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Dear younger Michelle

Dear younger Michelle, this is going to be hard for you to believe but PLEASE keep reading! I know your secret, you are safe! My name is Larry and I am your future husband.... I told you this would be hard to believe! It's going to be okay baby, let me try to explain. It's the year 2021 and there’s this song I love called “Dear Younger Me” it’s about a guy that writes a letter to himself, in his past. It’s got a beautiful melody and it’s thought provoking, because it asks the question " do I go deep and try to change the choices that I make because they're the choices that made me?....” you haven't met me yet, but you will find out that I'm a deep thinker, so I have asked myself that question before LOL (lol is from the future and it's short for laughing out loud) but something happened recently that made me ask another question " what would I say to Michael if I could send her a letter in her past?". What happened to bring that question to mind is that our youngest daughter (YES! WE HAVE TWO! 17 and 21 years old, and you will be an amazing momma!!) told me about one of her friends, a 13-year-old girl that was molested and raped by family members, she is safe now, but me ,having been married to a lady that was raped and molested by family members as a child, I have some things that I would like to tell her/you, that could maybe make for a smoother life. This isn’t the kind of conversation that a 53-year-old (can you believe it? 53! lol) stranger has with a girl, that has already been traumatized. So I have this idea about writing a letter to you, my deceased wife, to say what I would love to be able to say to rape survivors. Dear Younger Michelle, there is a lot of time and space between us right now, but I want you to know that I’m alive and I will love you like few women have ever been loved! We only had 22 years together and it went by so fast. I know it's a lot to take in... we will meet and fall in love and it's going to be epic! I can only imagine how unsettling this is going to sound to you, knowing how you felt about things in the time and place that you are reading this, so brace yourself, I know your secret because you told me. A little at first, when we were dating and then, over the years, you told me everything. My love and esteem for you didn't diminish.... it grew….. I wish we had known then what I know now, we could have gotten to the healing part so much quicker than we did…. That’s what this letter is for. Dear younger Michelle, what happened to you is what happened but it's not who you are! The shame belongs to them baby, not you. It’s not your fault. I know it hurts and I know that you keep it hidden. I know you can't tell anyone right now but let the knowledge that someday you will be able to tell your story, be the start of your healing. Keeping this kind of secret is like your body is fighting itself and your body will eventually lose baby. (This probably isn't the best thing to say to everyone that reads this, but it was true for Michelle and telling the truth is a big deal!) A couple of years before you were diagnosed with cancer, you was 33 and you had already told some friends and you wanted to go public with your story and you felt like you should start with your mom, so you told her a little about what happened to you and she cried, blamed you for not telling her (although she told you that she suspected it) and then she talked you into keeping it a secret. That's just the simple and unfortunate truth to what happened. You had gotten to the place in your healing journey that you wanted to tell it to the world, so that the healing light of day could begin its work for all parties involved. Baby, I'm going to lay down some hard truths that you need to know: How your mother feels is NOT your responsibility! They hurt you but you keeping their secret was you hurting you. It’s okay for you to feel and express anger. This wasn’t your fault. You are not bad. You were never meant to carry this burden. You are worthy of love and admiration. It takes truth to set people free. Your childhood was screwed up in many ways, but I am amazed at what a wonderful mother you were! Our girls are loving, intelligent young ladies that love God and themselves. Our biggest mistake was not telling them what happened much sooner, so that they would have a true backdrop for understanding the context of my relationship with your mom after you died. I did like you asked, and I didn't tell them until they were older, and, with the benefit of hindsight, I know that we should have told them much sooner. It turns out that kids are resilient, and truth heals. I have watched your face while you told close friands what happened to, your voice before, during and after and I watched their responses to you.... baby it was beautiful! You are so much stronger than you know! The history of who you told: At first, the only one that you could tell was Jesus. I know you couldn't understand, and you were hurting more than you could admit. You wanted something magical to happen, “Jesus just make it go away!” You tried so hard to do everything right and when that didn't