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"I was in my bedroom, and it was there that Father came to me, and in the name of love, he molested me as a child," says Ida. "It was a very devastating experience. It made me feel as though I had no worth."
Idas father was an engineer. In the communitys eyes, he was an upstanding citizen. But he was living two lives.
"I was so bound by fear because he threatened me," she says. "He said if I ever told anyone what was going on, he would kill Mother and that it would be all my fault."
Life went on as normal. Every Sunday morning the family went to church, and the family image stayed in tact.
"Father would stand up and pray. He would give Bible studies, prayer meetings in our home, and then he would come home and molest me," Ida recalls. "Therefore, it was very hard for me to believe in God."
For 8 years Ida endured the abuse. Then when she was 14, Ida decided she had had enough.
"By this time I had decided that I would never again allow Father to touch me in any disrespectful way," she says. "As soon as I became aware of his full intentions, I screamed for my mother, and, of course, she came. When she came upon the scene, Father was very irate. He went off to his bedroom, he picked up a loaded revolver, brought it over, pointed it at his head, and he said, 'Unless you and Mother promise that youll never tell anyone what I was trying to do, Im going to kill myself.' Father put the gun down, walked away, went downstairs. Mother went about her chores in the house. I went back to school."
Ida began to make plans to leave home.
"I thought the first man that came along that showed any interest in me that I would marry him."
Ida met a man named Maxy. At the age of 17 they got married. She left everything behind in hopes of starting a new life.
"I thought, 'Lifes going to be a piece of cake.'"
Life seemed great. Ida stayed at home and raised their children. Maxy was a plant worker and faithful provider. But Ida never mentioned her tormented past to Maxy or to anyone else.
"I was still bound by this, that if Maxy knew, that he wouldnt want me anymore," she says.
Their marriage began to suffer. Ida got involved in an adulterous affair. Attending church had become routine for Ida, just like in her childhood. But this time when she went, her life started to change.
"I needed to get this straightened out," Ida remembers, "so it was then that I had asked the Lord to forgive me and to come into my heart and to cleanse me from this, which He did. God had given me strength to go on, and I felt as though I had worth as an individual."
Ida began to realize that God was a loving God and He loved her. But she still kept the family secret hidden. As a result, she began to suffer from severe depression. Maxy admitted her to a state mental institution. She kept her Bible close by and her newfound faith in God.
"Early one morning," says Ida, "the Lord came to me with a special verse. It was from 2 Timothy 1:7, which reads, 'For God hath not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind.' It was at that point that I recognized there was nothing wrong with my mind. I had determined in my heart, I will get released. I will confront Maxy."
Ida was released and she shared the dreadful family secret with Maxy.
"I felt that I could fly. It was just such a release, such a healing came upon me," she says.
Ida then confronted her father.
"I simply said to him, 'I hope that you can forgive me for all the hate Ive held for you over the all these years from the time I was 6 years of age. But all he said was, 'Well, I realize that I havent always done what was right.' That was the extent of it. He offered no remorse whatsoever. When I walked out of that home, I felt like I was wearing new wings. This great burden had been released, and I know that it was the power of God that gave me the strength, that gave me the courage."
Ida wrote a book to give others strength to overcome the trauma of sexual and mental abuse. Its called In the Furnace. She shares how to live above the abuse and live a life of freedom by embracing the love of God.
"I feel free as a bird to speak. When I wasnt able to speak, it was like this was always bottled up inside me and I couldnt share it. Now Im able to. Im able to help others."
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