Stained and Ruined
Melissa Taylor

"But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed." Isaiah 53:5 (NIV)

Looking back, it seems like I'm viewing the story of another person. I hardly recognize the little girl I became in that dark moment.

I was walking home from the bus stop. The walk took about ten minutes unless I stopped to talk to a friend or neighbor, which I usually did. Mr. Parks, a retired man, was sitting in his driveway waving to all the kids walking by. He was so friendly. On this particular day, he invited me into his garage. He said he had some candy to give me. I walked in that garage an innocent trusting little girl. I walked out scarred for life.

Mr. Parks sexually violated me. I didn't understand what was going on. I didn't know what to do. He became someone else; I didn't recognize the man he changed into once that garage door was closed. He did things to me and made me do things to him that I never imagined existed. I was absolutely terrified. When he was done, he said, "Come back tomorrow." And I did.

The experience of being sexually abused left me devastated, feeling stained and ruined. In my mind, what I had done was so bad, I couldn't tell anyone. And because it happened more than once, I felt like it really was my choice; my fault. That's what he told me. I felt dirty and I was filled with shame. Shame is a joy stealer and my joy was gone.

Over the years I perfected the art of wearing masks. On the outside, I looked great. However, on the inside I felt completely unworthy of any good thing. When I experienced success, I would usually sabotage myself or quit. I apologized for being good at something and downplayed my God-given strengths.

It must break God's heart when we allow shame to steal our sense of worth. Jesus gave His life to prove how valuable we are. We were created to walk in God's confidence, not our own.

Our key verse tells us "By his wounds, we are healed." Jesus became stained and ruined on our behalf. We don't have to live in fear or condemnation over anything that has taken place in our lives, whether it was our fault or not.

When I accepted Christ as my Savior, I also accepted freedom from my past hauntings. Still, I have to remind myself of this every day. My thoughts must center on Jesus or they can easily slip back to the darkness of that garage. Yes, even 35 years later, I still have flashbacks of what happened to me. That's when I look up to heaven and say, "By Your wounds I am healed. Thank You, Jesus. I am not stained and ruined. I am clean, pure, and precious. Mr. Parks has no hold on me anymore."

My final triumph in this horrific ordeal was the most difficult: forgiveness. I claim forgiveness for my sins everyday through Jesus. In doing that, I am faced with the fact that I'm called to forgive. "Mr. Parks, I forgive you. I know you must have been very sick and your heart was stained with sin. I hope and pray you accepted Jesus before you died. What you did to me was the worst thing anyone could do to a little girl. I want to hate you. Instead, I choose to hate what you did, but forgive you." I can only do this with Jesus at my side. I'm not capable any other way.

No longer do I believe I am stained and ruined. I am clean. I am worthy. Jesus has set me free. "By his wounds, we are healed." I believe that. I hope you do too! For more on becoming free in Christ, visit here.

Dear Lord, I need You every day of my life. Please remind me that I am worthy and delete the lies that haunt me. Help me live to the fullest for You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner by Wendy Blight

Visit Melissa’s blog and read how feeling stained and ruined led to issues with sexual intimacy, weight, relationships, and success.

His Princess Bride, Love Letters from Your Prince by Sheri Rose Shepherd

For more encouragement, visit here

Application Steps:
If you are suffering due to your past, seek Christian counseling in your area.

Read your Bible everyday. Begin each day by saying, "Lord, because of you I am healed and valuable."

Stop by Melissa’s blog and leave a comment - she will email you her "Top Ten Ways to Know You are Worthy" list.

Is there something in your past keeping you from living the life God intended?

Do you believe Jesus has washed you clean?

Have you shared what Christ has done for you with anyone lately?

Power Verses:
Deuteronomy 14:2, "For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen you to be his treasured possession." (NIV)

Isaiah 43:18-19, "Forget what happened long ago! Don't think about the past. I am creating something new. There it is! Do you see it? I have put roads in deserts, streams in thirsty lands." (CEV)

Isaiah 45:3, "I will give you treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name." (NIV)

© 2009 by Melissa Taylor. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this. It must be hard to do soo.
It is my story too only am I struggling with it right now.
Why didn't I tell my parents, why did I let it happen again
So it must have been my fault or even my intention?!
I know that's a lie but I doesn't always feel like a lie because I started to believe this as from age 9.

