This is my story. I am a survivor. Grace is messy.

By Steve Austin | faith

Oct 09
“From every wound there is a scar, and every scar tells a story. A story says, I survived.” –Fr. Craig Scott
There are two family members I should have been able to trust with my life.  God gave me the grace to forgive them both for hurting me in two different ways.
The first family member is, (it is still hard not to call him “the sperm donor” rather than “Dad”),  was my father. Any man can donate his sperm, but it takes a man to be a Dad!  I was about three-years-old and my sister was about eighteen months when my Mom left him and filed for divorce.  He was and remains an alcoholic.  Mama gave him a choice:  his family or his bottle.  He chose his bottle.  He hit my Mom, causing her eardrum to burst.  He did take her to the doctor on the military base, but when the doctor wanted to talk to him, he left her there.

“When you live in an alcoholic family or an abusive family, you tiptoe. you don’t want to step on any mines.” –Glenn Beck

She raised us as a single parent, which was so hard on her.  She would work two jobs, doing her best to provide for us.  When I say he chose his bottle, I mean every dime he got his hands on went to buy his alcohol for the day.  He did nothing to help provide for my sister and me.  Mama always wanted my sister and me to take piano, dance and get involved in other extra activities that she knew would help us grow and build our confidence.
She did the best she could, being both Mama and Daddy to us.  He would tell us he was going to send money and never did.  I can’t tell you how many times Mama had him put in jail for non-payment of child support.  It never did any good.

“Forgiveness is like the murderer who goes before the Judge and sincerely apologizes for everything he has done and tells the Judge he is a brand-new man.  While the Judge appreciates his change of heart, the man is still going to jail.” –Ron Cox

It wasn’t until last Summer at camp that God gave me the grace to forgive him once and for all.  No, I do not talk to  him.  It is best that way.  I have always hung on EVERY word and longed to be his “daddy’s girl”; never happened and never will.  I am Abba Daddy’s little girl.  He is the one I call DADDY! I love my earthly dad as Christ commands, but that is all I can do.  God gives me grace everyday to walk in forgiveness toward him.

“Child abuse casts a shadow the length of a lifetime.” 

–Herbert Ward

The second family member was an uncle on my Mom’s side of the family.  When I was four or five, he started sexually abusing me.  Because I was so young, I didn’t understand that is was wrong.  The abuse lasted until I was thirteen or fourteen.   Somewhere between my 8th and 10th birthday, I realized that it was wrong and began to feel ashamed.  I didn’t know what to do.  I was too ashamed to tell anyone. The only person who knew was my sister and I would not allow her to tell a soul.  I remember when I told Mama,  I wrote her a note and left it in the bathroom for her to find.  Bless her heart, she didn’t know what to do.
This was back when it was taboo to talk about and she didn’t want me in this situation but at the same time didn’t want to hurt any of the family.


Mama had been so beat down by her biological dad until my great-grandparents adopted her.  (Technically, this was my great-uncle who did this to me.)  She told me to stay away from him when we were at my great-granny’s at the same time.  She always felt so bad for not doing something about him  She would apologize to me when we talked about it years later.  I never held it against her, I knew my Mama’s heart and what she had been through.  She had a quiet, sweet spirit.  At the same camp in 2012, God gave me grace to forgive my dad and this uncle.  I held my dad to blame for the sexual abuse.  If he had been the daddy he was supposed to be, I would not have been in that situation.


What Satan meant for evil against me, God turned it to His good.  I have risen from the ashes and received God’s beauty and God gets all of my praise.  I am a SURVIVOR through God’s incredible GRACE!

During that camp, God also revealed to me that I was mad at Him for taking my Mama in 2010.  I knew deep down that I was angry at Him, but I did not want to hurt Him or let Him down.  He gave me the grace to realize He can take my anger.  I was able to give Him all of my anger and in return He gave me His grace for all of this.

His grace is sufficient for me.  

This is my story of my messy grace, what’s yours?
Liked it? Take a second to support Steve Austin on Patreon!

About the Author

Steve Austin is an author, speaker, and life coach who is passionate about helping overwhelmed people learn to catch their breath. He is the author of two Amazon bestsellers, "Catching Your Breath," and "From Pastor to a Psych Ward." Steve lives with his wife and two children in Birmingham, Alabama.

  • someone once said: “Every scar should preach.” i still couldn’t agree more. some ppl i had to wake up forgiving, daily, or i’d wake up with hatred, daily b/c i was still daily going through life dealing the the path of chaos they’d left in my life. grace met me at those scarred places, though…and now, i’ve been freed to let the scars preach, and preach they have 🙂

  • Lorinda says:

    Kelly,Your sweet spirit and your reliance on God is such a blessing to everyone who knows you. Your scars have preached and you have not allowed them to harden your heart. I love you and am so glad to have you for a friend.

  • The journey we take with God will always lead us toward freedom. I rejoice to read about how God is leading you through healing toward wholeness and filling you to overflowing so His grace can reach others through your story. Blessings.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am also a child abuse survivor. Here is my story if you desire to read it.

  • >
    %d bloggers like this: