I Survived My 20s – Fatherless

[Guest Post by Anonymous] – From a very young age, I knew the Lord. I was lucky to have grown up in the church, and was strong in my faith.

God knew that he had to prepare me at an early age for what I would be up against.

Secrecy. Shame. Pain.

I am fatherless.

As a teenager I was forced to hold a terrible secret, one I knew when change my life forever if I ever spoke of it.

I did all that I could to hide the hurt of what happened to me. I walked through life as if in a dream or a daze, and put a permanent smile on my face so no one could see the truth, the shame.

My father abused me as a teenager.

I would pray and ask God,

“Why? Why this? What can I do? How could my own father do this to me?” 

I was faced with the ultimate challenge and brought to a fork in the road. Do I keep quiet to protect what life my siblings and I knew?  Or do I break the silence, and turn my world upside down?

God prepared me to speak! 

I knew that because God is my father, I knew he would give me the strength to stop the pain and begin the long road to healing.

I was finally able to tell someone, and my boyfriend at the time helped me to find my voice and break the silence and tell my mother.

After that night, nothing was the same. 

I had to tell my story over and over again, and still felt like I was stuck in a dream–no, a nightmare that had become reality.

Now that I had said out loud what had happened to me, it all became real. I was not dreaming.

After talking to CPS, detectives, court appointed counselors, and the district attorney, I knew that even though at times when my legs or mind felt weak, and that I could no longer deal with the reality of what happened, I knew I had to press charges.

After months of preparation, and after many court hearings, the case went to trial.

I thought to myself, it is me against my father? 

But then I realized, I had God on my side. 

Through my faith in the Lord, and the support of my family I was able to have the courage to face my father. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do!

The day I had to testify, I couldn’t even think. 

Millions of thoughts raced through my head…Could I get through this? Would the jurors believe me? Was I going to throw up? Why couldn’t I stop crying?

I would have to look at him again.

That snapped me back into reality, and I knew the answer! Yes! I would have to look at him, but with the backing of my father, who art in heaven, I could do this!

I could help save the rest of my life, maybe save someone else whom he may have done this to. 

I had to do this.

The trial ended, and after only a few hours of deliberation, the jurors said they had made their decision.

On all counts my father was found guilty and later on received a sentence of 12 years in prison.

It was a bitter sweet day. My father who brought me into this world, who hurt me so badly, had been legally penalized for what he had done.

12 years…and I had a sentence of a lifetime. But, I now know that is not true.

God has a plan, and God will deal with my father and what he has done. 

Unfortunately, due to a technical error, my father’s case was appealed and he was let off for the charges.  After all this work and pain–we would either have to go to trial again or offer him a plea bargain.

My father chose the plea bargain, and now is a registered sex offender for the rest of his life. 

This chapter in my life closed.

How does all of this relate to my 20’s?

In every way. 

Because I had to hold this secret, shame, and pain of what happened to me, I have spent my entire 20’s rebuilding who I am, finding my voice in all of this.

Because of my faith and love in the Lord, I have gotten through what happened to me and have been able to follow the path God has for me.

With years of counseling, support of my family, the love of my husband, and my love of my creator, I have gotten to let go of the secret I held onto for so long.

I have been able to work through the shame. 

I have been able to let go of the pain. 

At times in my 20’s I have continued to struggle and deal with my past, but I know that if I continue to follow in the path that God has designed for me, my life will be full of life, love, happiness, and reward for all I have been through.

I now am 27 years old and am beginning to love who I am.

I have been married for 6 years to my husband, and have obtained two degrees. I now help youth who also have been given a rough start to life, as a marriage and family therapist, and I am empowered with what I do.

Thankfully, I have married a loving man, who holds me up when I am weak, encourages me to push myself, and supports me in whatever I put my mind to.

During my 27 years, I can tell you I have seen a common theme to people’s pain– fatherlessness.

Even though your parent may have either hurt you, left your family, or you come from a product of divorce, know that no matter what, you always have a father, and He will never let you down.

God’s unfailing love is real and pure, and I am a living testament of this. Without God my Father, I would be nothing, or perhaps I could have gone down a deep and dark path.

***The author of this guest post has asked to remain anonymous.