So reading this part:
"In my mind, what I had done was so bad, I couldn't tell anyone. And because it happened more than once, I felt like it really was my choice; my fault." was like God slapping in my face that these thoughts and feelings are not strange to have but still... NOT TRUE!!!

Thank you it will help me to heal.

I've also made the choice to forgive and I'm also praying for his soul, although my flesh wants to hate!

So I will be using both you're prayers.

Thank you for sharing this and God thank you for always gently leading me and giving me these words at the moment I need them!
And I will be going to use the same prayer:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this devotion. I too have felt that shame and hurt, only it was a family member. For years I let what my brothers did to me shadow my life with my husband. It hurts when I hear my mom talk about how wonderful they were because she doesn't know what was going on down the hall at night. Just when I think I have moved on, Satan reminds me and I must rely on Jesus to help me see the person I am through His eyes. Everyday I feel His presence with me and remember that I am made in God's image and that is beautiful.

Blogger jacki said...

thank you for sharing,i know how hard it must of been to share that, i cried as i read it, but i also rejoice in God's healing power...thank you again

Anonymous Ann Kramer said...

I too suffered at the hands of a neighbor and it had a devastating effect on my life for decades.

Only by God’s infinite grace and mercy was I able to shed the shame and stand in the light of His love without living under the thumb of my past. He used many other women to pray for me and help me heal. I believe that if we can share our stories of hope that we should do so. I am so grateful to see your words today. Thank you so much for your courage.

Blogger Janet Oberholtzer said...

Melissa - just came and read this a second time. Again, so sorry this is a part of your story!

This is not a part of my story, but I know it is for far too many women and since I connect with women personally and as director of women's ministry, I wanted to reread this. I cannot imagine the pain sexual abuse brings, but you sharing at least gives me some information of the pain and healing involved.

Love the hope in these words ...
"No longer do I believe I am stained and ruined. I am clean. I am worthy."

Blogger said...

I have read your comments and I'm praying for you. Thank you so much that you have posted here! I know it's not easy to deal with a painful past. It's not fair that we have to deal with it. Even though God doesn't promise us fair, He does promise that He will never leave us and that He will provide for us. We have to trust Him for that. It's daily thing. When we take our eyes off Him even for a second, we can revert back to our old ways of stinkin thinkin (as my friend Melanie calls it!).

I will continue to read comments as you post them.

If you haven't already, please visit my blog. I am giving away the book, "Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner" by Wendy Blight. I would also like to send each of you my "Top 10 Ways to Know You are Worth It". I just need your email to do that.

You can post on the blog or personally email me if you'd like that Top 10 List, or to share your story.

Much Love,

Being sexually abused as a child haunted me for a long time as day God helped me realize that carrying around shame and unforgiveness was like telling Jesus the blood He shed for me wasn't enough. Anytime those thoughts enter my mind now, I picture His blood washing all my shame away. The visual really helps. Thanks for writing about such an important topic that affects so many!

Thank You for being vulnerable to minister to my heart today.

Blogger susanj2008 said...

Melissa; my heart breaks with yours over that little girl who hurt so much. But I rejoice with the woman you are in Jesus, who can share how Jesus loves her and made her pure.
and in that can extend forgiveness.
I know God will use this all for His Glory. Thank you for sharing your heart.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your experience and for helping others to heal through your testimony. My sister sent me a link to your website, because she knows of what I experienced as a little girl, at the hands of a family member. I will pray for you, for the little girl that lives within you, and the woman you are destined to become! God Bless You!

Blogger Unknown said...

