Neil - MPACT Men’s Ministries
During my younger years as a child, around the age of 8 years old, I was sexually assaulted by our local delivery baker. During the school holidays to my parents, he offered to take me out for a day delivering bread, etc. in the local area. During this time, he sexually abused me.
I didn't know at the time what had really happened to me and told nobody. Before this abuse incident, I was completely innocent, as you would expect at this young age. Because of this, unknown to me, sexual boundaries had been broken in me that shouldn't have been, and I was confused & vulnerable.
In adult life, in my marriage, this pain and memory, caused considerable difficulties to me as I got involved with another woman who was just a friend but became more than that. I was staggered, I never thought as a Christian who loved his wife so much that I would ever end up doing anything like this. I ended the relationship and remained with my wife.
For years I carried the shame & guilt of this and cried so many tears, I hated myself. It was only many years later that as I sought God, about how I felt about myself, that He showed me it was related to the sexual abuse I had suffered that had broken a boundary in me I wasn't aware of.
I started up a men's group at my church called M2M (Ministry to Men). This involved teaching I prepared, prayer ministry, fellowship, and, most importantly, a cooked breakfast!
During this time of life and in this context of men's ministry and creating a safe space for men to share together, I confessed my sin to a brother. (As in James 5:16) Little did I know at the time; that I was not confessing my sins to God for forgiveness. He had already forgiven me, once for all, past, present future, and perfected with Him! (Hebrews 10:14 & 9:27-28). However, I was confessing to a brother, which brought healing to my hurts & emotional wounds I had been carrying since I was 8 years old. I also knew I wasn't alone in my journey and could grow in spirit with another.
Over the last couple of years, I have come into a deeper understanding of God's grace. Through Jesus and looking back, I can now see how my heavenly Father never left me. He never stopped loving me and just wanted me to know He hadn't gone anywhere, and I was totally forgiven that sin, and all others. He also put men in my life I could be real with. Men that have experienced things I have experienced. Men who will listen, with no judgment or condemnation towards one another. The blood of Christ and those relationships have helped set me free.
It's so amazing to know that yes, despite what I'd done...GOD STILL LOVES ME!