I recently received a series of messages by a Facebook friend, “Mercedes why are you so open about your past? I mean weren’t you scared? Why don’t you keep it private? Aren’t you ashamed? Don’t worry, God will forgive you if you just ask.”
I had no idea how to respond to this person I have never met in real life. What do you say to something like that? I had no idea how to answer. Now in my blog I rarely get preachy or religious, so be forewarned today I am about to.
Was I scared to be so open? Yes. I was worried about rejection, about people laughing at me, making fun of me, yes, I was scared to say I lived on the streets. I was scared to say I was abused in every way possible. I was scared to talk about being raped, but I did it.
Am I ashamed? Of what being the victim of rape? Being abused? Being a runaway? No I am not ashamed, and that is why I write and talk about it. I wear my scars proudly. I know I have helped others by being open about my healing process. I am a strong and beautiful woman, but for too long I was broken, timid, meek; I hid behind the secrets in silence. I believed I had no hope, no future, no life, and I never deserved anything.
God will forgive me if I just ask?
Do I need forgiveness? Was I wrong? Was I bad? I spent years feeling horrible for the things that happened to me as a child and as a young woman. I felt guilty for the abuse that happened to me. I felt guilty for the rape. What if I wasn’t there? What if I made a better choice? What if I behaved better? What if I wore something different? What if…… It took years to stop feeling guilty. Does God need to forgive me? He has loved me through all of it. It was his grace and his love that I am standing here breathing today, because trust me; I have come close to death more than once. I believe he loves each of us as if we are each his only child, and I believe he is proud of the road I have walked and the woman I have become. I believe he has guided me through some tumultuous times because he is preparing me for something amazing. He is making me stronger and more confident every day.
Right now I am going through a very difficult time in my life, a divorce. I am trying to support three children on a very small amount of money. I was living paycheck to paycheck, but not anymore. My wages were just garnished for a medical bill that took place before 2008. My soon to be ex, stopped making payments on the bill years ago. They decided to garnish my wages. My ex won’t support his children. His words to me the last time I asked was that he eases my financial burden by taking the kids on his days and that he wasn’t the one to decide to have two sets of bills. He ran bills up in my name and never paid them, of course somehow it is my fault. It always is. I don’t know how I will survive this month but I have faith, that God will show me how and carry me through this storm. Is it wrong to be open? Should I be ashamed of this, my divorce, my financial situation? Should I live in silence and secrecy? No, God doesn’t want his children to suffer, and talking, writing and sharing is healing not only for me, but for some of my readers. I will come out of this even stronger than I am today.