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God Meets Woman in the Midst of Her Shame?

Lindsay remembers, “When I was at dance I could just be me, and it was freeing and being able to express different emotions and different feelings.”  

As a young girl, Lindsay always saw herself as a dancer.   But reaching her teenage years gave her a much different picture.

She explains, “I never really had the typical ‘dancer’s body.’  I was always a little bit on the heavier side.  Of course, when I looked at myself in the mirror compared to the other girls, you just kinda judge yourself, you think, ‘I don't look the part.’”

That low self-image came despite encouragement from her parents, Rick and Dawn.  They had raised her to follow Christ, and taught her that her character matters more than her looks.   Lindsay continued dancing in high school, but as she gained weight, she felt even more self-conscious.

Lindsay shares, “My junior year of high school I was the heaviest that I've ever been.  I started taking notice to how boys looked at me.  There was a hunger for that attention.”  

Then at 17, she started losing weight.  As her looks changed, so did her values.

She says, “I was getting attention that I'd never gotten before, and I just liked it.  My dress definitely changed.  I started wearing things that were skimpier and showed a lot more skin.  I wanted a guy to want me that way.  That made me feel good about myself then.”

She continues, “I kinda lost perspective of God.  I was just more focused on things of the world than I was on Christ.”

Then, she started dating a guy who wasn’t a Christian, and decided to sleep with him.

She says, “I was in love.  I thought we had a future together and so I was more willing then to give myself up to him.  As soon as that happened everything just spiraled out of control.  I stopped caring about God.  I was just focused on what felt good at the time.”

After graduation, Lindsay went away to college and majored in dance.  A couple of weeks later, her boyfriend broke up with her.

Lindsay says, “I was depressed.  I just pretty much gave up.  I'm just gonna live however I want to live and not answer to anyone.”

She explains, “One of the biggest lies that I believed was that my only worth was in my sexuality and my body image.  I was looking for somebody that would love me and-and want that uh long-term relationship with me.”  

But it came with a consequence.  

Lindsay says, “It felt good in the moment, but the guilt and the shame that came with it, it was horrible.”   

By her sophomore year, Lindsay had completely walked away from her relationship with God.  She believed she was past the point of forgiveness.     

She says, “I knew my lifestyle was wrong.  I felt too much shame to even cry out to Jesus at that point.  I couldn't handle the pain of all of the guilt and the shame that I was feeling and I just – I needed it to end.”

One afternoon, she decided to jump off the balcony of her 24th floor apartment.

She remembers, “I went to open the sliding glass door and it would only open about this much.  Then I went and sat down in the bathtub.   I was going to cut my wrists.  I don’t even remember how I got out of the bathtub.  It was Jesus just overcame me in that moment and pulled me out of that place.  And I just remember uh being on my knees on the bathroom floor, just crying out to God.”  

She continues, “I distinctly remember hearing the voice of God uh just say, ‘I'm not finished with you yet.’  I just felt the Lord shower me with love and acceptance and I just remember crying out to him and just surrendering my life over to him because I knew that I couldn't do it on my own anymore.  God was the one that could fill that void of love and acceptance that I had been looking for.”

Later that year, Lindsay met Jon, and they married in 2008. Now with three daughters, Lindsay also found another way to express herself.  She’s a singer/songwriter, sharing the hope she has in Christ.

She says, “Jesus allowed me to be comfortable with who I am as a person.  Jesus just every day fills me with this confidence of ‘I am a child of God.  I am who You say I am and You are who You say You are.’” 

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