Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sexual Abuse, Promiscuity, and A Testimony

So far to this point in my might life, I think this is the hardest thing that I have had to write.  Not even a 20 page research paper while in college compares.  It took me awhile to get around to writing this entry.  I dragged my feet and I kept finding other things to occupy my time, but no matter what, the Holy Spirit would not leave me in peace until I did.  Even in a past blog entry, “Getting Into a Rod Bending Match With God”, I found myself writing about my own shortfalls (which is not out of the ordinary) and disobeying God.  However, that writing was a lead up to now.

So, with that said I must say that some of the things I will share may come as a shock to those who read this as it is a departure from the one side of me that you may have known.  However, growing up there was another private side that I have never shared.  It involved sexual abuse, homosexual acts, and lots of promiscuity.  
Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it”.  

Believe what you will, but children have memories that can go back to when they were infants.  I can recall memories of being held by my mom as a child while riding on a subway train in New York.  I could not talk and was a lap baby, but I have that one image in my brain.  I also, remember being between 3-5 years old and getting on a school bus that took me to a daycare that was in a church in New Bern, NC.  I sat in class, learned about Jesus and I was a regular kid.  As far as I can remember, this was my first introduction to the Lord. However, it is at this same age (around 3-4), I was sexually abused.  This too, I remember vividly.

During this time in my life, both of my parents use to work during the day, so I was kept by a neighbor’s wife, teenage son, and younger daughter.  I was there a lot, but the one day that I remember is the day I have never been able to forget.  I was sexually abused by the son.  In addition, I was shown what to do as if I were a partner in a homosexual relationship.  Not only was I sexually abused by the son, but I was made to have sexual intercourse with the younger daughter. I was held and “guided” as to what should have been done.  It wasn’t until later that day when my parents came home that I complained of my pain that my Mom checked my underwear.  In it she saw blood, told my Father and I told them what happened that day.  I remember the family walking next door, there was a conversation, and I never stayed over there again.  In all honesty, with my Father’s no-nonsense attitude, I am thinking the only thing that kept him from killing and out of jail is God!

So, up to this point you have a small child who had been introduced to sexuality.  The last thing that should be on a kid’s mind of my age at that time is sexual acts.  But, there I was - my mind had been exposed to a world of perversion and innocence was lost.  One might ask, how did I cope with being sexually abused?  Well, if you have had the opportunity to watch children, you probably know that kids are quite resilient.  While memories are hard to erase, a sometimes kids just carry on with their lives.  However, in the same breath, it is those memories that can warp a child’s perspective on the life as they have lived it thus far.

From what I learned, on occasion was involved in homesexual acts with other children.  I still thought girls were cool, but I also thought the homesexual acts were not a problem.  It was a learned behavior (maybe, more on learned behavior in a later blog post).   These acts continued on occasion into elementary school, until one day I decided that I liked girls only and no longer had a desire for the homesexual acts.  For this alone, I thank God for his saving grace!  Yes, He kept me!

To make matters worse, by the time I was out of elementary school, I had been introduced to pornography!  As you know, this graphic display and influence of sexual activity can create all kind of ideas and misinterpretations for a person, not to mention a kid.  As I moved from elementary school into middle school, I had girlfriends, however as you could imagine, my interpretation of relationships between girls and boys was a little more advanced based on past experiences.  By the time I was in 8th grade, I found myself sneaking into the window of a girl’s home and having sex all while the parents sat home.  I continued on into high school but my promiscuity didn’t stop there.  It continued to the point where I contracted a sexually transmitted disease (STD).  PRAISE GOD, it was one that was curable and not one that could kill me!

After the STD and into college, you would think that I would have learned my lesson, but I didn’t.  The pornography would occasionally still prop up and the sexual relationships with different girls did not stop.  You know the funny thing is that I called it having fun!  What was weird though was that once I got into a relationship with someone I was committed to that person.  It was just that when I wasn’t in that committed relationship that all bets were off.  It wasn’t until towards the end of college that I began to “grow up” and slow down, however, by this time in my life, I had committed numerous sins and I had them committed against me.

It was the final year of college that I met my current wife and a year later we were married. I have been married for nearly 12 years and together we have two beautiful children.   Most importantly, I gave my life to Jesus Christ about a year after we were married.  I have given my life to the One who gave His life for me!  I have asked God for forgiveness and I have forgiven those who committed sinful acts against me.  However, through all of this, one might think “So what?”  To some other people, it sounded as if I lived the life that every boy/kid would have desired in middle & high school as well as college.  Well, yes I lived life, but I lived a dangerous life.  I lived one where at any point I could have been killed by an incurable disease or one where I thought it was natural to carry on in relations with other men!  

To the Lord our God, the life that I use to live was/is unacceptable!  In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, it says
“(9) Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, (10) Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
I bold the words above because they speak directly to my life as I had described it.  You might say that this mentions nothing about homosexuality, but let me show you.  It may not say the word explicitly, but God’s word speaks against it.  The word effeminate means “[h]aving qualities or characteristics more often associated with women than men.”  This covers another male acting like females.  Then you have the word fornication which means “[s]exual intercourse between partners who are not married to each other.”  As such, the fornication part alone would speak directly to it because in the eyes of God, marriage is the union between a man and a woman.  Seeing as how two men nor two women in marriage would be recognized by God, then it is a sin and you shall never inherit the kingdom of God - but that’s if you did not continue on to verse 11 of 1 Corinthians 6 where there is good news!

“(11) And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

Yes, I was too. But, if your life was mine, then you have a way out.  You have a choice that you can make and it is a decision that you can chose right now.  It is not to say that life instantly becomes easy, but being washed by the blood of Jesus will make you righteous and deliver you from the evil that consumes you!  I am a living witness that you can be delivered.  If you know Christ, then you can repent, turn from your ways, and you will be forgiven (see Acts 3:17-23)!  However, repenting is not a get out jail free card. It is a choice to turn and walk away from what you have done in the past and to never do it again.  If you do not know Christ, then you can give your life to Christ by (1) recognizing your past sin(s); (2) believing in your heart that Jesus died for your sins and that he rose from the grave to sit at the right hand of God. and; (3) by committing to live according to the Word of God and continuously seeking Jesus as the only way to God for the rest of your life.  I am a living witness that God can save you!  He can deliver you and there is noone or thing who can release you of the past sin like God can!
Psalm 30:  (1) I will extol thee, O Lord; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me. (2) O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me. (3) O Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. (4) Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. (5) For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. (6) And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved. (7) Lord, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled. (8) I cried to thee, O Lord; and unto the Lord I made supplication. (9) What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth? (10) Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me: Lord, be thou my helper. (11) Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; (12) To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

Be Blessed folks and have a great day!

Antoine E. Hall

P.S.  It is not my aim to drag anyone’s name through the mud or to point any fingers.  It is my prayer that whoever reads this, receives this not as a “woe is me” blog entry, but rather a showing of the power of Christ and the showing of power of His saving grace.  This is only a short account of my life, my past sins, and God’s amazing saving grace! May God receive all the glory!!

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