Joyce Meyer has been rather open about her past of sexual abuse, but for the first time, she’s portraying it in its true light, according to an article by the Christian Post.
“Sexual abuse is so shaming that nobody talks about it. Nobody knows how to talk about it,” she said.
Even as Joyce started to open up about her dark past, she always referred to it as “sexual abuse”—but in a recent interview posted on her website this week, she admits that term is truly not enough anymore. It was rape.
“Literally, what he did was rape me, every week, at least once a week, until the time I was 18. My father, who I was supposed to be able to trust, who was supposed to keep me safe, raped me a minimum of 200 times,” she said.
“He didn’t force me physically, but through lies, and manipulation, and fears, and threats, I was still forced,” she added. “My father did rape me, numerous times, at least 200 times.”
Joyce never felt safe growing up, and her father would often ask her to take girls home from school so that he could rape them as well. She became pretty skilled in coming up with excuses for friends not to come over, but her attempts to protect the neighbor girl were not so successful.
She grew up ashamed of her parents because of her father’s actions, especially because his sick obsession had extended from her to other girls. Joyce was scared for any female to enter her home, for fear she may become his next victim.
Her dad would even force her to look at porn, and she would have to act like she enjoyed it.
“For me to have to pretend that I liked something that I despised, I think that was one of the most damaging things,” said Joyce.
The main reason she is being so transparent in her testimony now is because she’s grateful that God’s grace and freedom have released her from the “pretending game” she had to play for so much of her life.
Though the pain and suffering ran deep for many years, Joyce has now been able to find healing through the love of God, who has shown her what a true father’s heart looks like. She even fell in love with her adoring husband, Dave, who reaffirmed that a man’s hands can be gentle, respectful and kind.
“How can that have happened to me, and me be standing here today, if God is not alive and well?” she said. “I want people to know how good God is, and that your struggle is worth it, your journey is worth it. Don’t give up.”
Joyce now loves her life as a mother, grandmother and worldwide Christian speaker, and she hopes that in sharing her story, others may find healing.