When I was just five years old, I was kidnapped and forced to live a life burdened with cruel and bizarre physical and emotional abuse. My will to survive, inspired by an invisible hope, helped me fight the demons and stay alive as I endured haunting experiences. Mine is a story of forbidden secrets driven by darkness and deception. First birthed into a marriage of teenage parents and their destructive relationship, I was later kidnapped, given away, and ultimately raised by strangers who tortured me.
At the age of thirteen, I was rescued by my father. This resulted in his relief and triumph. However, this wasn’t the “happily ever after” I expected. What appeared to be the light at the end of the tunnel only proved to be another pit of pain. I was passed on from the strangers in my life into my destructive father’s hands.
I finally broke free from the physical abuse when I was seventeen years old. God provided help and support in my best friend and her family when they took me into their home. Although I was physically free, I remained living with post-traumatic stress disorder. I have survived poverty, 26 years of eating disorders, marital demise, relational travesties, watched my mom try to commit suicide as a child and much torment. BUT, I have come through it all because God has saved my life. He has renewed me with strength, dignity and power; He has transformed me into a successful woman.
People who endure trials, struggles, defeat, and trauma do not all get back up after the fall. Some fear further failure, defeat or demise; which sends them into the mode of self preservation. This can cause a victim mentality, defensive attitude, or worse; a stagnant life with refusal to move forward and accomplish their goals and dreams because of fear. It is heart breaking that many people today reside in this place. They accept their circumstances as the end result, loose hope in God, and give up on themselves. This is NOT what God wants, nor the attitude He wants us to have.
Some are taught to ignore their thoughts and feelings, disregarding them as meaningless or useless. This is non-sense. Our souls consist of our minds, will and emotions. God has made us in His image with these qualities. Instead of ignoring our souls, we need to embrace who we are and surrender ourselves to God. He will renew our minds, create in us a pure heart, teach us to guard our hearts, and heal us in His time. He provides wisdom, courage, peace, and strength beyond our understanding. He will direct our every step, holding our hand or carrying us through. God moves us to where He wants us to be.
I write with a transparent, vulnerable intensity touching the spirit and soul with truth. It is my passion to empower others to keep going no matter what and to keep their focus and faith in God. Where and what I’ve come through is profound and clearly the work of God, His grace, mercy and power. The one lesson I want others to learn from my story is, “never give up hope”. Our lives are too precious and our calling too high to ever settle for less than what God has for us. There is no life without trials and suffering, it is imminent. “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
The very same hope, promises, healing and grace God has given to me; He also has available to you. “To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.” (Isaiah 61:3)
Through my story you will learn how God turns tragedy into triumph, find a renewed hope, discover your purpose and learn there is freedom in forgiveness!
Brooke Lynn is a writer and a speaker who passionately lives — reaching others with God’s word and love. She is a survivor of abuse, sharing her past pain and recovery to encourage others with hope. Brooke resides in the Washington D.C. area, has been married for nineteen years, has two children and loves dogs.