Rocks are rocks. People are People.

Rocks are rocks. People are People.

“We are pressured in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed”

2 Corinthians 4:8-9

 

 

 

I like rocks.

Every time I go somewhere, I try to get a rock to take home with me.

 

 

 

When you scan a pile of rocks, at first glance they all look the same. Upon closer examination, they are totally different. Throughout time, the rocks have been crushed and broken, heated and frozen, shifted and tossed. I wonder “what have they been through? How did they get here?”

 

 

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I’ve NEVER been able to find two rocks that are the same. Some are beautiful. Some shine and sparkle. Some are dull and dirty. Some are smooth. Some are jagged with sharp edges. Unique and special because of how they’ve been squeezed and pressed.

 

 

 

 

 

As many of you know, I recently visited my childhood home where all the violence happened to me as a kid. My intention was to do a “video diary” to share the experience of going back to that place after 34 years.

 

 

 

 

It was a powerful time of worship and ‘crud dealing’ and hope. As I was recording my thoughts I happened to glance down at this broken sidewalk that I walked many times trying to escape my pain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I looked down and saw a shiny sparkle coming from the broken crack.

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As I stood there looking at the rock that was shining so brightly in the midst of that broken concrete, I felt just like that rock. Jagged and sharp. Rough around some of the edges. But there was a smoothness to certain parts of that rock as if it had felt the wearing pressure of brutal elements. Man, do I know how it feels.

 

I was beaten almost every day. I was burned with curling irons. I had my hair ripped out of my head so that I would look more like a boy so that men wouldn’t “look” at me. I was starved. My birth mother…the one who should have loved me the most in this world didn’t love me. Couldn’t love me. She was broken inside and didn’t have hope. What had happened to her in her life?

 

 

 

She was like the rock, too.

 

 

I looked at the rock in my hand, remembering the rape and violence that went on day after day, being stripped naked, being forced to do things sexually to a man, the violation of my little body, the threats of beatings to my mother, the psychological torture of him holding a knife in my hand while he cut off the head of my favorite stuffed animal and then raped me with it…because I tried to hide from him under my bed. What was his story? What made him do this? Yep. He was another rock, too.

 

 

 

 

Over and over the message was “You aren’t worth anything. This is all there is. This is who you are. You will never be more.” Unbelievable pressure – pressing and crushing down, chiseling the edges cutting, sharpening and wearing me smooth in some places, jagged in others. 

 

Rocks, rocks and more rocks.

 

 

 

 

 

People are like rocks.

Unique and special because of how they’ve been squeezed and pressed. Every day we pass by people that have been crushed and broken by life. Some are worn down and some have jagged edges cut out by the struggles of sin in this world. And some, though they’ve been pressed and tossed, just sparkle with a light that can never be put out. Who knows what they had to endure? Who knows what they had to face or why they look the way they do? Who knows what they’ve been through to get to where they are today? 

 

This is the one constant throughout all of time…

 

All rocks had to go through SOMETHING to get to where they are today.

 

And then the Lord hit me with this truth.

 

People – you, me – ALL people – have been through SOMETHING to get to where they are today.

 

That’s the common denominator in all of us! This is the thread that ties ALL of us together as human beings! Young. Old. Rich. Poor. Short. Tall. Fat. Skinny. Nice. Mean. Saved. Lost. 

 

ALL ROCKS are ROCKS. ALL PEOPLE are PEOPLE.

 

We never know what they’re story is…until we truly look and then ask. That means you are going to have to ENGAGE people. God has given you and you alone, a unique opportunity to be around countless people in this world as you go about your own life story. Don’t just “pass them by”. Stop. Take a closer look. Ask questions. Share your story. Share Jesus with people that need to know there is hope. People need to know that they can be forgiven. People need to know that Jesus loves them.

 

 

 

 

You might be feeling like you’ve been crushed and forgotten in the pile of all the other countless rocks.

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Maybe you take great comfort in hiding in the pile so that other’s won’t “see” and know that you are hurting. 

 

Maybe your edges are jagged and you use those edges to cut people when they try to get close.

 

 

 

Maybe you’re tired – worn down smooth with no signs of life. Maybe you’ve given up.

 

Whatever you’ve been through, the truth is we’ve ALL been through SOMETHING. That’s called CRUD. Guilt, shame, blame, anger, denial, hatred, and fear are the jagged edges that make up our rocky stinkin’ crud. It must be dealt with. You can’t ignore it.

 

 

 

 

And if you have crud that you’ve never dealt with, DEAL with your CRUD.

