Read Hilda’s Story
I don’t remember the actual date but around the fall of 2013 I received a call from my sister. There was no question that she was crying. She asked if Greg and I had plans the next evening because she wanted to talk to us. She said she wanted to get something off her chest from her past. You could definitely hear the desperation in her voice. I didn’t know what it was but I had an idea of what it might be and it worried me. If I was right, how would I handle it? Nonetheless, I said we would be home. I mentally prepared myself in case I was right. I can do this, I can play this off. That’s what I told myself.
So the next evening she came over andas she began speaking, somewhere in there she mentioned the word childhood. I knew then why she was there. I was definitely scared, so many emotions were racing within me. I didn’t want to be there anymore but I stayed; telling myself that I could get through this. Then finally, she disclosed how she’d been sexually abused by 2 uncles and our grandfather. As she continued speaking, I couldn’t hold back anymore. I broke down and admitted to the same ordeal. After so many years my secret was finally out in the open.
You see, in the months that lead up to this point I would sit and wonder about our abusers. Did they ever think of what they did? Did they have remorse or was it just something that happened? I wondered about the other victims. I could never prove it but I knew there were others. I certainly wasn’t gonna ask because if I was wrong then everyone would know. Even 30 some odd years later the memories still haunted me. They were becoming more andmore frequent and vivid in the days leading to up this moment. Now Greg and my sister knew. I was completely ashamed and embarrassed. I never forget the look on my husband’s face when I told them. I only saw it for a brief moment; that look of shock, his jaw literally dropped….he was frozen in his stance. I was so humiliated that I couldn’t face him anymore.
That Sunday my sister and I attended church together. As I listened I remember hearing Pastor quoteHebrews 13:5, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” At that moment my sister grabbed my hand and whispered “we’re gonna be ok.” Unfortunately, I didn’t share the same feelings. For the first time, I found myself being angry with God. I remember telling Him, “You left us, how could You leave us?” “How could You let this happen to us?” I didn’t understand. All I knew is that our childhood innocence was stolen from us.
So I spent the next few days in seclusion and crying. I kept reliving the past and got angrier the more I did. I wanted vengeance even after all these years. I wanted to hurt and humiliate them to their families by exposing them, well at least the ones that were living. Although I didn’t understand why God let that happen, I knew I was not the same person since turning my life over to Christ. I knew God didn’t want me plotting andbeing depressed. So I sort of moved on. I didn’t speak much about it anymore. The memories were too painful anyway.
Fast forward to 2015, October to be exact. My sister contacted me to say that one of our aunts was in town and wanted to see us. With all due respect to her, I was hesitant. I hardly knew her. She left home at a young age and her visits were few and far between. I’d seen her a few times growing up but the memories of her were pretty faded. Wellthe Holy Spirit spoke andsaid to meet her. So I did and I’m glad. She was a joy to be around. She and I met a few more times during her visit. However, on one of our meetings she asked questions, mainly about my childhood. Eventually she started sharing her past and as she kept talking I realized I knew the path she was taking. I told her that I knew why she’d left home so long ago. I knew she had been molested by one of her brothers but I was shocked when she said her father, my grandfather had touched her on several occasions. I was really disgusted. You see since the first time that I’d shared what had happened to me I came to forgive the others. But my grandfather was a different story. Although, he didn’t do to me what my uncles and neighbor did, he only touched me inappropriately. I know I describe his actions like it’s something to be taken lightly but that’s not how I mean it. I just found it harder to forgive him because of who he was.He was our grandfather; her dad. I thought, how could he do this to his own daughter. What he did to us was terrible but his own daughter. My heart broke for her. In my opinion, he was a sick man. After hearing that, my animosity for this man just intensified. I was angry and I knew I would never forgive him. He was without a doubt undeserving of forgiveness. He was suppose to protect us. Instead he took advantage of us. I had nothing but sheer disdain for this man. My heart was now colder when it came to him. I really hated him and the sad part was that I hated someone that was dead.
She told me that I had to let go to have peace. She spent many years in therapy and said that it wasn’t until she turned her life over to Christ that she learned to surrender it all. Well I had turned my life over but this was different. No, my grandfather was not worthy. Sadly, I hoped that he was suffering in hell.
