God and Sexual Assault

The Questions We Ask

What are the answers?

I have mentioned before that I have asked many hard questions of God over the past 12 years. Why did He let it happen? Where was He now? Why am I suffering? Will my perpetrators ever pay for what they did because it “looks” like they’re living great lives and that’s not fair as I have been the one suffering. Losing everyone and my job, reliving memories and dealing with PTSD, anxiety, and depression.

I have found it hard to express how I came to my answers. However, today I’m going to give it another try and hope God can speak through my babble.

Coming to understand that the world fell to evil when Adam and Eve sinned in the garden lit a lightbulb for me. That they introduced evil and sin into the world. Jesus even talks about Satan when He teaches explaining that Satan is the prince of this world.

Think about that for a minute – Satan is the prince of this world – not Jesus at the moment. Which means evil will run rampant until Jesus comes for us again. The love of money, sex, racism, agreeing that things are okay despite God’s teaching that only man and women shall marry and be together as one – and all sins…We live in a fallen, sinful world.

We are also told that in this world we will have trouble, but to take heart because God has overcome this world. Jesus will return one day and He will crush Satan and all the evil.

My pastor is going to preach on Habakkuk this Sunday and so I decided to reread it again. At one time I studied it pretty in depth because Habakkuk asks hard questions of God and why He is allowing evil to prevail, suffering to come, and why Judah wasn’t being punished. Similar questions I have asked of God.

I use a study Bible when I read because it helps explain what is happening and gives background. God assures Habakkuk that though judgment is slow to come, it is coming. God has His own timeline and our time frame is not His. What seems long to us is nothing to God.

So, when I’ve asked why God am I suffering and not living the life I dreamed and that so many appear to have with a family and children, I have to look at it through God’s eyes. He has a plan and He promised to use everything for good. It may not be the “normal” the world tells us we should have but it can still be very good. Actually, magnificent as God’s plans can far exceed what we can begin to imagine.

I have come to realize that God can use my suffering to bring me closer to Him if I allow it to. It is in the darkest nights that I find myself comforted by Him. Though He is God and could stop or put anything in motion, He gave us free will to choose Him or evil. My perpetrators and yours (and those who allowed it to happen and did nothing). They all chose evil which is why we experienced such deep, horrific hurt through our assaults. Evil is not what God intended.

When I finally realized God had never left me, but was waiting for me to turn to Him and find my comfort in Him, life became easier to bear because I wasn’t attempting life on my own. I also used to spend a lot of time wishing my perpetrators would suffer as much as I have and pay for what they did. In an especially dark moment, early on in remembering, I wanted to kill one of them. Thankfully I didn’t act as that is not my right or place to sin to get back at someone who hurt me.

God will exact punishment in His own time or way. I don’t know that I will ever know what that punishment is and I honestly don’t care anymore because when I focus on that I am not focused on healing or coming closer to God. That is what we are here for – to experience a relationship with the living God.

I am thankful God helped me see Him through the utter darkness and lead me closer to Him. I pray He continues to draw all of us closer in the days ahead. We may be in uncertain times according to the news, but God is not surprised and if we trust in Him this too shall pass.

Hold onto God today and every day and if you have the tough questions about what happened, just ask Him. I promise God will show you the answers and draw you into a deeper relationship with Him.

© 2020 Susan M. Clabaugh All Rights Reserved.




Susan is an author and speaker who loves to share her journey of God's redemption and encourage others as they look to God. As a former elemetary teacher with a passion for teaching, Susan also owns her own tutoring and consulting business where she empowers students and parents in reading. Susan lives in Lee's Summit, Missouri, with her adorable and grumpy Persian cat, Mia.

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