Welcome back to the Broken Crayons Still Color podcast! I’m your host, Shelley Hitz and today’s guest is Dara Rose.
Dara is a wife and a mom that was raised as a preacher’s kid. After enduring sexual abuse as a child she became intentional about knowing God through His Word. She has a heart for women’s ministry and she enjoys digging deep into God’s Word for answers. She will share her story on today’s podcast.
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S. Welcome back to the Broken Crayons Still Color Podcast. I’m your host Shelley Hitz, and today’s guest is Dara Rose. Hey Dara!
D. Hi Shelley, how are you?
S. Good, I’m so glad to have you today. I’m just going to share a little bit about you and then we’ll jump right in. Dara is a wife and a mom, that was raised as a preacher’s kid. I was a preacher’s kid as well, a PK, so we have that in common. After enduring sexual abuse as a child, she became intentional about knowing God through his word. She has a heart for women’s ministry, and she enjoys digging deep into God’s word for answers. So, she’s going to share her story on today’s podcast.
I know there’s a lot that you could probably talk about, but why don’t you share just a little bit about what the broken crayons looked like in your life?
D. The broken crayons in my life were sexual abuse, the generational curse of sexual abuse that went on when I was very small, in my childhood. When it happened, I knew it was wrong, nobody had to tell me it was wrong. I knew that they were wrong, because I really have an instinctual thing about my body. I teach that to my children today, nobody is to touch Your body without permission. I knew that, as a little child, that this was my body, they were invading my space, and this was not supposed to happen. So, it changed me in such a way that I looked out in life differently, it stole my childhood, and I different mental outlook on life, altogether, when that happened.
S. Yeah. What would you say, sounds like you grew up in the church, you were a pastor’s kids, and then you had this sexual abuse happen in your life. Was it a onetime instance? Did it happen over a period of months or years?
D. It actually happened over a period of years. I remember telling my mom early on, maybe when I was about five or six years old. Her response was not welcoming or loving, and nothing happened after that. I really learned to play two faces, and I always call it a professional faker, I learned that as a child. We were pastor’s children, so you have to look a certain way because people looked up to you, and people admired you. I learned to have two fronts on at all times, but there was a lot of sadness in my life.
S. Was it someone that was in the church, or someone that you knew?
D. These abusers were in my immediate family.
S. It must have been so hard to not feel like your mom had heard you, or had listened. If somebody has someone, a child comes to them, and says something has happened, how do you recommend responding on those situations?
D. You have to take action. The second, and I mean the second, a child comes to you to say something, that they have been touched in the wrong way, or someone has done something, you must speak up. We are the voices, adults are the voices for the children, so we have to take action, because they’re counting on us. They’re counting on us to protect them as much as we can on this physical earth. So, we must put things in place and take precautions where that does not ever happen again.
S. Yeah, and I think there’s just a lot of dynamics that can go on. I think some people either fear speaking up, or there’s shame in their background and not wanting to bring that out. There’s so many things that can paralyze us from saying or doing those things. I definitely agree that, if someone comes to us we need to take action. What would you say, during that season, was the lowest point for you?
D. I was thinking about this earlier today, because I was thinking about these questions for a while. I would say, the lowest point for me was when my husband and I were living in Kentucky, we met, married, and had our children in Kentucky, but I’m originally from Indiana. My mom had stage four breast cancer, my oldest sister was her primary caregiver, and I wanted to move back home to be closer to family. So, when I moved back home I heard that my mom was having some issues and I told my mom, “you can come stay with me, because everything in my house is on the same floor. So, you can come stay with me and I can take care of you,” because at the time I was a stay at home mom. She asked me if I would allow the people, the molesters, into my home. I said, “well, you know the situation is not resolved because they never responded to certain things.” She said, “well I won’t come to your house so you can take care of me.”
I think at that moment everything kind of hit me like a brick wall. It was like, “I moved states to be here, I moved from a different state to come and help you get over or be healed from cancer! I offered you my home and you told me because I won’t let these molesters in my house you won’t let me take care of you!” That was the lowest moment.
S. That was years and years later, but it was probably almost like pulling a scab off of a wound.
S. Do you have children of your own?
D. I do, I have a girl and a boy, they are 18 months apart.
S. Oh wow.
D. My daughter was really the one that prompted me, just being pregnant with her. I told myself, if I have another boy I don’t have to confront this, it doesn’t happen to boys. I was just like, “well he’s a boy.” God was like, “let me shatter your dreams real quick.”
