"Remember, Shelley, you can't tell your mother," Uncle David reminded her as they left the barn.
As usual Shelley's mother hardly noticed when she came into the house. Shelley was full of questions, but she didn't know how to ask them. Her parents were both too busy for her to get their attention. She thought that the person who came nearest to loving her was Uncle David.
Shelley suspected that Uncle David and she had done what the preacher called "adultery," but she wasn't sure. She thought her uncle was a nice man, so he must have been awfully tempted by something she did to make him do what he did, she reasoned. More episodes occurred in the following years.
When Shelley was twelve, she couldn't stand the guilt, so she told her mother about Uncle David. "You know better than to do that," she remonstrated. "Don't do it any more."
At age fourteen, Shelley gave her life to Christ. The next time her uncle approached her, she firmly said, "No. Absolutely not. If you want to kill me, go ahead, but I will not do that anymore. I'm a Christian now."
Uncle David made a few more advances, but she was always able to ward him off making her feel that she really could have prevented the abuse in the first place if she had wanted to. She felt guilty. Why had she allowed her uncle to do that? What kind of a girl was she? No matter how hard she tried to be good, she felt bad and carried the guilt for years.
Then one day after reading in Psalm 139 that God knows our deepest thoughts, she allowed herself to look back and remember that first time in the barn. She saw a very surprised little girl. Never in her wildest imagination had she planned what happened.
She began to thank God for forgiving her when almost audibly she heard God say, "I did not forgive you. I never considered you guilty. You were a child. You did not plan it."
"But I went to the barn and other places with Uncle David," she reminded God.
"I know you did, Shelley," He answered. "But no one had taught you that some people cannot be trusted. You were a child. You were not guilty."
God brought healing to Shelley's damaged heart. She continues to thank Him for tenderly assuring her she is not guilty.
Thank You, Lord, for providing truth that frees us from the lies of the enemy.
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1).