20 Mar 2015 Leave a comment
in Freedom, Growing Your Faith, Journey, Overcoming Abuse, Parenting, Purpose Tags: adults molested as children, childhood trauma, incest, memoir, Mother's Day, overcoming abuse, PTSD, recovery, Sexual abuse, survivor
Many people have told me how much Made New touched their life profoundly. Unfortunately, I’ve also been told that the subject of incest is a word that’s not nice to think about, let alone talk about it.
I’ll be the first to admit that the word is ugly. It doesn’t leave you with the same feeling more comfortable words do, like abuse, trauma, or personal assault. Whether you agree with this statement or not, in my opinion they’re all the same. Especially for a victim who has survived this kind of abuse.
I would like to spend a little time to help you in making the decision to read Made New and tell you a little bit about my story.
First, I would like to make it clear that this story wasn’t written for the purpose of dragging my family’s name through the mud. It’s written in a loving, graceful, matter-of-fact style and it helps you get some idea of how this type of abuse has the potential to devastate somebody’s life.
Made New – A Hippie Chick’s Journey is a personal walk through my life and what some might say was a normal military home during the 1970’s. Personal responsibility was ingrained into my thinking for as long as I can remember. But, by the time I reached thirteen years old my father crossed a moral boundary that should have never been permitted. His forceful personality engrained so much fear in me that I feared, and felt as my life was different from my siblings, schoolmates, friends, and anyone I perceived as normal.
Soon, the sexual violation that was forced upon me impacted every decision I had to make for the rest of my life. My poor choices affected my behavior, my first marriage, how I viewed my own sexuality, marital submissiveness, parenting skills, and ultimately the ability to trust in God. This list is small compared to the reality of enduring such a degrading experience. The list actually goes on and on.
Although I mentioned how much Made New has touched the lives of many, those who know me personally actually have difficulty reading it, because of the reality of what I had to endure. My advice for them is to keep reading, because this story gets so much better than I could have ever imagined.
Today, I believe that God allowed this to happen in my life for the sole purpose of helping other victims of domestic violence to find the courage and take a stand against this scourge that has devoured our country.
According to statistics, in 2013, one in 10 children will be sexually abused and ninety percent will be abused by somebody they know. Thankfully, awareness is finally beginning to make an impact.
• “About 1 in 10 children will be sexually abused before they turn 18”
• “About 1 in 7 girls and 1 in 25 boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18”
• “It is estimated that 7-12% of children are sexually abused”
• “As many as 400,000 babies born in the U.S. this year will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday unless we do something to stop it.
Next week I will address what we can do to help victims and survivors of sexual abuse.
10 Mar 2015 2 Comments
My mother refused to defend me against my father for years. Weekend mornings were always met by his demands. Within a few minutes she would witness, once again, her oldest, teen aged daughter lying next to her husband, but chose to do nothing about it.
05 Mar 2015 6 Comments
Earlier today, I was thinking about the fact that my life is merely one amidst an enormous population of baby-boomers.
That statement, in itself, isn’t too exciting. But, when you think about the impact survivors of abuse are making on the next generation, it’s pretty exciting to be a part of it.
My children are grown and as I type these words, my soon to be adopted grand-daughter is sleeping in my office, while I take up temporary residence at the end of my dining room table.
I wanted to share a story about a trip my husband I made to Oregon a little over three year ago. It was our last morning of snuggling in the cozy little cottage we like to call our Oregon home, nestled within a forest and the banks of the Sandy River. We had just finished watching Dr. Charles Stanley preach about our lives being lived out in order to bring honor and glory to God.
Within seconds, the Holy Spirit convicted my heart as to whether I was living my life for God, or not. That was when I sensed the Lord calling me to write my story in the form of a book.
While I was going through some of the darkest years of my life, friends repeatedly told me that I should write a book about being sexually abused by my father and how it affected my life over the years. Instead of giving some serious thought to such a monumental task, I dismissed it, believing that my life was no different than what other woman have suffered.
The next day I boarded my flight home to South Carolina, while my husband remained in Oregon to work from his company’s home office.
Three days later, I sat down in front of my laptop and second-story window to witness one of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve ever seen. Fall foliage still hung in the trees, appearing as if they had been brushed with myriad of tones: rusts, golden, reds, yellows, and greens; all intermingling, just in time for showers of leaves being picked up by an invisible wind, just to be pushed to the ground to form another splash of autumn bliss.
