When I was 15 years old, I was abused by my mother's boyfriend. He had groomed me since I was 13, taking opportunity on my mother being a drug addict and alcoholic that would abuse me physically and mentally. When I was 16, I became pregnant with his child. I had stayed with him for 2 years thinking that I loved him, but at the same time feeling a deep hate for him that would make me want to try to kill myself. I also always felt disgusted but at the same time I couldn’t leave him out of fear. He had full control of me through the deceiving act that I was alone and only had him to care for me. At the age of 19, I got the courage to leave him but even then, he had control over me until one day I felt a strong call to move to Tucson, my childhood town. Even though I tried to turn back I just couldn’t. I ended up having a need to look for God and eventually ended up at my church in Tucson where I started learning about healing and forgiveness through the WOVEN in Grace ministry. God revealed His love for me through my daughter and how no matter what has happened, I’m loved and never alone. He has made me strong and given me peace and joy that comes from within. He showed me through new friends and family, through Christ, that I’m never alone or unloved. He took me out of a place of darkness, depression, shame, and not being able to forgive myself or others into a place of light, joy, confidence and forgiveness. It has been a wonderful process of coming back to life through Him!
I have been working with Brenda Mangen facilitating WOVEN in Grace Levels 1 and 2 groups for the past 7 years. We have had ladies from all walks of life come through WOVEN. No matter where they have been in life or where they are in their walk with God, one thing remains the same. When they open up and allow the Lord to reveal even the slightest hurt, He begins to heal them in ways that they could never even imagine. The principles that are taught in WOVEN delve into the areas that most of us try to keep hidden. When we begin to look at these things, the light comes on and the darkness fades away. It has been a joy to watch ladies gain the victory from sexual trauma that has kept them bound for years. I have seen ladies that began the program hopeless, unstable, and with no confidence finish with hope and certainty of purpose. When they are willing to put in the work that it takes to honestly examine the root and walk through the steps necessary to gain the victory, the Lord grabs ahold with them and victory begins.
One lady that I ministered to in WOVEN began the program afraid of her own shadow. She had a consuming fear of failure, of speaking out, and of being hurt. After completing Levels 1 and 2, she continued to apply the tools that she had learned. She now understands that she has a purpose. She is confident and stepping out into some areas that would have been too scary before. She knows that the hurts of her past can’t hurt her any longer. She openly shares areas of her life to help others that before she never would have even considered telling anyone.
The principles taught in WOVEN work and I would encourage anyone who has a desire to help women who have suffered from sexual abuse to contact Brenda Mangen and learn how they can minister in this area.
WOVEN in Grace’s support groups are anonymous so we don’t use actual names or photos unless given permission. The photos may be stock photos and the names you see may be changed for privacy.
One woman came to our WOVEN in Grace support group that was being held in a local library. She attended after seeing a post about WOVEN on Facebook and took a chance. She was in her late 70’s at the time. She went through our Level 1 and Level 2 programs. As she went through the program and was able to share, for the first time, some of the things that happened to her as a very small child, she was able to process and grieve what had happened. She was able to forgive the perpetrator, who wasn’t alive anymore. She just passed away recently. Some of the comments her family made to her was how she used to be so grumpy and unhappy, angry and bitter all the time. She transformed into a joyful person that began to truly enjoy life and freely love her family, children, grandchildren and others with a depth she couldn’t do before receiving healing from the effects of the abuse that dogged her over most of her life. Her last few years
were truly blessed.
I have been blessed to be part of a ministry such as WOVEN. As a first & second level participant, I cannot express how happy I am to have gone through this program and encourage more women to be part of it. There have been some challenges that I had to overcome physically, mentally, and spiritually. But this time...I did not have to do it alone. Woven is an amazing support system & a place where you can truly be yourself without judgement. It was a safe place to share thoughts, feelings and to start taking your first steps to healing. It has been a long time where I felt like I had time to take care of me, to start trusting and believing in myself. But now I can, thanks to WOVEN and its ministry.
I just wanted to say thank you for founding WOVEN in Grace. I also wanted to say thank you for all the years of love, support, and encouragement. Without it, my growth in self-love, learning about God’s Grace, and getting close to God wouldn’t be at the same pace of where I am today. I realized that on my 26th birthday, not only did WOVEN in Grace provide a pivotal and critical sense of direction, it was a life saver.
If you'd like to partner with us in getting the WOVEN message out to women across the globe, then go to our GET CONNECTED page and send us a message. Thank you for compassionately sowing into the women who are being WOVEN in God's Grace
and experiencing freedom and healing from
the trauma of sexual assault or abuse.