Leah Chikumbindi founded of Girls Set Apart Ministries in 2014. A platform where she uses her scars to teach young girls to know their self-worth and bring hope to broken women whose dreams were stolen or thwarted by the enemy. Through this organization, she leads a team of Christian women volunteers to drive home that message through God’s word first and foremost because “He is the reason of our existence”.
Your past does not define you because your future lies in the hands of the Master. Many have heard of that truth and believe it, but the hardest thing is to walk beyond the past freely. When the past has defined our path, the world has put limitations on you, you are likely to live in defeat. It’s easy to settle for what the world gives us because it encourages one to be an accomplice in their vulnerability.
I was sexually molested in my early teen years for 3 years. I never told anyone and my abuser made it a point that I never did. I feared too that if I tell anyone, no one will believe me or I was going to be blamed for it. When your life is interrupted in that manner and fear is instilled in you, it takes root in you. If I had told my mother, I know she would have believed me but, what were the chances of her taking it up further and be heard? According to me, they were slim to none. I didn’t want her to hurt, so I never brought it up to her.
Untreated wounds of this nature lie deep within and they shape who you become on the outside. They shaped mine.
I started to believe I was ugly I didn’t fit in, I didn’t deserve any good thing, I was a people pleaser just to gain approval. If everything was well with everybody else, that was perfect for me, because I never measured up. I believed and felt I didn’t matter that much to anyone and never valued myself as good enough. Being in a relationship was gold, but the unfortunate part of that is you fall for the wrong relationships because all you are looking for is acceptance and validation. What is even more devastating is that you are likely to fall for broken people just as you are. People who don’t know what true love is because they never experienced love as designed by God.
Molestation leaves you to feeling dirty and exposed. I felt that way for so long and that unworthiness took residence in me. The world saw my insecurities and it treated me the very same way. Truth be told, the world does not validate you but Jesus does. He knows you that you were worth dying for and so He came and died for all of us more two thousand years ago! I accepted Jesus into my personal life at age seventeen and a lot changed, but I never dealt with the molestation. I never wanted to think about it and I pretended it never happened because every time I thought about it, I was sad and I relived the moments all over again. Any untreated hurts from our past never disappear until we address them no matter how we choose to live our lives. Those wounds affect us one way or another.
Daughter of the King
Jesus, the greatest Physician, sees the heart and knows it all. He took away this pain 22 years later. I attended a Women of Faith conference in 2004 in Dallas, Texas. For the first time in my life, I heard that I was a daughter of the King of all kings whose name is Jesus. Sheila Walsh shared her story about how things seemed to be going well at some point in her life. However, that was the outward beauty, while her inner beauty lacked the brightness. She was dying on the inside. She felt unworthy and found herself in the darkest moments of her life until Jesus whispered to her that she was His princess.
I listened to the message intently and wholeheartedly. It reached the depth of a bottled soul within me and I sobbed uncontrollably. I was taken back to my teenage years. A thirteen-year-old girl who was molested, could not say or do anything about it. At that moment, I felt that the little girl was set free to tell her story to the entire world. A story which would be used to reach out to other girls to encourage, inspire and let them know of their self-worth regardless of what they go through.
Women around the world are being robbed of their joy because they have experienced trauma and are afraid to talk about it. Many gave up living fulfilled lives. They ruled out ever experiencing joy, acceptance. They find it difficult to develop close relationships. They are settling for lies brought to them by the enemy because he is the father of lies.
Three in every six women I share my story with have also been either sexually abused, molested or raped by a trusted person at some point in their lives, and they never told anyone. Why? Because it’s humiliating, it affects family relations. Also, when such stories are shared, people tend to change their view of the victim.
In Mathew 27:35-36 we learn of how Jesus was humiliated. And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled, that which was spoken by the prophet. They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. He didn’t deserve any of that.
I know Jesus took my hand that day in 2004 at that conference and said: “Leah, I understand, I was humiliated and they even called me names too”. He used many people who walked with me through my healing journey. Now I stand in victory. I am not a victim but a victor.
I share my scars with girls so they may know they are not the only ones and to also give them hope. If you have been silenced, it is high time you found someone to share your hurt with to receive your healing. Tell someone you trust because by so doing you will be releasing yourself.
To empower and equip girls
My personal story is being used to change lives so can your story too. Girls Set Apart’s vision is to empower and equip girls and young women alike to know and believe that they are unique, beautiful and adored by their Maker. Insecurity is a daily struggle for many women, Christians, and non-Christians alike, but His word is alive in us. The word can be declared every day to overcome negative voices surrounding us. It’s never a one-day victory, but an everyday walk in victory.
Girls Set Apart was awarded Community Organization of the year at the ANNUAL ZIM ACHIEVERS awards ceremony held in the USA in 2016. To read more about Leah’s ministry visit www.girlssetapart.org or www.thisprincess.org