 

Don’t let sin, pain, or hurt hold you back from the life that Jesus has planned for you. 

 

 

 

I’ve had a lot of hurt and disappointment in my life. But I’ve had LOTS of love and support and good experiences, too. I’m not the girl I used to be. That WASN’T all there was. 

 

But because of Jesus, I sparkle!

It’s one of my favorite things that He has done in my life. 

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Oh that we would see PEOPLE as Jesus does. Oh that we could love PEOPLE the way that Jesus does. Celebrating our differences and what it took to get us to where we are now and loving each other through the “pressing and crushing” of all things called LIFE. Jagged or smooth and everything in between.

All rocks are rocks.

And people are people.

“We are pressured in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed”

2 Corinthians 4:8-9

 

COMING SOON! Look for the upcoming video – “The Apartment” a video diary of the journey back to where all the hurt and abuse happened but how Jesus changed everything! – www.sonyabrunner.com

19 Comments
  • Ashley
    Posted at 19:53h, 22 June Reply

    This was just what I needed. I have been weary of people and very critical in my attitude towards others. I have been hiding in the safety of the pile, Sonya. It’s not something that I ever thought I’d do but my life has been so hard. I try to give it to the Lord but I feel like the more I try the worse I feel. People hurt me. They let me down. I can’t forget it. How do you forgive? How do you love people when they are the ones that hurt you?

    I really love your youtube channel. It encourages me a lot.

  • Zach
    Posted at 20:03h, 22 June Reply

    You never cease to amaze me with your transparency. I have been following your web site and I have to say that every time I think that “this doesn’t apply to me,” – it absolutely does. I have had severe abuse in my past and have tried to move forward. I have had many relatipnships that ended badly because I let my ‘jagged edges cut them’ so they wouldn’t get too close. Ya. I’m one of THOSE guys. Sex isn’t special. It’s just an ends to a means. Until her. I have fallen in love with a fantastic girl but I can’t bring myself to open myself up to the risk of getting hurt. I feel ashamed of my past and I know that I have more to forgive. My abuser was my mother. So it’s true that you and I have way more in common than we ever knew. I know that this girl could be it but I can’t get past what I think and feel. I’ve pushed her away to make sure she leaves. I broke her heart. She left. Now I’m miserable. Help! What do I do now?

  • Michelle
    Posted at 20:14h, 22 June Reply

    WOW! I can’t imagine the things you have lived through. I don’t know what to say but thank you. I am so grateful to find your website. I have been holding on to some CRUD. I don’t know how to get rid of it. Is it weird that I don’t want to get rid of it? It’s almost like holding on to it is what makes me feel “safe”. My father touched me often as a young girl. He would take pictures of me naked. I would cry and tell him no but he would always say that he loved me and that this made him love me more. My family didn’t believe me. So instead of standing for myself, I just swallowed the lie. I have been with so many men, I can’t keep track. No matter what I do, I can never connect deeply with a man. I need to forgive my father. It’s killing me. But I don’t want him to think that what he did was okay. But I know that it’s eating me up inside. I’ve also been really angry with God. If he loved me, how could he allow this to happen? I need to know how you forgave your mother and the man that hurt you. BTW – Your music is so pretty.

  • Kenzie
    Posted at 20:18h, 22 June Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story. I was sexually assaulted last year and have not forgiven the man that did this to me. I haven’t been able to go to church because I feel like Jesus wasn’t there for me. I am so mad! It consumes me. How did you deal with your crud?

  • Shantay
    Posted at 20:22h, 22 June Reply

    My mom’s boyfriend had sex with me when I was 12. I never told anyone. I cut myself to feel normal. I want to stop. Do you think that Jesus will forgive me for what I’ve done?

    • hisgirl
      Posted at 00:45h, 03 July Reply

      Shantay, I just sent you a private email with some really great resources for your area. I have lots to tell you, including I’m sorry that this happened. And I know what courage it took for you to share this “out loud”. I’m proud of you. Jesus changed my life. He forgave me. I remember feeling like I needed to have control over something. I get that. There was something that just released me from the chains, and that was surrendering my whole heart, trusting Jesus with it to not hurt me or break it, that made all the difference. I can’t wait to visit with you more. This is a really huge first step for you. I’m so proud of you.

