[Once a week, I am going to be sharing with you a brave story sent in from a reader. You can comment, respond, encourage. Want to submit your own story or a story of a brave friend of yours? Head to thatisbrave.com!]
This week’s #thatisbrave story comes from Krista. The content of this story is more mature, but I think it’s an important read. Her words and name are used with her permission.
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When I was 17 years old, I was living with my biological mom and stepdad in a run down house in Bakersfield, CA. One hot, humid afternoon a couple of days after I arrived, I ran away from their house. Most people assumed it was because I was unhappy living there, and that assumption is right. I missed my friends in Ventura, where I was supposed to return in the fall after my summer visit was done.
But it was that day that I decided that I wasn’t going to live with a man who sexually abused me anymore. My stepfather had been molesting me for eight years and finally, I had enough. I ran, hot and sweaty, to a phone book, where I called a friend collect. A few hours later, my friend’s parents made the two-hour drive to pick me up. Running away was scary, but it was the bravest thing I ever did because it altered the foundation of my life. For the first time, I ha d stability every night, and I had church. In the years ahead, I would rebel against the church and God, but on that hot day where I finally said, “No, you cannot do this to me anymore because I am worth more,” I was laying a foundation for a future with God that I couldn’t even imagine at 17 years old.
To all of those 17 years old girls, and 12 year old girls, and 15 year old girls who are being abused by someone else, I tell them: you ARE brave enough to tell. You deserve so much more.[Annie comment here: Friends, if this is your story, and you are being abused (no matter your age), you need to tell someone. A trusted adult in your life, a pastor, or call the National Sexual Abuse Hotline.]
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