It was Sunday November 15, 2015, I remember it like it was yesterday. I was suppose to work but I requestedit off to see Greg race that day. That morning I decided that I would stay only until he crossed the finish line. I work every other Sunday so I wanted to come to church. I knew Greg would be done before service started. So I came and Pastor was continuing the series on the Lord’s Prayer. I love how God works because the focus was on forgiveness. As service progressed I cried uncontrollably. I was absolutely embarrassed. I was a complete mess of tears and I felt as if all eyes were on me. I thought I had really made a mistake by coming. I reached a point where I was gonna get up and leave. But there was a voice that said what an insult it would be to God to leave because I couldn’t handle it anymore. As much as I wanted to run, I stayed until the end. I never regained my composer regardless of how much I tried. I couldn’t repeat any part of the closing prayer on forgiveness. Instead I boldly told God that He couldn’t have it. It was mine and He couldn’t take it. My spirit and flesh were literally at battle because I knew what was right but I refused to let go. My grandfather’s actions were sickening and I felt justified in my feelings. I was not going to submit. I was captive to my own hate and unforgiveness.
Well about a day or so passed and I was driving when this song came on. I’d heard it before but it spoke to me differently that day. As I sang along, I couldn’t help but cry. I reflected on everything that had transpired from the day I first opened up until now. I wept because I could see God’s hand was all over this. I thought to be completely done with this burden that I had to do one more thing. I had to tell my mom. You see my mother had a love for my grandfather. I knew this would crush her but I had to tell her. She always spoke of how much I was his favorite. Oh, how I hated that. I remember the day he died. It was 1981 early in the year, I was 6 years old. I was coming home from school when I saw mom waiting for me. When she told me the news, I remember having a sense of relief. Even at that age I didn’t care that he was gone.Anyway, I hadn’t decided on the right time to talk to her. About another day passed when I was sitting at the desk and that same song came on again. That song is Perfect Love by Jeremy Camp. I continued with what I was doing when the Holy Spirit said, “what are you waiting for”, and I said, “I’m gonna do it, I just need time.” As the song continued my attention really focused on the lyrics again. And then just like that everything became so clear. My eyes were wide open. I could see, I mean I could really see. Now,I truly understood. God’s truth was revealed to me right there. How wrong I had been. No more holding on. I was done!!! I dropped to my knees and cried. I repented and finally surrendered it all. So many years of torment had finally ended. All that ugliness was truly gone. I know it sounds crazy that it could be that simple but when you have the truth staring at you right in face you literally have no choice. It’s inexplicable but truly amazing.
You know that day that I was sitting with my aunt, she told me that I needed to be more open and speak about it. I thought she was crazy. How could she even suggest that?I told her no, she’d had the majority of her life to deal with it, I would never talk about this to anyone. As you now know, I did share with my mom and laid it to rest. But sometime after, the Lord blessed my life with someone who has come to be very dear to my heart so I had no qualms about confiding in her. That was the last time I shared my experience. It’s been alittle over a couple of years since then. Although I had let it go, it was still very personal to me. I’ve never given it a second thought to share my story up until now. I realize thoughthat it is not my story, insteadI share the story of a Savior who gave His life to redeem me of my sins.It because of His love that I can have a personal relationship with our Father in heaven. The devil tried to use my past against me but failed.I understand Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” I am where I’m at today because God never left my side during my struggle. Some might say, “duh” but when you’ve allowed blinders to be put on, it’s really hard to see in the dark. I am so grateful that Jesus lead me out of darkness and into the light. You know while I was initiallydealing with this I eventually saw how God had orchestrated everything; from my sister, to my aunt to even a song and so forth. But as I sat and wrote, there was so much more that He revealed. It is awful what happened in the past but I know that God turned an unfortunate situation into something good. Jesus is still working on me, I am a work in progress but my faith is even greater than it was before. So I pray that whatever burden you harbor, that you choose to release it and give to the Lord. It is possible, don’t let satan tell you otherwise. I amalways in awe of God’s grace, mercy andunending perfect love. He is perfect!Glory be to God!
“For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”