Forgiving My Rapist

forgiving my rapist

[Guest Post by Amanda Espinoza – I can’t say thanks enough to those who are willing to share about something so deeply personal and painful. I want to personally thank Laura, the first person to share her story of rape on my blog. You can read her story here. Also, my friend Carla who shared her story of rape, and you can read her story here. If any of you are struggling on this topic I encourage you to reach out and get help. Jesus cares and He wants to help you process this painful event.]

It is easy to forgive someone when they sincerely apologize and ask for that forgiveness.

But what do you do when the person who has wronged you isn’t asking for forgiveness? That is a question I have had to battle with multiple times for one single event.

At the age of 18, I was a rebellious teenager who thought I knew right from wrong. I had been a “straight A” student through high school and stayed on the straight and narrow path.

October 31, 2003 is a night I will never forget.

It was a supposed to be a night of fun and costumes.

Instead I was left stripped of my virginity and left to pick up the pieces.

I didn’t speak about it to anyone for more than a month. But when I did, that is when the real pain soaked in.

I praise God I had a family who knew how to support me. My grandmother offered to pay for a counseling session with a woman I don’t remember, but her words of Godly wisdom are forever imprinted in my mind.

I went through four sessions with her.

I truly wanted to be there; I needed to hear her; I needed to find healing in my soul. I had no control over my emotions, I felt violated, confused, and rejected. How could God allow one of his own children to go through this pain?

She helped me see that the focus should not be on questioning God, but to allow Him to mend my broken heart and soul.

She told me to forgive him.

It was as if that would be the simplest thing to do. Forgiving my rapist was far from easy. How could I forgive someone who wasn’t even sorry? He took the only thing that I didn’t want to lose.

And now I am supposed to just forgive him?

The counselor told me that should I chose not to forgive him, which I did have that choice, I would be harboring resentment and anger in my heart. That it would eventually consume me!  I was already forever changed from an innocent teenager to a broken woman, but if I chose not to forgive then my heart would begin to turn into darkness.

Growing up in the Christian faith, I knew how important it was to forgive others.

So I listened to her very intently. What she gave me was the gift of understanding that there is always a bigger picture. God will always use me for His glory, as long as I let Him.

Like clockwork, that event crossed into my path every few years as my life changed and grew. I came to different levels of maturity and new ways of understanding. Every time I remembered the pain I had to forgive–again.

Now, I am preparing to get married.

Currently I find myself wondering if this event will affect my marriage and if it will affect my future children. But these questions do not need to be asked. All God asks of me is to forgive that man again, and lean on my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

He has asked me to be open and honest on my path of life.

He has given me the strength to share my story with every woman and young adult I meet.

I don’t know how my story has impacted other lives, but I know God will use me for His glory.

See, sometimes I think we try to figure life out. We try to find the big picture. But all God asked of me, was to forgive that man of his wrongdoing.

“Forgive [him] father, [he] knows not what he did” (Luke 23:34).

Ultimately, we must trust God enough to lean on Him so He can guide our next steps.

Amanda EspinozaAmanda Espinoza is an Independent Beauty Consultant and lives to not only help women feel beautiful on the outside, but to see the inner beauty that is within her; giving each woman the skills to let her beauty shine. Through each consultation she is able to show the servants heart of Jesus Christ.

[Photo credit: Shandi-lee via photopin cc]


  • Laura

    Amanda, thank you for being brave enough to share your story of forgiveness. My story is similar, and even though I am not in a relationship, I often wonder that if I get married how my survival of rape will impact my marriage and family. Thank you for reminding me to put the focus on forgiveness (because it is a process!) and not on the questions.

  • mariam

    dear amanda i really thank u for giving me hope of human hearts can be more beautiful that i could imagine, im a writer and im writing about forgiveness and i was worried to find that how hard is for someone to forgive his rapist if he isn’t sorry, u gave me a new hope of spreading forgiveness around the world of humanity, and i hope every woman out there would understand and realize how this lovely lady forgive her rapist, im touched by her beyond mind thinking act and i really hope her a great life, and i know she will be okay, with her faith and help of god.
    best regards,

  • Louise

    Thank you for your story. It has been hard to forgive the rapist of my daughter cause she was a child and it was her grandpa. When everything came out in the open we found out it had gone on for years and he also raped my niece as well. Forgiveness has been a hard thing to do even though he is dead now. At the time he denied every accusation trying to say the girls wanted to destroy him. Even though it has been 30 yrs since it happened I get a memory of that time and it is hard to forgive especially since after they moved and after the police got involved he tried to touch my daughter under the table at a family dinner. I thought I had forgiven him then that is why we (me, husband and daughter) agreed to a family dinner. But when I found that out it brought up fresh feelings and I had to forgive all over again which wasn’t easy. I felt guilt that I hadn’t protected my daughter again! The statement in this blog about forgiving so you don’t go in a dark place and harbor resentment makes sense. If that happened then I would be crippled and it would affect my relationship with God. In some ways it has for other circumstances as well. This does help though. Thank you Laura for sharing your story.

  • Ella

    I was raped and sexually abused a lot of times. One time it was a worker. He was working with me I wanted to go to my grandmother and he told me that’s after work he can take me to that direction. But he took me into the woods and raped me and left me in that place. This is how I lost my virginity. It was in another country not in USA. That in 1991 I was working in NYC and was sexually abused by ,y boss. I went to complane but no one understood me. Long story. I was in contact with my Sexually abusive boss for years. I was waiting maybe he will understand what He did to me ….. but No !!!! I need to tell you you like it or not —- it will never Go ! You can be happy and live your live -but Damage of those evil men always will be part of my life. I am trying to forgive …. but I don’t

  • Alex

    I am on my quest to trying to learn to forgive my rapist. I don’t understand how to do that. What are some things you’ve told yourself in order to accomplish that? I was raped by a college class mate they I was starting to trust as a friend and he took advantage of me on the last day of the semester 2 weeks before Christmas and my birthday is 2 days after. What a horrible month! It was 10 years ago and it has torn me to shreds. I have gained weight and always stressed and always paranoid and I don’t trust anyone and I cut people out of my life. No one seems to understand me. I went to the police a few times and they didn’t believe me because it took me a few years to build up courage to tell and I went back for the 3rd time about it in April this year to report it only to find out the other 2 times it was never recorded. I have waited nearly all year and the female officer treats me like crap and doesn’t care at all. It has affected my marriage and my relationship with my kids. I’m just over protective and. I’m suffering from insomnia for years now. I have been struggling to stop playing it over and over in my head all year and I finally achieved that goal but that was just step 1. This is the hardest battle to ever have to fight. I have absolutely no one in my corner to understand any aspect of how I feel. I need help. I don’t know where to go or who to trust.