I could sense the Lord’s nearness, so I humbled my heart to pray, “God, I don’t know where to begin this task of writing a book.” I begged,” Please, be my Guide, let me know your presence, fill my mind with your peace, and give me the words that you want written.”
I pulled a blank, legal sized sheet of paper and began drawing a timeline of my life, in particular, my life from the time my dad began abusing me.
Today, I can clearly see how naïve I was then and I didn’t have a clue about what was happening in the world around me. I listened to the evening news reports about the Vietnam War my dad had just come home from. I guess you would say that I saw the world through rose-colored glasses, I felt safe, and had no issues with trusting those in authority, especially my parents.
It was the early 70’s and I saw myself as a free spirit. I still have some of those tendencies, but life has proven very different than what my dream world was all about back then.
My family unit consisted of my parents, two brothers, and three sisters. Once Dad came home from Vietnam we moved to his next duty station near Albany, Georgia. Actually, our days were like that of any other family in doing daily chores, a weekend drive-in movie, fishing and camping trips, and church, youth group activities.
I was living a normal, almost thirteen year old life. That is until my dad made the decision to cross a major moral boundary of molestation, then incest.
Something inside of me knew that I had been robbed of my virginity…
I cried out to God…but I couldn’t discern a response…
I lost trust in God and all mankind…
Although I believed that I was nobody…
God had other plans.
This is just a small portion of my story.
You may ask ‘Why are you telling me this?’
Because I wholeheartedly believe that He wants me to use my voice and testimony to be shared with other women who find themselves in similar situations and to somehow convey hope in the resources available to those who have been abused, or are being abused.
When you’re depressed to the point that you believe no one loves you, remember that God loves you. He knows the plans he has for you. You are not alone.
The purpose of my blog is to be a willing vessel for God to touch lives through a testimony that leaves you in awe over how awesome our God is, and how He can completely transform your life!
To be continued…
26 Feb 2015 Leave a comment
This is really practical advice. If we stop long enough to ask ourselves, “Why am I doing this, or that, our lives would be a lot less complicated.
Originally posted on The Accidental Missionary:
I don’t know about you, but anytime I am asked, “How’s it going?” I never just say “fine” anymore. Instead, my stock response is always some degree of frazzled. The scale ranges from “busy”, to “crazy busy” to “nutballs.”
The good news is, my answer is usually met with sympathetic response, which is as reassuring as it is depressing.
“Tell me about it! We are, too!”
“I know! Isn’t it insane!”
“There’s never enough time in the day, is there?”
But something changed about a month ago. I bumped into a friend at the gym. Instead of sympathizing when I said I was “crazy busy,” he simply asked,
“Really? So what do you have going on today?”
I had to stop and think for a moment. No one has ever asked me to “describe my busy.” So I conducted a mental review of our calendar before explaining that…
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25 Feb 2015 Leave a comment
As many of you know, Made New is reaching more hearts than I could have ever imagined. To God be the Glory.
I’m seeking opportunities to speak to Christian women groups, civic clubs, women’s shelters, high schools, and anyplace
that God calls me to share my testimony.
As a matter of fact, last week I spoke to a large group of women living in a women’s shelter in downtown Atlanta. I was so humbled by the experience and left wholeheartedly believing that this is what the Lord has called me to do.
If you would like to contact me, or know somebody who may be looking for a Christian speaker, I would much appreciate it.
Also, if you’ve already read Made New, please visit this link to leave a review of what you thought. This is a new career and the more feedback I get, the better.
May God always bless you…
Judy C. Hope
Judy C. Hope on Facebook
24 Feb 2015 Leave a comment
It’s nothing less than horrific that human trafficking is right under our noses! It’s time to take a stand to protect the innocence of our children!
Originally posted on survivorsjustice:
Yesterday friends it was so exciting to see the broadcast of personal interview with #EricSteltzer from #WANDtv, News Channel 17 central Illinois. Myself, invited by Ms. Dana Pfeiffer of Grounds of Grace, nonprofit assisting victims of human trafficking. This interview may be too graphic for many, so please take care. Sadly, there are more and more cases of child sex trafficking popping up in small communities across the country every day.
Ms. Dana Pfeiffer, Exec. Director Grounds of Grace, is on the streets and in the homes of those in the Springfield & Jacksonville area. She’s found the most common form of human trafficking her organization is seeing with the victims they assist, it is the family members using and selling out their own children. The youngest victim she’s seen is just 2 years old, and the oldest 68…
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