Ray, I was Precious
from Kristie @ Project UnWanted
Ray, I just watched your video about what happened
to Precious. I’m so sorry.
Three years ago I was diagnosed with Delayed Onset
PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). As a child, I
was attacked by a stranger due to my father's
alcoholism. Shortly after this traumatic event, my parents were in a car accident. My mother died, and my father was brain-damaged for the rest of his 12 years on earth. I was sent to live with various relatives from the time I was 10 years old until I was asked to move out at 18. It was very much like foster care. I blocked out most of my memories of abuse in childhood, but nothing stays hidden forever. Memories came tumbling to the surface as my children grew to the age I was when it all fell apart.
My uncle, who took charge coordinating the many moves of my preteen and teen years was a pastor. When we lived with him, he made a regular habit of telling me how stupid I was, it was the family joke for two and a half years. They even gave me a nick name “Duh.” So my trust for pastors was pretty low. I hated myself, my life, and none of it made sense to me. Why did God let it happen? Why did He let me live in this struggle? I was supposed to be with my parents the night of the accident. Why not let me die then?
Fast forward 19 years… Jack and I lost our daughter Samantha Grace (during pregnancy), but because of this Jack was baptized and gave his life to Christ. We started searching for a church family nearby, and 5 years ago we found it. We connected with the pastor and his family, but it took us 3 years to get to the close friendship we eventually shared with them...
About 8 months ago, during a really severe PTSD flare up, I was contemplating divorce. Again, just feeling lost, and like a failure. For years I begged God to heal me from PTSD. I tried everything to be free of it. Herbs, diets, medicines, alternative medicine, meditation, various forms of therapy... you name it. I relentlessly served God, hoping to please Him enough to be free of it. I didn't even realize all my striving in Christianity was a way of bargaining for my freedom and healing. But sometimes, even when it doesn't make sense, He just doesn't give us what we ask for. People I loved and respected began to question if I was praying right, or if I had some hidden sin. But what else could I do? It's not like a broken leg, I couldn't put a cast on my mind. Only God could fix what was wrong with me, and He wouldn't do it.
We met with our pastor for guidance. While he was questioning Jack on areas lacking in our relationship, he slowly and manipulatively used this to information to pursue me intimately. He offered me what I was not getting from Jack, and in my distress (and under the influence of several harmful medications) I'm ashamed to admit, I allowed him to do so.
Here was this man I respected and admired as a spiritual leader, and he was sending me increasingly more and more messages about loving me, wishing I was his, as well as some other completely inappropriate things too embarrassing to discuss. I went from being distressed- to terrified- to suicidal. I actually drove myself to a curve in a road near a bluff. I took off my seat belt and waited. I was going to hit the accelerator at the next speeding 18 wheeler. I was losing my sanity, and all the while my pastor was steadily pursuing me for his own pleasure.
In the midst of this, God led me to a treatment center for PTSD... While there, I was put in counseling, and taken off the medications that were harming me. I felt like I was waking up from a nightmare. It was wonderful to be awake, but then I still had to face reality... My soul was left broken just as it was when I was a little girl. But God had more in store for me than simply being broken. Beauty would rise from these ashes, and it has, it IS.
I told Jack the truth about what was happening... I didn’t want to trust pastors, men, or God for that matter. I came home from “rehab” just before Thanksgiving. Jack, filled with the Holy Spirit, wrapped me in his arms, and with the grace and mercy of our loving Father, he forgave me, and we have been rebuilding our marriage ever since then. This is the journey we’re on. I’m in counseling, and I’m slowly healing, not from PTSD, but with it.
All of this healing, however, didn’t address the hardening in my heart in regard to pastors and God. We tried attending a different church, but I bawled all the way home, it was too painful. I started following Christian women speakers on Instagram and Facebook, just to have some positive messages through this. And one of them posted your video of Precious.
Ray, I WAS Precious. I was the rejected. I was the unable to care for myself. I was the lost lamb looking for a shepherd I could trust. It wasn’t until I watched the video that I realized Jesus is the Shepherd I was looking for, not my pastor, not even Jack. The Good Shepherd, not the self seeking people of this world. And its heart breaking to hear of Precious' death, but it’s also amazing to think she was born FOR THIS PURPOSE to share the message of Christ’s love, to impact lives. And that doesn’t change with her passing.
I wondered how God could use such flawed people to reach me. How could these manipulative men share messages of God’s love? How could God use them? I know now, God will use anyone and anyTHING to share His message. He used a talking donkey, and He can use the rocks if He so chooses. It’s NOT the messenger, but THE MESSAGE.
Precious has done something beautiful in my life, and I believe in the lives of so many others... I just wanted you to know the depth of how this journey you are on, has affected our lives. How God connected us to you... It is very *precious* to us.
And though I never did get "freedom" from having to deal with PTSD, I've actually gained an appreciation for it. I've come to a point of thankfulness, and at times I am even glad of it. PTSD keeps me accountable. It pulls out truth from every situation I'm in. It makes me seek my Savior in a way I wouldn't have otherwise.
Keep following as God leads, Ray, He knows tomorrow better than we ever could.