Letter to my Past

photo-1455390582262-044cdead277a

Did you remember that I mentioned that Martha used to dread sex? Yes, she once had fear of sexual intimacy with her husband Matt. Her husband specifically told me that she doesn’t look forward to intimacy and she has refused to tell him why. He tried to be patient with her but he seems to be tired to cajoling her to make love each time he is in the mood. What was supposed to be pleasure has turned out to be spiced with a lot of pressure.

I took time out with Martha; it was all written in her eyes, that there was something she is hiding, a past that has refused to heal. Martha was raped by her maternal uncle when she was six years and that singular incident changed her life forever.

For twenty years she struggled with self esteem and dreads any man coming near her. It was a miracle that she agreed to marry Matt who she never allowed to touch her till many days after their wedding. I told Martha that the journey to having a great relationship with her husband starts with forgiving her rapist and letting go of all the hurts. She needed to seek healing because the past was tearing her apart.

One thing I made her do was to write a letter to her past. I made her vent all her stored up anger on the piece of paper. She cried as she poured out bottled up emotions in words to her uncle who took her innocence and stole her virginity. Matt who watched from my PA’s desk couldn’t hold back the tears either. I remember holding Martha’s hand as I told her to call forth her uncle’s name and declare forgiveness. It was a hard nut to crack yet it was great seeing her go through closure after many years of internal pain and trauma.

It was after this healing process that she started learning to love her body and accept Matt’s show of affection. Matt learnt how to be gentle with her as she learns to accept his touch and take it one step at a time.

Pains of yesterday should never be carried into the future. Hurts from past relationships can hinder happiness of future relationships if not well taken care of. We may not be able to stop people from hurting us but we can determine how long we want to feel the pain.

Once a prostitute…

ImageRahab is not the typical lady you would want to fall in love with on a good day. She was a scarlet woman, one who makes ends meet by sleeping with men of different sizes and status. She has the contacts of political leaders and first-hand information of what is happening in town. She however had a strong reason why she decided to be a prostitute in the first place; yet, no reason is strong enough to be an excuse for indulging in such kind of business you would say. One day she saw a beautiful opportunity to stop trading her body for money; the Israelites were coming to town to survey the wall of Jericho where she resides. Her people would do anything to kill the representatives and she would do everything to protect these young men. Despite the view of the society on the type of job she does, inside her is still a large and beautiful heart. She protected the Israelite men from the attack of her people and she ended up saving her life and those of her relatives when the Israelites eventually came to destroy the land on their way to the promise land. One of the Israelite men fell for her large heart and married her. A woman of her tribe and with such career was a taboo to the people of Israel but she was an exceptional case because she was instrumental to the Israelites getting to their promise land.

Tamar prostituted herself with her father-in-law Judah to get a child of her own. She was initially treated unjustly by her in-laws due to the death of her husband and sent packing, promising to call her back when her late husband’s brother is of marriageable age. She later discovered that she had been deceived and to fight for herself, she disguised like a harlot to seduce her father-in-law. When discovered, people hated and scorned her but Judah; her father-in-law realized he had wronged her greatly by punishing her initially for what was not her fault. He accepted her kids (a set of twins), brought her back into his home not as a wife but as a daughter-in-law to wipe away her shame. He never stopped thanking her for giving him kids whose lineage Jesus Christ emanated from.

A lot of times, we look down on people because they have a past the society is not proud of. What would have become the fate of Ruth if Boaz had looked down on her like ‘a second-hand’ woman because she was once married to someone else? Her people were even forbidden to be married to God’s people because her ancestry is a product of the abominable act between Lot and one of his daughters. Ruth however had great virtues; she was hardworking and loving, little wonder she became the great grandmother of King David.

