At the age of 3 I lived on the army base in Fort Hood. My Dad was very physically abusive, then began to sexual abuse me. I was often left naked, cold, frightened and hugging my pillow in pain, then my father would appear in clown masks and say that if I told he would kill my mom. He said “no one would believe such an ugly nasty little girl.”
At age 5 my dad busted my head open and we moved out. I was relieved, but then he started calling making threats, then tormenting my mom at her job. Luckily a man was there to protect her. They ended up getting married and then he adopted us. He knew of the physical abuse, but no one knew of the sexual abuse. After the adoption, life was better, but nothing changed the shame. A family friend noticed peculiar behaviors in me, and the next day my parents sat me down and asked if I had been sexually abused. I began to see counselors. It was scary, humiliating, I felt judged and I still believed my father’s lies.
At age 11 my uncle came to live with us, and he too sexually abused me. Then my parents had a baby together, and she was beautiful and I loved her. My mom began inviting me to go out entire weekends with her, only for me to end up sleeping on the floor at the bars. She was lying to my dad and having us lie also. One night I heard my mom say “Rhonda is not even your daughter, why do you defend her over your real daughter?” Real daughter? Those words stung.
In high school my brother also made sexual advances on me. Feeling damaged and unwanted, I became sexually active. Who would care anyway? I had a dream of being a psychologist but I never graduated high school. I got a job in Brenham, and there I met a man that seemed to care, but after 3 beautiful children we parted ways. At the age of 25 I met my husband Rene. I felt loved and our communication was great, at first. He knew about my past, but thought that I should be over it! I began to withdraw, then came the arguments, accusations, and hateful words. We were preparing to separate, when I found out I was pregnant! I was overwhelmed with fear and excitement and thought, “how do you bring a baby into such animosity.” I knew God was drawing me near through this blessing, and I vowed to do things differently. Because of the arguing my husband left. Feeling lost and lonely, I had an affair, only to find out that he was engaged to another.
It was here that I said “Jesus, I have made so many mistakes and I cannot do this alone.” Then, I heard God speak “For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future”.
Redeemed & Unashamed
I immediately reached out to Samantha Gonzalez who knew my struggles, and mistakes, yet she loved me unconditionally. We attended Skybreak church. There I heard from Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed any longer to the patterns of this world, but be therefore you transformed but by the renewal of your mind, so that you may be able to test and approve what God’s will is His good, pleasing and perfect will.” There God revealed to me that when we shift our perception, our experience and circumstances also change. I started attended the SOS Women’s Bible studies, and here God has silenced the voice of shame! He is healing my brokenness and pain. He has taught me to forgive those that have hurt me. Through the help of Carmen and JJ, I am being discipled to do ministry and lead a small group in our SOS women’s class. I attend GED classes so one day I can become a Christian counselor. My prayer is “change me oh Lord and reduce me to let love be the driving force behind my words and attitude; above all else, help me to see myself and my spouse through your eyes.”
I am redeemed! I am the daughter of the King! Romans 8:28 states, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”.
Today I no longer hide my scars, I wear them as living proof that my God truly heals.