Each Friday I will have the incredible honor to have women in my life share their grace story. They will share their struggles, their battles, their wounds and brokenness; but above all, they will show how their wounds turned into their greatest witness and their scars into his story of incredible grace. These are our scars of grace.
This week is my first guest story teller! I met Lindsey through my church’s college ministry back in the fall. I have had the pleasure of being in a small group with her, and have heard her absolute raw passion for Jesus. She is truly learning what it is to be a woman after God’s own heart and is an example of a woman who longs to serve Jesus well. She is bubbly and amazing, a total country girl who just loves people. Here’s Lindsay’s story of grace.
The last time I remember being the happiest in my life is when I was about five years old. I can remember playing with a big bouncy ball in the drive way with my mom. Laughing, yelling and chasing after the giant blue ball was exciting, wondrous, and completely innocent. Two years later I learned that my mother was gay by catching her making out with a woman she referred to as her “friend”. We spent every weekend that summer visiting her “friend”, Wendy. I loathed her. She was the woman I blamed for ruining my life. My mother’s time was not only now split between me and someone else, but now I was fighting for love against another woman, or so that’s how I saw it then.
For years I watched my mother. I followed her wherever she went, upstairs, downstairs, as long as that woman was around, I would make sure nothing happened. I didn’t know what sex really was, but I knew enough to know I didn’t want my mom having it with her. When my mother would drop me off at grandmas for a weekend vacation, I would make her promise she wouldn’t have sex. Never the less I would catch her kissing her girlfriends through the years, knowing full well she wasn’t keeping her promises. At one point I would pray to God that he would kill me, because I couldn’t kill myself. I became consumed by sex. I promised myself at the age of nine that I would NEVER have sex, even when I’m married. The only exception to having sex would be to have babies, because I loved children.
When I became a teenager of course, all of that changed. My consumption with sex became addiction. Along with that came neediness, longing for attention, andinsecurity. As long as someone told me I was sexy or hot or beautiful, I felt I was okay. As long as someone noticed me, as long as my pride was being fed, everything was alright. Surprisingly my sex addiction stemmed from my longing to be loved addiction. I fooled around with a few guys, yet I still kept my promise to myself to be pure from sex. Then high school came, and when I found someone I latched on. I would give a man anything he wanted to stay around, to get him to love me. Nothing seemed to work. Most people would say I had it all, a family, tons of friends, terrific grades, and yet in my eyes I had depression.
I pulled away from my mom, who I felt really didn’t care anyways, and started living with my friend. Her mom introduced us to drugs, we started smoking weed anytime we could get some. Her uncle would grow it, so we always got a stash for helping bag it and not telling anyone. Friday poker nights were innocent, until some of the guy started bringing alcohol. We felt popular, we felt needed, and we were wanted there. The guys stood up for us, protected us, and loved our skimpy clothes. I “fell in love” with one of them, but he didn’t want me. I spent two years being his best friend and trying to hook him up with people who were my friends that he wanted to date. The first time I really felt broken was when a guy I was talking to loved me, and left me. When I say left, I don’t mean we broke it off. I mean he changed his number, deleted his Myspace (which was popular at the time), and never spoke to me again to this day. Oh and just to add insult to injury, the last time I heard from him was Christmas Eve. (I hope you’re starting to understand the depths to my brokenness, but I digress).
Most kids learn to drive at 16, instead I got engaged. That seemed to work, for a while. He was my first partner, the love of my life. I was ecstatic! Someone loved me! Me! I was so blind to red flags; usually neediness blinds you like that. I told him that I was waiting until marriage, and he told me that the mindset I had wouldn’t be lasting long. Two weeks. That’s as long as I could hold out. It only took us two months to get caught, by his father. We then were put on parole. No alone time, dates had to be escorted by friends or parents, movies required saved ticket stubs to report back to the officers (his parents). After two months of torture, I broke of the engagement because he wouldn’t stand up to his mother. We then soon broke up, and his best friend was there to pick up the pieces. All he had to do was tell me he loved me.
The new relationship was controlled solely by sex. If I did wrong, that’s what made it better. If I felt ugly and unimportant, that’s what made me pretty. Soon enough I had idolized him. So when he left me, my world fell apart. After that I dated men to fill the void. I would end up sleeping with them on a second or third date, just to realize that it would never work between us. By the time I was 18 I had two STD’s. I found out a week before Christmas about the one that they told me would be with me forever. I hated myself. I looked around at my life and felt naked, worthless, unloved, unimportant, and a fake. Everyone saw me as the Virgin Mary, the “mom” of the group, the cute one, the sweetheart. I saw myself as the slut, the whore, the Jezebel, who was never going to be loved, and who deserved everything she got. I didn’t think my mother cared, my father wasn’t around and had his own issues, and my friends just never could really understand.
The end… Just kidding, I couldn’t just leave you there wondering what happened. First things first, the above story is broken, and it describes a sad and lonely woman. There is no happiness, and of course in real life, I had happy moments, but it clearly wasn’t that memorable. Now I left some things out as well. When I was dating rebound guy, who was after engagement man, his family went to church. Him and I would have hotel parties and then be forced to go to church by his family the next morning. The only reason I went was because I wanted to spend more time with him (you have to remember I was a latched on kind of woman even if I didn’t think so at the time). Sunday after Sunday I heard sermons on God and Christ and all that jazz, and I found it hard to stay awake most of the time. When he and I broke up, I would go to church just to see him. About three months after I started sitting alone in the back of the church, I started crying, every Sunday. I didn’t get why my heart and soul would hurt after hearing these sermons on Christ’s love, his want for us, and how he saved people who could never be saved.
January 25th 2011. That’s when I experienced happiness, that’s when I experienced love, that’s when my life changed. I accepted that Christ died for my sins, that he gave his life up for me to have a relationship with God. He died so that I could learn what true love is, how to lose my pain, and leave my sin behind me. Since that day, my life has completely changed, and although it was hard, I wasn’t ever alone. I have been sex free for almost two years, I was able to quit drinking, quit smoking, and quit running after people’s attention. I have a friendship and a love with my mother, a woman I have never been able to communicate with. Christ gives me wholeness in my life that is incomparable to anything I’ve ever experienced. Through him I have found friends that are honest, true, and loyal. I’ve been blessed with a boyfriend who loves me, no matter where I have been or who I was. When I told him about my past, the first words out of his mouth were “you accepted Christ, and now in Him you are made new, and that’s how I see you.”
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). For those of you who aren’t followers of Christ, I plead with you to throw away your brokenness, your depression and find a new beginning in Christ. There are none to broken or alone for him. For those of you who do put your hope in Christ, I encourage you to remember what he has taken you so far from. I hope that every time you feel alone you can remember where you were before finding him, and what he has brought you through. Remember those little times you experienced God full force, whether he took some sin out of your life, or taught you how to love like he does, don’t forget Him. I hope my story could help you understand your own, just know that he created you. He knows your past, present and future, yet loves you just the same.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” –1 John 1:9