Learning God's Character | Poems About Sexual Abuse | Sexual Abuse

My Legolas

January 17, 2018

I read the yellowed pages now,
+++the anguish of despair
+++bleeding through each word.
That’s what I was:
+++a bleeding lump of pain.
Life had torn me apart,
+++and the fifteen-year-old
+++could barely hang on.
The air resounded
+++with the clash of swords,
As angels and demons
+++fought for my soul.

Torn apart by pain unfathomable,
+++I lashed out at a God
+++I did not know.
I shook my fist in anger,
+++shut down my heart,
+++and bitterly turned away.
I was sure God hated me.
After all, I was a shameful failure.
So, I hated Him back.

My despair was so deep,
+++I lived terrified.
I was afraid the darkness
+++would one day swallow me forever.
I craved death and its sweet release.
It seemed the only way out
+++of my nightmare.

Only, it wasn’t.
Knowing only of a God of wrath,
+++who would surely doom me to hellfire,
I trembled at the thought of death.
Some days, though,
+++I wondered if hell
+++could be any worse
Than the nightmare I already lived.

So, I couldn’t live and I couldn’t die.
Parents abandoned me.
Brothers used me.
God was nowhere to be found.
Demon voices mocked me.
Satan had me by the throat.
Despair so deep nearly took my sanity.

But, it didn’t.
No God?
No mercy?
No hope?
How wrong I was!
In the end,
+++Satan didn’t win
Because that’s where God was:
He was fighting for me!
Blood-thirsty demons cowered
+++when His eyes flashed
+++and His voice thundered,
+++“You shall not pass!”
His strong arms were the hedge
+++around His spark of life
+++in my heart.
Angels and demons fought,
+++and the angels won.

Oh, God of mine,
+++how can I live my gratitude!
You poured out mercy upon mercy.
You never let me go,
+++never gave up on me,
+++never, ever left me alone,
+++never stopped fighting for my heart.
You, my God, are my Prince,
+++my Saviour,
+++my King,
+++my Warrior,
+++my Hero,
Who routed the demons forever.
And so, forever,
+++I am Yours.

“Where was God in it all?” My friends question stopped me short. We had been talking about the emotional flashback I had recently had, a flashback to the time when I was 14 and scared I was pregnant. Hmm. Where had God been? When I thought of God in relation to my sexual abuse, I came up empty, like God didn’t exist, as if the sexual abuse had occurred within a vacuum where God couldn’t penetrate. Where had God been? I didn’t know.

For too long, I lived with the lie that sexual abuse was somehow “God’s will” because it would make me stronger, that God had “allowed” it for a purpose. That’s why I’d never been able to ask Him that question without a lot of anger.  The only thing I could see was my mom’s picture where God’s should be, the person who “allowed” me to be abused without stopping it. However, I no longer believe that. I now know that the sexual abuse was simply evil and the devil’s fault, certainly not God’s. In light of that, where was God?

I pondered my friend’s question. A few days later, I picked up one of my old journals, specifically the journal from my teenage years. It is a journal that I have not read, barely even opened, for nearly 10 years. The raw agony of my words during the years I was the most hopeless can easily trigger me into a flashback, so I could barely stand to read my record of that pain. In every sentence, I heard the anguish of the trapped teenager I was.

However, I had been asked to tell my story at a local Christian high school, and I was looking for something I had written when I was fifteen. So, I drew a deep breath and opened my journal of horror. I found the quote, but kept reading, tears and emotions washing over me. Only, this time, I didn’t just hear the anguish. I saw God.

Over and over in that journal, I write about the darkness, the darkness of despair: of wanting to die, of feeling trapped, of being terrified I would lose my mind. But I also write about another kind of darkness: the darkness of demonic oppression. Again and again, I write of the feeling that there was a battle surrounding me, the battle for my soul. I talk about the darkness that felt like Satan and his demons had me by the throat. I talk about hearing his mocking laughter in my head.

I also read something else. Even when I was fourteen and telling God I hated him, I was also writing about my deep longings, wanting to know God deeply and intimately, I write that I wanted more than the Christianity I saw around me. I write about a deep restlessness, knowing somehow I was called and meant for more. I couldn’t put it into words, but it was the feeling that God had something different for me. I felt so much demonic darkness, but I also felt so much light, a call to something better, greater, and deeper with God. Even then, in my blackest hours, I saw the light and longed for it.

It was then that I knew where God was. He had been in the middle of it all, fighting for me. The only reason that the devil didn’t win and that I did not give into the darkness is because He fought for me. He showed me His light and truth. He kept His spark of faith, hope, and life alive in my heart. God won, not the devil. It wasn’t anything I did. I look back and it still feels like a miracle that I survived my teen years. I survived because God didn’t let me go. That’s where God was, fighting to save me. He won. He saved me. Truly, “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock” (Ps. 40:2).

Realizing that God was fighting for me, that He saved me from darkness, speaks also to my addiction to media (books, movies, and TV shows). For years, most of what I watched or read had a single theme to it. I was drawn to books and shows that presented a savior and a hero. In my favorite books and movies, someone was always in desperate trouble: either hurting, trapped, kidnapped, or abused. Always, someone else came to save them, stop the evil, and bring justice. Because my mom had chosen not to save me, the child in me kept searching endlessly for someone who would. Through the media I engaged in, I could vicariously live what I so desperately wanted as a child and never received.

The truth of the matter is that I was saved. Someone did fight for me. Someone made sure the devil didn’t win. God was there when I thought He had abandoned me. I don’t need the movies and TV shows anymore. I have something better: a God who is always on my side and fights for me. The more I live out of that truth, the less pull that addiction has. One step at a time, God changes and heals me.

You may notice the title is a bit interesting. Legolas is my favorite character from the Lord of the Rings books and movie trilogy. He’s handsome, strong, and tender. He fights on the side of light. He’s a warrior and a hero. That is exactly who my God is. He is my Legolas.

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