I have been sharing my story on my blog – to start from the beginning, click the category Live in Freedom. I have shared about how my childhood trauma affected me as a child. This post is about my years as a teen – the years I was seen as a rebellious teen. This is one that will be difficult to share. There are certain things here that I have never shared before except with my husband – whom I completely and fully trust with my whole heart.
Hatred and Self-loathing
I hated high school. I just hated my whole adolescence. I had some good friends who helped me through tough times, but none of them knew anything about the dark secret that was locked up tightly in my heart. I continued to hide my pain. I continued to become more and more self-reliant.
As I got older, things between my parents and I, especially my mother, began to get rockier and rockier. I was becoming more independent (naturally) and less controlled. But still very broken and lost.
Then I turned 17 and things changed drastically.
I began dating a guy that people didn’t mess with. No one dared to tease me out of fear of him; he was big and strong and had no problem defending me. I wondered, “Maybe he could fix me. He can give me my value and identity. He could save me from the pain and darkness.” I longer for someone to rescue me, rescue my heart. There was One who yearned to come riding in to save me, I just didn’t know it yet.
Yes, I was still trying to figure out what to do with my junk! I was placing my hope in someone who was not meant to carry any of it. I had no one to direct me to the cross. No one to help me, to hear my cries for help. I had no idea that Jesus could heal me, that He wanted to take care of my broken heart. I had never heard that message before…and I grew up in the church.
A Warped Identity
I had a very warped understanding of who I was. While I wasn’t promiscuous by the standards of the day, I did give myself away to the few boyfriends I had during my adolescence and young adulthood. I believed that all guys wanted from me was sex.
This is the lie that was told to me by my enemy so many years before – all I am good for is someone else’s sexual pleasure. When you have believed this lie for so long, when you think that your body is not your own, but entirely for the pleasure of other people, it is so easy to become trapped in a way of life that you never wanted.
And I was held to blame for all of it. No one ever wondered if there was something deeper, more disturbing happening within my soul. No one even bothered to question my behaviour. I was simply viewed as a rebellious teen who turned into a whore. Yes, I was called that – by someone who was supposed to keep me safe and who should never, ever have called me such a horrible name. But when someone in that position calls a broken girl a name like that, well, wouldn’t it be expected that she begin believing it?
If only my tattered heart was tended to instead of focusing so much on the outward behaviour.
If only I had been lead to the foot of the cross for healing instead of being pushed away in anger and fury.
If only someone had dug deeper to find out what was going on instead of punishing me through rejection.
If only someone had taken the time to know my heart and see the broken girl crying out instead of assuming the worst about me.
If only I had been shown a way back to grace and mercy instead of being shamed and ridiculed by having my mom and her sister walk behind me in a London Drugs parking lot, snickering and my aunt telling me that she knew I had had sex because I was walking funny followed by more snickering.
If only…then maybe things would have turned out differently. But I can’t live in the past. Yes, these kinds of things must be revealed by Jesus in order for Him to heal those areas. But He must do this and He must make something new from it. My hope is that someone reading this will see a young girl who seems to be rebelling but will have the courage to dig deeper, to bring the Light to her broken soul. Someone who will not just assume she is a tramp, but will see a girl who desperately needs her Saviour…and you might be the only one who will show her that He cares for her and cherishes her. This is how He is using His story of my redemption.
I just saw this quote on facebook and I thought it was very appropriate:
“When the glory of God touches the ugliest part of your life and uses it, there is no pride. Only Awe.”
A New Song
The assault on my mind and body began at a very young age and did not stop until I found true freedom. I was a very confused and broken young woman. I tried to put the broken pieces back together by giving what was expected of me, pleasing others but crushing my heart and soul all the more. I failed to fix my heart. I didn’t know how to get out of the mess.
But Jesus knew. And He was on His way to rescue my heart. He was going to pick me up out of the ashes and give me a new song to sing. And He longs to do the same for you.
Are you ready?
Next week, I share about when I met my husband…and I will have something very special for you to read.
Thank you for joining me on this journey.
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