Unconditional Love Provides Woman with True Family

“To have your innocence taken away, it definitely changes a woman.” Crystal was sexually molested by a relative when she was four years old. It happened again when she was twelve. Her childhood and identity seemed to be defined by predatory adults who were meant to protect her, rather than abuse her.
She says, “I do feel like it changed how I perceived things, how I viewed things. Things weren’t as sacred as maybe what they should have been.”

Her mother had suffered abuse when she was young, and distanced herself from God. Somehow, Crystal had a different perspective. She says, “Even though I didn’t know God, I knew and I wanted—I didn’t want to become bitter and resentful like she was.”

Both of crystal’s parents spent their time feeding their addiction to meth. Crystal fell into the same lifestyle. “I had already started doing drugs by the time I was ten. I didn’t have any self-worth or, you know, I didn’t have a childhood. That’s what I was raised around. You know, drugs, alcohol and sex were just things. I wasn’t having birthday parties at Chuck-E-Cheese or anything. I became numb. Very much, I lived my life very much like a survivor.”

Once she hit her teens, Crystal left home, moved to another town and sold drugs to support herself. “At that point it gave me value in my life. I was somebody then, you know. I felt like I had control of my life then.”

Crystal got into the rave party scene. She was headed into the club one night when something unusual happened. “As soon as I walked in, the music just stopped. And everyone turned toward me. It was just in that moment when I just felt like God was talking to me and God just told me to get out. I ran home that night. And I just started praying. And I was like God, ‘Just show me something right now.’ And really, for that next year, I kept to myself. I got off the drugs and alcohol and really just tried to really take that time to figure out who I was.”

Crystal stayed clean and sober. After several years of troubled relationships, she met a promising singer/songwriter named Zach. She says, “We still weren’t quite living right. I didn't know how to live right. He was starting a rock-n-roll band.”

Six months after they met, Crystal and Zach married. His parents were Christians. They prayed for Zach and Crystal, and loved them unconditionally. Crystal says, “It was the first true example of a Christian family that I’d ever been around. So it was different. Seeing and being around a healthy family situation.”

It wasn’t long before Zach was pulled away by the band for a European tour. While he was traveling to a gig, God began speaking to him through a song. He says, “And that’s where everything in my life changed. You know, I heard a song about a band called Big Daddy Weave and literally called her a week into the tour and said I’m going to quit this band and, you know, going to start going to church, we’re going to start going to church. And I started questioning like if I died tomorrow, would I go to heaven or hell? And I couldn’t answer the question. So that scared me. And so I started doing a lot of soul searching and Crystal was a big part of that though. I mean, she was ready to make a change and I knew that without me setting an example and being the head of the house, that change would never happen in our family.”

At church, and from her in-laws, Crystal was learning more about God’s love for her. She says, “I might not have had the most –the best physical parents, but I had the most perfect Parent. And I’ve always had Him. I’ve always had a Father before, before I had a physical father, He’s always been here with me. And that was when I finally surrendered. And just gave everything to Him. And it was just like all the weight and all the just, generational sin and everything that had been weighing me down all these years just was—it was so easy for me to give away. And I was just like God, just save me. Like I know You’ve been here with me this whole time. And I know You died for my sins.”

Crystal and Zach both gave their lives to Christ in 2012.  Crystal says, “I just—I felt like I could breathe. I mean, it really just –everything just washed away. And I was forgiven. Jesus saved my life. I don’t think—I don’t think I would be here. I don’t think I would’ve been still married. And I don’t think I would have a family. Once we both gave our lives to Christ, we actually became a family then.”

Crystal has two children from a previous relationship, and today, she and Zack are rearing their children, Zephyn and Delilah. Zach is a successful Christian songwriter and performer, and Crystal homeschools their kids. She is thankful that her mother is also now a Christian and has a renewed relationship with Crystal. More than anything, she is grateful for God’s love and grace and for her new identity, in Him. She says, “He took me in and told me that my circumstances is not who define me, But that’s not who I am. And He sees me as priceless, as clean as the day I was born.”

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