You can say no.

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“Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say” Exodus 4:12, NIV.

Growing up, I was the quiet one. My sister was the loud and outspoken one that no one bothered. I envied her so much. How she said what she felt and how she let no one take advantage of her. That wasn’t the case for me. It was as though I had a neon sign over my head that read, “Touch me!” It started with a touch from a cousin, and then a touch from my neighbor’s grandfather. Then, a touch from a teenage boy, whose mom was a close friend of the family. I would just sit there. Frozen. Lay there. Frozen. When I finally did have the courage to speak up to my mother, it didn’t go like I hoped. And on one occasion she disciplined me in front of the violator for letting him do that to me. I was crushed. She had her own set of issues at that time, and I’ve forgiven her. But my question to myself was, why was I quiet? Why did I not stand up for myself? What happened to my screaming “No! Stop! Something. It wasn’t until I became an adult and grew closer in my relationship with the Lord that I learned why. I didn’t know I could say no. It’s as simple as that. No one told me, “You don’t have to let anyone do that to you.” No one taught me the power that I have as an individual.

So I’m going to tell you, just in case no one ever told you. You can say no. You don’t have to allow yourself to be violated or abused in any way. You can say stop. You can leave. Even the oceans have boundaries set by God. You can set boundaries in your life and can let someone know when they’ve crossed the line. You have power. Don’t let anyone make you feel like something’s wrong with you for not letting them take advantage of you. God gave you a body and it’s special to God. Use the voice He’s given you. Let Him heal every painful memory. I know you’d rather forget it ever happened to you. Let God remove all hurt you associate with words such as touch, intimacy, and love. Sure, it will be a process, but when you completely place your life in the Lord’s hands, there’s no safer place you could be. He will free you from the inside. He will be glorified in your life.

Will you pray with me?

Father God, you said when we call on you, you said you will answer us and show us great and mighty things we didn’t know. There’s so many things we don’t know. Lord, give us true knowledge that will unlock all of the prisons that have kept us bound all these years. Thank you that you care about me and my sister’s total freedom. I’ve forgiven everyone that has ever hurt me. I ask that all of my sisters reading this will do the same. Help us forgive from the heart. Renew our minds and transform our lives. We just want to be free. Help us to speak up when we’re uncomfortable or when we are hurting. Help us take back our voice. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

(Read Psalm 147:3; Jeremiah 33:3; Romans 12:2)


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