It Is Not Your Fault

I can honestly say that I had never intended for this to come out so soon in starting my blog.  But this post came pouring out of me today, and I just have to trust that there is a girl out there tonight who needs to read this.  Please read the following with a gentle spirit. 

This post is for that young girl, (the one in the past and the one in the present), who needs to know and be reminded of this:

“It is not your fault.”

It is not your fault that you showed up to their house that night. After all, it was your babysitting job. You were in your second year of college and this was a great way to earn some extra money.

It is not your fault that you grew to love those two kids and learned to trust the husband. After all, he was a regular church attender, was on the church council, had a respectable job, and was only a year younger than your own father. After a year of babysitting, they started to feel like a second family.

It is not your fault that the wife was constantly gone on business trips and after all the time you spent at their house, you barely got to know her.

It is not your fault that when you tucked those sweet kids into bed that night, a boy and a girl, both in their elementary years, gave them each a kiss and told them that you were so excited to see them again the next night – that this was actually the last time you would ever see them again.

It is not your fault because you didn’t know what was going to happen just a short while later as soon as they fell asleep.

It is not your fault that as you sat down at the island in the kitchen to do your homework, when the back door opened, it was the husband who came home much earlier than expected and gave you a look that you will never forget.

It is not your fault that at that exact moment, a knot formed in your stomach – that sick feeling that is hard to describe, and you knew something bad was about to happen and you were unable to run out of there. After all, his grip was much stronger than you were.

It is not your fault that he told you that you were pretty.

It is not your fault that you had on your favorite pair of jeans, the ones that fit you like a glove. Looking back, you were in the best physical shape of your life and it was during one of the few years of your life that you actually believed you looked good too.

It is not your fault what happened next. The sexual assault – you didn’t deserve that. You did nothing to promote it or even see it coming.

It is not your fault that despite being on the honor roll during your entire college years, you failed the test that you had to take the next morning. Your mind was unable to think clearly and you didn’t have the courage at that moment to let your instructor know what happened a few hours prior.

It is not your fault that the following day, when you woke up early to go to clinicals, you were assigned a patient with the same first name and age as the husband was. You didn’t do well that day.

It is not your fault that you were unable to focus clearly, and despite it being one of her very first times to watch you, the nursing instructor that followed you that day pulled you aside that evening and told you she didn’t think you had what it took to be a good nurse, and that it felt like another knife cutting into your already raw wound.

It is not your fault that you didn’t have the guts to tell her at that moment what you were going through, but that statement made its way deep into your mind and you knew you had to prove to yourself and to her that you did have what it took – more than you or she ever realized.

Even though it was not your fault, I need you to know that not everyone is going to be accepting of what happened. There will be people who will be of great support, who want to love you and help you out, to be there and listen. And it is good to hang onto one of the most special moments that happened on a long and quiet drive home after an awful experience at the police station – your little brother, though not saying a word, reached over and took your hand and held it…and it was all that you needed. But there will be others who will just not know how to handle it. They will completely ignore they ever heard of it. Give them grace. They just don’t understand. For those who are there for you, appreciate them and tell them how much it means to you.   And please, above all else, go get counseling. It will be the best thing you can do.

I need you to know that you did good when that burst of courage came and you went to your old high school and spoke at chapel. You were brave and wore your favorite pair of jeans, the ones that fit you just right. It is OK that you were barely able to stand on your own two feet because your whole body was shaking. But when it was over, the young girl who came down off the bleachers, crying so hard she was unable to talk; you hugged her and told her, “It is not your fault”, and she needed to hear that. You were able to communicate a little bit of hope that day, and you found that a little bit of healing took place inside of you too.

I need you to know that you did good when after that day, you decided that you were not going to live as a victim, but as someone who went through a traumatic event and came out on the other side. You made up your mind that you were determined to let this help make you stronger, to turn the ugly into good.

Despite that, it is not your fault that you continued to struggle with guilt and shame. I need you to know that there will be many moments down the road that you will feel guilt and shame over things that you will do – where those feelings are actually deserved. Sweet girl, the guilt and shame you are feeling now because of what happened to you, that is not deserved. You can get rid of that.

