Christian apologist Josh McDowell recounted how he was able to overcome his childhood trauma from seven years of constant sexual abuse with the help of a man who ministered the Word of God to him.
The 73-year-old author of the books 'Evidence That Demands a Verdict' and 'More Than a Carpenter' said in an interview that the abuse, which started when he was only six, almost destroyed his life.
"From six to 13 years of age-for seven years-every week I was homosexually raped," McDowell told CBN News. "It almost destroyed everything in my life."
He said that at the beginning, he did not understand what was happening. Later on, however, the continued abuse left him feeling confused, ashamed, guilty and angry.
McDowell said he tried to tell his mother about the abuse twice-once when he was nine and another time when he was 12-but she did not believe him both times.
"I can't put into words how you feel at nine years old when that happens," he said in a 2010 interview with The 700 Club. "You feel isolated. I don't think I ever experienced so much fear in my whole life."
The abuse stopped when McDowell was 13 and was big enough to push the man away.
When he gave his life to Christ, he said that by faith, he forgave the man who abused him.
"Once I became a Christian, God gave me understanding. And by faith, I forgave the man," he said. "I wanted him to burn in hell, but I forgave him."
However, his journey was not over. The years of sexual abuse left some "deep hurts" in his life that needed to be dealt with.
"I mean, when you're walking through a dark valley and there's no light at the end, that could lead to suicide. That could lead to desperation and no hope," he said.
McDowell sought the help of a pastor who, for six months, met with him and listened to what he was going through. Most importantly, the pastor led him to specific passages of the Bible that were relevant to whatever he was experiencing at that moment, allowing God's Word to minister to him.
Within those six months, he slowly saw changes in his life.
"I literally, before my eyes, I saw my life changing, my feelings, my emotions, my behavior, my attitude, little by little started to change," McDowell said, "and now I'm able to cope with it, to live above it, in fact I'm speaking on it tonight on how to heal the past pain."
He said his journey toward healing took place through "relevant truth from Scripture" and with the help of Christians who surrounded him. He encouraged others to stay within the truth of the Bible and within the body of believers.
"You don't want the Bible isolated," he said. "You want the Bible within the context of the church and the body of Christ in one another."