newclutchlogoblackWe all remember that one girl in school who seemed to be headed down a destructive path. Raised by a single mother, an absent father, and poor living conditions were the unfortunate circumstances that shaped her. These adverse surroundings would be the beginning of her early demise. Stripped of her young innocence at the tender age of eleven, when most girls are undressing Barbie dolls, the 15-year-old boy next door was taking her clothes off. It was her first sexual encounter, but definitely not her last. Barely a teenager, she would become a statistic: Black Eighth-Grader Pregnant.

As fate would have it, a lifeless creation wouldn’t survive the premature birth. Just when the present and future looked bleak, a second chance emerged from behind the dark cloud. A new lease on life was all the more reason to regress to old ways. High school brought more boys to the yard, and her milkshake satisfied their sweet craving. By this time, her number of sex partners could be counted on two hands.

This promiscuous pattern followed her into adulthood, resulting in yet another pregnancy that she would later abort. Unsurprisingly, none of these casual, sexual escapades flourished into long-lasting, healthy relationships. She allowed herself to be treated like the public bus stop. A handful came back time-and-time again, as long as she opened the door. Discouraged and confused about her future with men, she was vulnerable prey; such a damsel in distress attracted the eye of a woman. Dabbling on the same side of the fence still didn’t prove a perfect fit, and left her longing for the touch of a man.

So instead of giving earthly men her most prized possession, she entrusts the supernatural with her mind, body, and soul. She professes her commitment to the Man upstairs, believing He will heal her wounds and broken heart, and send her the “right” man at the “right” time.

Tired of being loose and living reckless, maturation starts to set in. Almost thirty with a broken “pocket book” in tow and tainted reputation, her sullied reality is enough to make her change her ways. After experimenting with women, being mistreated by boys and used by married men, her lost soul is crying out for a higher power to save her. Eager to start a new chapter, she makes a commitment to live upright and adopt a different standard of life. All of a sudden, she’s a self-righteous Bible-toting disciple, stomping for divinity.

Nowadays, you can find her on the front pew every Sunday, as she prefers praise and worship over Saturday night reveling. On a mission to put the past behind, she develops amnesia in order to cope. Removing herself from people that remind her of who she “used” to be is much easier than to face her reflection in the mirror they flash before her. Yearning to one day marry, her label as a whore is the hardest to overcome. So instead of giving earthly men her most prized possession, she entrusts the supernatural with her mind, body, and soul. She professes her commitment to the Man upstairs, believing He will heal her wounds and broken heart, and send her the “right” man at the “right” time.

She vows to remain patient and celibate in her attempt to live a pious lifestyle. Determined to walk a straight line and not succumb to her flesh is harder than she imagined. Her faith is waning. She now falls to her knees for guidance, before it was for pleasure. Still a wreck inside, but her pride won’t let her show it.

While her road to redemption is commendable, what she doesn’t know is, practicing religious principles is not enough to break the vicious cycle and restore self-worth. Masking behind a scripture-filled, leather bound book won’t set you free. It goes beyond organized rituals; it takes being honest with yourself and admitting who you really are. Changing one’s mindset, ideals, and habits are unlike magic tricks, transformation doesn’t happen in an instant.

Shoving your skeletons in the closet before properly sorting them out will reveal scattered bones, causing you to trip every time. Lack of self-esteem is the root of the problem, and the solution is to build that love from within. Building love that was never given or realized since childhood takes time to develop, and can be a life-long process. Spending time alone in the midst of your calm and still spirit is where inner confidence and wholeness dwells.

Lots of quiet time forces you to deal with the truth, and therein lies the guilt, shame and pain, which is hard to face. Don’t be mislead in thinking turning over a new leaf (i.e. self-discovery) is about what’s on the surface and the image you portray. While partially true, actions become evident once true growth is materialized. Being a devout church-goer and Bible thumper who can quote scripture doesn’t prove anything. The first step to living a consecrated life is finding your true intention, not what you say or show to others.

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  • ceecee

    @ mikilikemouse:
    “I have never heard the word ‘promiscuous’ used to describe a male who has had a lot of sex partners. ”

    I don’t know about that, to me and a lot of other women I know, a guy with too many sexual partners is a ho’ i.e. promiscuous.

  • Pearlsrevealed

    Amen Tameka! Religious rituals are about CONFORMITY and never transformation. Allowing the word or principles of God to touch your broken soul requires courage and a spiritually mature person or counselor to periodically lend a listening ear, warm heart and sage advice.

    @mikilikemouse and ceecee

    Our society refers to ho-ish men as “lady’s men”. Whatever!
    I agree that more attention should be given to the issue of the sexual abuse of boys. But this commentary does an EXCELLENT job of capturing and defining the dilemma of this type of sister that I am very familiar with.

    The key to her healing is to get a revelation on the GRACE of God and the destructive power of shame. You give th adversary power when you hide the ugliness of your past life. Secrecy and denial are huge burdens and keeps your spirit from growing. You have to be transparent and EMBRACE & ACCEPT God’s forgiveness.

    One clue that a person has not forgiven themselves is that they are critical and judgemental of others. You cannot extend forgiveness when you have not accepted God’s forgiveness for your own self.

    Another clue is over-achievement. Tyler Perry is a good example of that trait. “I’ll show you! I’ll be the best___________ that anyone has ever seen!” Many achieve because of their passion for their craft. Some do it for revenge or to fill a gapping hole in their heart, to find SIGNIFICANCE.

    Avoidance. Silent treatments. Rehearsing the event in your mind or out loud over and over again. Uncontrollable angry outburst. These are all signs of bitterness and unforgiveness.

    Break the chains. Be honest with yourself. Forgive and Grow.

  • Gloria

    I feel grateful that this article was written. First of all because alot of us need to get a be educated and made aware of things. And yes I do feel sex and realtionships period come with alot of baggage. I think more than the sex you’ve given to a man alot of girls because of the absence of fathers give themselves. They just want to be loved and then some no good man takes their body and uses it and then abuse their heart too. And don’t leave the married men out who cheat on their wives and tell all the lies. Because he will never leave just continue to use you emotionally, sexually and so on and so forth. Regardless we know women suffer alot more when it comes to this type of behavior. Because even when we don’t want the sex, we are raped and it is taken against our will. Sometimes they even say that we don’t love them if we don’t sleep with them. I really haven’t at this age understood or figured out what that means. Cause love is not having to do or engage in something you don’t feel you want to. So there are women and young girls truly sufferring in silence. They have no one who understands or are willing to bring this issue to the forefront. It makes you feel less than a woman, it makes you feel dirty after a while like this is all you’re worth or good for. So please don’t stop writing these type of articles of awareness. Also whoever thinks abortions doesn’t come with it’s share of hurt and pain is crazh and insane. Unless you are a murderer and haven’t admitted that to yourself. Not to say women shouldn’t have a choice cause I went there but there isn’t a day that goes by that I wish I wouldn’t have made a different choice. And with Tyler Perry life story I’m glad he came out. Because it just lets you know no money 0r fame in the world makes the pain go away. Only Time!!!!! And the GRACe Of God if you believe.

  • @ LaKeyshaF,

    Well Said. This type of sister (or even brother) need to know that Christ and God forgive us, but we still have to do our best everyday. No matter what. and whenever we fall, and people want to tear us down, He’ll always pick us up. That’s what what real faith is and not just “masking behind a scripture-filled, leather bound book.”

    Let’s build each other up like family should!

  • ms. complexity

    I was going to go on a diatribe but LaKeyshaF said EVERYTHING so eloquently…I agree with her 100%

    :-)