work, you tried everything wrong and then back again. Baby, you are going to find out, Jesus did do something! Something so cool! Baby YOU are going to be FREE!! I'm not taking about in heaven... in THIS life, you WILL be FREE of the shame... you will be a woman of VIRTUE!!! It didn't have to take so long to figure it out but, like I said, that’s what this letter is all about! It’s a beautiful story, what Jesus did, I will get back to it but first you need to know some things; You told two boyfriends before you told me... they couldn't hack it. So, this is the cold hard truth: the sexual nature of your wounded spirit pulled you to make bad choices... pain comes out in strange ways... you felt broken and alone... you needed someone to be close to you and you needed to trust someone, you needed to tell what happened to you... you need that person to love and accept you, Jesus and later I and some close friands listened to you and loved you and accepted you. But baby you needed a good therapist when you were a little girl! Yes, you eventually got your healing, but it took a long time and it turned out that you didn't have all that much time. Before you knew us, you tried getting drunk and high and you tried sex.... those things are counterfeit peace and when you wake up the next day, you only hurt more than the day before. Hopefully, the younger version of you will find someone (a safe adult to get you to a good counselor) to tell before you try the things that you tried… but if this letter is too late.... it's not too late. You can still find cleansing, forgiveness, healing and joy! It’s going to be amazing baby! You will see!! When you told me; we were dating. You said that you had to tell me a secret that you had only ever told two people. You told me that you loved me, but I may not want you. You said that you were trusting me and that if I told anyone, we were through. You made me promise and then you gave me the condensed version of what happened. All your male cousins, except Chuck, used you as a sex toy for years. They only stopped when you reached puberty and you got afraid that you would get pregnant so you started fighting back (you knew that if you got pregnant, the truth would come out) You told me about the last time you were raped and how hard you fought. I remember your eyes when you told me. You were so afraid. You told me that the two boyfriends that you had told before had waited a while and then broke up with you. You asked me to tell you now if I couldn’t keep loving you and live my life seeing the ones that raped you and not letting it come out. The rage that I was feeling had me trembling, so hard that the pickup truck we were in was trembling, I could taste the adrenaline and I wanted to kill them more that I had ever wanted anything in my life! You were so scared! I don’t remember what I said but I remember you saying that we had to break up! I remember telling you that at least you would be safe, and I was willing to spend my life in jail to protect you. Long story short, in order to keep you, I promised you that I could do it… I kept my promise. I want you to know that it was hard…. Making your secret OUR secret was the hardest thing I ever did... I lived with suppressed rage... to this day, sometimes I wake up with the strong urge to go and kill them! What happened to you was so wrong! I have to take it to God, when that happens. If I do a good job telling you our story, I don’t think it will be a secret when we meet, in your future, but If it is, tell me that future me said to tell you that it’s going to be so worth it! Tell me that the bible says: “… avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing, thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” and tell me to mail them a gift card and trust God. We were married on a Saturday in November 1991 and I don’t regret it. We had a good marriage. People envied us but they didn’t know the whole story. The things that those boys did to you had left wounds on the inside, wounds in your spirit, and our keeping the secret left fresh wounds. I can’t believe that I’m about to say this to a kid, but you already have knowledge of things that should still be a mystery to you, and we will be married someday. Not long after we got married, you began getting uninterested in sex. There were psychological and spiritual reasons behind why but just know that they are wounds… they were what the bible classifies as “Iniquity” and the simple definition, that the context of the bible gives iniquity, is: any untruth that we think is true. So, to put it mildly, there was that sex issue. I perceived your lack of interest as my inability to be as good as others you had had sex with, and you perceived my wanting sex as a dirty thing…. Deciding a lie is the truth, is, iniquity and we were both guilty. The truth was, my wanting you was pure, and, at the end of the day, I just wanted to feel close to you and accepted by you, but the continual disinterest felt like I was less than. You just wanted to feel loved and pure, but you perceived sex as dirty, you just wanted to feel clean and loved. It sounds so simple, but it took YEARS for us to figure that out. Please