Sex Begets Sex


I heard another story of a brokenhearted woman this week.

Light out of Darkness
Light out of Darkness

Hard circumstances followed her through life and relationships never seemed to turn out right. Deceived by men over the years, she wondered if anyone would ever love her purely, rightly, completely—at all. She hates the life she’s found herself trapped in, but doesn’t know how she got there or how to get out. Despairing and lonely, this woman cries out to God asking “what’s wrong with me?”

Her name could be Susan or Jane or Crystal. Or Fantine from Les Miserables.

While the women have different names, the story is the same. Sexually abused as girls or young women, we now search in vain for true love and acceptance. Our hearts live in a confused, turmoiled state of unrest, if not every day outwardly, at least in the secret depths of our souls.

As grown women, we wonder why we feel targeted or lost; why we can’t find a good man or keep any; and why compulsion or addiction rules us. We question our sanity and worth. The only value we seem to possess is derived from doing enough, making enough money or offering our sexuality as a sacrifice for “love.” Sometimes it’s the same thing.

I was such a woman.

Now I long to reach out and grab hold of each one whose eyes hold deep secrets. I want to say I understand. It’s not your fault. You didn’t imagine these twisted nightmares or create such craziness. Perhaps you don’t remember anything but bits and pieces of tortured pleasure; or maybe you’re haunted with images you wish would disappear forever.

The bottom line is that sexual abuse creates an emotional, spiritual, mental and physical environment for the repetition of a broken, abusive life.

It may be that you are stuck in a relationship with someone who is abusive, or that you abuse yourself with cutting or food or drugs. You may have deeply related health issues. Perhaps you have found a wonderful man who is kind and loving, but you can’t allow yourself to believe he actually loves you. You may visit your abuse on your children through the same type of circumstances you endured, or in eruptions of rage that fly from you unbidden, unexpected and unwanted.

Whatever your situation, I am so sorry it happened to you.

Hope seems non-existent, but I promise it is there. God’s heart breaks with yours and longs to unravel and redeem all the broken, hurting places of confusion and pain. It may seem impossible. It may take a long time. The truth seems lost in the lies, but light shines in the darkness; there is hope for you. Cry out to Jesus. He hears. He answers. He heals.

If you’ve started on the journey to wholeness, don’t quit.

So many times I’ve wanted to give up. I’ve felt that the deepest issues couldn’t change in me.  I’ve often cried in despair (even recently) thinking that no healing was available for the tiniest cracks in my heart. But Jesus doesn’t let go. In the darkest moments of confusion and pain, he holds me close and comforts me if I let him. He whispers,

I love you, truly. Don’t despair. I’m everything you need. Rest in me. Be still because I am God. I created the entire universe and I am holding you right now. You will be alright.”                                  Jesus

Beloved, can I pray for you?

Jesus, because my heart breaks for these women, who have suffered abuse and suffer from the effects of it still, I know your heart breaks. Please draw them to you. Change their perception of you so they can see that you love them and long to comfort them. Please embrace them with all the grace and strength and gentleness of your spirit. Thank you that while you accept us where we are, you never leave us there, but instead take us into new life and healing.   Amen
 
If you need prayer or want to discuss your situation feel free to comment below or contact me privately at: laurabennet14@gmail.com

Have Lies Distorted Your Life?


Last week I described some of the lies that have dictated my life.

Those lies devastated me like physical blows to my soul. I was left feeling trampled, used, broken, dismayed, wounded, guilty and alone.  Hard as I tried, I often gave way to them and believed what they shouted at me. I tried to break free but felt the distortions tangle around my legs like seaweed as I attempted to move forward.  It took me many years to grab hold of the truth instead.

Unfortunately, in my pain, I’d run back to the old patterns of living.

When I felt worthless, I would treat myself in an unworthy manner. I’d solve my need for love in my own ways that were destructive. I equated sex with love, so I would seek importance and worth in relationships with men who only wanted to use me. I wanted to feel loved and valuable, but because of warped perceptions of myself, I kept getting involved with perverted men. My broken ideas regarding myself and sex attracted men who are addicted to sex. Those men only wanted my body and discarded the rest of me. Then when my body was used up, they discarded that too.

