of this age and Satan's influence.
    Jesus words are strong in my heart when he said, "Forgive them Father, they know not what they do."

    Take heart girl. Jesus loves you. The king of the universe who commands the stars and they obey, loves you as his own. You belong to him.
  20. Yes, God has forgiven each one of us and we should forgive each other no matter what. It is hard to forgive, but with God's help, we can do anything :)

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