From a young age I remember desperately craving the attention of guys. A personal family tragedy that I experienced at 8 left me quite heartbroken and vulnerable. I had my first boyfriend when I was just 10, followed by a string of short lived relationships. They were shallow and immature, but at the time it’s what I thought I needed.
Late one night I found myself in the room of a 17 year old guy. I felt God tug on my heart to get out of there, but my naive 14-year-old self ignored that still small voice. The next thing I knew talking turned into kissing, which turned into touching, until finally I ended up going all the way with a guy I didn’t really know.
I felt numb, exhilarated, scared, abused, free, proud, shame, confused.
It became a catalyst moment that sparked a downhill emotional spiral. It led to 4 years of bad decisions – sneaking out to party with 17-20 years old’s, drinking, lying and a couple of “no strings attached” relationships. By 16 I was absolutely infatuated with this one particular guy. He was your typical bad boy and had dropped out from school because he had better things to do.
Our relationship was completely toxic – we fought, we loved, he cheated, I would take him back and the cycle would start again.
My mind was all over the place. I desperately wanted to be with him, but regularly cried myself to sleep. Not long after we started living together and I barely attended school. I started to feel depressed and isolated, but felt trapped in a prison of my own making. By 18, I was working and supporting the both of us as he squandered all his money on drugs, alcohol and tattoos.
He spent the weekends partying with the boys and sleeping around with other girls. I sat at home too scared to be honest with my family, afraid of those terrifying words, “I told you so.”
His substance abuse and wild temper would make for some scary nights behind closed doors. The verbal abuse, manipulation and violence left me feeling worthless and those words, “you will never be loved by anyone,” were on constant repeat in my head.
In the midst of all the darkness, a small glimmer of hope began to shine through at my sister’s wedding. There I was standing alone (as my boyfriend had cancelled on me last minute) when my aunty asked me “Nancy are you happy?”
To be honest, I couldn’t remember the last time I was happy.
It was a defining moment. Why was I settling for this? Why was I just allowing myself to be treated like this? I was completely lost, disorientated and empty. I didn’t like the direction I was headed, but only I had the power to change that.
That night I also ran into an old acquaintance that I use to play touch football with years ago. He super good looking, but the most attractive thing about him was his kindness, integrity and love for God. Anyone that knew him, spoke well of him. A little spark went off in my heart.
I finally broke up with my toxic boyfriend and decided I wanted to spend the next year finding myself. Who knew that along that way I would actually find God.
God began to remind me of who I was in Him and how he had made me worthy to be loved.
In Jesus I started to find freedom from all the old habits that had once weighed me down. I stopped drinking and partying and started to get connected in a Church. I became a part of a healthy community and people who really loved me began to speak into my life.
A few months later as God was still restoring my brokenness, I happened to bump into that same guy from my sister’s wedding. The connection was electric, but this time I knew it was more than just the shallow infatuation I had experienced so often before. My spirit came alive and from that point on we started to develop a great friendship. He showed me nothing but respect and honour, even when I shared with him honestly about my past and my failures. He said to me in all sincerity, ‘All I need you to know is that God loves you and you need to love yourself.” This floored me and I knew in that moment he was going to be the man I married. We spent the next year dating and then he proposed – it was by far the easiest decision of my life. We have now been married for 6 years and have 3 beautiful children. My husband and our children are God’s greatest gifts to my life.
God knew I needed a man like HIM, one who wold pursue me with INTEGRITY, love me with compassion and always point me in the direction of OUR FATHER.
Dear friend, let me encourage you. You are never too far gone for God! It’s only by the grace of God that I went from a messed up teen to a happy and healthy wife and mother. God will always take you where he finds you, but he won’t just leave you there. He will heal your heart, cleanse your mind and set you on a path to a much brighter future.
Much love x
Article by Nancy Vieyra. This article appeared on SabrinaPeters.com. Sabrina is a Christian writer, an avid Sex & Relationships blogger and part of the team at Kingdomcity. She is married to Ben and mother to Liberty & Lincoln. www.sabrinapeters.com.