Crime and Punishment

Veave_in_jailWhile the journey with school has come to an end the journey with court continues. I have been carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders for quite some time now. It’s honestly just too much for one person to carry. Way. Too. Much. After I was raped I blamed myself and I piled on the shame. I felt guilty for reporting the crime, that’s right I said guilty, even though I had done nothing wrong. I found out later that this is quite common for individuals who know their attacker. A person that I trusted went from a good Christian guy to a rapist within a blink of an eye. I never saw it coming but then again I was never meant to.

I wasn’t the perfect victim and I didn’t report right away. (There is no such thing as a perfect victim) and everyone has some preconceived notion that comes to mind when I say that. I guess that speaks to our distorted Law and Order skewed/ screwed perception. Instantly after reporting I internalized the blame for everything. What if this was my fault? What about me made this Christian guy do such a horrendous act? Maybe he just made a mistake and would never do it again… It wasn’t that bad, was it? I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m fine. Obviously I wasn’t fine. I had been violated in every sense of the word and my world would come crashing down.

After processing this journey for a little over a year I have come to a conclusion. It wasn’t my fault. Shocking, I know. But it changed my world when I actually began to believe the truth. Reporting the crime and getting him arrested and prosecuted isn’t about revenge. Well, not anymore. In the beginning, lets be honest, I had a lot more anger but now I know it’s more about mercy/redemption/ forgiveness. He is a very sick man. His soul is intertwined so deeply within this sin that he can no longer differentiate right from wrong. He needs treatment. Also, others need to be protected from him.

He is a wolf that has so deceived himself that he doesn’t even know that he is a wolf in sheep’s clothes. Those are the most dangerous kind because they know not of the pain they cause others because they are so tightly bound in sin themselves. In reporting the crime I have been merciful. I have given him the chance to face himself and free himself from the chains that bind him. In forgiving him I have released the chains from which he bound me. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that there are no consequences for actions. I am going to continue the court process knowing that I am giving him every opportunity to set himself free and praying that he has the courage to face himself for that is only how true healing comes. The outcome of the case doesn’t matter for this will continue to be the prayer of my heart. I stand firm that God still loves me- Guilty or Acquitted. God has set me free.

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