My maternal grandparents lived in the lower half of our house and every summer my older cousins spent the summer there. I was 13 when one of my cousins raped me. I remember him holding me down and putting a blade to my neck, promising if I told he would harm my parents.
This continued every summer for three years. For most kids the end of the school year and summer was filled the promise of fun and adventure, but for me, it was the promise of a never-ending nightmare. My cousin took every opportunity to remind me that I was his – he’d touch me, rub me, grab me or had forcible sex with me. I felt disgusting, filthy and shameful. The smell of marijuana on his skin and his breath made me ill. His touch made my skin crawl. I had begun to hate my own flesh and felt like I could never get clean enough. No matter how many times a scrubbed, I couldn’t get his stench off of me. The only place I could escape was music, there I could lose myself. There was no pain in my musical world, there I was accepted and comforted.
By, April Sliwak
Founder and Executive Director
This season has been an amazing “Beauty from Ashes” journey. Here we are, Holy Week. Observing Jesus’ last week on earth in our own traditions and places of worship. We’re women, (and girls), looking upon the pain, suffering, betrayal and crucifixion of our Savior.
(BTW, who says Jesus can’t relate to what we going through? I would have to argue otherwise.)
So, why did He do it….?
Well, the Bible says:
“by His stripes we are healed” 1 Peter 2:24
“Christ has truly set us free” Galatians 5:1
“…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.” Isaiah 61:3
2016 was the most fantastically horrible wonderful challenging worst and in some ways best year of my life. It was a story of God’s love, God’s amazing parenting, God’s wisdom. He showed and revealed so much to me. He held my hand through so much torment, pain, and hardship. I could sense His presence through all of it
Her Life Speaks is all about Her testimony, Her life, and who God is in Her story. Here we write our stories in hopes of helping other women find their relationship with Jesus Christ.