We all remember that one girl in school who seemed to be headed down a destructive path. Raised by a single mother, an absent father, and poor living conditions were the unfortunate circumstances that shaped her. These adverse surroundings would be the beginning of her early demise. Stripped of her young innocence at the tender age of eleven, when most girls are undressing Barbie dolls, the 15-year-old boy next door was taking her clothes off. It was her first sexual encounter, but definitely not her last. Barely a teenager, she would become a statistic: Black Eighth-Grader Pregnant.
As fate would have it, a lifeless creation wouldn’t survive the premature birth. Just when the present and future looked bleak, a second chance emerged from behind the dark cloud. A new lease on life was all the more reason to regress to old ways. High school brought more boys to the yard, and her milkshake satisfied their sweet craving. By this time, her number of sex partners could be counted on two hands.
This promiscuous pattern followed her into adulthood, resulting in yet another pregnancy that she would later abort. Unsurprisingly, none of these casual, sexual escapades flourished into long-lasting, healthy relationships. She allowed herself to be treated like the public bus stop. A handful came back time-and-time again, as long as she opened the door. Discouraged and confused about her future with men, she was vulnerable prey; such a damsel in distress attracted the eye of a woman. Dabbling on the same side of the fence still didn’t prove a perfect fit, and left her longing for the touch of a man.
So instead of giving earthly men her most prized possession, she entrusts the supernatural with her mind, body, and soul. She professes her commitment to the Man upstairs, believing He will heal her wounds and broken heart, and send her the “right” man at the “right” time.
Tired of being loose and living reckless, maturation starts to set in. Almost thirty with a broken “pocket book” in tow and tainted reputation, her sullied reality is enough to make her change her ways. After experimenting with women, being mistreated by boys and used by married men, her lost soul is crying out for a higher power to save her. Eager to start a new chapter, she makes a commitment to live upright and adopt a different standard of life. All of a sudden, she’s a self-righteous Bible-toting disciple, stomping for divinity.
Nowadays, you can find her on the front pew every Sunday, as she prefers praise and worship over Saturday night reveling. On a mission to put the past behind, she develops amnesia in order to cope. Removing herself from people that remind her of who she “used” to be is much easier than to face her reflection in the mirror they flash before her. Yearning to one day marry, her label as a whore is the hardest to overcome. So instead of giving earthly men her most prized possession, she entrusts the supernatural with her mind, body, and soul. She professes her commitment to the Man upstairs, believing He will heal her wounds and broken heart, and send her the “right” man at the “right” time.
She vows to remain patient and celibate in her attempt to live a pious lifestyle. Determined to walk a straight line and not succumb to her flesh is harder than she imagined. Her faith is waning. She now falls to her knees for guidance, before it was for pleasure. Still a wreck inside, but her pride won’t let her show it.
While her road to redemption is commendable, what she doesn’t know is, practicing religious principles is not enough to break the vicious cycle and restore self-worth. Masking behind a scripture-filled, leather bound book won’t set you free. It goes beyond organized rituals; it takes being honest with yourself and admitting who you really are. Changing one’s mindset, ideals, and habits are unlike magic tricks, transformation doesn’t happen in an instant.
Shoving your skeletons in the closet before properly sorting them out will reveal scattered bones, causing you to trip every time. Lack of self-esteem is the root of the problem, and the solution is to build that love from within. Building love that was never given or realized since childhood takes time to develop, and can be a life-long process. Spending time alone in the midst of your calm and still spirit is where inner confidence and wholeness dwells.
Lots of quiet time forces you to deal with the truth, and therein lies the guilt, shame and pain, which is hard to face. Don’t be mislead in thinking turning over a new leaf (i.e. self-discovery) is about what’s on the surface and the image you portray. While partially true, actions become evident once true growth is materialized. Being a devout church-goer and Bible thumper who can quote scripture doesn’t prove anything. The first step to living a consecrated life is finding your true intention, not what you say or show to others.