It is not your fault that from that night on, having a positive body self-image is something that has never happened again. You try so hard to get past that, to love yourself, but it is such a daily battle. Dear girl, I need you to remember that you are pre-approved and loved anyways. You don’t need to try so hard anymore. The Holy Spirit can handle it and fight that daily battle for you, and help you see that you are beautiful just the way you are – hidden scars and all. And most of all, when your husband looks at you and tells you that he still finds you beautiful – you NEED to believe him. He needs you to believe him.

I need you to know that whether you like it or not, this is a part of your story. It is hard to write, but God allowed this to happen to you, for He is in control of everything – the good and the bad. I don’t understand it. I don’t. But I believe it. You need to remember that He too is without fault.

It is OK that you decided to keep this event to yourself since that day you spoke at chapel many years ago. It isn’t like you were trying to hide it, you just didn’t find desire to talk about it. But today, you feel another burst of courage, and you pray that God uses it for good.

Even all these years later, despite the courage you are feeling at this moment; you fear judgment from others and hope that those reading this will not look at you differently than before. But I guess that might just happen anyways, and you want them to know that just like little brother, they don’t need to say any words, but maybe a squeeze of the hand or a smile will be just fine.

There is no need or desire for pity. Just a need and desire to want to turn an ugly moment into something that can be beautiful – a way to help another girl know that “It is not her fault.”

Please share if you know of a girl in this present day that needs this message.

She needs to know that she is going to be OK.

I have faith that she will, because even though it was not my fault, I too turned out OK.

Linked at #FaithFilledFriday

34 thoughts on “It Is Not Your Fault

  1. Rachel, thanks for being so honest and vulnerable. I just read through all the comments and can just feel God working by the Holy Spirit through you! Thank you for being brave enough to tell your story! What a great way to help so many! Blessings!

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  2. Susan, your words of encouragement mean the world to me – thank you for leaving me this comment! I give all the credit to God however for giving me the words to say and the courage to post them. I will be honest and tell you that I was shaking quite a bit when I hit the “publish” button, but I had an overwhelming feeling it was something that I had to do – I felt strongly that this is what the Holy Spirit wanted and I am just trying to be obedient to that. Thank you for being a faithful follower of Noah’s CB site all these years! I SO appreciate it!

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  3. Thank you dhl for taking the time to leave me this comment. I am sorry for what has happened to you and am blessed to read that you found a way to turn back to God. I pray that as the days go by, your pain may continue to become less and less. May God bless you!

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  4. Rachel, even though we have never met, and most likely never will…..I am so humbled and inspired by, now this blog, and also Noah’s Caringbridge. You are an amazing woman! You are so filled with faith and trust and love. You write so beautifully, from the heart………they are the words that God wants you to share. You serve him so beautifully. Thank you for who you are and the hope and faith that you give.

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  5. Rachel – I wanted to thank you for writing this. While I was not sexually assaulted, I was physically & verbally assaulted and later had my life vividly threated by someone I considered a very close friend. I was very bitter and angry with my friend for doing this, for my friends that left my side through the whole ordeal and the church for sweeping it under the rug. I left the church for a while but never felt more alone and empty in my life. At the time I attributed that to what had happened. I blamed myself for being the cause of his actions that night. I blamed God for allowing such a thing to happen. It took me 10 years but I have finally realized – it’s not my fault. Those were his actions, his choices. And ultimately, Satan was using him as a tool to turn my back on God. Short term, it worked. Long term, most definitely did not! While it took me 10 years of being a headcase I have come out stronger now than I ever was. Sure, I still have my bad days, but those are less and less. Anyway – thank you for posting this. You hit the nail on the head and hope that someone somewhere reads this and fully understands what you are telling them. God bless.

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  6. I will be sharing this with all the young ladies I work with that have experienced sexual assault/abuse. Thank you for your courage and for your commitment to turn this hurtful thing into something purposeful. Blessings to you and your family

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  7. Thank you Dorothy for taking the time to leave me this comment! I always respect and treasure your encouragement so much. It means the world to me. I am trusting that God will take this post and use it for His glory!