tell me that future me said that we need a good marriage counselor and there’s no shame in seeing one… If it’s true, tell me that you feel safe with me and trust me to not hurt you, if it’s true, tell me anything to help me feel wanted. I had them quote from Proverbs 31 on your tombstone “a virtuous woman” So, this is what happened, how you got your virtue and when you opened up about everything, they did to you. It's torture for a man to love his beautiful wife and to just hold her at night. Somewhere between never and three times a day, every couple has a sweet spot. The way it worked out for us was that you would feel sorry for me and give in one or two times a month at best, and it may go months at worst. Sex brought back feelings that you was dirty, you felt damaged and you felt ashamed. So, after something like 8 years of marriage, I was holding you as you slept one night. I was holding you, but I felt so rejected so inadequate among other things. I woke you up and we talked and talked, and I had been praying and studying the bible and when you finally opened up and told me that you felt dirty and unclean and ashamed, I told you that every single cell in your body has died and been replaced many times over since the last time you were raped. What you had was a wounded spirit. No, you wasn't a virgin on our wedding night, that was taken from you by force. I told you that I would love to be the first man that you gave every bit of yourself to, all of who you are on the inside, I want to know you and love all of you. I know the Lord was in this because I had recently read about a woman in the bible and she had an issue in her lady parts and she felt unclean and ashamed but she, By faith, touched the hymn of Jesus's robe and Jesus felt "Virtue" leave his body, as it went into her. And there was another lady that had had many men and Jesus knew every detail of everything and he still loved her... I told you about those ladies and I asked you to think about what your cousins did to you and what you had felt, I asked you to think about all that you had done, and I asked you to hold that feeling and to picture yourself feeling that same shame as Jesus walked by and, by faith, reach out and touch the hem of his robe. You did it and Jesus did something... it wasn't a dramatic something at first... you could tell me how the fabric felt, and you could tell that something had happened, and you laid your head on my chest and cried tears of release for a long time and then you started talking... it was like you was telling me what you had just told Jesus, details that you had kept hidden behind a wall of shame... the things that are inside of you right now that need to come out. It's going to be a long time before we meet baby but go on and tell Jesus!! You can get me caught up later! You can find the right person to tell, a safe person, like a counselor.... it's okay baby! We just talked and talked until you fell asleep in my arms.... I had never felt closer to you. From that moment things began to change, and they were beautiful changes. You began having more self-confidence and you stopped being so quick to apologize for every little thing... your countenance was changing, and our intimacy was growing and growing... sure, we had setbacks, but the forward direction didn't change. Five years before you died, you were 35 and you tried again to talk to your mom about what happened, she refused to understand why you wouldn’t let our girls stay with her without you. It was after your first bout with terminal cancer, you told your mom that you intended to just tell everybody and again, she talked you out of telling. That conversation was healing for you and I'm sure that had you lived longer, you would have told your whole story to the world. Anyway, the next two years was amazing sexually! The cancer came back, and the sex had to stop but we were still amazing we still enjoyed a level of intimacy that more than made up for it.... You couldn't physically do anything in that way, but it was an emotional closeness that... well? It was amazing! You held onto life so hard.... you lingered for months, and it took so much pain medication to keep you comfortable... I feel like I failed you by not urging you harder to tell the world your story... I feel like you had that unfinished business that you needed to do and that kept you from having the peace to go on to the next world. Maybe someone will read my letter to you and take that next step for you. I love you baby, thank you for being a good wife and a good friand... To you the reader, thanks for reading my letter. PLEASE know that you are loved more than you know. Look for God and he will reveal himself to you, look to Jesus and be saved. Those voices that tell you that you are the exception to the good news.... they are the voices of iniquity. Jesus was wounded for our iniquities (Isaiah 53), although we have all gone our own ways, God has laid our iniquities on his dear son... you can be set free!!! You can be healed... That’s the good news!! Find a good counselor that talks about triangles and get on about living a joyful life for God's glory, Larry See below, for my letter to husbands.



