by Tanya Walker | article – July 21 SHARE Magazine
“Persecuted but not forsaken, cast down but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4v9).
Shame, condemnation, rejection and brokenness were all I woke up to everyday; in what was the most painful season of my life.
My name is Tanya Walker and I was born and raised in Manchester Jamaica but currently reside in New York, United States. I was born and raised in a Christian home, so godly principles guided me. However, I just didn’t know what my identity in Christ was. I didn’t know who I was.
When I migrated to the United States at the age of 21, I must admit that I didn’t know much about men and what a healthy relationship should look like. Back in those days we were told not to have sex because it is a sin but no further details were given to us. One thing I knew for sure, I wanted to be loved, I desired to be shown affection and that is a very healthy desire of the heart. Sometimes in trying to fulfill healthy desires of the heart, we end up settling for the unhealthy ones because healthy can be harder to find.
My major turning point came when I met a group of prayer warriors. Sisters who are saved but were not caught up in being religious or looking perfect. They prayed me through…
I grew up sheltered so I wasn’t trained on how to recognize signs that warn of the danger ahead where men are concerned. I fell right into what was a forbidden zone, an affair with a married man. Blinded by the desire to be nice and kind, I became a listening ear to his problems and gladly took on the role of a counselor, advising him on how to handle his conflicts at home. I want to tell all my single sisters out there, never be a listening ear to a married man. It’s an easy set up for a fall.
Strong emotions were now present and I was in love. Just like that, my treasured virginity was gone. I cried profusely because I wanted to just disappear in the arms of my sisters and mourn but they were not around. Giving it away to a married man was a double jeopardy for me but it quickly took the back seat to my problems when his wife and the church found out. I was an active choir member.
Can you imagine my plight? This little inexperienced girl ended up in one big mess and I had no idea how to deal with it. Between her calls and the ones from family and friends spewing condemnation, I wanted to die. I needed a friendly voice or face around me but found none. The backlash from the church was the hardest for me. I was looked at and treated with disgust. Not a hand to hold or help me through it. “Brothers, if a man be overtaken in a fault, you which are spiritual restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; lest you also be tempted” (Galatians 6v1).
I got pregnant and I wanted to run away. If the earth could open up and take me in, I would let it. For five and a half months I told no one but I made up my mind never to go back to this relationship. I could not have my child come into this chaos. He gave his support but I was now alone. God carried this child and myself through because I almost died. For years I carried shame and condemnation as motherhood prevented me from focusing on my healing, but God kept me.
My major turning point came when I met a group of prayer warriors. Sisters who are saved but were not caught up in being religious or looking perfect. They prayed for me through all the baggage I was carrying. They not only listened to my story but they willingly told theirs. When I heard the mess they came out of and saw how God was using them, hope rose up inside of me. I started pursuing God because I had to find out who he is and who I am in him. Now I know, I am not my past but treasured, loved and marked for Christ.
Parents, let us rise up and properly educate our children on relationships and how to handle themselves therein. Let us first show them affection the right way so when the wrong way comes they will know it and choose wisely. Church mothers and sisters, rise up and share your stories so that those who are coming behind you can benefit and those who are hurting can know they are not alone and can be healed. I wish I had received such help sooner!