Why do you keep condemning the one God has forgiven? Why look down on a single parent as if she is worth nothing again? Bathsheba had an illicit affair with David yet God forgave her and made her son king after the demise of King David. Jesus told those that brought the adulterous woman for punishment to be the first to cast a stone against her if they were all without sin. Some prostitutes are wallowing in their filthy lifestyles because they feel no one will ever love them again the way they deserve to be loved. Some were victims of rape while they were young; others were lured into it unconsciously. Some are even on a mission to spread HIV to any man available having contacted same via rape. Until you hear their story, I dare you not to judge them. Have you tried reaching out to them with words of hope and love with the aim of helping them re-trace their steps to their maker? Many a times we have ‘prostituted’ ourselves when we desire to go to bed with someone else other than our spouse, but God forgives us each time we run back to him so who are we to judge someone else?

We do not love truly if we cannot love unconditionally like God. It does not matter if she has aborted before, she deserves to love and be loved again. You may say it is not easy for you to reach out to them; your prayers for them will go a long way. You can also donate to NGOs that cater for prostitutes like the Real Woman Foundation and others.

Save a soul today, a future president or reformer may need to be ‘birthed’ by that prostitute you’re condemning. We need more men like Boaz, Salmon (Rahab’s husband) and Prophet Hosea who will love their spouses deeply and wholly despite their ugly past. She may be a prostitute to you today but her creator may need her to bless destinies tomorrow. I value you greatly!

Connect with me via BBM 29E55A9A

Follow me on Twitter @Grace_Festus

Facebook: Grace Solomon Festus-Alao

 

Abused…but not Shattered

ImageThis is a special dedication to every rape victim…

To everyone who has survived and healed from the scar of rape.

To every girl child that is still silent and still hurting…

To every lady whose wound is still very fresh and contemplating suicide as a way to end the trauma.

Just keep hanging on dear…God is trying to hold your hand…kindly reach out to Him and let Him help you through.

 

The wise book gives an account of Princess Tamar who was raped by her step-brother Prince Amnon. Due to this her royal apparel got replaced with ashes. Her self esteem got affected no wonder we did not read of any exploits of hers after that terrible incident.. It could be that she did not recover from the trauma and stigma.

 

I got the shock of my life some few days back when I read a broadcast of a 14 year old boy who raped at 2 year old girl to death. One begin to wonder the values and virtues that are being taught in our homes these days.

 

Jacob Jume was said to have taken advantage of his sick sister few minutes after the nurses and doctor on duty at the time had made their routine ward round and gone on break. According to Vanguard reports, the 30 year old victim was injected with a sedative and while she was partially incapacitated by the medication, her brother, Jacob allegedly raped her. This happened not too long ago in Benue State Nigeria.

 

I was watching CNN some days back and I saw a campaign and protest done in Kenya against rape because a lady has just been confined to a wheel chair as a result of gang rape; that broke my heart.

 

There are lot of people suffering silently, stigmatised and living in fear of what the public will say when they find out that they were once raped. The responses to my article DON’T TOUCH MY BODY which I wrote earlier this year which is centred on child abuse(rape) were alarming as some close allies of mine confessed to have gone through similar abuse. Same way, some many people around us are going through this and we seems to be less concerned.

 

If we decide today to be responsible for every girl child around us starting from our home, we will know when a sex predator is hovering around them. Let us try to be more sensitive despite our busy schedule, let’s hear the silent voices of the violated around us. Lot of girls, ladies and women are shrinking due to abuse from men they trusted so much. Not only must we be physically active, our spiritual alertness is also of paramount importance. Rape has gone beyond physical, the evil forces are capitalising on it to undress our babes of their royal apparel. It is only a survivor and a victor that bounces back to fulfil destiny like the few ones that are speaking out now.

 

Let’s embark on both spiritual and physical rally against rape. Let’s protect every girl child and lady as if they are our blood and treasure.

 

Do you think it is easy to convince a rape victim that sex between lovers/couple is “sweet” after all she has been through? Do you think a rape survivor can easily believe all men are not the same? Think on these…

 

Dear husband, the act of rape is forcing yourself on your woman to have sex with her. You married her, you had your style with which you wooed her to say yes to you, why can’t you use same love language or ‘taming’ method to make her sleep with you willingly?

