179: Sonya Brunner | Abuse, Human Trafficking, & Redemption

Sonya Brunner | Abuse, Human Trafficking, & Redemption

Sonya Brunner | Abuse, Human Trafficking, & Redemption

Sonya Brunner is a Speaker, Singer, Musician, Worship Leader, Writer, and the founder of Fifty Shades of Grace – a ministry that helps people deal with the pain of their pastand those impacted by physical and sexual abuse.

As a Human Traffic survivor and avictim of child abuse, Sonya shares her story to the world in a way that tears down walls of oppression and points people to the hope of Jesus Christ.

She’s also the host of a program called Crud Talk, where she discusses different topics, biblical insight and how to deal with hurt and pain in a healthy way.

“My story is fifty shades of hurt and pain and then Jesus rescued me and changed my life. What Jesus did was create a canvas of love and hope and my life became fifty shades of grace.” 

Sonya resides in Oklahoma City and has been married to Pastor Rick Brunner for 29 years, and has two boys, Tyler 23, Ryan 19. Rick and Sonya are currently serving on staff at a local church in OKC.

**Trigger Warning: This episode contains conversation about abuse and human trafficking and in not appropriate for all audiences.**

Sonya Brunner and Amber discuss her abusive childhood and the redemption she experienced through Jesus.  They also discuss her ministry Fifty Shade of Grace. 

Abuse, Human Trafficking, & Redemption Questions Discussed:

  1. (2:22) Family is supposed to be a safe place for children to grow and learn and experience love, but your family life was everything, but….Will you take us back and share a bit of your childhood experience with us?
  2. (11:02) From 9 to 12, it was mainly just you and your mom. What took place that set you free from the severe abuse?
  3. (17:24) You eventually encountered Jesus.  Tell us about learning about the love of Christ and His redemption.
  4. (23:05) What are some things that can trigger your trauma response?
  5. (31:02) Your ministry is 50 Shades of Grace. Why 50 Shades of Grace?
  6. (34:20) What do you think about when you hear shades of grace?
  7. (41:58) Did you ever interact with your mom again?
  8. (44:57) Tell us about your podcast, Crud Talk.

Quotes from Abuse, Human Trafficking, & Redemption with Sonya Brunner:

Question: Family is supposed to be a safe place for children to grow and learn and experience love, but your family life was everything, but….Will you take us back and share a bit of your childhood experience with us?

“She [mom] was on her own and looking for love and tried to find that in relationships with different men. One in particular, she would leave me with him when she would go to work…. It started with hands that linger too long, lips that touched places on a five year old that should never be touched and escalated from there.”

“It’s really important for listeners to understand that [a story like mine] doesn’t always start out scary….Groomers will have you sit on their lap and it can be tickling. As a parent, I have tickled my kids, but there’s a big difference in what a groomer does and what a typical grandparent, parent does. [It] starts with a hand that lingers too long on a body part that shouldn’t be touched, lips then find places and escalates.”

“I learned really quickly that love hurts, and it’s probably not real.”

“I remember feeling stripped of human emotion.”

“Every color of skin hurt me. Every walk of life, every age bracket hurt me. We want to compartmentalize things like this, because our brains can’t handle it….We can’t really do that because it was all different people for me.”

“All I heard as a child was, nobody will ever love you. You’re not worth anything. You’re a dirty girl, only dirty girls have stuff like that happen to them.”

Question: What took place that set you free from the severe abuse?

“I remember I was sitting on my bed, she had been in to beat me really bad, [and] I was hurting, worse than normal…And I said these words out loud, ‘God, if you’re real help me.’ “

“The miracle is she didn’t say a word to me… She didn’t lay a hand on me…I sat on the bed, 5 or 10 minutes later, I hear this big commotion at the door…my bedroom door flies open and it’s detective Wakefield….This is a picture of Jesus….This guy comes in. He didn’t have to say a word. He saw me for who I was. I didn’t have to do anything. All he had to do was reach out….That’s the gospel. People think they have to do things and jump through hoops and clean up and do this and do that. That’s not who Jesus is. You can never clean up enough for our God. He takes you just as you are and works with that.”

Question: You eventually encountered Jesus.  Tell us about learning about the love of Christ and His redemption.

“I think the success to my relationship with him [God] is I told him the good, the bad, the ugly, the truth.”

“It all came back to being real with Jesus.”

Question: What are some things that can trigger your trauma response?

“Not everybody is going to have a story like mine, but everybody will have a story.”

“One in four girls, one in six boys have been sexually hurt by the time they’re 18 years old.”

Question: What do you think about when you hear shades of grace?

“Forgiveness means that you look at the pain…and then you release them from the debt that you think they owe you. And that’s what Jesus did for me.”

“You keep working through the crud until it doesn’t cause you to respond in a way that’s harmful to yourself or to others. And when you’re ready, you release them from the debt that they owe you.”

Resources Mentioned:

Related Episodes:

All I heard as a child was, nobody will ever love you. You're not worth anything. You're a dirty girl, only dirty girls have stuff like that happen to them.
You keep working through the crud until it doesn't cause you to respond in a way that's harmful to yourself or to others. And when you're ready, you release them from the debt that they owe you.
I was sitting on my bed, she had been in to beat me... And I said these words out loud, "God, if you're real help me."

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