Dear Younger Me Peaceful Easy Feeling An open letter to the spouses of rape survivors Dear husbands: You guys, I know it’s only natural to want you wife. I know the pain of rejection. I know what it’s like when your wife feels that something natural is dirty but she can’t put it into words. Those feelings are natural, I know, and I have had them all! It stinks! It’s completely natural to want your wife…. The thing is, marriage is not only natural, it’s supernatural! THAT’S why we need the empowering grace of God so desperately! For us, the one that we love, the one that we would take a bullet for, she is wounded and although our love for her want’s her healed more that it wants our glandular urges met… the way that often works itself out in life, is that it ebbs and flows. I had this thought once… “what if the nature of Michelle’s wounds made it so that I could get anything I want, any time I want? Would I genuinely want her healed?” Think about that before you answer… what kind of man are you? What kind of man do you want to be? You say that you wish she was less hormonal? Buddy, testosterone is a hormone too! It’s not an easy thing taking the high road, but on the high road, you will see things that you couldn’t see any other way. On our second date, things had gotten quiet, I was afraid that Michelle didn’t like me anymore. I had the feeling that this was our last date, and I just wanted her to know who I was because, I never was a ladies’ man, in fact, I was awkward. I was feeling like I was way out of my league…. I was a friend zone kind of guy and here I was with this beautiful girl, and it felt like I was blowing my chance. I had always had the thought to myself that, if I ever got the chance, I wanted a girl to see me… the guy that sings with the radio and has a romantic streak a half a mile wide. So there we were, and about that time the song Peaceful Easy Feeling came on the radio, and I thought “this may be my last chance and if I go down, I want to go down in flames!” so I sang along with the Eagles and my life has never been the same. 22 years later, a seven year battle with cancer had taken it’s tole and Michelle was nearing the end of her life. She had been in bed for almost 24 hours, so I got her up and walked backwards, from the bedroom to the living room, holding her up and steady. So there we were, slowly trudging as I mostly held her frail body up, as we walked. She was getting week, so I held her close to me. It was getting precarious, and I was forced to hold her up, without hurting her. Picture a bearhug…. Off and on during our marriage, she had begged me to dance with her and I would not…. I’m just not that guy. I had playfully told her once “not even for love! I am NOT a dancer”. But that night I was. I gently held her up and swept her around the room as I hummed “Peaceful Easy Feeling” in her ear. She told me that she didn’t know that I loved her like this, and I said “I didn’t know it either baby” as I started singing, about that time I realized that I was almost to the place in the song that says “I want to sleep with you in the desert night with a billion stars all around” so I started humming again. She realized what I did and she started crying… She said that she couldn’t even make love to her husband and that she was so sorry for all those times… The man that I wished that I had been all those years answered her “I’m counting it as if you rocked my world every time” … The inspiration came directly from the bible, in Romans 4, where it talks about how God counted righteousness to those that didn’t do the righteous work. That was one of my better moments as a husband and follower of Christ. To know and be known, to love and be loved like that… I’m sure it happens in heaven all the time, but here on earth?… it’s so worth the struggle guys! I wish I had an easy answer for you but the truth is, it’s a hard road that you are on ….Look at her, watch her move, let yourself fall in love with her a hundred times a day… you married a living feeling human that loves you and chose you. If she had a broke leg, you would want it healed, you would help her get it fixed. This is a lifetime work and, if you keep the right attitude about it, the journey can be just as joyful as the destination. The next time that you get impatient, with your wife's healing process, try to remember: You are not the first man to love a woman that has been raped and what you and she are feeling is nothing new. Jesus counted the shame of the cross as joy because he knew that his being helpless, overwhelmed, bewildered, abused, shamed and wounded was for the purpose of setting us free! You want it now? I get it! I do! That’s why Hebrews 12:1-2 tells us to run the race with patience, do it through and by faith. Offer up your frustration as a living sacrifice. Have faith in the one that is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. There is a satisfaction far greater than a sexual satisfaction.... I promise you, walk in faith, be patient, communicate the truth but do it in gentle love and one of these days you will notice her countenance has changed.... Something will be different: confidence, joy, peace, freedom and a thousand undefinable qualities in your wife