What I love most about testimonies is a person’s ability to be transparent about what God has done in their life. God did not rescue us from our situations so we can keep silent. I believe our testimonies has the power to draw others closer to the Lord. Our testimonies can touch someone else going through the same predicament and give them hope. Many may not pick up a Bible, but they’ll look at your life. They will look at your behavior and how you treat others. When we live according to the Word of God, meaning we live out the word of God daily. We are doers of the word and not hearers. We can quotes scriptures to them from now until thy kingdom come, but if we don’t live out the word of God so others can see Christ in us. We are ruining our witness and who is going to believe us? Our life can be an open Bible to a nonbeliever who does not know who Christ is. Our life can connect that individual to Jesus Christ.
A few months ago, I came across Melanie’s testimony, and recently I reached out to her to share her testimony on my blog. I believe there are a lot of people who can draw hope from her testimony. Melanie and her husband started an organization Strength and Dignity located in Melbourne, Australia. An organization, dedicated to survivors of sexual assault and educating the world on predator behavior. I also got the opportunity to ask her a few questions following the testimony.
So without further ado:
As a teenager my life was out of control, I didn’t understand why I felt so angry at the world. After an emotional breakdown and thoughts of suicide, I stumbled upon a card from a Christian counselor. Through exploring the conflict in my life, I had an encounter with Jesus. I found the hope I needed to heal my angry soul. Shortly after giving my life to Christ I met my husband; straight away I knew he was the one!
We had our first son after seven years of marriage. He brought so much joy into our lives, so we decided to have another child. At 15 weeks, my water broke, and I miscarried our baby girl when she was 16 weeks. I began to suffer from horrible ten day long migraines; this lasted for three months, and I started to wonder if I was under a spiritual attack. I prayed for breakthrough, begging for an end to the pain. I had no idea how traumatic that breakthrough would be. I began to remember the traumatic memories of my childhood, my father abusing his power and failing to protect me from harm. The very person, who God gave to me as a protector, was abusing me. I suffered sexual, physical, and emotional abuse throughout my childhood and into my early teens.
I had suppressed the memories of abuse, and as an adult, I had no idea what had happened to me. I began to see a therapist who educated me on trauma, dissociation, and flashbacks. I was finally putting the pieces of the puzzle together. The stress, rebellion, and anxiety of my teenage years and the chronic pain of my adult life were all symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and a deeply wounded soul. As I slowly remembered the horrific events of my childhood, I was able to let go of the shattered pieces of my soul gradually. It is a long and painful journey, but I know that eventually, I will be whole again. I’m so blessed to have a loving husband who supports me and a heavenly Papa who knows my every need; who created me in love, for love and who is capable of restoring every part of me.
As I slowly untangle the lies and deception that the abuse has deposited in my life God is revealing to me His plan for my pain. He gave me a clear vision for a ministry that heals, restores, and revives women who have suffered the pain of sexual assault in their lives. He gave me the words “Strength And Dignity.” Out of this birthed our ministry Strength And Dignity, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting survivors of sexual assault and educating the world on predator behavior.
Tell me a little more about your faith/belief?
I gave my life to Christ at the age of 21, and after 14 years I’m just as excited to be following Jesus now as I was when I first became a Christian! I have just finished a year at Bible College. It was an amazing time of growth and transformation. It has helped me to go deeper in my relationship with God, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to grow in my knowledge of Him and His word.
Everyone has their personal relationship with the Lord. When you think about what was done on the cross, what does Jesus mean to you?
Jesus’s death on the cross was the ultimate sacrifice. I am so grateful for the suffering that Jesus went through to re-connect His children to God. Without His sacrifice, we would not be able to freely have a relationship with God or experience the presence of God. I believe that Jesus’s death not only justified us by wiping away our sins but also made it possible to be adopted into the Kingdom as son and daughters of our Heavenly Father.
Name a scripture in the Bible that has helped you in your walk and in what way?
When I started my healing journey a friend gave the scripture Jeremiah 29:11, “ For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” She felt that God wanted me to meditate on it and remember where He was taking me. It has helped me through some tough days; remembering that God has a purpose for my pain has been so healing.
What advice would you give to someone who was sexually abused and struggling to let go of the hurt?
Healing from childhood trauma is a process; it takes time. Be okay with your healing journey being a bit messy; you will have good days, and you will have bad days, but the most important thing to remember is to walk it out with God, you cannot do it on your own. Let the Lord lead you as you process your pain. Healing is possible through the Love of God, don’t give up!
Now that you have started Strength and Dignity ministry, what changes would you like take place in the body of Christ?
My vision for Strength And Dignity is to bring awareness of the journey that survivors of sexual assault go on and how to support them as well. I also would like to educate the Christian community on predator tactics. It’s easy to miss the warning signs of a predator grooming a child because most people are not aware of this process; education is key to stopping further abuse of children. Lastly, I would like to see a better support and accountability system in churches for perpetrators. We have been operating for a year now, and I pray we continue to grow and impact the Christian culture to become a place of support for survivors and their families and perpetrators.
I hope Melanie’s testimony was a blessing to you as much as it was for me. If you would like to know more about Melanie or Strength and Dignity. You can connect with her via their website or social media platform listed below.
Did you enjoy this post? Share it with someone. You never know what a person might be going through. An act as simple as sharing a post can be a blessing in their lives.
Until next time God Bless you richly for reading ?