Long before the pimp’s initials were permanently carved into my skin, I believed I was worth nothing. Zero. Natta.
I’d spent years being sexualized by older men. It started with my coach. I was 14 years old.
I thought he was a good Christian father-figure. I felt safe with him. I trusted him. And he took advantage of me. Over and over again.
But this was only the beginning…
At 16, random men showed up at my doorstep and I knew I was supposed to have sex with them. It didn’t take long for word to spread in Small Town USA that I was easy.
I had no value for my body. No moral compass either. I believed the lie that I was damaged goods.
And I lived that lie every day of my life. All of my choices were based on that one lie.
When you don’t think you’re worth much you tend to settle for even less. If a stranger complimented me, I thought I owed them.
And guess what I had to offer?
I felt dirty. Used. Unlovable. Broken. Hopeless. Worthless.
I spiraled further into a pit of promiscuity, alcohol, drugs, bulimia and eventually same-sex relationships.
Dark. Empty. Nothingness.
I knew I was too dirty, too broken, too far gone to be of value to anyone. Let alone be presentable to a Holy God.
So I hid. Behind a fake smile. Behind a master’s degree. Behind shallow friendships.
Thankfully the story didn’t end there.
I’m on my kitchen floor. Crying. Planning my suicide. Desperate to be done with all the pain. I’d tried everything I could think of to escape the brokenness. Everything but God, that is.
In my spirit I heard him say, Go Get My Word.
I randomly opened to 1 Corinthians 6:18 and read these words: Flee Sexual Immorality. I screamed. Wailed. Blood curdling cries.
I knew what it meant. Knew what God was calling me to do.
God met me in my darkest hour. When I felt most alone he reminded me he was my Abba father. When I felt so ashamed of what I’d done he told me he’d washed me whiter than snow.
And God is faithful.
God showed me he not only accepted me, but he sent his only son, Jesus to take on my guilt and shame so that I could walk free. This Jesus who knew no sin. Became sin. For me. So that I might become the righteousness of Christ.
It sounded too good to be true. But I was desperate. A shred of hope emerged. I clung to it like a trapeze artist clings to that swinging bar with all her might.
I packed up my crazy life and moved back in with my parents. Humbling at 35 years old.
As I walked away from everything familiar, I held tight to that scripture. And the God who wrote it.
In an instant I went from an “orphan” to a daughter of The King. From a “pauper” to a Princess.
In Revelation 2:17, God promises I will give you a new name. And just like that, this former stripper, prostitute, drug addict, alcoholic, bulimic, low-life became God’s beloved.
The outcast now accepted. The abandoned now adopted. The rejected now received.
My entire life I thought I was too far gone. And God reminded me he’d been pursuing me the whole time.
How about you? Do you think you’ve done too many bad things to be accepted by God?
Do you believe you are too far gone?
Leigh Anne Hudson is a proud Arkansan married to her best friend, Jim. She works full-time as a Christian counselor helping other hurting, broken people find healing and hope in Jesus Christ. Leigh is also a writer and she blogs at http://www.whiterthansnow.org
She is currently working on her first non-fiction book.
I met Leigh Anne through the Kingdom Journeys book launch team. While that book launch is done, we now find ourselves on another launch team together. Through both, we’ve chatted via Facebook and email. I am thankful God connects with me people like Leigh Anne who grow my faith by being a living examples that nothing is impossible with God. He loves us all.
Thanks for sharing, Leigh Anne!