  • Andrew
    Posted at 20:37h, 22 June Reply

    Do you know how arrogant it is to tell someone to forgive the person that abused them? Not everyone is you. And I have a feeling that you haven’t truly forgiven this man who hurt you. How could you? Jesus might work for you but if he was the real thing, then why would he let anything bad happen to those that he so called “loves”? Religion is no magic cure to make everything better. You have fallen prey to more lies. No need to respond to me. I’m sure you won’t even post this comment anyway.

    • hisgirl
      Posted at 23:36h, 02 July Reply

      Andrew, I just wanted to tell you that I have forgiven this man. How could I? One word. Jesus. See, you don’t know me but I have sinned many many many times. I have blown it so badly that there is no way that a Holy God would ever be able to forgive me. But He did. And I’m so grateful. Jesus changed my life. Although, what that man did to me was NOT my sin, the choices that I willingly made as I grew up WERE. There was no magic wand involved. There was blood. Lots and lots of blood as He literally died on a cross for me and you and all of us. Jesus had nothing to do with religion. He came here to have relationships with us. Sadly, I have fallen prey to lies many times. Like the lie that satan tells me, “You are nothing. Nobody loves you. Who do you think you are telling people about Jesus?” But Jesus and my relationship with Him, is no lie. Jesus doesn’t force us to believe or to love Him. He’s amazing. He lets us make our own choice. I chose to give Him my heart. He chose to love me even if I didn’t. But there is always consequences to our choices. You have a choice to make. It’s up to you. I’m praying for you.

  • Beth
    Posted at 20:40h, 22 June Reply

    Thank you for this article! Oh my, how God is going to use this to let His people go on to freedom. This was such a powerful visual for me to see that other people are JUST LIKE ME. Maybe I can begin to see them how God sees them. Sonya, you are such a blessing. I am so grateful to know your heart and all I can say is the Lord is using your story to share His story with those that He loves.

    • hisgirl
      Posted at 00:28h, 03 July Reply

      Thank you for the encouragement. I feel so unworthy but so grateful.

  • James
    Posted at 20:46h, 22 June Reply

    This was for ME! When you said, “All rocks have to go through something to get where they are today. All people have to go through something to get where they are today!” It suddenly hit me that everything hard that I’ve been through might be unique to me but not only me – others have been through really hard things, too. We are more alike then we are different. I am a rock with VERY shard edges. I don’t trust people ever. I don’t let people get close. I was raised by an aunt who abused me. She was evil. I am very driven and successful. I’m also very much alone. I have never really been religious. I’d like to know more about your faith. How do you know that God forgives you? And for that matter, how do you know that he loves you?

  • Lilly
    Posted at 20:51h, 22 June Reply

    When I was 14, I was raped by a friend of my brother. He let me try some pot, but said that if I told my mom that he had sex with me, that he would say that I was high and that no one would believe me. I believed him. So I turned to drugs to cope with my fear of someone touching me. I hate to be touched. You’ve been very open about sex and your past and I want to know how you moved forward from all of that? I want to be free of this. I have been clean for 24 months. But I know that I have more “crud” to deal with. How did Jesus help you?

    • hisgirl
      Posted at 23:21h, 02 July Reply

      Oh Lilly, I am SO sorry that this happened to you. Your courage to write to me is truly a miracle. Let me tell you that I am PROUD of you for being brave enough to deal with your crud and the self – awareness that you know that you need to do that. Also, way to go for being drug free for 24 months.

      I have thought about your question and this is what I can tell you about Jesus. How did He help me? He loved me. He loved me when no one else did. But make NO MISTAKE. That 4-letter word is loaded with power that only belongs to Jesus. We use that word and toss it around like it’s no big thing. But we have no concept of what it takes to truly LOVE. Only God can do that. He is love. He is the creator or love. And you WANT His love. Not the man-made version. You and I both know what that looks like, don’t we? He took me when no one else would. He forgave me (and continues to do so) and saved me from my sin. He gave me His word (the bible) so that I could know Him deeper and have a life plan. He never lies. He never leaves. He always loves.

      I have attached some resource information for you. I am praying and trusting that you will continue this journey of dealing with your crud. But more importantly, that you would begin a living, breathing relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus will change your life.