 

For every rape victim still hurting, don’t give up on life yet. There is a beautiful story of your life about to be written; it’s the beginning of a glorious chapter. Don’t give up until you’ve looked up; it’s never too late until you become late.

 

If you’re still battling with the trauma of rape or you know someone who is still hurting or struggling with her self esteem because of this, link up with us so we can help you get the necessary help and connect you to great survivors of the ordeal. Don’t die in silence, it is not your end, it is only a bend that will lead to a glorious end. A campaign against rape has just taken a new dimension, we are not stopping until our girls, ladies and women are totally free to walk around without the fear of sexual harassment or abuse.

 

Follow me on Twitter @Grace_Festus

Facebook: Grace Solomon – Festus Alao

The Playboy

Image

Richie has been lying sick for almost two months now. He has been transferred from one hospital to the other and all the result of tests conducted by doctors came out clean. The source of his sickness has not been discovered. The doctors all claim the results showed nothing wrong with him; yet he knows all things are wrong with him. He can’t eat….can’t sit up for long and of recent he has been having problems with his speech. A doctor actually advised him to seek spiritual help, so he has decided to send for his Pastor who has just returned from one of his missionary assignments around the world.

As his Pastor saw him, he had compassion on him. He held his hand to pray for him but couldn’t say anything, his lips did not move neither did his heart communicate with God. Pastor Philips opened his eyes, takes a good look at Richie, the head of Protocols and one of the most eligible bachelors in church. “Is there something, I need to know about your past? Is there someone you need his/her forgiveness?” Richie looked back at his Pastor with tears in his eyes. “I think I have a confession to make.”

Some few years back…..Richie has been one of the guys in vogue in the University. Handsome, rich, outspoken …he has his ways with girls that stir up his emotions…. Precious, a fresh student however gave him a tough time. Not only is she strict, she also has principles and he was bent on getting her. He used all the tactics he knew to get close to her to no avail. He invited her to his birthday night party yet she declined, telling him she doesn’t go for late night events.

This is Richie, one of the biggest boys in school who always have his way in all things. He contacted Precious’ best friend, tipped her and gave her the assignment…”Precious must come for my birthday party…more reward if you succeed”.

Precious appeared at Richie’s birthday party, all thanks to her room mate and friend, Betty. A game plan has been hatched, unknown to Betty. Precious’ was drugged and not too long from then, she was alone with Richie, the game master planner. The rest is left to be imagined, she was raped. She lost her virginity in a very horrible way. Betty felt so bad; she never knew that was the original plan. 

Few weeks after that Precious discovered she was pregnant and reported the case to her friend who immediately alerted Richie who of course was not ready to be a father. Precious would not hear of abortion despite how Richie pleaded with her. He tried all his might to make up with her only to deceive her to visit his doctor who will help check the state of the pregnancy and prescribe drugs that will sustain her health. Precious fell for it again as she was given some contents to swallow at the hospital, not knowing the doctor was quack and what she swallowed was meant to abort the baby.

Betty had to alert Precious’ parents when she started bleeding profusely. She was rushed to a private clinic where her womb had to be operated on. Doctor had bad news for Precious and her parents. Her womb has been ruptured so it had to be removed.

Precious woke up to the reality of what has happened to her. She cried uncontrollably for seven days and on the seventh day, she rose early as one am, stripped herself naked and cursed Richie.

Precious never went back to that school and Richie took to his heels because the police were after him for the havoc caused to Precious. Not only did he rape her, he also damaged her womb by forcefully aborting her baby.

