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Lynn Manley Lets the Pain Go

CBN.com -“I was nine, but I wasn’t nine anymore. I was a woman.” Lynn said, “I was like a grown up woman. I felt like I was hurt. I felt like I was betrayed. I felt like, ‘How can someone, an adult, to this to me?’”

In exchange for a fleeting high, a family member traded Lynn Manley’s innocence.  “They were on drugs, and they didn’t have enough money for the drugs so they decided to sell me to get their heroin. The guy took me and had sex with me at 9 years old.” said Lynn.

Only one thing brought Lynn any comfort. It was singing hymns she had learned from her great-grandmother. “My great-grandmother sang to me and she prayed and- and I felt the presence of God.”

From that moment on, Lynn hated men. As she got older, she vowed she’d never be hurt by a man again. “I’ve got to get strong and I’ve got to be tough, and I gotta take care of myself. I looked at men too. I looked at men like they were dogs. I felt like everybody was that one man. I felt like if I don’t hurt them, they’re going to hurt me. “

So Lynn went from one relationship to another with one objective- to hurt as many men as possible. But one night her plan backfired when she met a man at a club. “He bought me a drink and I don’t know what was in the drink. I don’t even remember anything after that. I just remember that I was laying in the closet. I had my hands tied, my legs were tied. I heard someone coming toward me and I said, ‘Who is it?’ And when they took me out of the closet, they  raped me. Put me back in the closet like I’m nothing. I felt like an animal. All I was thinking about was, ‘I can’t tell any body.’ Because they are going to say, ‘What did you do to deserve that?’”

The abuse went on for several days before he released her. “And I went to work like nothing  happened.”

She began dating another man, but soon became pregnant. She knew she couldn’t raise the baby on her own. She decided to turn to God for help. “Then I had remembered when I was nine how painful it was.  I started singing my grandmother’s song. I felt this difference. There’s a big difference… you can feel Him. And I wanted that. I knew He was real. And I said, ‘God, If you help me raise this baby, I will keep her.’ I went to church and I gave my life to Jesus, because I wanted a father for my baby, and He was her dad.”

She began attending church regularly, and she says God showed her how to be a mother. But something was still missing.  “I was hurting so bad still - Even though I had Jesus and loved Him with all my heart, you have these flashbacks, you know. They come back.”

Instead of asking God to fill her void, Lynn began other relationship. She thought he was a Christian, and they married. “He was very scary. He was just very possessive and mentally and physically abusive. I was tired of acting like everything’s okay and acting like everything is okay at church and my home life was bad.”

One day, Lynn decided to end her life. “I was like, ‘I can’t take it anymore,’ and I ended up taking pills. And the next thing you know I was in a room, and I heard the voice of God say, “I love you. I have a plan for your life and everything is going to be all right.’ And I felt like in that room, He was hugging me and holding me. I felt warmth and I was like, ‘There is no love like this. I have never felt like this in my life.’”

When Lynn was released from the hospital, she began reading her Bible, and grew closer to God. But she says God told her she needed to do one more thing.
“He said, ‘Now you have to forgive each person. You have to forgive them.’ And I was like, ‘Everybody?’  And He said, “You can’t be healed until you forgive.’ I’d pray, then I’d fuss in the middle of my prayer, ‘cause I was mad. ‘He don’t deserve my prayers and he don’t deserve to be forgiven.’  And I would pray and pray and pray until it was real.”

Lynn no longer hates men. She’s married to Michael, a wonderful husband and father for her daughter. Lynn says she is thankful that God has healed her heart and shown her how to forgive.

“God can heal you. He can heal you. He is the one that can heal every bit of pain. I am a witness, but you have to forgive. That’s when healing comes. I’m so pleased to be a child of God and know that He’s got my back and He’s there for me, you know? It’s a wonderful thing to have Jesus, and not a second hand Jesus. I know Him for myself.”

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