The act of a man who was more in tune with his worldly instincts than the ones that God created him with, left Elise feeling filthy, and worthless. Like so many of us, she was trusting of a stranger, and in turn, he raped her.
But with the help of God and his undying grace, forgiveness and mercy, she found beauty in the deepest depths of tragedy.
After receiving a MySpace message from someone she didn’t know, Elise responded.
“I normally just ignored them,” she said. “I’d never responded to a stranger before.” But this time was different. The stranger spoke like he was a friend, like he actually cared about her.
The two spoke on the phone that night, and eventually met up once to spend time together. The second time they met would be the last.
He came to her RV and raped her.
In an instant, he turned her world upside down.
A few weeks later, she took a pregnancy test that came back positive. That’s when God really started working. “I had to hear from God,” she said, “I had to. I could not survive without Him giving me some word of encouragement, I guess.”
This story of forgiveness is absolutely incredible, and SO inspiring.
“I knew it wasn’t God’s will for me to be raped, I knew that wasn’t his plan for me, I knew it crushed him, more than it even crushed me. But I also knew that life is never an accident. Babies aren’t just accidents. They’re created by God.
I don’t regret for one second choosing life for my daughter. She has made my life so beautiful. I had never felt that amount of love, I had never felt that capacity of love. She just is a symbol of hope and inspiration, and what God can do if you let him.
The story where Jesus is on the cross and He says, ‘Father forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing,’ that scripture comes to mind, and came to mind a lot during the process.
This man, he’s a rapist. But he’s also made in God’s image. God also sent his son to die for him. He’s a sinner. I’m a sinner. How can you not forgive?
Not to say that it’s easy, but how could you not? I mean, how am I in a place to not forgive? I’ve sinned.
In my own personal story, God was always there. Always. He’s bigger and smarter than the enemy, and more loving than we could even comprehend. His goodness, His fingerprints have been all over my life, and my story and my journey.”
This incredible story of forgiveness can seem so unfathomable to us. How could she forgive someone who did that to her? But it’s such a beautiful reminder of God’s grace and forgiveness to all of us. No sin can be compared to another. In the end it’s all just sin. I’m so thankful for beautiful souls like this woman that can remind us of God’s unbelievable goodness.