Cannot Hide

As an agronomist for over fifteen years, I commonly visited with men alone. Often times I would stop by a ranch or farm, and the farmer or hired man would be the only one around. I took each situation professionally and responsibly, being careful to not create any opportunity for doubt or suspicion by their wives or girlfriends. Although alone with different men, never was I afraid or uncomfortable…until I visited an older veteran.

One summer I went to our co-op’s customer appreciation luncheon. I sat right across from an older man and since his hat indicated he was a veteran, we struck up a great conversation. My grandpa was in the Navy in World War II, and I always try to thank our veterans when I see them.

The man mentioned he had a beautiful garden full of peonies, and I laughed and said, “Grandpa was an avid gardener, too!” At his invitation, I went to his home to see the garden. He was, after all, widowed, and I was sure he was lonely.

Once in his house he gave me a hug, which I halfway hugged back. Then he pushed his pelvis into me. I stepped back, sure I was mistaken. I turned and headed for the door, and the man came up behind me and grabbed me, and did it again. I moved his hands from my chest, and he moved them back and laid his head on my back. I was finally able to slide out the door. I got into my pickup and didn’t stop until I got home. I wrapped a blanket around myself, sat on the couch, and cried. I instantly felt so filthy and shameful, but God sees…and he cares.

On Sunday at church, instead of beginning the sermon, Pastor asked if anyone wanted to come to the front for prayer. He said the Holy Spirit wanted to work in our lives at that moment, but was having a hard time. He felt the Holy Spirit was trying to do something but was not getting through. Pastor went on saying he needed to set the sermon aside and ask us to open up to the Spirit because he felt a strong need for that, more than for the sermon.

My boyfriend asked if I wanted to go up for prayers because he could tell I was getting restless and uneasy. I felt terribly in distress, and on the verge of tears. I didn’t want anyone to know what happened…even God. Finally, toward the end of church, Pastor asked the whole congregation to come up front because he was still getting a frustrated feeling from God.

When we went up front, my friend came over and asked if I was alright. Then, the flood gates opened! I instantly burst into tears, and shook my head no. I was sobbing loudly, but it felt good to finally let go. He just hugged me while I cried, and he told me I have to lean on Christ instead of trying to hold it in.

Then an older woman came over and hugged me. She visited with me a little then said “I don’t know why, but I’m feeling led strongly to tell you this…”

The woman told me about her experience with sexual abuse, and suggested a great book God used to heal her, Woman Thou Art Loosed by T.D. Jakes. As we visited, I felt relief knowing I was not alone. God removed the shameful, filthy feeling I had, and my healing process began.

On my iPod I bought the audio version of the book. I listened to it while I checked fields, and I healed. I have been able to forgive the man, myself, and feel clean and healthy again because God sees…and he cares.

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