God is always faithful and on time! Thank you for sharing the awesomeness of the God we serve as I too was hurt but Praise God for He is Elohim, my Creator and El Shadday, Almighty God and we have teh victory in Him over this!!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

this too is my story. for me, it was my fathers' son from his 1st marriage. i do think he was a product of his environment. it happened from time to time when he would come for visits. i was 3 to age 10. he did this to me & my sister (but not the younger sister). sad thing was i had told my parents when i was 3, he was 7 at the time but no one talked about it and it was pushed under a rug.
when the court day came, it was so traumatizing that ALL MY CHILDHOOD memories of home is gone. except the times i was at my grandparents house (safe place). the week before my grandfather passed, i told him this (about memories) he said that the reason the memories of being at his home stayed was because i needed those to move on in my life. he was right.
when i was a teenager, my father's son had killed himself, at the time he was living in a group home. we told our story to late. he only got one year in juvenile hall and then he went to a group home, where he got to live his life as if nothing happened.
to this day, i'm not sure if i can forgive. i don't want those memories to come back. there was a rumor that he has a child but if its so, i would not want anything to do with them. i want nothing to do with him.

Blogger redheadbeck said...

Thank you for sharing! I too am in counseling trying to deal with my shame and stains from past sexual abuse. I've truly turned to God to help heal me and know he will!

Anonymous Leslie T. said...

Melissa, you've always been a special person since I met you over 20 years ago. The light that shines from you - I would have never known you experienced something so terrible. I am crying so hard at your story that I can't catch my breath, but I rejoice in that you give me hope. If you can overcome and forgive something like that, surely I have no right to be jaded by the things that darken the light in my life now. God Bless you, I hope I never lose touch with you again. Love you... Leslie

Blogger TheGrabaus said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I have found freedom from my past as well, but I struggle with the life I have lead due to trying to smother the pain from my past. I don't blame the incidents itself, but I know that holding on to the past has hindered my relationship with God which allowed me to make horrible choices. It's these choices that I am having trouble with because my shame is stealing my joy.
But what a blessing that a friend sent me the devotion today. God has answered my prayer! As hard as it is to be transparent sometimes, we can be sure that God will use it somehow!!! AND GOD DID! I would love your Top 10 List. I hope that God will use me in some way to encourage others. He has brought me so far from who I was, even a year ago! What a joy to serve a God who WANTS a very personal relationship with us! He created us knowing what our lives would be like and the pain we'd endure, but He put us here for HIM! All we have to do is go before Him. You can't help but be changed when you are in His presence.
Thank you again for emptying yourself today. Thank you for caring for others who are struggling right along with you. I will pray for you and your ministry!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been so blessed by your words today. My eyes are being opened to the "truth" and I know that I am going to start healing now. Thank you!!

Blogger SheriYates said...

AMAZING! I JUST starting sharing a part of my story this week. I haven't gotten to the redemption yet because I am taking baby bites.
One of my fav scriptures is in Eph. where it says that I am blameless. The synonyms for blameless are innocent, pure, clean - I love that Jesus restores our innocence! I am so thankful that you are healed by the love of our Father!

Blogger Mama Mpira said...

Your story resonates with God's love and is an encouragement on many levels. Thank you!

Anonymous Angie said...

This is so encouraging on many levels. Thank you!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you so much for this. I receive countless messages and emails from my sisters and I still live in the dark place I have been for well over 50 years. I will soon be 60 and my story begin at 3. Not knowing anything else in my life for the years between 3 and untill I could get out at 17, I have lived a life of paranoia, suicide, anger, 4 marriage, many afairs, and any other word that would fit a personality that was created out of such a mess. My step dad was a wonderful christian man. Thats what makes it so confusing. Everyone loved him, even me. When at about 10 or 11 I begin to feel something wasn't right, he cried and prayed with me. Telling me if I told, my sisters wouldn't have a daddy anymore. Oh gee but I loved them like my own littles babies. Of course I decided to be the brave one and hold everything inside, after all it would be my fault if my sisters were left without him. I punished him everyday as well as myself. I had complete control except when he would creep in, out of the dark. What a strange dream state of life we live in. People who can be what they are, but also be so totally something else. I have always had a very strong believe in Jesus. However I can't seem to get a handle on "me" because Daddy was a wonderful man except for this area of his life. How DOES one sort that out.

