The Little White Church
This is a recent picture of a little church on the northwest corner of 33rd and Park Place in the north end of Wichita, Kansas. It was right around the corner from my childhood home on Wellington Place and still stands today. It doesn’t look quite the same, but the steps are and it was a safe haven for me when I was a child. To this day, I never knew the name of the church or its denomination nor did I even care. I just knew that I felt at peace there. And I knew that God was there too.
As a child, I endured the physical and emotional pain of sexual abuse from my step-father. I am not even really sure when It started, how long it lasted, but there are certain instances that happened throughout my childhood that I will never forget. This church is one of them.
I contemplated even writing this story and putting my past out there for everyone to read. But I couldn’t fully tell the story of this little church and what it meant to me without telling it. I won’t go into detail of what happened. It’s in the past and all has been forgiven. God can do that you know? Heal wounds of the past, no matter how deep they are.
The memories I have of this little white church with its steep steps will always be in my memory. I remember running to this church at times. When life was too much to bare, I used to see the steps and run up them and be out of breath and just sit there. The steps seemed so high and steep when I was a child, but in reality they weren’t. It’s funny how things can seem so big when you are a child, but as a grown-up they aren’t, just smaller but not so insignificant.
Sometimes it was hot, sometimes cold and I remember hearing leaves rustle too. I must have run to that church throughout every season. When life became too much to handle, this is where I would go. It was nice to know that it was just around the corner, my safe haven. It was really one of the only places I could escape too and feel safe.
I must have run to that church throughout every season.
I used to pray to God and tell him my problems; I remember the sun beaming down on my face on my tears at times too. Keep in mind that I was probably nine or ten years old. I remember crying a lot while I was there too. But one thing I always remember is that God must have always comforted me and gave me strength while I was sitting there, because I always felt renewed by the time I left.
I have always felt and knew that God was a big part of my life.
I have always felt and knew that God was a big part of my life. These are some of the first memories of a child that I even have of God. I always knew that He was there. I knew that He cared even though I didn’t understand why I had to endure the pain.
Today I feel blessed to have overcome the abuse. It’s not who I am. It does not define me. It wasn’t my fault, it just happened. I feel that I am a victor and not a victim. I gave it all to Him and He healed my brokenness and wounds. The abuse led me down some wrong paths at time in my life. I have been off track and not trusted God at times too. But, once you know something in your heart to be true, you can’t run or hide from it. God has always been there and always will be. He is a part of my life and I feel very thankful to be a Child of God.