that were not there before, and you will understand. ~Larry Dear younger Michelle, this is going to be hard for you to believe but PLEASE keep reading! I know your secret, you are safe! My name is Larry and I am your future husband.... I told you this would be hard to believe! It's going to be okay baby, let me try to explain. It's the year 2021 and there’s this song I love called “Dear Younger Me” it’s about a guy that writes a letter to himself, in his past. It’s got a beautiful melody and it’s thought provoking, because it asks the question " do I go deep and try to change the choices that I make because they're the choices that made me?....” you haven't met me yet, but you will find out that I'm a deep thinker, so I have asked myself that question before LOL (lol is from the future and it's short for laughing out loud) but something happened recently that made me ask another question " what would I say to Michael if I could send her a letter in her past?". What happened to bring that question to mind is that our youngest daughter (YES! WE HAVE TWO! 17 and 21 years old, and you will be an amazing momma!!) told me about one of her friends, a 13-year-old girl that was molested and raped by family members, she is safe now, but me ,having been married to a lady that was raped and molested by family members as a child, I have some things that I would like to tell her/you, that could maybe make for a smoother life. This isn’t the kind of conversation that a 53-year-old (can you believe it? 53! lol) stranger has with a girl, that has already been traumatized. So I have this idea about writing a letter to you, my deceased wife, to say what I would love to be able to say to rape survivors. Dear Younger Michelle, there is a lot of time and space between us right now, but I want you to know that I’m alive and I will love you like few women have ever been loved! We only had 22 years together and it went by so fast. I know it's a lot to take in... we will meet and fall in love and it's going to be epic! I can only imagine how unsettling this is going to sound to you, knowing how you felt about things in the time and place that you are reading this, so brace yourself, I know your secret because you told me. A little at first, when we were dating and then, over the years, you told me everything. My love and esteem for you didn't diminish.... it grew….. I wish we had known then what I know now, we could have gotten to the healing part so much quicker than we did…. That’s what this letter is for. Dear younger Michelle, what happened to you is what happened but it's not who you are! The shame belongs to them baby, not you. It’s not your fault. I know it hurts and I know that you keep it hidden. I know you can't tell anyone right now but let the knowledge that someday you will be able to tell your story, be the start of your healing. Keeping this kind of secret is like your body is fighting itself and your body will eventually lose baby. (This probably isn't the best thing to say to everyone that reads this, but it was true for Michelle and telling the truth is a big deal!) A couple of years before you were diagnosed with cancer, you was 33 and you had already told some friends and you wanted to go public with your story and you felt like you should start with your mom, so you told her a little about what happened to you and she cried, blamed you for not telling her (although she told you that she suspected it) and then she talked you into keeping it a secret. That's just the simple and unfortunate truth to what happened. You had gotten to the place in your healing journey that you wanted to tell it to the world, so that the healing light of day could begin its work for all parties involved. Baby, I'm going to lay down some hard truths that you need to know: How your mother feels is NOT your responsibility! They hurt you but you keeping their secret was you hurting you. It’s okay for you to feel and express anger. This wasn’t your fault. You are not bad. You were never meant to carry this burden. You are worthy of love and admiration. It takes truth to set people free. Your childhood was screwed up in many ways, but I am amazed at what a wonderful mother you were! Our girls are loving, intelligent young ladies that love God and themselves. Our biggest mistake was not telling them what happened much sooner, so that they would have a true backdrop for understanding the context of my relationship with your mom after you died. I did like you asked, and I didn't tell them until they were older, and, with the benefit of hindsight, I know that we should have told them much sooner. It turns out that kids are resilient, and truth heals. I have watched your face while you told close friands what happened to, your voice before, during and after and I watched their responses to you.... baby it was beautiful! You are so much stronger than you know! The history of who you told: At first, the only one that you could tell was Jesus. I know you couldn't understand, and you were hurting more than you could admit. You wanted something magical to happen, “Jesus just make it go away!” You tried so hard to do everything right and when that didn't work, you tried everything wrong and then back again. Baby, you