“A Boy Defiled. A Man Reconciled.” – Part 2


Dear Alex,

So you’ve got crud, welcome to the human existence. Everybody HAS CRUD. Just because you’re not ready to talk to someone face to face, doesn’t mean that you’re a chicken poop. Can I say “poop” without the big bad marine making fun of me? ha! ha! I’m a Jesus girl and I don’t want to curse.

A chicken poop doesn’t reach out, open up and bare his soul with the intention of changing or getting help for himself. That’s not a chicken poop at all. It is the very essence of courage.

Courage is the ability to DO SOMETHING even if we are afraid to do it… even when we fear that it will cause us pain…to do it anyway.

A coward is afraid to face the truth. A coward would rather live a lie. A coward will hurt others and not care. A coward will make excuses. 

A brave man will look at the truth and try to change his life to be a better person. A brave man will learn and grow and love others, even though he has every right to hate…even though it makes no sense to love another human being after such a brutal violation. A brave man will be the man that he never got to have in his life.

Strong, truthful, honorable, kind, loving, compassionate, hard-working and generous.

A brave man will not allow himself to repeat what has been done to him. So that means a brave man will do ANYTHING IT TAKES TO GET HEALTHY – even if it means asking a total stranger about her story, so that he might get a piece of truth to use for himself…so that he can begin to move forward.

It takes courage to ask for help. It takes courage to look at the CRUD and to revisit the pain that hurt you so badly. It takes courage to admit that you don’t have all the answers.

It takes courage to push through your FEAR, Alex, and to look at the crud and begin to deal with it.

Let me just tell you that I am truly sorry for what happened to you. I’m so sorry, Alex. You were a young boy and you didn’t do ANYTHING to make this happen to you. Of course you trusted this man. He was a coach. He was respected by other adults and the kids loved him. He seemed trustworthy. Of course you wanted to feel important. Who doesn’t? You wanted to feel special. He gave you the attention that you craved. 

All kids…all people…want to be LOVED and to feel important to someone.

It’s how God designed us. It has nothing to do with weakness. It has to do with being a kid and wanting to be loved. The groomers know this and use this need to be loved to gain trust and access to those they can control. This man knew what he was doing.

Groomers plan, manipulate and take advantage of kids.

A groomer wants control, and most of the time, they can’t control another adult and get away with it. So, kids are an easy target to get what they want. Clearly he didn’t specify between boys OR girls. It’s not about sexuality. It’s about exerting control over another human being and getting what they want.

1 in 4 girls will be sexually abused in their lifetime. 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused by the age of 18.

There was NOTHING in you, about you, how you looked or anything else…that caused him to target you. Groomers search for kids that they can create a relationship with. A team of kids would be an easy way to get access to kids that needed an adult “friend” in their life. 

I have SO much I want to say to you. My heart is exploding right now. As I read your letter, all I see is HOPE! I have hope for you, Alex. Let me explain what I mean.

Your comment about ‘thinking more about holding her than you think about sex’ isn’t weird at all. On the contrary. It shows great love and respect that you want to treat her differently, adore her like she’s a precious gift. The fact that you want more with her and you want to be the best man you can be, tells me that you cherish her and WILL keep her safe and protect her heart.

I can tell you what the bible says. God has a perfect plan and that He created sex to be between ONE WOMAN and ONE MAN who are committed in marriage and in covenant with God and each other. It’s a BIG DEAL to God.

See, He knew that there would come a day when ‘there’s this girl’….or “there’s this guy’…. (like happened to me) and God wants you to have the FULLNESS of His joy in all things. That need to take care of her, that need to protect her and love her…GOD put that in you, Alex.

Tell your girl. You must be able to trust her with ALL things.

I don’t know what she’ll do, Alex. I really don’t. But she sounds like a girl who cares a great deal for you and if she’s the one…then she WILL choose you, NO MATTER WHAT. You say that you feel broken and that you’re not good enough for her. Let me ask you this. If the situation was reversed, would you leave her because she was “broken” or used in such a way? I already know what your answer is.

So WHY don’t you deserve the same grace and love…as you would give…her?

Give her the choice to make her own decision. Don’t make decisions for her. Where would I be…if Rick had allowed me to push him away…because I was NOT GOOD ENOUGH for him? I’ve written about this very thing so many times, where I almost ruined one of the greatest things to ever happen to me…because I believed the lies. I believed satan more than I believed Jesus. Ugh. I’m so ashamed that I did that. But I understand that because of my crud, and those messages that I was given as a kid, that I truly believed that I was unworthy to be loved by Rick. All lies. Don’t believe the lies, Alex.

Are you attracted to men? Do you want to have sex with men, Alex? If your answer is no, then you are not gay. The bible has lots to say about homosexual activity. If you had same sex attraction, then we’d be talking about something entirely different here. But ALEX…being forced to have oral sex with a grown man…while you are a child…is NOT actively participating in the homosexual lifestyle.

A man forcing you to have sex with him is not a “lifestyle”.  IT IS RAPE! IT IS SEXUAL ABUSE! 

