Job 42:10 – And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.
Fathers, you would believe, are meant to be trusted by their children, even from their tender stages of life. They are to protect and provide, at least, for the need of children until they are old enough. They are to be conveyors of moral values, being good examples to their children. This case is the reverse.
Joyce was a little girl that was sexually, mentally, emotionally, physically and verbally abused by her father until she finally left home at the age of 18.
Abuse means to be misused: used improperly: to be used up or to be wasted: to use in such a way as to cause harm or damage, or to be treated cruelly. All types of abuse are damaging. Any time we are misused or used for a purpose other than that which God intended us for. It is damaging.
Her father did damage her. He did many perverted things. Some were too distasteful for them to be expressed. He made her look through a key-hole and watch him and her mother having sex and she then was supposed to tell him how it made her feel. If she walked into a room where he was and nobody else was in there, he would grab her to himself or reveal his private part as if that was supposed to excite her. Anytime he had the opportunity, he would grab her in personal places so she despised going to any room he occupied.
When she was at home, her greatest goal was to stay out of the space that he was in. If he would go to the basement or the garage to do some work, he would tell her to wait 5 or 10 minutes and then come to where he was, acting as if she was looking for him and then he would molest her in those situations, touching her and making her touch him.
She was continuously fearful that her mother would come into the room and catch them and blame her. When he was going places in the car, he would tell her to beg to go with him in front of her mother and he would tell her, ‘No’ and she was supposed to keep trying to get him to let her go until he finally gave in. He had it all set up to look like it was ‘her’. She, of course, did not really want to go because she knew what was going to happen if she went, but she had to do what she was told.
Her mother went to the grocery store every Friday morning and she so desperately wanted to go with her but he would make her beg to stay at home or make any excuse why she couldn’t go. While she was gone, he would rape her. Thinking back, she could remember that he raped her, at least, 200 times!
When they went swimming on a particular day, she asked him to teach her how to swim and he took her to the water and put his hand on her. There was no place she ever felt safe when she was growing up.
He wanted her to bring girls home from school so he could try to do things to them. She managed to make excuses for all the girls at school but he did abuse the girl that lived next door to them a few times. She and the girl were friends and her father made her get him and the girl into a place where he could be alone with her, and he told her, Joyce, to go off and wait in another area while he did things to the girl. Joyce was so, so profoundly ashamed and embarrassed.
She was ashamed of herself. She was ashamed of her parents. She was ashamed of what they did. It wasn’t until she was an adult that she understood the problem of shame. When you are ashamed of who you are, it poisons all your thoughts and your actions. She is so grateful that the word of God says that, “for your former shame, I will give you a double reward: a two-fold recompense.”
At school, she pretended to have a normal life, but she felt lonely all the time and she felt different, all the time. She never felt like she fit in. She couldn’t make friends with anybody. She was never allowed to participate in after-school activities. She never went to a ball game of any kind: or any kind of sport activities. She couldn’t take part in anything because she had a particular time to get home from school because her father always suspected that she might be out doing something with a boy. It’s interesting that guilt always breeds suspicion.
She had no friends and, of course, she was never allowed to date. She never attended a party. Her father never bought her a graduation dress nor allowed her to do anything. All those, to him, were stupid and were a waste of money. He was a very mean man and he made everything go his way.
In all, he robbed her of enjoying her childhood, exposed her to a destructive path, made her odd wherever she went and left sad and confused. This had a very strong and negative effect on her.
She had a terrible and shameful secret that was eating her alive. She had to keep a lot of secrets.
He told her everything he did with her was good and if she told anybody, they wouldn’t understand and they wouldn’t believe her anyway and she would be causing a lot of problems in the family.
In all these, she had come to hate her father with a passion and had held him bound in her heart in unforgiveness. Then God started working on her, first in the area of forgiveness. This was indeed a great struggle. How could she find it in her heart to forgive someone who had wrecked her present and squandered her future? This is one of the scriptures that kept ringing through her, “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; Luke 6:37 It was tough but she started walking with God.
At a point, after some years of marriage and living miserably with her past, God instructed her to take her father to her house and take care of him. She thought God must have been joking to think that she was going to comply with that inclination. With strong persuasion by the Spirit she did and she surrendered with total forgiveness from her heart. This key of forgiveness unlocked the greatest freedom in her life.
Today, Joyce attributes her success and freedom to the fact that God helped her in making a choice to forgive her father, others and herself. We now enjoy Joyce’s ministry as a woman of God filled with power of the anointing and using it to set people free. All around the world, people hear her messages and are able to make choices for the cause of God.
She has a large congregation that enjoys a weekly ministry. There is a big outreach from her ministry that caters to many destitute people in the remote parts of the world. This could probably not have been possible if she had decided not to forgive her father.
So, do yourself a favour: decide to forgive all your offenders!
For Further Study
Ephesians 4:31-12, Luke 6:37
Questions for you to reflect on
- Do you know when you forgive you pass a character test
- Do you know that God cannot fight for you when you have taken revenge
I will give myself the gift of forgiveness and I will sow the seed of forgiveness. I will forgive others as Christ has forgiven me.