S. Which isn’t true, because guys just don’t talk about it.
D. That’s right. So, he made me have a girl, and when you have a girl you see so much of yourself. So, I was like, “I have to confront this.” Because, I know, like many of your listeners know, if you don’t confront the things in your life, they’re coming after your children, and they’ll keep going after generation and generation until someone is brave enough to say, “no more!”
S. Right, break that generational curse and go in a different direction. So, when you were confronted with that and your mom’s response, what was the turning point for you in that situation?
D. I read my Bible every day, and I happened to be in Psalms, because at the moment of me confronting and saying, “I’m going to stop this,” my mind was just bombarded with so many things of the abuse replaying in my head. I was reading through Psalms one day and a light just clicked on in my head. I felt like I was the one writing the Psalm, I was the one reading what I was writing, as far as I felt like I was being bullied by my thoughts. So, Psalm is a great book to let the reader know there is victory in the midst of a storm, God still has your back, that His plans are something you can’t even imagine.
So, as I began to read Psalms, I began to understand I am victorious, I am an overcomer, and it’s only by God’s word. I wrote all the Psalms that just spoke to my heart, I wrote them down on a piece of paper and I would stick them all over my house; mainly in the kitchen cause that’s where I always was. I would put them on the cupboard, and any time a thought would come into my mind of hurt and pain from the abuse of the family members, or even from my mom, I would turn my mind and give an audible answer to the voice that was talking to me so strongly in my head.
S. What would you respond with? God’s truth? Is that what you were responding with?
D. Yes, absolutely. I responded with whatever Psalm was on my cupboard, or where I was in my house, any scripture that I had already written out, I would respond to it.
S. Was there eventually resolution with your mom, or did God just help you to deal with your side of things?
D. God just helped me to deal with my side of things. A year after we moved here my mom passed, and she passed with everything unresolved. So, God had to give me peace with who she was, what she did, and even what she did not do. That healing came, and I still learn from it even today.
S. Do you feel like you’ve been able to forgive your abusers and to forgive your mom?
D. I feel like forgiveness is a maintenance based program.
S. Ongoing right?
D. Yes, it is ongoing. I think it’s definitely maintenance based, because I feel like what I was taught as a child, you come to the altar, you experience this euphoric feeling and then that’s it. Forgiveness is maintained by the word of God, so I have glimmers and more of forgiveness every day.
S. It definitely can be a process of what the scriptures say, forgiving from the heart. I say it’s only from the Holy Spirit, because when I forgave my grandma’s murderer, I had every reason to hold that forgiveness. When you’ve been a victim of a crime of some sort, I’ve had sexual abuse, it was only one instance and not over years like yours, I always say forgiveness is a process. It’s not just snap your fingers and it’s going to be good, but it brings so much healing, it brings so much freedom, and it lifts the weight from us, from what they have done. If you could give one piece of advice or encouragement to others, what would it be?
D. I would tell others that you are not alone, that God is definitely with you, that He is looking out for you, and He wants to heal you from your past, past hurt and pain. There is nothing to dirty, too stinky, to sticky, or too nasty that God can’t heal you from. We are created to break generational curses, God gave use the power, He gave us the access, when we accepted him into our lives, that we can break these generational curse, that they don’t have to hold us hostage, or in bondage, to the things that we have been through.
S. Yes, very, very true. I love Corrie Ten Boom, she was a Nazi camp survivor, and she often says, she had been in many, many situations where she had been in abusive situations and things, and she says that God’s light is brighter than any darkness, the deepest darkness. There’s a lot of darkness this side of heaven, but Jesus, God’s light can shine even in the deepest, deepest darkness, there is hope. Is there a particular scripture that really meant a lot to you through this time that you were dealing with this?
D. Absolutely. Everything starts in the mind, so I have to go to one of my favorite scriptures. It is, some people may know this well, some people may not know it at all.
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
S. Yes, that’s such a great verse, that’s a verse God gave me to memorize when I was struggling with pornography, and I’m now free by the Grace of God. Such a powerful verse, has divine power to demolish strongholds and we take captive every thought. In another scripture it says, “renewing our minds with his truth.” It’s so powerful.
If our listeners would like to connect with you further, where can they find you?
D. They can find me at www.darabrose.com.
S. Awesome, thank you so much.
D. No problem, thank you for having me.
S. Thank you so much for sharing, sharing your heart and your story. It’s just another example of how God can turn our messes into masterpieces. Now, you’re able to be an example and a light, not only to your children, but also to other women and other people who need to hear this story of hope. So, thank you so much for sharing.
D. Thank you.
S. Thank you all for joining us today. If you, or someone you know, has a powerful story to share, I would love to have you on this show. You can apply to be featured on the podcast at www.ShelleyHitz.com/Story. I will see you next time.
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