You need to hear me and accept this fact. You were coerced, manipulated, and forced to do sexual acts against your will. When you are 13 years old, and a trusted adult tells you that it’s okay and every guy does this, (WHICH IS A LIE) he is a liar and an abuser. He sexually hurt you, Alex. HE…DID THIS. He was the adult. You were a CHILD. You said it yourself, he held you down. He threatened to tell others and to hurt your mom…if you didn’t do what he wanted. Holding anyone down and forcing them to do something sexual against their will…IS RAPE.

This is the hardest part about sexual abuse. Our bodies are designed to be aroused when they’re touched in such a way. We all know this. But what happens when we SHOULDN’T be aroused? When it’s wrong to feel good or like it? I can remember feeling just like you described. My body liked the feeling but…HATED it at the same time. Why? Because that was not the way that God intended for sex to be. You like girls. In fact, let me just tell you…


But that seed of doubt is there…because you believe you didn’t fight back to try to stop it, therefore you MUST have WANTED it to happen. Alex, why didn’t you fight back? Could it be because you were 13 and he was an adult and you weren’t sure what he would do to you if you fought back? Could it be that you were afraid that you would lose that relationship…the fun part of connecting in a healthy way with another person? When you are a kid, having a man in your life IS A BIG DEAL. Could it be that you were afraid that he would TELL OTHER PEOPLE or that he WOULD hurt your mom?

Would you think less of me…if I told you that I didn’t fight back? Because I didn’t. Not ever.

I said NO! I told him that I didn’t want to do those things, but he did them anyway. I did say NO! But he would slap me when I did. Most of the time, he forced me or he threatened to hurt my mom. Not only did he threaten, he delivered on his threats. I watched him beat her bloody in front of my face. Why didn’t I scream for help? Why didn’t I call the cops? Because I was scared to DEATH! Why didn’t I shove her away or hit her back when she blamed me for “seducing her lover” as she beat me daily? Why didn’t I leave when the authorities asked if she was hurting me the first time?

I was scared.

I also LOVED her, Alex…and wanted to protect her. That’s messed up, I know. I didn’t want her to get in trouble but I was scared of her all at the same time. She would try to kill me. I knew in my heart that she would do it. Several times she strangled me to the point of passing out, so I knew that she was capable of killing me. I was afraid. It WAS confusing. I loved her. She was my MOTHER…and I hated what she was doing to me…all at the same time.

You say that ‘clearly, God has forgiven me’. But you don’t expect Him to forgive you. Why? Is my sin LESS than yours? Is it less offensive? Alex, let me tell you the truth…SIN IS OFFENSIVE to a HOLY GOD. All sin. The bible says that there is not one who is good. Not one! No one DESERVES to be forgiven, Alex.

But God in His mercy, LOVED US SO MUCH, that He sent Jesus to die for our sin. He knew that we could never be good enough on our own, so He had to make a way to rescue us from our sin. So He sent His Son, Jesus, to die and take our punishment for that sin upon Himself. He saved us! He chose us. 

Don’t you see what’s happening, Alex? You are NOT your past. You have risen above it. You are helping others, because of what happened to you. You are helping them be MORE…so that they can move forward and not be held captive by their pasts. THAT IS BEAUTIFUL! Admirable. Encouraging.

You wanted to be different…so you CHOSE to be different.

Now I’m going to ask you…no I’m BEGGING YOU…to GO THE DISTANCE. I strongly encourage you to get counseling. Find a good counselor that will listen and give you practical tools that you can begin to implement into your daily life. It’s important to do this. I think it will be invaluable to you for your personal growth and mental health. Dude, seriously…DO THIS! Take ownership of your life. Make a choice to get yourself healthy. DO NOT TALK YOURSELF OUT OF THIS HELP and SUPPORT. Take the next step for YOU.

Don’t be afraid to look at the crud and then work your tail off…to work through all of it so that you can be free. So that you can be the man that you want to be. God has a plan for your life. You think you found my story by ACCIDENT? You KNOW better than that.

From the moment I got your letter, I’ve been praying for you. My heart hurts for you because I know that you’re hurting. Alex, you NEED to believe what I say to you now. You are NOT alone. You are NOT your past. You are NOT any lie that you’ve believed about yourself. GOD ALWAYS TELLS THE TRUTH. He says you are worthy of His love and that He will forgive you and YOU MUST BELIEVE HIM.

God has chased after you. He’s drawing you to Himself, so that you can have a relationship with Jesus. He wants you to be free of that shame, the guilt, the anger, the hurt.

I placed my faith in Jesus Christ and He saved me. He forgave me. He made me new on the inside and gave me life-changing skills to change everything in my life. My thoughts, my beliefs, my dreams, my words, my actions. He changed all of it.

Giving my heart to Him was the SCARIEST thing I’ve ever done. Giving Jesus the power and trusting Him to not hurt me, was the HARDEST THING I’ve ever done. But even in the fear, I KNEW in my heart that it was the right thing for me. I gave Him everything. And He has NEVER failed me.

He wants a relationship with you, Alex. Will you give him your heart?

Have the COURAGE to trust Jesus, Alex.

Have the COURAGE to deal with your crud ALL OF ITuntil you are free from the grip of the pain of it.