  • Dan
    Posted at 14:50h, 23 June Reply

    I read this post and thought, “I have to get out of the PILE”. I have a friend that is into church and she told me about your story. I am sorry that this stuff happened to you. You are a courageous woman. I have been married for 6 years to my high school sweetheart. I thought that we had a great marriage. I thought that she loved me. Until the day that I found her in bed with my best friend. It has been almost two years and we have divorced. I tried to win her back but she didn’t want me. I went to counseling. I did anything and everything I could to let her know that I was giving up but she gave up. Now, I keep everyone at a distance. I will not let myself get hurt again. But no matter how hard I try, I can’t forgive her. Or the guy that was supposed to be my friend. I watched your testimony video and was shocked to hear the things that you had to go through. I wasn’t sexually abused but my parents didn’t really care about me. They ignored me most of the time. I always felt like a disappointment. As you talked about the different kinds of rocks, rough, smooth, it hit me that I used to be a smooth rock but because of life, I am now 100% jagged. My question to you is how do I forgive? How do I let it go? How can I ever let myself love anyone again?

  • Shannon
    Posted at 15:05h, 23 June Reply

    Wow. Your story has really shaken me up. I was molested by my grandfather, along with my sister. She kept it silent, but I raged. I tried everything to feel anything but what I was feeling – that somehow I asked for this. He would always say what a “good, dirty slut” I was and that only “dirty girls like it” as much as he claimed that I did. I hated it. I have shut my heart off and use sex as a way to control the men that I am with. I only let them as close as I want to. I have truly turned into the very “SLUT” that he said I was. I hurt all the time. But I will not let anyone get close enough to hurt me – ever again. I have watched your video over and over. I relate to so many things you have written and said. How did you find a way past all of that hurt and anger? How? How could you trust a man ever again enough to marry him? How can you believe that he loves you? I want to find true love. But I feel like no one will ever love me. Not really. When you talk about Jesus, I can tell that you really believe it. It’s not an act to you. I’ve never been a religious person. But there’s something different about you. I know you mean it. But how do you KNOW that he really LOVES you? Do you think that Jesus can truly love someone like me? Will he forgive me when I can’t forgive myself?

  • Monica
    Posted at 15:09h, 23 June Reply

    You are an amazing inspiration! Keep it up for His kingdom. You bless me every time I hear you speak or hear you sing. Once again, you nailed it with this post. I never thought about how all rocks had to go through some pretty serious stuff in order to be what they are now. And so it is with people. Rocks are rocks. People are people. So good, Sonya!! Thank you for cheering us on to deal with our crud!!

    • hisgirl
      Posted at 23:22h, 02 July Reply

      Thank you, thank you, than you for that encouragement.

  • Jon
    Posted at 15:31h, 23 June Reply

    I have some crud, as you put it. I have been married for 4 years. I used to be with a different girl every night and then I met Shayla. She changed all that. We got married and things were good, great even. 2 weeks ago, she caught me engaged in pornography. But the truth is I have had this addiction since before her and I even got together. I hid it from her all this time, hoping that she would never find out. Now she has and she has left me. I tried to justify it as I needed more sex then I had a right to expect from my wife, so porn was an easy fix to get what I needed. I know that I have broken her heart. The look on her face killed me. She will never trust me again. The truth is that I have never felt comfortable sharing anything real with anyone. I have some issues from my past that I have tried to forget but it’s all coming out now. I have never loved anyone as much as I love her. I need her to forgive me. Then I need to forgive myself. Do you thing that God can change me? Would he forgive me? I’ll do anything to make this right.

    • hisgirl
      Posted at 23:08h, 02 July Reply

      Jon, I can’t even tell you how my heart hurts for you and for Shayla. Thank you for posting here, today. You will no doubt, encourage so many others to “deal with their own crud” by doing this.

      The first thing I need to tell you is this. God CAN change you. How do I know? Because His word (the bible) says so. If He can change me, He can change anyone.

      The second thing I need to say is YES. Jesus can and will forgive anything. How do I know? Because His word says so. When you place your faith and trust in Jesus, at that moment everything becomes new. Your sin is forgiven. It’s not a religious thing. It’s a relationship with a living Holy God. Does it take away all the pain or consequences of choices we’ve made? No. You still have to DEAL WITH YOUR CRUD. But with Jesus being the boss of your life, you are no longer alone. You have the most powerful advocate, healer, marriage restorer in the universe. That’s the good news. Will it be the hardest thing you’ve ever done? Yes. Yes it will.

      You have many things to work through. You aren’t alone. It’s important for you to get to the root of why this happened in the first place. So you need to go back. I would suspect that you should start, in your own words, here, ‘I have never felt comfortable sharing anything REAL with anyone’. I will attach information regarding professional resources for you. Let me encourage you to pursue anything that will help you to find out the “why’s”. It’s really important.

      God can do anything. I’ve witnessed miracles in my own life and the lives of others. But no matter what happens, Jesus will change your life.

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