By Braley Rolling: It was a Tuesday; I was seventeen, and every lie I had believed about my past was shattered. I remember it so well, sitting on my knees, weeping at the painful truth: I was sexually abused, and my story had to be told.
For two years, I let my abuse shape every part of me. It shaped the way I viewed men, myself, and sex. It even brought me to a point where I thought I was called to celibacy because I was so disgusted with sex; I never wanted to have it again. I was afraid of any guy that looked my way. I was convinced they were after me to use me and leave. I believed that no guy would ever choose me and love me for who I am and not just how I looked.
I was convinced that it was my fault; I could have stopped it, I could have said something, I could have ended the dating relationship and I did not. I played as much as a role as he did. I believed all of it.
However, God had something else to say. It wasn't my fault.
The chains broke as Iies were replaced with truth: I can be healed. I can be pure. I am precious. I am beautiful.
I remember so perfectly the night I shared my story for the very first time, sitting in my friend's passenger seat mustering up the courage to speak. My friend sat, listened, and cried as I fought through tears just to get the words out. It was the most painful thing I had ever done.
But I fought to share my story, because I knew, eventually, that being brave would get easier. And I knew that my bravery would allow someone else to be brave.
For me, being brave is sharing my story, even if I can barely speak through the tears. Being brave is forgiving my past and loving how it has molded me into who I am today.
Being brave is not sitting down when God says "Stand up and speak."