“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
The next chapter of my testimony is undoubtedly the hardest and most painful to share. For it’s easy to write about the trials and misguidance of another, but to make public my own personal sins–terrifying. To open up about my darkest period, a period where I so boldly turned my back to our King, is not only humbling, but also embarrassing. However, the Lord ensures us that those who are faithful to Him and follow His plan for their lives will not be destroyed. Isaiah 54:4 reminds us, “Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the sorrows…” So, with the Lord as my guide and my Redeemer, I have the courage to share with you the darkness that I’ve seen.
After my daddy’s death, I was overwhelmed by a numbness. A numbness so debilitating, so crippling, it made it hard to even think. I began to foster feelings I had never truly known before. Feelings of passionate hatred. Feelings of resentment. Feelings of confusion, jealousy, pain. Feelings of envy, impatience, obsession. Feelings of loneliness, inadequacy, weakness. Feelings of fear, crippling fear, and selfishness. Feelings of abandonment–not only abandonment from my father, but abandonment from my God.
I felt a hole so deep and so painful in my heart that it literally burned in my chest. I felt numb to any kindness or compassion shown to me, convinced that absolutely nobody knew what I was feeling. Convinced that nobody could relate to my situation or totally grasp how torn my world was. I was shattered. I could feel the tightening grip of Satan’s cold fingers and the sting of his hot breath down my spine. He was gaining power, gaining strength from my vulnerability. Sucking me of my innocence, my ambition, my light. Capitalizing on my weakness and catering to my darkest emotions. He was waiting to tempt. Waiting to win me over…
It’s hard to understand how someone so wrapped in love and surrounded by support could feel so unbelievably alone. I guess I knew how my father had felt. I valued myself, at the time, as a magnificent actress. I was a modern-day Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hide. In the public’s eye and to my family, I was so strong. A woman of character and a woman of grace. A wonderful example of Christ’s mercy and love……Oh, the irony. Behind closed doors and in my spirit, I was dark. I was lost. I was self-absorbed in my own grief and selfish in my ways. I was so desperate for that gaping hole in my heart to be filled, that I lost myself trying to find myself.
I was back at LSU and back in the bayou of temptation. Though I was surrounded by magnificent support and love and friendship, I was only able to retain remnants of the strength they offered. There was a part of my heart that wanted to receive that warmth, part of me that was still that innocent girl watching her proud daddy cheering in the stands. Part of me that yearned for that normalcy and purity. But Satan capitalized on my depression. Satan was never far from me, constantly whispering to me that normalcy was an illusion. Convincing me that I would never be normal again, and reminding me that I was now in control–that I was capable of finding my own happiness. Convincing me that the only way to fill that hole in my heart was to indulge in all that sin had to offer.
Afterall, Satan told me, I had tried to find Truth through Christ…and look where that had left me…
(to be continued)