by Mike Manzie, Greg Amos and Russell Willingham
Vicki was the oldest in a family of five. Her father was in law enforcement and her mother was a homemaker. Her mother was very insecure and verbally abusive. This made it hard for Vicki to ever connect with her. Her father was her idol and she felt closer to him. But he was broken too. He would “objectify” women, and at a young age exposed Vicki to sexually inappropriate books, creating confusion and shame. This was traumatic for her. Vicki’s trauma increased to a disturbing new level when her grandfather began molesting her at age 10. The abuse continued for years until her grandfather died.
The molestation was emotionally and physically damaging, but it also created deep spiritual wounds due to her grandfather’s outspoken claim to be a Christian. This wrought havoc in her spiritual formation. Her own family had a nominal commitment to church, even so, Vicki’s belief in God remained intact.
The effects of her trauma began showing up in early adulthood. She married her first husband at seventeen. But due to his awful abuse, she divorced him at nineteen. Divorced and depressed, Vicki found herself dealing with new temptations. Her short marriage had awakened her sexuality, and (in her pain) she began using sex as an escape. She tried going to church to connect with healthy people, but—even there—she felt misunderstood and rejected. She also found a therapist, but that wasn’t helpful either. He assured her that acting on her sexual desires was fine as long as it involved two consenting adults.
This began several years of promiscuous sexual encounters, drug use, and ever-increasing emptiness. Then she met her second husband. This marriage also had immediate problems. He was an alcoholic and abused her both physically and emotionally. She left him after nine months, now pregnant and lonelier than ever. Her third husband was not a believer. After a few years, he became very abusive toward her and her daughter. Vicki’s nine-year-old daughter was so stressed by this abuse that she began throwing up and suffering migraines. Vicki left her third marriage and again found herself single and alone.
She then began seeking cyber sex and phone sex (which quickly became an addiction). Sometimes she spent up to fourteen hours a day on this new compulsion. Yet God protected her during this time, despite her behavior.
One day, in a moment of clarity, she saw that her out-of-control sex life was a misguided attempt to experience intimacy. She needed authentic, loving relationships, and her sexual addiction wasn’t giving her that (but making everything worse!). Vicki finally found a safe place in the form of a women’s support group. This changed everything. The woman who led the group recommended she seek counseling from New Creation Ministries. Vicki wasted no time. She committed herself to the process and drove an hour and a half every Thursday night for two years. At NCM she found hope, understanding, and the biblical tools to transform her life.
“New Creation Ministries made me feel so welcomed. They didn’t shame me for my sin, and I finally felt understood. They taught me how to resist temptation. This renewed my faith and strengthened my resolve to pursue healing. Russell was a fellow survivor who was kind, gentle, and supportive. NCM was an amazing place!”
Vicki moved out of state but continued pursuing healing. It’s been seventeen years since she began this journey. She has gone from broken to transformed. Vicki says that God took all her trauma (with the help of NCM) and began preparing her for healthy intimacy with a godly man. She finally met that man. Just this month they celebrated their seventh wedding anniversary. On their wedding cake, they wrote Psalms 37:4, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart”.
For years she wondered why God allowed her to go through all these tragedies. Couldn’t He have saved her first marriage and spared her all those years of pain? Then it came to her. He has used her trauma to give her a deep compassion for others. And out of that compassion He has used her to touch many people.
“I have interacted with many people (and through my online ministry) who have felt my love and compassion. This made them feel safe enough to open up to me. It’s been such a blessing to touch others who needed hope.”