are going to find out, Jesus did do something! Something so cool! Baby YOU are going to be FREE!! I'm not taking about in heaven... in THIS life, you WILL be FREE of the shame... you will be a woman of VIRTUE!!! It didn't have to take so long to figure it out but, like I said, that’s what this letter is all about! It’s a beautiful story, what Jesus did, I will get back to it but first you need to know some things; You told two boyfriends before you told me... they couldn't hack it. So, this is the cold hard truth: the sexual nature of your wounded spirit pulled you to make bad choices... pain comes out in strange ways... you felt broken and alone... you needed someone to be close to you and you needed to trust someone, you needed to tell what happened to you... you need that person to love and accept you, Jesus and later I and some close friands listened to you and loved you and accepted you. But baby you needed a good therapist when you were a little girl! Yes, you eventually got your healing, but it took a long time and it turned out that you didn't have all that much time. Before you knew us, you tried getting drunk and high and you tried sex.... those things are counterfeit peace and when you wake up the next day, you only hurt more than the day before. Hopefully, the younger version of you will find someone (a safe adult to get you to a good counselor) to tell before you try the things that you tried… but if this letter is too late.... it's not too late. You can still find cleansing, forgiveness, healing and joy! It’s going to be amazing baby! You will see!! When you told me; we were dating. You said that you had to tell me a secret that you had only ever told two people. You told me that you loved me, but I may not want you. You said that you were trusting me and that if I told anyone, we were through. You made me promise and then you gave me the condensed version of what happened. All your male cousins, except Chuck, used you as a sex toy for years. They only stopped when you reached puberty and you got afraid that you would get pregnant so you started fighting back (you knew that if you got pregnant, the truth would come out) You told me about the last time you were raped and how hard you fought. I remember your eyes when you told me. You were so afraid. You told me that the two boyfriends that you had told before had waited a while and then broke up with you. You asked me to tell you now if I couldn’t keep loving you and live my life seeing the ones that raped you and not letting it come out. The rage that I was feeling had me trembling, so hard that the pickup truck we were in was trembling, I could taste the adrenaline and I wanted to kill them more that I had ever wanted anything in my life! You were so scared! I don’t remember what I said but I remember you saying that we had to break up! I remember telling you that at least you would be safe, and I was willing to spend my life in jail to protect you. Long story short, in order to keep you, I promised you that I could do it… I kept my promise. I want you to know that it was hard…. Making your secret OUR secret was the hardest thing I ever did... I lived with suppressed rage... to this day, sometimes I wake up with the strong urge to go and kill them! What happened to you was so wrong! I have to take it to God, when that happens. If I do a good job telling you our story, I don’t think it will be a secret when we meet, in your future, but If it is, tell me that future me said to tell you that it’s going to be so worth it! Tell me that the bible says: “… avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing, thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” and tell me to mail them a gift card and trust God. We were married on a Saturday in November 1991 and I don’t regret it. We had a good marriage. People envied us but they didn’t know the whole story. The things that those boys did to you had left wounds on the inside, wounds in your spirit, and our keeping the secret left fresh wounds. I can’t believe that I’m about to say this to a kid, but you already have knowledge of things that should still be a mystery to you, and we will be married someday. Not long after we got married, you began getting uninterested in sex. There were psychological and spiritual reasons behind why but just know that they are wounds… they were what the bible classifies as “Iniquity” and the simple definition, that the context of the bible gives iniquity, is: any untruth that we think is true. So, to put it mildly, there was that sex issue. I perceived your lack of interest as my inability to be as good as others you had had sex with, and you perceived my wanting sex as a dirty thing…. Deciding a lie is the truth, is, iniquity and we were both guilty. The truth was, my wanting you was pure, and, at the end of the day, I just wanted to feel close to you and accepted by you, but the continual disinterest felt like I was less than. You just wanted to feel loved and pure, but you perceived sex as dirty, you just wanted to feel clean and loved. It sounds so simple, but it took YEARS for us to figure that out. Please tell me that future me said that we need a good marriage counselor and there’s no shame in seeing