I knew, in no uncertain terms, that no one would get control of me. I was an only child, independent, strong-willed and hurting so much on the inside that I put up a wall of protection so no one could get in. That started when I was seven years old, after I was sexually abused. As a result, the torment from wanting so badly to be loved, but at the same time not wanting to be close to anyone because they might leave me or hurt me, led to a lifelong path of destruction. After the abuse my sexual senses were awakened. I needed to be noticed by boys. I thought the only way to be loved by another was by “putting out.” My view of love was twisted and warped.
My parents divorced when I was eight, and my father all but disappeared. When he was supposed to pick me up I would wait for him outside our apartment. He rarely showed up. Sometimes when he did, I couldn’t go with him because he was too drunk or too high. My walls got thicker.
My mom, young (16 when she had me) and trying to raise me, worked her tail off to provide the best education and life for me. She married a man when I was 11 that I would eventually call my dad. At first I hated him. How dare he intervene in mine and my mom’s life? Being an only child to a single mom was great because I was spoiled, and he came in and ruined it. That feeling changed. He ended up being a loving example of a true father, even though he struggled with alcoholism himself.
At 13 I started sneaking out and meeting guys at the 7-11 down the street. I messed around with the gas station clerk a few times too. I thought I was grown up. I was in control. I started doing drugs here and there, first pot then LSD. My favorite was ecstasy, if I could find it. During a drug deal at the age of 14, I was raped and got pregnant from that rape. The pregnancy ended in an abortion. I never told my parents I was raped. I said I had slept with some guy. For some reason that seemed like a better idea than getting in trouble for sneaking out and being forced to stop doing drugs.
Even though all of this was going on through high school, I looked as though I had a normal, “good” life. I was on the tennis team and made decent grades. I even had a good-looking, sweet boyfriend. But I continued to sneak out repetitively to meet random guys and get high or drunk.
I graduated from school and headed to college. For the first semester I was the art major who led my dorm in parents’ day activities. On the inside and in my other life there was something different. A friend of mine, who was a DJ at a local topless bar, said I should go and audition to be a stripper. He said I’d make really good money and the people are really nice. The money would help with my extra partying, so I said, “Sure!” The money was crazy! It gave me a sense that I was invincible. The men drooled over me! They wanted me, and I could say “yes” or “no”. I had told myself I would be the one in control of the situation, and I definitely thought I was in control of the men. Dancing gave me a feeling of self worth in such a deceptive and destructive way, I had no idea I was spiraling into a pit of hell. For two years I lived this life. Sleeping with countless men, failing out of college, and completely losing who I was and what I’d become, I hit the bottom and tried to commit suicide. I left college and moved out of state, quickly learning that your problems follow you wherever you move. I couldn’t escape myself.
By this time, in my early twenties, I just wanted to be loved for who I was, not for who I was running from.
I was told about Jesus during those tumultuous years but did not listen. I hated God. What kind of God would allow these horrible things to happen to a child? So I shunned Him. After all of this Jesus Christ still wooed me. He pursued me. He loved me madly, even though the world looked at me and turned away ashamed. He was never ashamed of me. He knew me before I took my first breath. He knew the path I was going to take but still wanted me: shamed, sinful, lustful, and prideful me.
Once I let Him in, things began to change, but not overnight. Truthfully, it wasn’t easy. Even after being happily married and having beautiful twins I still struggled with alcoholism and destructive thoughts. But you know God never leaves you. He always loves you. He was and still is patient with me while I walk through my life, living for Him. One thing is for sure. He has freed me from shame. He has freed me from my addictions. He has freed me from the thoughts that said, “I am not worthy of love.”
Cherished women, He loves you. He wants to be the only man in your life that can fulfill you. He desires you to talk to Him and know Him in such a way that chains will be broken and your life will be made new and free again. You are beautiful! You are made for a cherished life of joy and freedom.
Freedom is not controlling the chains. Freedom comes from releasing the chains and holding on to the love of Jesus.
With much love,