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  8. Oh Rachel!!! God has given you a huge assignment, and you are the courageous wounded warrior who is stepping forward and saying, “Here I am, Lord, use me!”
    I am so stinkin’ proud of you!!!!!!!!!!!
    You just took a boatload of hurting souls along with you through the “Beautiful Gate” so they can be healed. I can’t wait to hear the outcome of all that the Holy Spirit is downloading for you to say.
    I am so honored to know you and watch the Lord work through you. There is now way you could have done this blog without knowing what real pain is. In the song, “How firm a foundation” it says, “Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.”
    You have been refined, my sweet angel friend. Now you sparkle and shine like the stars of the universe, holding out the healing words of truth and life in Christ Jesus!

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  9. Shelly, Thank you for taking the time and having the courage to comment. I am sorry for what you had to go through and just want to remind you again that it was not your fault. I pray that God will continue to do a good work in you so that your inner struggle will become less and less. It is so hard – I understand that. Thanks again for commenting.

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  10. Rachel, A story your heart needed to tell, hopefully others will see it and know what ever the demon event that holds them hostage is an event that is not too big or bad for our Heavenly Father to hold us and be our comfort. Thank you for sharing and being a voice of many!

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  11. I was and am that girl. Thank you for reminding me I am not alone. I too turned out okay but the inner struggle still remains from years of silence.

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  12. Rita, thank you for the courage it took to leave me this comment! I am happy to read that God had his hand in your life to help bring you to wholeness again and that you have learned to love yourself for who you are! God bless you Rita!

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  13. Thank you for sharing your story. It took me 25 years to tell anyone my story. All those years of shame and feeling somehow it was my fault. And I believe God had a hand in me getting the help I needed to be whole again. Or as my counselor said, all of the things I had placed in the top shelf of my mind started falling off and I had to look at them to move forward. There was no mistaking who brought this wonderful person into my life, without me even seeking her out. And just like you, I tell my story now because I know there are so many just like us, that need to know no matter what, it is not your fault and you can be whole again. I still hate what happened to me, over and over by a family member, but I love me and this part helped shape who I am. Thank you for having the courage to publicly share your story. Surely there is more than one girl that your words will touch and you will help those painful memories fall off that shelf in their head and heart. God Bless you!

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  14. Rachel: I believe that the Lord is going to use your blog in powerful ways. Thank you for being open to His leading, allowing the power of His Spirit to give you the courage to share this story. Your honesty and faith are inspirational.

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  15. Rachel,
    I do not know you, but, have followed Noah’s CB site for quite some time. The courage and strength it must have taken to write this could only be given to you by God. I pray a girl that needs to see this has the opportunity to read it and it helps her tremendously.
    Thank you for sharing and I continue to keep your whole family in my thoughts and prayers.

    God Bless.

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  16. Rachel, you are so brave and beautiful. Only God can bring beauty from ashes. You are using your gifts in so many beautiful ways. Bless you, friend. Ruth Terpstra

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  17. After spending last week in Phoenix praying for sex trafficking, I can tell you that there are SO MANY girls who need this message! Keep sharing. God is using your words as healing balm!

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  18. Thank-you Rachel for sharing “your” story and praying it will help another and become a part of “His” story (God’s)!

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  19. Wow….Daddy and I remember those days well…. I remember coming home after card club and there u sat…wrapped in a blanket….and having to tell us a difficult thing….when u girls were little….your dad said ” if any man ever does anything To my little girls…….” And I remember the look on his face when u told us…..I was so afraid if what he would do…..the pain….that he could not protect his little girl….I remember well also…. How the church handled it….his your brother held your hand and then laid his head on your lap…. And told u he loved u….he always had a way….to see need….and shower compassion….keep spreading the word…..that it is not their fault….. Thank u honey….for sharing this difficult time….we will pray it lands…. Right in the lap…. Of someone who needs to be reached….and loved….and affirmed of their value in Christ….we love u

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  20. No pity, no judgment, just grateful for the courage and strength it took to write this! May blessing come to you and those that read it! You are a beautiful and kind friend – may the Holy Spirit continue to give you strength to keep writing was has been placed on your heart!

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  21. Rach, this is so strange, but I am reading a book right now, about the same type of thing…and I thought the other night, wow, this sounds like something I remember from a long time ago…to my best friend….and then you write about it… Love ya.

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