• Rocio Soto


"And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image..." 2Cor.3:18

**Before having this revelation; I had begun reading Beholding and Becoming by Ruth Chou Simons. I believe that God was preparing my heart with her book.**

When I was three years of age I began to be sexually abused by my uncle, that moment would become a pattern in my life for many years. My parents were no longer together and my mom was either working or angry and distant from us. Uncles, friends of her and friends of the family became my abusors, my captors. I belonged to everyone yet, I was wanted by no one. For many years I felt cursed "why do men want to abuse me?" "what's wrong with me?". This is a really hard thing to talk about, not because it makes me sad thankfully, God has shown me my redemptive story, what makes it hard is the fact that there are many young girls being abused, with no way out, and that needs to change. Some of us need to be their voice.

Lately, I had been dealing with self image issues... struggling with self worth. I knew the Lord wanted to speak to me about it, that's the way He works, He brings up a memory or speaks to hidden things in our hearts because He wants to heal those broken places. Finally, I met with a friend and she helped me with that conversation. some memories of the abuse are still pretty vivid, almost as if they had been seared into my soul, those are the ones God brought up. Those deep wounded places are the ones that formed my view of the world, others, God and myself. As I saw myself in those memories one thing was common every time the abuse took place I would detach myself from the situation. My life was that, trauma after trauma, besides being sexually abused my mom was angry and I was deeply afraid of her. I really disliked and loved my mother at the same time. I'm not sure why I loved her, perhaps, because she was my mother or perhaps I craved her love? I've forgiven my mother, she is no longer the same person she was then and for that I am thankful to God.

As time went on and as I grew up, the world I knew had become smeared with ugliness, people around me were ugly, the stuff that was happening to me was ugly. There was nothing good in it. No one wanted me, no one helped. I remember after I told my mother of the abuse, she cried so much, she wanted justice for me, she went to the cops to no avail, she told my dad, he didn't care enough to return home and protect me, she told his side of the family and all they did was take me one by one and asked me how it happened, they wanted me to repeat the abuse again and again. why? because they didn't believe me. I was drowning. My voice was drowning in a sea of their judgements.

It was then, as I was flooded with all the memories of ugliness, where the Lord revealed to me why I was struggling with self worth issues, why I felt so ugly and it was because what I was beholding was ugly. What was around me was ugly, the people, the situations, my mother, my family, what they did and what they said was ugly. I copied and became what was in front of me...ugly. So, if what was around me was ugly then I too must be ugly, I thought. I remember telling my classmates about the things that were happening to me, with good reason their parents were angry at me for saying such things to their kids. My teachers reprimanded me, my mother was angry at me for telling. I became quiet, reserved, very private, emotionless. I learned that people don't want to deal with ugly things and unconsciously, that had become my thought pattern. I lived that way. People only want to hear good things, see pretty things but I didn't have any of that, I wasn't any of that. I became what I saw, what the world told me I was.

Here is my sunrise, as the Lord met me in that dark place, in that memory, in my subconscious, He unveiled His beautiful truth to me, yes the pain was real, the people and situation were ugly but now, knowing Him, made me into His image and likeness. I now had the choice of gazing and fixing my eyes on Him, the beauty of His heart. My husband, my kids, my community, my friends, my life was now surrounded with so much beauty. I understood then that beholding is transformational, what we think about, what we look after, what we obsess about, what drives us, and pushes us eventually we turn into that very same thing. I want to tell you that today is the day you get to decide what you set your eyes and mind on. The past has no hold on you, unless you choose to look back at it. That in Christ we have been set free, we have been made image bearers and that we behold the beauty of the one who created us.

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