I told my mother when I was in my 20's. I told her one day in an angry out burst. Now I have had to live with the fact that the whole family was turned upside down, and for what? It didn't change the past. Just total confusion. NO , he didn't go to jail. I never turned him in. He apologized over and over untill he died about 5 years ago. My mother never left him and to the world all looked normal, except for me. I was the strange one.
Again I can only say thank you over and over again. I am going to follow every word written here and find some sort of peace, finally. You have been a God send for sure. I never knew I could find a light so close to the end of the tunnel

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The statistics are shocking
1 in 4 girls is sexually abused before the age of 18. (96)
1 in 6 boys is sexually abused before the age of 18. (96)
1 in 5 children are solicited sexually while on the internet. (30, 87)
Nearly 70% of all reported sexual assaults (including assaults on adults) occur to children ages 17 and under. (76)
An estimated 39 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse exist in America today. (1)
Even within the walls of their own homes, children are at risk for sexual abuse
30-40% of victims are abused by a family member. (2, 44, 76)
Another 50% are abused by someone outside of the family whom they know and trust.
Approximately 40% are abused by older or larger children whom they know. (1, 44)
Therefore, only 10% are abused by strangers.

Blogger SheriYates said...

I just posted stats on my blog today.
I was healed a long time ago, but ashamed it's taken me YEARS to share publicly.
Last year I shared with over 2000 women publicly. God used it to set many free!
Thank you for stepping out Melissa and using your voice. Oh, you have beautiful feet!

Anonymous cher said...

It's amazing how the excruciating pain of sexual abuse can pave the way for others to heal from similar devastation. I was raped when I was 19 & denied it for over 20 years.

The denial caused so much heartache & so many abusive relationships with the wrong men. I never felt worthy or good enough & settled for ungodly men who treated me as though I "deserved" to be treated. When I finally started telling my story & sought godly counseling, it was then that I began to heal!

God is an incredible God to bring unexplainable joy & the light of His love from such evil darkness. I will always have the scars of that moment...but I am reminded over & over of the beautiful scars on my precious Jesus!!

Because of my Jesus, I can boldly go forth & realize my worthiness in Him! Praise God!

Thank you sweet Melissa, for sharing your story & making it easier for those of us who've endured the same abuse to share our story too!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found you thru Proverbs 31 daily devotions, and although I had not read it on the day intended, I stubbled across it tonight.

My story is different in some ways, but the same in others. I too was sexually abused at the age of 6, which went on for a while, then again at the age of 13 which I thank God it only happened the once. However, although I have forgiven the ppl who did this, I can see that I have not dealt with the emotional side of things. Thank you so much for your honesty and openness. I look forward to reading much more - From Australia

Anonymous Michele said...

Melissa thank you for this devotion though I didn't read this on the day intended it resonated within me today. I lived out your story and for me it was relatives that changed my life at the early age of 3 until I was 16. I too struggled with finding my worth in Christ Jesus, but am so ever grateful that I did and I daily remind myself of who I am in Christ that is the only thing that gets me through some days.

Thank you for your encouraging words.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is beautiful courage Melissa, and it was so helpful for me to read it. I to am a survivor and I've carried much shame. I found healing with Jesus through an amazing Christian Counseling Program and was able to go on and get my MA in Counsleing at a Christian University. I'm a stay at home Mom but the Lord keeps bringing women in my life.... and I'm in prayer ministry training. I just want to thank God for your work, your honesty, your courage and your willingness to be honest. It is in the truth that the chains are broken. John 3:19-21. God Bless you and your family. I'm reminded of Kathy Tracolli's go light your world. What a beautiful light your ministry is.

Blogger Jeannie Davis said...

I was molested by an older half-brother for four years. I'm 36 and just began receiving help one month ago for abuse that ended when I was 8. It's the first time in my life I've felt any real support. I'm struggling so hard with shame and am afraid to hold any hope after so many years of feeling absolutely none. I accepted salvation February 2008 but have extremely little understanding of God's love. I could desperately use prayer. Please pray for me.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is very similar to mine as are so many others. I have kept this hidden because of the shame I felt. It has impacted so many relationships. Thank you again for sharing so that others can heal and realize we are not alone. Thank you God for loving me.

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