Have the COURAGE to LOVE, Alex. Love Jesus. Love yourself. Love others.


Do you know what she deserves, Alex? She deserves a man that is seeking Jesus with his whole heart. She deserves a man that will honor her, love her, protect her, serve her, cherish her, believe in her, encourage her, always tell her the truth, always ask her forgiveness when he’s messed up, to always stand with her, for her, beside her. This is YOU, ALEX!!!

You WILL do all of these things. Why? Because YOU LOVE HER! Because you are working on your crud! And you would rather die then let anything hurt her. You ARE going to mess up. SHE is going to mess up. You are BOTH imperfect humans with CRUD. 

YET…if you will be faithful to do the hard work, and love God with all your heart and love others, God is going to do a work in you that you won’t even begin to dream about.

I am standing with you.

I’m cheering for you.

You are not alone.

This is the beginning.

But WAIT!!! AAAAHHHHH!!! There is MORE to this story…(I know, right???) Click below for an update!  “A Boy Defiled. A Man Reconciled.” – Part 3


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Sonya Brunner

Speaker, Singer, Musician, Worship Leader, Life Coach, Writer, and the founder of Fifty Shades of Grace & the Crud Talk podcast. "I help people learn how to deal with the pain of their past so they can live in freedom. Got Crud? Let's deal with it."

18 Responses

  1. I knew a groomer. He was my algebra teacher. I thought that he cared about me. I did unspeakable things. I’ve carried my shame around for many years. You are right. Every day is hard. I don’t know how I could live if it weren’t for Jesus. Thank you, Sonya. My wife and I are huge fans. Your words are like a healing balm to the soul. Love what Jesus is doing in your life.

  2. I can appreciate you sharing your story. But what I can’t stand is you making everyone think that Jesus helped you. You helped yourself. Everybody knows you can only count on yourself. You are naive if you think that Jesus is the cure for all that ails us. The bible is not some magical lamp that you rub and get all your wishes to come true. Life sucks. You have to take care of yourself. The ones that do that are the ones that make it. THAT is the truth.

  3. You know what makes me happy? You make me happy Sonya Brunner. The way you love and encourage this guy is beautiful. Thank you for letting us into your heart as you serve Jesus with the world. I feel blessed to watch Jesus work in you and through you.

  4. I was touched as a boy and have always struggled with same sex attraction. I liked girls but didn’t feel worthy to be with them sexually. A guy I work with told me about this article and said I should read it and I did. I don’t want to be gay but I think I am. I don’t understand why I liked it if I was forced to do things. I guess I always felt that if I was turned on by it then I must want it. I understand that guilt and the shame of this. My family has turned away from me and they want nothing to do with me. I don’t feel like being with a man. I feel embarrassed to be with a woman. I want to have my own family someday. Sometimes I think that God is for everyone else but me. I just disappoint everyone in my life. Including myself.

  5. I just wanted to tell you that I’ve been afraid to look at my crud. I’m ready to look at it now! Thank you.

  6. I was also hurt by a coach when I was 12. It kind sounds like the exact same story. My mom was single and trying to do the best she could by me but didn’t have help from family to help raise me. So I spent a lot of time with my coach and he hurt me. I feel ashamed. The part that hit me was when you said that you didn’t fight back, sonya. I’ve always felt like I was a freak because I didn’t do anything to stop this. I did feel like I must have WANTED it. I realized after reading this that I have believed lies. I never wanted that. I didn’t do anything to deserve that or make it happen. This guy was sick. When I read this I felt like a load had lifted off me. When you said “have the courage to love. Love God, love yourself….love others.” I realized that I didn’t love myself. I’m talking to god about this stuff. I haven’t done that before. Thank you.

  7. This young man is courageous. I want to thank you for opening up your wounds for Alex and the rest of us. I’m praying for Alex and you and for all of us that have crud. That we would be just as courageous as Alex. Can you send me some counseling resources?

  8. Tears and more tears. I hate that you are forced to share your pain over and over again, but I’m grateful too. You have helped me so much. Sexual abuse is evil. It steals your soul. I know that Jesus is trying to get my attention and wants me to deal with some of my crud. I’m afraid. Will you pray for me?

  9. Wow. I don’t even know where to begin. Alexs story IS my story. I was also forced to do things with my little league coach. I used drugs and alcohol to get through it. I hurt my family and I lost all my friends. Do you think it’s ever possible to truly be forgiven for your mistakes?

  10. This is just great, Sonya. I like the way that you talk to us without judgement or “churchy language”. I feel for Alex. I was hurt by a man when I was young and it messed up my life to the point that I thought I wanted to kill myself. I got counseling and I found out that I could be forgiven for my choices in life. It was hard to deal with my crud. It’s still hard today. You have no idea how much you have helped me and many others deal with our crud. I don’t feel ashamed when I read your stuff. Thank you for loving us with your words. Praying for Alex.

  11. Amen and amen! Sonya, once again you have knocked it out of the park. Bringing attention to a subject that is so painful and difficult. How god uses you to connect with people is truly amazing. Praying for you and Alex.

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