Sarah BrandenbergerThis is my story, and it is something that I have been ashamed of for many years. Even through I was only a child at the time that it happened: I was five years old when I was sexually abused by an uncle that I was truly fond of. Yet being a child I didn’t feel it was wrong, it felt good and I was not hurting anyone but myself. I didn’t realize he had taken my innocence from me. But the thing that really causes me to feel most ashamed, is that I was introduced to something I should not have known about until I was married.

Then one Sunday while heading home, I drove past the Church that I now attend. I suddenly had an overwhelming sense from God that I needed to go back and check them out. So the next Sunday, I did! That is when I found something I had never experienced before; a love and concern from a group of people that now is my church family.

Over a course of time, while developing into a more faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I discovered what I had been introduced to in my life as a child, was sinful.

After yeilding my life to be a follower of Jesus, and experiencing what it means to be born-again in the newness of Spiritual life; I tried to overcomer of this sin, but I would only find myself continuing in my awful behavior.

The day came when I finally decided to drive to the church for counseling, where I was told to find two accountability partners to help walk through this journey with me. I did, but that didn’t seem to help either- no fault of my accountability partners.

Finally a “breakthrough” came one Sunday night when my Pastor (while repeatedly clasping his hands together) posed a question; ” Have you ever had something that you prayed and asked forgiveness for, and it just wouldn’t go away, so you prayed again and again?” Then he said, “When God’s conviction of sin has been confessed to Him, and yet the burden of your past sin continues to weigh on you; know that is not God convicting you, but rather it is Satan condemning you. So, next time that happens to you, just stop and use Satan’s tool of discouragement as an opportunity to lift praises to God who has already forgiven you. Because when you do, Satan will quit reminding you of what you are using to give God praise.” While he said this, I looked up and said “Yes, that is me, Thank You Lord Jesus for showing me how to live in victory”. I felt the weight of quilt from this sin being lefted from me. I began praising God for using my pastor in helping me to be set me free from this shameful sin. Now I am blessed to have such a loving church family.

Sarah Brandenberger
Evansville, IN

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