Last night my campus security sent out an email telling us that there had been an assault on campus. They described the suspect, but said that he had not yet been apprehended. I go to a small, private college. Our campus is probably less than a square mile. And I just happen to be the survivor of a sexual assault.
I began to hyperventilate. As I sat there staring at the email I could not believe my eyes. Actually, I think it was that I did not want to believe my eyes. I did not want to believe that it had happened here, and now there was a higher chance of it happening to me again.
I laid in bed, shaking. I started to cry. I texted my dad. I didn’t know what to do. My boyfriend was in a different building. I really hadn’t opened up to anyone about the assault; considering it took me two years to even tell my parents. I felt unsafe.
Every time I closed my eyes I could see that night. Every time I closed my eyes I could hear his voice. Every time I closed my eyes I was back to that night in 2011. The night that the girl I thought was my best friend just handed me over to some guy.
I usually do pretty okay. Usually I don’t think about it. I’ve gotten to a point over the last six years that allows me to say, “It happened, but I survived.” Sure, I still have moments where I don’t feel comfortable in a normal situation. Yes, I still push my boyfriend away at times because those feelings do come back. But I can usually push through them.
Throughout the night and this morning I had nightmares. Of different ways that night happened. I would wake up to a damp pillow from the tears I had shed in the night. And I would just sit there for a moment. Sit there and remember the verse that saved my life the morning after it happened.
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” ~ Psalm 119:11
See, as a almost freshman in high school I really hadn’t opened up my bible. And as I sat in my bedroom the day after my attack I sat there shaking. I didn’t want to tell my parents, and I felt utterly disgusting. I didn’t think I could be loved again. And the bible my parents had given me for confirmation caught my attention. I go up, picked it up, and started flipping through it. I stopped at Psalm 119 and began reading. Verse 11 hit me hard, and I broken down into tears.
I handed my life over that day. Broken and violated I handed my life over so that it may finally bring some good into the world.
So this morning, after I had showered, I picked up the bible on my desk. I started flipping through it. And again I just happened to stop on Psalm 119. I smiled as tears started to fall from my face. I would be okay. I will be okay. Because my life has been given to the one who can do the most good with it.