one… If it’s true, tell me that you feel safe with me and trust me to not hurt you, if it’s true, tell me anything to help me feel wanted. I had them quote from Proverbs 31 on your tombstone “a virtuous woman” So, this is what happened, how you got your virtue and when you opened up about everything, they did to you. It's torture for a man to love his beautiful wife and to just hold her at night. Somewhere between never and three times a day, every couple has a sweet spot. The way it worked out for us was that you would feel sorry for me and give in one or two times a month at best, and it may go months at worst. Sex brought back feelings that you was dirty, you felt damaged and you felt ashamed. So, after something like 8 years of marriage, I was holding you as you slept one night. I was holding you, but I felt so rejected so inadequate among other things. I woke you up and we talked and talked, and I had been praying and studying the bible and when you finally opened up and told me that you felt dirty and unclean and ashamed, I told you that every single cell in your body has died and been replaced many times over since the last time you were raped. What you had was a wounded spirit. No, you wasn't a virgin on our wedding night, that was taken from you by force. I told you that I would love to be the first man that you gave every bit of yourself to, all of who you are on the inside, I want to know you and love all of you. I know the Lord was in this because I had recently read about a woman in the bible and she had an issue in her lady parts and she felt unclean and ashamed but she, By faith, touched the hymn of Jesus's robe and Jesus felt "Virtue" leave his body, as it went into her. And there was another lady that had had many men and Jesus knew every detail of everything and he still loved her... I told you about those ladies and I asked you to think about what your cousins did to you and what you had felt, I asked you to think about all that you had done, and I asked you to hold that feeling and to picture yourself feeling that same shame as Jesus walked by and, by faith, reach out and touch the hem of his robe. You did it and Jesus did something... it wasn't a dramatic something at first... you could tell me how the fabric felt, and you could tell that something had happened, and you laid your head on my chest and cried tears of release for a long time and then you started talking... it was like you was telling me what you had just told Jesus, details that you had kept hidden behind a wall of shame... the things that are inside of you right now that need to come out. It's going to be a long time before we meet baby but go on and tell Jesus!! You can get me caught up later! You can find the right person to tell, a safe person, like a counselor.... it's okay baby! We just talked and talked until you fell asleep in my arms.... I had never felt closer to you. From that moment things began to change, and they were beautiful changes. You began having more self-confidence and you stopped being so quick to apologize for every little thing... your countenance was changing, and our intimacy was growing and growing... sure, we had setbacks, but the forward direction didn't change. Five years before you died, you were 35 and you tried again to talk to your mom about what happened, she refused to understand why you wouldn’t let our girls stay with her without you. It was after your first bout with terminal cancer, you told your mom that you intended to just tell everybody and again, she talked you out of telling. That conversation was healing for you and I'm sure that had you lived longer, you would have told your whole story to the world. Anyway, the next two years was amazing sexually! The cancer came back, and the sex had to stop but we were still amazing we still enjoyed a level of intimacy that more than made up for it.... You couldn't physically do anything in that way, but it was an emotional closeness that... well? It was amazing! You held onto life so hard.... you lingered for months, and it took so much pain medication to keep you comfortable... I feel like I failed you by not urging you harder to tell the world your story... I feel like you had that unfinished business that you needed to do and that kept you from having the peace to go on to the next world. Maybe someone will read my letter to you and take that next step for you. I love you baby, thank you for being a good wife and a good friand... To you the reader, thanks for reading my letter. PLEASE know that you are loved more than you know. Look for God and he will reveal himself to you, look to Jesus and be saved. Those voices that tell you that you are the exception to the good news.... they are the voices of iniquity. Jesus was wounded for our iniquities (Isaiah 53), although we have all gone our own ways, God has laid our iniquities on his dear son... you can be set free!!! You can be healed... That’s the good news!! Find a good counselor that talks about triangles and get on about living a joyful life for God's glory, Larry See below, for my letter to husbands. Dear Younger Me https://youtu.be/-l70C3ePyIQ Peaceful Easy Feeling An open letter to the spouses of rape survivors Dear husbands: You guys, I