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Is Rape THE Exception?

My friend Serena Dyksen, author and founder of "She Found His Grace" ministries, is the keynote speaker for this year's Illinois March For Life on Tuesday, March 21st (Please keep her in prayer; It's a big deal!)

A little bit of background on her.

Serena was raped at 13 and forced to have an abortion. She desperately wanted to keep her child despite how it was conceived but her voice was silenced by those who thought they knew best. As she recounts her story, she was traumatized twice as the forced abortion only added insult to injury. She was deeply wounded which later affected other areas of her life like her marriage and her ability to parent subsequent children. She wrote a book about her ordeal and started a ministry to help post-abortive women heal as well as new moms in crisis pregnancies parent effectively.

Serena's testimony is the platform God is using to speak up for rape victims who want to keep their children and against voices that speak to abortion as a solution to rape.

Tweet this: Abortion does not undo a rape but can further traumatize the woman.

At this point, I believe it is important to provide further historical context as it relates to bearing the child of a rapist.

As a young girl, I would gaze at old family photos and wonder at all of the differing shades of brown in my family. We went from almost white chocolate to deep dark brown. As my parents recounted origin stories about relatives long past, I could clearly see the legacy of forced sex that permeated our family. My family is not unique in that it happens to have dozens of children on the family tree who were born as a result of rape; Children who were miraculously reared in love despite their origins. Add in story after story of how my aunts, uncles and cousins loved and cared for each child despite how they were conceived-sometimes even favoring the lighter skinned child of the rapist- and you have a VERY complex history wherein, for the most part, families came together to do the humane thing.

Tweet this: Rape is a part of our origin stories: That's undeniable.

A close friend recently had a DNA test done in an attempt to discover more about their family tree. Unlike my family, their family had precious few stories shared from past generations. In that family, as in many others, any stories that carried shame were kept secret. All of the motivations for keeping family secrets can't be named in this short blog but, of course, many come to mind. Without a rich oral history like mine, my friend had to resort to DNA tests to uncover secrets that were hidden underneath their melanin. They were surprised to find that 22% of their ancestry was European. Given the dark secrets long buried about their ancestry, my friend decided to stop seeking answers. They were able to get a little closer to their truth but in many ways remain shackled to a murky past.

But, secrets can't hide the evidence.

In our modern communities, rape was rarely used as a reason for abortion partly because rape is already such a large part of our ancestral stories; Most modern American black people simply would not exist otherwise.

These are NOT easy scenarios to address.

Telling our tough stories, as my brave friend Serena is doing, gives voice to so many voiceless people both past and present. Folks who didn't have anything but their harsh reality to cling to still chose not to deny their children or their circumstances–or their stories.

Tweet this: Tell the truth and shame the devil.

Let's keep fighting for the voiceless. Let's keep shining a light in the dark places where the enemy likes to keep secrets. Let's take back our stories and shame the accuser who says God can't make a good thing emerge from a bad situation.

Most importantly, let's not run from our truth because it can set ourselves and others free.

Many blessings and much love, Sylvia.

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