Few years down the lane, Richie attended a program that changed his life; he forsook his bad ways and became a Christian. Not too long he started having strange dreams about Precious, in each nightmare; he would see her crying and cursing him. Each time he wakes up from his dream, he usually feels so heavy, sad and depressed. Prior to his illness, he has been having nightmares of her almost every day, the last one he had before falling ill was terrible, Precious actually threatened him in the dream saying, “you will never enjoy your life anymore same way you made my life miserable”. He was rushed to the hospital after waking up from the nightmare with terrible pains all over his body.

Pastor Philips looks straight into Richie’s eyes and told him, “Your healing begins when Precious forgives you, so try all you can to reach out to her even if it means searching the entire world”.

Every phase of our lives is important and how we live today determines how we face tomorrow. When we give out lives to God, He forgives us our sins but there are some past that needs to be amended or corrected. Oh, Richie may not be able to correct the past but he needs the forgiveness of someone he had wrongly hurt in the past. Don’t intentionally hurt someone on your way to see tomorrow because they may hold the key that opens the door of your tomorrow.

Richie worked for the curse he earned from precious. Precious curses on him worked because there has been a blood covenant between them via the sex (rape). Richie could get deliverance from the curse but it begins with him being forgiven by Precious.

For every Mr. Flirt, Handsome and Richie out there don’t forcefully get what you are not given, don’t bet on any girl to prove a point because you may get the girl but lose your future peace and rest.

 

 

Bleeding Scar

ImageEveryone in Grace Chapel adores Lily where she is a worship leader. People always look forward to worship sessions led by her because God’s presence is always felt by her ministrations. Not only is she anointed, she is also beautiful, tall and slim and she is fondly described by her close friends. Everyone was looking forward to the blessed man that would have her hand in marriage and yes Lily accepted Paul’s proposal. Paul was envied by all eligible bachelors because it was not too long that he joined the Chapel that he proposed to Lily and she accepted almost immediately as if she had been waiting for him all her life. Their courtship period was memorable as they had chance to visit great places, attend life-changing seminars and of course go through the mandatory marriage counseling sessions. The counseling sessions opened them up to a lot of things. The courtship was already a year old and both have met each other’s parents.

They were at the last stage of the counseling session when the Counselor asked them if they had information which is very vital to their relationship that has not yet been revealed to each other. Paul had almost a clean slate as he would put it, still a virgin at the age of twenty-nine and he has promised to remain so till he gets married, so he expects his wife-to-be to be same. Lily however said she may have one or two things Paul need to know about her and she promise to tell him after the counseling session. It’s not going to be a big deal after all, she has always been a ‘church girl’, Paul muttered to himself. He however was in for a rude shock when Lily told him the most kept secret she never reveals to outsiders.

“I have a ten year old son. I had him at the age of fifteen. I was just a victim of circumstance. Armed robbers attacked our house, not only were my parents shot, I was also raped. I was rushed to the hospital after the incident to be taken care of. I don’t know what went wrong, it just happened that we later found out that I was pregnant as a result of the rape; my mum who had lost my dad due to the attack could not bear to have me go through abortion. I had to carry the baby to full term. My baby boy Hosea lives with my aunt in Ghana, I only go to see him once or twice a year. My family decided that he should be with my aunt so as not to be hunted by the memories surrounding his birth”, she said concluding her story.

Paul was speechless for so long, it was written all over his face that he was not happy with what he just heard. “I had always wanted to marry a virgin”, he lamented. He was not only disappointed that his fiancée is not a virgin, but that she was raped and also has a child out of wedlock? That sounds so terrible indeed. He really needs time to think about it. And he did think about it and came to the conclusion that he cannot marry Lily any longer.

It was a terrible time for Lily as she found it so hard to believe that Paul would leave her on account of a past she has no control over. She was devastated and heartbroken.

Lily, you don’t need to apologize over a past you have no control over. All you need to do is appreciate your creator for a beautiful tomorrow already promised. Not every man is man-enough to groom you. Someone has been specially equipped to accept you the way you are. For every Ruth, there is “a” Boaz waiting for her who will no longer remember her dirty past. If God in His infinite mercy decide not to remember your past anymore, who is that man that still condemns you? The adulterous woman was condemned but Jesus refused to condemn her with a warning to go and sin no more.

