In Darkness & Despair, There is Hope

I am sharing a portion of my testimony of having lived through and survived incest, rape, and sexual trauma to tell you there is HOPE in Trauma.

I felt I was dwelling in a dark hole for most of my teen and adulthood years; I felt unspoken sadness and despair inside for many years. But unfortunately, I did not associate the torment and distress from experiencing child sexual abuse and rape as a young girl to be the underlying dilemma.

There was this overall sadness, despair, deep depression, and hopelessness that I could not explain, nor did I know how to break out of it. I lived with the “secret” that I had been raped and betrayed by someone in my own home who was supposed to love, care, protect and guide me through life. I was a young girl and did not know who I could tell. I was fearful of living in my home and was terrified if I said anything that would happen to me.

As I got older, the consequence of holding the “secret” cost me dearly. I was emotionally insecure, and anxious, and had panic attacks becoming more and more emotionally insecure. Finally, I found myself having suicidal thoughts and server depression. This is what was left of me after sexual trauma. 

My story is possibly no different than many other victims. However, through all of the gloom and darkness, there was a moment when God’s light would speak Hope and plaint it into my heart. I’ve realized this: when you are experiencing tough times, and you have done all that you know to do, and nothing is working for you, know that God is trying to tell you something! 

In my mid-thirties, all of the emotional and psychological distress had taken a toll on me. And, on this particular day, I was severely depressed, crying, and exhausted. My thoughts were all over the place, and I wanted the pain to stop. The day came as I sat with tears streaming down my face; I was desperate and needed help. I pick up the telephone and call the Mental Health Center for someone to help me. You see, I sensed there was that glimmer of HOPE for me!

This was the most distressing day of my life. I was experiencing indescribable sorrow in my life. Yet, I believe God heard my cry and saw my tears. I know God’s voice alerted me to reach out for help and make the call. Because what I needed could only be conveyed through Him. In essence, I was too distraught to hear anything other than what God’s grace and mercy could extend to me, and it was Hope I needed to grab ahold of at that very moment.

A week later, I was scheduled for therapy; after a while,  I began attending bible study at my church; I knew my soul needed restoration. Through reading the Bible, prayer, and teaching, I began to see purpose in myself and life. I was becoming a new creature. My mind was being transformed from all the darkness to light and love. I’m convinced if I hadn’t followed my mind that night, I don’t know where I’d be in today. 

A part of my life’s journey began with much despair and darkness. Yet, unknowingly, I was destined to meet the One who would redirect my life and cause me to hope, believe, and know there was better out there for me. What I needed was something I could not explain or provide for myself. It took me believing in God and knowing that I deserved much more than what life had hurled my way. But, I undeniably needed Hope to help me see a foreseeable future that has turned out for my ultimate good. 

I am healed from sexual trauma and living my best life because the God of all HOPE heard my cry and rescued me. 

Constance or “Connie,” was born and raised in New Brunswick, NJ.  It was there she received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in 1983 at Faith Fellowship Ministries, N.J.

In 1988, she later joined the Cathedral International in Perth Amboy, N.J., under the leadership of the Right Reverend Bishop Donald Hilliard, Jr.  There served in numerous capacities as an Ordained Deacon, Adjutants to the Executive Pastor, and Bishops Hilliard’s wife.  She later served as the Co-Head of the Pastoral Care Ministry and taught a Women’s Bible Study.  It was during this time, she sensed the call to ministry, and in 1993  began ministerial training Track 1 & 11 under the leadership of the Executive Pastor, Dr. Bernadette Glover.  After completing the two-year preparation and training, she was assigned to teach in the Christian Education Department.

Having served at the Cathedral International for 12 years, Constance made a major change in life, and in February 2000 moved to Atlanta, Georgia. While already established in Georgia, Constance received an invitation from the Cathedral International to preach her Trial Sermon.  She was licensed into the  Gospel by Bishop Donald Hilliard, Jr., in July 2001.

Constance furthered her calling by joining Stewardship Baptist Church, Atlanta, GA, with Pastor Michael Sheets, in 2002.  She continued in service with his ministry (New Horizons Fellowship Church, Stockbridge, GA) as the Assistant to the Pastor, until 2017, when he returned to his hometown in Texas.

For the past couple of years, Constance has been a prolific blogger for Healing Waters, Global, Inc. Also, she is on the Advisory Board under the leadership of Dr. Brenita Mitchell, Founder & CEO.

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