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Fear Turned to Freedom in Christ

By Brett Wilson | March 14, 2013

Rosemary Trible shares how to be a friend to assault victims during a special lunch hosted by the Office of Student Activities & Leadership.

"To love another person is to see the face of God," said Rosemary Trible during Regent University's weekly chapel service on Wednesday, March 13. The famous closing line of the Broadway musical rendition of Victor Hugo's Les Miserables, refers to Jean Valjean—the story's protagonist—and his journey from imprisonment to freedom. It's a story that Trible identifies with.

"[Jean Valjean] was loved, he received grace, and he was transformed by forgiveness," said Trible. "And that same grace and transformation is what happened to me."

Trible, author of Fear to Freedom, shared her story of forgiveness that transpired after she endured what she refers to as a "near life experience."

In December, 1975, Trible was the host of a CBS affiliate morning talk show at a station in Richmond, an hour from her home. She frequently tackled hot-button topics on her show; one interview in particular featured two women who were sharing the story of their lives as sexual assault victims. That day, Trible's show received an influx of hundreds of calls from other women sharing similar stories. She had struck a chord in the community, and unknowingly changed her life forever.

Later that evening, while she was making arrangements to air shows over the Christmas holiday, a large man approached Trible in her hotel room.

"He wanted to teach me a lesson of a lifetime," said Trible. "He said, 'Okay, cute talk show host, what do you do when there's a gun at your head?'"

Trible shared how the man sexually attacked her that night.

"He tore into my body, and stole my joy," said Trible.

Her attacker threatened to end her life if she ever spoke of the assault to anyone, but Trible did not remain silent. She summoned the courage to notify the hotel's security and the police.

Though Trible's attacker was never found, many years later she continues to generously share her story of triumphing over the fear that spurred in her life after that 1975 December, and her ability—through Christ—to forgive her rapist, and pray earnestly that she would one day spend eternity with him.

"Everlasting joy can be yours," said Trible. "Because, what was meant for evil was used for good in my life."

With that everlasting joy, Trible emboldens others not to simply turn their eyes from these society-deemed untouchable sex crimes that arise too frequently all over the world. She asked her listeners at Regent to comfort men, women and children who are crumbling under the burden of sexual assault. Trible calls this being one another's "elephants."

Thirty-eight years after her attack, Trible is now striving to be an "elephant" for others as the president and founder of Fear 2 Freedom (F2F). The F2F program, named for Trible's story and for the other sexual assaults that occur every two minutes in the United States, provides special kits for assault victims.

"You don't really think about this, but the victims have to leave their clothes at the hospital as evidence," said Trible. "So, they're leaving in almost paper."

These F2F kits provide fresh sweatpants, t-shirts and other sundries to restore a sense of dignity to rape survivors upon their release from the hospital. In a year and half, F2F has provided two-thousand kits for hospitals, working in partnership with universities across the state. Regent students will have the opportunity to begin participating in assembling and distributing these boxes to Norfolk General Hospital with F2F in the fall of 2013.

"You can help heal," said Trible. "You can help change the world."

Learn more about Campus Ministries.


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E-mail: mhughes@regent.edu



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