I first met Jesus at 10 years old. My daddy drove me to an empty parking lot to talk about this radical thing that he had done recently and I remember seeing a light in his eyes that was new. It was fresh. It was captivating. It was at that moment that I told him I wanted what he had and it was then when we prayed for Jesus to come into my life forever as my savior.
I wish my story was everything Roses after that point but it was more like a garden of thorns for years.
At around 21, I appeared to be vibrant, energetic and joyful during the day but in actuality, my life was one late night after the next in darkness. Shoving down the feelings from memories that haunted me. Memories of eating disorders, rejection, isolation, loneliness, anger, date rape, promiscuity, STD’s, family alcohol and drug abuse, sadness and shame.
I was drowning in alcohol and the burning desire for a sultry glance from someone – ANYONE, just to feel noticed. To feel beautiful, to feel desired, to feel loved, to feel emotionally FULL.
Like Johnny Lee – I was looking for love in all the wrong places. And the enemy allowed it. In fact, he was probably my biggest cheerleader. When temptation came my way, I jumped at any opportunity to gain acceptance and prayed for forgiveness later in the darkness of shame.
I mean – all I wanted was a knight in shining armor to climb the window to my bedroom with a rose between his teeth, fighting off the dragons with his sword, rescuing me from my turmoil while riding off into the sunset on a majestic white horse.
Was that too much to ask? Apparently, I didn’t think so, so my quest continued. For about ten years. With guy after guy. and shame upon shame. After an abusive first marriage and hurried second wedding that preceded a very unhealthy marriage, a stepson and two daughters and lots of counseling – I finally began to experience Jesus. I was praying for my husband and God spoke as clear as day to my heart telling me to stop praying for him and to start praying for me and my healing journey.
Jesus showed me that no matter who loved me or who didn’t love me here on earth (MEN, kids, friends, family, co-workers, strangers) – I wouldn’t feel TRUE, FULL love until I allowed HIS ultimate love to fill the depths of my heart. It was then that I discovered WHO’S I was and WHO I was IN HIM. That my identity wasn’t defined by all the words that I heard from people, it was created and defined by the HOLY OF HOLIES by my true love, My knight in shining armor that radiates HIS love, grace, mercy and forgiveness.