‘Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my cry for mercy. In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me’ (Psalm 86:6-7).
In my short 19 years in this world, I had been fortunate enough to never really experience the ‘day of trouble’ mentioned in that verse. In November of 2004, I had a great family, loyal friends, and a boyfriend; I was doing well in school and competing in the Miss Arizona program. Then one night, my life changed drastically, and I now understand what Psalm 86 means.
On November 9, 2004, I came home from my night class at Arizona State University, did some things to prepare for the upcoming Miss Scottsdale pageant, and took a shower. When I got out around 9:30 p.m., a man was waiting for me in the hallway. He took me by surprise, threw a towel over my head, and raped me. The man threatened me with a knife, and I had no choice but to comply with his demands.
The rape was the most terrifying experience of my life. During those 45 minutes, I thought about what it would be like to be stabbed, what it would feel like to have my throat cut, and who would find my body after I died. It was horrible to think of never seeing my family again, and I was terrified of being murdered. However, because of my relationship with Christ, I knew where I would go after I died. DYING frightened me, but DEATH did not.
I am so glad that I was able to have that sense of peace because I know the Lord.
I know God was with me during the rape. I prayed throughout those 45 minutes, and I had ‘God thoughts’ that I know were not of my own mind. I remember thinking that I needed to forgive the man that was raping me. I would not have been able to think that if God had not been with me. I believe that God also distracted me by letting me think about other things, such as the pageant, and by helping me focus on the voice and size of the rapist so that I might be able to identify him in the future.
God did not abandon me during the rape, and He has never left me since. With His help, I was able to win the Miss Scottsdale pageant four days after the rape, and I have since changed my community service platform to ‘Strength Over Silence: Rape Awareness and Recovery.’ God has opened so many doors for me to speak about my experience, share my testimony, and raise awareness about rape. He is definitely taking this awful event and using it for His glory.
Unfortunately, rape is all too common in our society, and many people can relate to my experience.
It is my hope that even if you cannot identify with my story, you will be able to get hope from my experience. I know everyone has troubles and hardships in life, but with Christ’s help, we can make it through anything.
Whenever I am feeling down, I remember what Christ said in John 16:33. ‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’