What is Sexual Assault? What Constitutes Rape?

I am not alone in my struggle to recognize and name what happened to me as rape. I have met others who began sharing with the statement – “I am not sure exactly what happened to me…” That statement at first glance sounds misleading; that it implies they can’t remember what happened to them. So, let me clarify – when I have heard this statement, it has been followed with a detailed account of what happened to that person. It’s not that they don’t know or can’t remember what happened to them. The problem is they don’t know how to classify it. Sexual Assault? Rape? Acquaintance Rape? Date Rape? Sexual Harassment? Molestation? There are so many terms out there. If you don’t know how to classify your experience, how can you share your experience without sharing all the uncomfortable and hard to share details? The best way is to know what each of these terms means.Read More »

Connect with me on Facebook

I finally decided to take the leap and join Facebook – I know where have I been the last twenty years?  Avoiding Facebook…but not anymore.  Look me up and connect with me – Hillary Grigel.  There is one other “Hillary Grigel” on Facebook (what are the odds?).   So, if you haven’t met me, I put my Facebook image on this post.

Hillary’s Story Part 2

Here is Part 2 of my story that I shared for the Shattered Sermon series at Pantano Christian Church.  Thanks to some help, I figured out how to finally post this to my blog.

Oh, and a fun little tidbit – the journal you see me writing in in both parts of my story – that is “my journal.”  The journal in which I copied the letter I wrote to my rapist.  The journal I wrote in for the following two years whenever I was struggling or I found something that encouraged me.  That journal is the reason I can revisit this season of my life in such depth and detail.  Why my journey toward hope and healing is so well documented.

Hillary’s Story Part 1

Here is Part 1 of my story that I shared for the Shattered Sermon series at Pantano Christian Church.  Thanks to some help, I figured out how to finally post this to my blog.  I will post part 2 next week, because in all honestly I don’t want to pay to upgrade so I can post more video content this week – just keeping it real.  Plus now you can anticipate it posting!

Mr. Right

I think there is no other day more fitting than my wedding anniversary to finally share about my husband Eric. Today is our 13th wedding anniversary. Happy Anniversary Eric! When my husband saw what I had entitled this – “Mr. Right” – he laughed out loud and said “You can’t call it that! At best, you could title it ‘Mr. Ok’ or ‘Mr. So-so.’” However, my arguments and title prevailed when I pointed out the simple fact – he is Mr. Right for me! Plus, it’s my blog and I never really had any intentions of changing the title to begin with. His protests did make me laugh though.Read More »

Shattered Videos

If you weren’t able to attend or watch the Shattered series live, you can still view the sermons online.  Pastor Glen did an amazing job explaining what it’s like to have your life shattered, being stuck in the trap of offense, and how to move toward freedom.  The videos listed below are parts one and two of a three part series.  These videos cover five key points collectively Pastor Glen has entitled: “The Road to Release.”  I would strongly recommend you watch them both.  Both messages feature parts of my story:

Getting Free from the Trap by Pastor Glen Elliott April 23rd, 2017


Forgiveness – The Way out of the Trap by Pastor Glen Elliott April 30th, 2017


Speak Truth

I have noticed a common theme among rape and sexual abuse survivors – we allow what others have done to us to make us feel “less.” To make us feel worthless. Dirty. Disgusting. Unlovable. You name it! Yet, nothing we can do nor anything that can be done to us can affect our worth. Our worth is not anchored in what we have done or what has been done to us – it is anchored in the truth of God’s word – The Bible. Don’t be duped into believing that you are “less.” Just as Paul encourages us to “…take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV)” we need to consciously decide we are going to replace lies with truth. So what are these truths? Here is a list of some Biblical truths:Read More »

Shattered Week 2

Please come join me at Pantano Christian Church this Sunday April 30th for the second week of the “Shattered” teaching series. Service times are 9am, 11am & 1pm.  You can also stream live at their website: http://pantano.church/ Part one entitled: “Getting Free From the Trap” was last week.  If you missed it, you can watch it at: http://pantano.church/watch/.  Not to spoil it, but Pastor Glen did an amazing job illustrating what it is like to live life after trauma, likening it to living with a Beast.  He laid out five steps to overcoming the “Beast of Oppression.”

This week will focus solely on step five – “Forgiveness.” I had the privilege again of getting a sneak peek of this Sunday’s sermon – it’s amazing too! Pastor Glen’s message will challenge, inspire and encourage you!  If you watched part one, don’t miss part two!  Part one was hard, but part two brings hope and healing.  You will get a better picture of how to ultimately be free from the trap of offense.  I hope you come or watch online!

Just to give you a better concept of the series, here is the Church’s description:

Apr 23 – May 7

Things have or will go terribly wrong. We’ve been verbally, emotionally, physically, spiritually and even sexually abused. Some of us have been abandoned or betrayed by ones we loved and trusted. We’ve watched our dreams trashed by others. Our lives have been shattered by hurting people who hurt others. When hurt we are tempted to take up an offense, which the devil uses to trap us. He traps by keeping us living in the wrong done to us. The power and damage of the wrong stays alive in the offense. There is hope and freedom from the pain and trauma we’ve experienced. It is through honestly facing the offense, refuse to be offended and then reconnecting with God who helps us to offer the forgiveness which frees us.

If attending or streaming the event live aren’t an option, a video of just the teaching will be posted to Pantano Christian Church’s website: http://pantano.church/watch/

Has Being Raped Affected My Parenting?

I recently spoke to a group of women and a young mother posed this question to me: Has Being Raped Affected My Parenting? Absolutely!  How could it not? My immediate response was to emphasize private areas and inappropriate touching. I discussed being open with my kids and sharing facts when appropriate, because I feel education is empowerment. I never share to scare, I share to empower. I also mentioned that I have told my kids they can confide anything in me and they will not get in trouble for telling me something.Read More »