It was a battle to learn the truth and stop listening to and living the lies.

I needed to learn that I am worthy because God made me and says I am; that sex doesn’t not prove love, it is an outpouring of intimacy in marriage. A relationship with a man isn’t what makes me valuable; I am valuable because of God’s love for me. But sometimes the longing to have someone hold me would wash over me like an ocean wave leaving me off balance and spluttering for air.

I felt like I had a sign posted to my chest that said “free game.” Guys looking for prey seemed to flock to me. Because of my misconceptions, for years I was torn. Sometimes the attention flattered me, other times I felt repulsed and nauseated by the inappropriate, perverted things said and done to me.

I see now that my spirit was trying to tell me the truth.

As I grasped more of the truth about me and sexuality, I realized those men’s actual intentions held no love. I decided I didn’t want that kind of attention anymore. Something in my spirit had been screaming at me “this is not okay.” I will never again take that discernment lightly.

I longed for people to see the real me, apart from sex.

But the real me was buried—hidden away in a fortress constructed by me to protect myself. And even though I craved someone truly knowing me, I didn’t even know myself. An abundance of pain buried deeply from year upon year, the depths of which seemed fossilized, kept me hidden. I’m so thankful that I was not lost to God. He knew all the depths and called me out of hiding. And even though it hurt when new areas were cracked open to bring forth the skeletons of my past, the truth was setting me free. (John 8:32)

Where do you find yourself looking for love? What are some destructive patterns of living that you’ve struggled with?
 

For help or prayer please comment below or email me privately at laurabennet14@gmail.com

Why Our Sexuality is Open to Attack


Our sexuality is the core of our being.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.  Genesis 1:27

God created us to be like Him as male and female.

Those two elements, in God’s perfection, join to form one being; not just physically, but spiritually, emotionally, and mentally in the way we think, act and respond. The roles we have been given complement each other.

No wonder Satan would choose this crucial area to attack with such vehemence.

If he can destroy who we are sexually, then he tears down the unity that God originated with Adam and Eve; a portrayal of his intimate love for us. Consider the parallel in the New Testament of Christ’s relationship to the church as His bride. God shows his love and desire to be reconciled to us through Jesus’ sacrifice for us.

God created man to respond to His demonstrated love.

He gives us a daily example in bringing together a man and his bride. As a man shows love and devotion to his wife, she responds with adoration and a desire to give herself to him. This is the design of an amazing God who longs to have us understand his thoughts towards us are good and loving. What a choice area in which to bring perversion and shame in order to destroy what God created to be good! Satan entices us to think differently about sexuality by tempting us with the emptiness of physical pleasure outside of this intimate union meant for deep fulfillment.

Then, in an effort to reclaim our sexuality, we are drawn into sexual sin.

Pornography, masturbation, fantasy and adultery lure us with false images of regaining our deepest identity, but as we indulge, we are engulfed in the shame it brings. That shame begins the desperate search for our true sexuality all over again. Soon we are trapped in a cycle of sexual sin and shame that is impossible, without God’s intervention, to break.

What if the cycle was forced on us by another?

If we were familiarized with sex in a wrong way, through no choice of our own, by what we saw or by things that were said or done to us, we are still drawn into the same cycle. We may have an even harder time being extricated from the patterns that we learned especially if we were a child. As a child in that situation, something deep inside me felt the situation was wrong, but I was unaware of the patterns being set in my life.

I grew into my teen and adult years making choices based on those early perversions.

It wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I began to remember and understand what had taken place in those years, and how it was affecting my adult life. God had so much to reveal to me. It has been a long journey of uncovering the lies and changing the way I perceived God, myself and others especially in the area of sexuality.

The good news is that God sees and knows all.

He still loves us regardless of what was done to us or what we have done. He is there to show us the truth, heal our hurts, and give us an understanding of who he really made us to be.

He longs to free us from the cycle of sexual abuse, addiction, and shame.

I sought the Lord and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.   Psalm 34:4-5

Where do you feel your sexuality has been attacked? What has God done for you that proves he loves you?
 
If you have questions or need prayer, please comment below or email me privately at laurabennet14@gmail.com