It has been two months since I was prompted by God to be a Catholic writer. Since then, however, it has been an endless struggle of ‘what ifs’. During prayer time, I sensed God telling me that the first step in this process… is to heal.
I am inspired by Crystalina Evert who openly shares about her past to edify others. Here’s her testimony. Her father left her family when she was one. She was sexually abused as a little girl and this spurred her search for love in the wrong places. This led to her losing her virginity at 15 and a string of toxic relationships. Her hedonistic lifestyle consisted of partying and drinking.
This continued until she attended a Chastity talk, where a speaker shared his struggle with pornography and how he overcame it. It spoke to her and she felt as if he was holding her hand, walking through her entire life with her. He radiated joy, peace, and conviction; things that she deeply desired for herself.
Fast forward many years later and she walked down the aisle with a wonderful man. She shared her naivety in thinking that she would leave everything behind at the altar. Years into her marriage, however, the past crept up on her and one day, overwhelmed, she broke down in front of her husband. That was the impetus to see a therapist to work out her issues.
It took three years of seeing a Catholic therapist and a holy priest for her to be whole again. She would attend counseling, followed by hours spent in the adoration room. And of course, receiving the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation. It was in counseling that she was made aware that a lot of how she led her life was a result of a past wound (the sexual abuse).
Today, she is fully able to share her testimony and is an advocate for chastity, alongside her husband, Jason Evert. Together, they founded the Chastity Project.
I spoke with my husband about my fears regarding writing about my past despite knowing that it can benefit others. And he told me something wise. That I need healing first and foremost so that I can eventually write and share my past, out of a love for God.
In Merton’s words, “until we love God perfectly, everything in the world will be able to hurt us. Perfect joy is possible only when we have completely forgotten ourselves. And it is only when we pay no more attention to our deeds and our own reputation and our own excellence that we are completely free to serve God in perfection for His sake alone.”.
“All that I am, all that I have
I lay them down, before You O Lord
All my regrets, all my acclaim
The joy and the pain
I’m making them Yours
Lord I offer my life to You
Everything I’ve been through
Use it for Your glory
Lord I offer my days to You
Lifting my praise to You
As a pleasing sacrifice
Lord, I offer You my life.”
~ I Offer My Life, by Don Moen