That night sent Monica Amanda Zuniga Bailey on a whirlwind of empty intimacies before she reconnected with God and began a years-long process of healing. Four years later, it almost happened again before Bailey made it home safely, fleeing another man trying to drug her over drinks with a friend at a bar.
“Waking up the next morning in my bed alone, after being drugged and escaping what felt like a repeat, put me in a place where I knew something had to change,” she said. “I did something that I hadn’t done in years, and I had a conversation with God. I asked Him if He was real, then He needed to say something in that moment. I heard a voice in my heart say, ‘Look up the meaning of your name.’”
“Unique, alone, only one” is her first name Monica; her second name, Amanda, is “worthy of love.”
“It was in that moment that I felt the physical, wrap-around presence of God’s love overcome me,” she said. “That was the moment that I made the choice to surrender my life to Him.”
Bailey tells her story in the latest installment of the “I Am Second” videos of salvation and restoration testimonies produced by the Dallas-based non-profit ministry by the same name.
Bailey sees a role for the church to play in helping rape survivors heal and in discipling young men and women in today’s sexualized society. Both professional counseling and Christian mentors have helped her recover.
“With the intimate violence of rape and any sort of sexual abuse, it’s very difficult to get past that and find healing,” she told Baptist Press. “I’m 11 years on the other side of it, and so I’m speaking from a totally different place I spoke from three years outside of it, five years outside of it, and six years outside of it.
“My hope and prayer is that other women who have experienced this trauma can see my life as a testimony and example of God’s faithfulness and ability to really redeem and restore all things, and I’m a living, breathing testimony of that, even before I met my husband (Paul),” she said. “But now married and working towards building our own family, there are many things I thought were just taken from me, and God has redeemed all of it.”