I was the girl that walked around like I had it all together. I was very active in my church and was vocal about my Christian walk. I prided myself on being one of the good girls. Then it happened…I met a man that literally changed my world. He was 13 years older than me, well traveled and peeked my interest in a way that no other guy had. He was living the life of his dreams and he had it all; including a wife a son. However, he didn’t allow having it all to stop him from wanting more; which included me.
I shot down his initial advances as I had no desire to be anyone’s sidechick. I had never even had “casual sex” before. The more I shot him down the harder he came at me. He was persistent, consistent and patient. I couldn’t then and to be honest, still can’t figure out how between his 3 jobs, his wife and his son, he found the time to spend hours a day pursuing me. However, he did and I subsequently found myself falling. I went from being adamant about my morals and values to a sprung sidechick, willing to do any and everything to please a man that would never be mine. For two and a half years I lost myself in him. My dreams no longer mattered because I didn’t want to be so busy that I wasn’t available when he called. I went from being an overachiever setting the bar to a sub par performer content with watching those around me succeed. I stopped doing the things I loved and instead fell in love with watching him do what he loved. I became his number one fan and he began to treat me like a backstage groupie.
I felt stuck and stupid. For years I judged women that were in my shoes. I assumed they purposefully pursued the men with the rings. I deemed them whores and home-wreckers, never once considering they simply fell for the wrong man. My guilt was so strong that I continued to stay. I continued to allow him to mistreat me and talk down to me. I honestly felt as though I deserved the disrespect because I chose to disrespect his vows.
It took me two and a half years to press reset and free myself from him. I had to admit to myself and my friends that I didn’t have it all together. I no longer cared about having the perfect image. I knew I needed to get out and as long as my secret was safe I would have an excuse to keep going back. After opening up to a few friends I decided to share my sin and growth in the most public way possible. I decided to write a “Gut Feeling”
I pressed the reset button, forgave myself and gave myself permission to support my dreams just as I supported his. I no longer allowed the guilt to make me settle. Instead I chose to be a voice for the voiceless church girls afraid to admit they made a mistake. Afraid of being judged by their church family instead of supported and prayed for. Afraid that they would be casted into the pits of hell simply because their sin was different. Afraid that the world would judge them for simply being human. My life reset the moment I let go of the pressure to be perfect. Would I do it again? Absolutely not! Do I regret that it happened? Absolutely not! I needed to go through that to be the woman I am today. Flaws and all!
I forgive ME!
“To the perfectly imperfect girls, dealing with the overwhelming pressure to be perfect. Living in a world where people judge others by what they did, but judge themselves by what they intended. Here’s to jumping off the pedestal and having the opportunity to learn from our mistakes. Here’s to the perfect girls we weren’t and the perfectly forgiven women we became. This book is dedicated to you; poised, powerful and far from perfect!”