I’ve spent much of my adult life choosing to forget my childhood. I grew up in the 1970’s when most of my friends had the type of home that epitomized your stereotypical family togetherness. They had what seemed like perfect homes. I remember watching the hub of the home of my friends gathering around a kitchen table where conversations flowed free, and lives were loved well, and wondering if I ever had that.
My childhood consisted of shame from sexual and emotional abuse by the time I was six years old. I felt abandoned and unimportant to those closest to me. I lived in denial of my own pain, and likewise it simmered deep within my relationships. I refrained from thinking too much about my past, afraid that the memories that I suppressed and learned to control would break free and consume me. I lived detached, wondering how and searching to fit into humanity, in and outside of my home life.
I was the baby, the only surviving girl, and I struggled to find my worth. Out of my desperation to find acceptance, love, and the meaning of my life, I became easily enticed. I was seduced into the glamour of the modeling industry as I searched for self-worth.
It was in the heart of this industry, choking on the poison of self-worship, that I learned to cover all my imperfections. When I modeled, I could live in a pretend world where everything was just as I wanted it to be. On the outside I was beautiful, perfect, all put-together. But on the inside I was unhappy, consumed with fear, and living miserably hopeless without direction.
Writing down this story was the last thing I wanted to do. I so desperately wanted to forget and focus on moving forward. I wanted my life to appear unblemished and perfect to those on the outside looking in
But God … he always has a different plan. And his plan took me off the course I built for myself. He healed the fear in my heart. He silenced the tiny voice in my head that kept me from moving forward as it whispered, “You are nothing.” He took the shame from the past and turned it into his greatest glory. And here I am, revealing what I most wanted to hide in order to reach out to the other women and young ladies that struggle like I did.
To help them escape the unhealthy cycle that I found myself in for years.
To help them break free.
“Modesty isn’t a head condition it is a heart condition.” ~Teresa Coelho (tweet)
Dannah Gresh– Pure Freedom.org
Power of Modesty – TeresaCoelho.com
Dennis Rainey: FamilyLife.com
Family Life Familylife.com
Teresa’s Book, Power of Modesty available at amazon soon.
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I’m not a fan of the look over the shoulder, either, Teresa, but I’m thankful for this reminder that when I do glance in the rear view mirror, I do it with the knowledge that God was active in bringing all the loose ends together into what is now His beautiful plan. It’s a great gift to remember that nothing that happens to us is ever wasted.