know it’s only natural to want you wife. I know the pain of rejection. I know what it’s like when your wife feels that something natural is dirty but she can’t put it into words. Those feelings are natural, I know, and I have had them all! It stinks! It’s completely natural to want your wife…. The thing is, marriage is not only natural, it’s supernatural! THAT’S why we need the empowering grace of God so desperately! For us, the one that we love, the one that we would take a bullet for, she is wounded and although our love for her want’s her healed more that it wants our glandular urges met… the way that often works itself out in life, is that it ebbs and flows. I had this thought once… “what if the nature of Michelle’s wounds made it so that I could get anything I want, any time I want? Would I genuinely want her healed?” Think about that before you answer… what kind of man are you? What kind of man do you want to be? You say that you wish she was less hormonal? Buddy, testosterone is a hormone too! It’s not an easy thing taking the high road, but on the high road, you will see things that you couldn’t see any other way. On our second date, things had gotten quiet, I was afraid that Michelle didn’t like me anymore. I had the feeling that this was our last date, and I just wanted her to know who I was because, I never was a ladies’ man, in fact, I was awkward. I was feeling like I was way out of my league…. I was a friend zone kind of guy and here I was with this beautiful girl, and it felt like I was blowing my chance. I had always had the thought to myself that, if I ever got the chance, I wanted a girl to see me… the guy that sings with the radio and has a romantic streak a half a mile wide. So there we were, and about that time the song Peaceful Easy Feeling came on the radio, and I thought “this may be my last chance and if I go down, I want to go down in flames!” so I sang along with the Eagles and my life has never been the same. 22 years later, a seven year battle with cancer had taken it’s tole and Michelle was nearing the end of her life. She had been in bed for almost 24 hours, so I got her up and walked backwards, from the bedroom to the living room, holding her up and steady. So there we were, slowly trudging as I mostly held her frail body up, as we walked. She was getting week, so I held her close to me. It was getting precarious, and I was forced to hold her up, without hurting her. Picture a bearhug…. Off and on during our marriage, she had begged me to dance with her and I would not…. I’m just not that guy. I had playfully told her once “not even for love! I am NOT a dancer”. But that night I was. I gently held her up and swept her around the room as I hummed “Peaceful Easy Feeling” in her ear. She told me that she didn’t know that I loved her like this, and I said “I didn’t know it either baby” as I started singing, about that time I realized that I was almost to the place in the song that says “I want to sleep with you in the desert night with a billion stars all around” so I started humming again. She realized what I did and she started crying… She said that she couldn’t even make love to her husband and that she was so sorry for all those times… The man that I wished that I had been all those years answered her “I’m counting it as if you rocked my world every time” … The inspiration came directly from the bible, in Romans 4, where it talks about how God counted righteousness to those that didn’t do the righteous work. That was one of my better moments as a husband and follower of Christ. To know and be known, to love and be loved like that… I’m sure it happens in heaven all the time, but here on earth?… it’s so worth the struggle guys! I wish I had an easy answer for you but the truth is, it’s a hard road that you are on ….Look at her, watch her move, let yourself fall in love with her a hundred times a day… you married a living feeling human that loves you and chose you. If she had a broke leg, you would want it healed, you would help her get it fixed. This is a lifetime work and, if you keep the right attitude about it, the journey can be just as joyful as the destination. The next time that you get impatient, with your wife's healing process, try to remember: You are not the first man to love a woman that has been raped and what you and she are feeling is nothing new. Jesus counted the shame of the cross as joy because he knew that his being helpless, overwhelmed, bewildered, abused, shamed and wounded was for the purpose of setting us free! You want it now? I get it! I do! That’s why Hebrews 12:1-2 tells us to run the race with patience, do it through and by faith. Offer up your frustration as a living sacrifice. Have faith in the one that is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. There is a satisfaction far greater than a sexual satisfaction.... I promise you, walk in faith, be patient, communicate the truth but do it in gentle love and one of these days you will notice her countenance has changed.... Something will be different: confidence, joy, peace, freedom and a thousand undefinable qualities in your wife that were not there before, and you will understand. ~Larry



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