Naomi’s closest relation who was supposed to marry Ruth wouldn’t accept her because he couldn’t take his eyes away from her scar (Ruth 4:1-6). Anyone that wants to tear open your healing wound should not be allowed to come near you. This is because they will end up bringing back dried tears.

Let the bleeding of your scar stop, refuse to be stigmatized, wipe your tears, someone better is coming your way who will no longer remember your dirty past or hold you accountable for it.

 

 

 

Who stole my Virginity?

It was just a kiss, I swear and I never meant to give away my most treasured virtue…my emotions got the better of me, I responded to every touch and advance he showed me and before I knew it….I had passed the stage of no return. I gave myself to him, and in just few minutes I lost my innocence…Ruby sobs as she took the inventory of her affair with Rolex.

A lot of young girls have lost their innocence on the platform of deceit, rape, abuse and inordinate affections. Our young ones have lost their innocence to pornography, masturbation, lesbianism and all sorts of sexual atrocities. Most parents have in the name of making extra income for the family left their first duty to their kids, moral training. Kids now have to learn about almost everything from films, peers and internet. Guardians, uncles and aunts have made preys out of their nieces and nephews, polluting their minds and bodies with sexual thoughts, materials and acts.

My dear damsel, do not raise alarm that you are raped if you decide to dress half-naked on the streets. Do not lodge a complaint of sexual assault if all you do is wear very tight attires that exposes all your “natural endowments”. Before we crucify that guy for abusing you sexually, we have to first find out what you wore that aroused him.

And to you, dear Youngman, I understand the fact that you masturbate to express your feelings or the emotions going on in your body …and did it really make you feel better or it has now become an addiction? Pornography has become your hobby…oh; it’s a secret hobby that you hide from everyone. You were actually not like this some time ago, you were a gentleman that every parents would be proud of and would want their kids to emulate, so the question is, who took your innocence away? What made you go wild? When did you disconnect from God?

You have actually planned to wait till you find the right mate and never to mess up with any girl…but looking at your scorecard now…you really have messed up big time with lot of girls…jilting and abusing most of them….hmmmm…God is watching you. Have you ever heard the phrase…”flee fornication”? Your maker, God, actually commanded you to run away from anything that will pollute and abuse your body. You simply can’t withstand anything in skirts….you have really gone wild and lost control. Why have you allowed yourself to be so influenced by what you know only leads to destruction?
Dear beloved husband, you were not like this when you first got married. In fact, you were the dream of every young bride then, caring, loving and God-fearing; but now, you have become the lion of the tribe of your house. You now live as the dictator at home, we know you are the head of the house but a great leader influences with love by laying good example. You should have known that something has gone wrong when you had to start forcing your wife to obey you. Where have you missed it? What kind of men are your friends; the ones that beat their wives? Oh come off it, the company you keep have a long way in affecting your behavior and belief. I also heard you now have a mistress who explores with you. So you have forgotten the wife of your youth? Strange women only help men to dig early graves, they make demands that your own wife dare not ask you. Why did you decide to go astray? Why did you decide to break God’s heart? You have lost your innocence and hardened your heart; re-trace your steps back home as God is waiting for you just as He did for the prodigal son.

Dear precious wife, it is good to hear that you now earn a fat salary, at least you can help your spouse out with the family finance; but wait, is it true that you have allowed pride to set in. I find it hard to believe that you no longer respect your husband because you feel you too have arrived. Do not pay evil with evil, even if he has once offended you, you do not have to take back your own pound of flesh. Love does not do that, and you can’t make him feel sorry for the wrong he has done to you by paying him back with wrong. You used to be the sweet, gentle, loving and respectful wife….where has your innocence gone? Why did you allow your friends or films influence you negatively? Who stole your innocence? Do an inventory of your life, re-trace your steps and go back to God…