Growing up in childhood abuse has lasting effects on a person long into adulthood and for some, for the rest of their lives.
I never knew it was abuse until I was far away from it and no longer exposed to it. My entire life, up to the point of salvation, I always looked for immediate gratification to “take me away” to find happiness in the dark world in which I was living in.
My path of destruction started when I was about 8 years old and it only grew worse for the next 26 years! I have battled with every type of addiction – drugs, alcohol, exercise bulimia, anorexia, attention and approval from the opposite sex, approval and acceptance from people in general, and the list goes on. But each time the temptations grabbed me and promised me a happy ending, no matter the addiction, I never found the ending to be happy. It just made the addiction stronger and needing a higher dose of something harder.
While I was exposed to childhood abuse,
what I was NOT exposed to, was God.
I was never taught to call on God in times of need, nor in times of thanksgiving. I did not attend church until later in life when I would go with friends or a boyfriend. I THOUGHT I got saved when I was 12 years old at church camp. I had heard the scripture from Acts 16:31, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved.” This is about all I had heard from the bible so this was the scripture I always held on to. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe in God, I just never had a relationship with Him.
The end of my rope and the bottom of my pit came in October of 2014.
I had found myself in the deepest pit of my life. I was receiving more attention from men than I had ever before. It was, yet another, addiction I could not shake. At this point, I had been married for 12 years with two beautiful children. Our marriage wasn’t picture perfect by no means, but it wasn’t terrible either.
I was just trying to fill that God-shaped void in my heart that only He can fill. But instead, I continually looked to earthly things to fill it.
One of the men I had been receiving a lot of attention from was a man who I had known for a long time. One kind word lead to another flirty conversation that lead to a full-blown affair. The enemy presented me with a comfortable situation that was too tempting to deny; that affair ended two weeks later. But not because I had found God. It was because another man caught my attention. And again, it was someone I had known for a long time. One thing lead to another and that affair lasted two weeks. And just when I thought I had enough, the enemy presented me with a third man that led into the third and final affair.
I had gotten to a place where I had never been before. I had no idea what to do and no one to turn to. I had so much guilt and shame covering me, not only from the affairs, but from everything else I had ever done in my life.
I was so tired of living the life that I was living; everything I was doing was leading me down a dead end road.
It was October 2nd, 2014 at approximately 11:30 am in my car in the middle of the woods in Madisonville, TN. Months prior to, I tried to end my life by putting a gun to my head, but I didn’t know how to load it, I now see that God had other plans for me. In the car that day, all I could think about was my next suicide attempt to end this life I had messed up so terribly on my own, I didn’t want to breathe another breath on this earth. I sat in that car with my mother-in-law who has been a preacher’s wife for over 30 years. I asked her what a person could do to ever be forgiven for all of their sins they had committed in their life. She said the most beautiful words I have ever heard spoken to me, “Shannon, you just have to surrender your life to the Lord.” And right there in that moment I looked up to the sky and whispered to myself, “Surrender your life to the Lord. Surrender your life to the Lord.”
And right at that moment Jesus entered my heart and I have never been the same since. I gave my life up to Him and I have never turned back.
Life has never been as clear to me as what it has been these past two years. My heart is softened, I have fallen in love with my husband all over again and with a deeper love. I see the sun shine now, I no longer live in darkness. The things of this world no longer matter to me, only Jesus and His saving grace and redemptive power.
I now understand why the scripture in Acts 16:31, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved” is not all there is to being saved. Yes, you must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ in order to be saved. But it is not about a religion, it is about a relationship. There has to a life-changing transformation happen and a life that produces fruit for evidence of salvation. Before October 2014, I had no idea what any of that meant.
Since surrendering my life on that beautiful day, The Lord has opened many doors for my family and me.
I started a ministry, Surrender Ministries for Women. I have been asked to speak and tell my testimony at multiple places and venues and I wrote a book “My Story, God’s Glory: A Story of Redemption.” I counsel and mentor women with multiple addictions and strongholds in their life. My husband and I started a ministry called Resurrected Marriages and we teach a class at our church, North Cleveland Church of God in Cleveland, TN. The class is for married couples where we emphasize the ways that we can prevent pitfalls and problems in marriages while keeping God at the center of our marriage and family.
The life I lived is nothing to be proud of, but we can all learn something from our past. We can look back and learn from our mistakes and have the discernment to never make them again. But we must always remember, that our past does not define who we are and who God calls us to be. He turned my mess into a message and a test into my testimony. We all have different problems, but we all have the same problem solver.
You can hear more about Shannon R. Wright’s story by visiting her on Facebook at Surrender Ministries For Women with Shannon Wright or Resurrected Marriages.
To learn more about her story, you can purchase her book for $15 on my website www.surrenderministriesforwomen.com with FREE SHIPPING for a limited time!