Anita Fuentes: Changed by the Love of God
By Dory Nissen
The 700 Club
Original Air Date: October 14, 2010
Anita Fuentes’s earliest memory is fear. Her mother abused her every day.
“It was hard. It was tormenting," Anita tells The 700 Club. "I’d wake up every day not knowing what was going to happen to me. I’d go to bed crying, asking God to kill me or kill her because I didn’t want to go through that anymore.”
Her mother threatened to beat her even more if she told anyone. So even though she desperately wanted to, Anita kept silent.
"One teacher asked me, ‘Is everything okay?’ and inside I was screaming, ‘No, it’s not! Please help me!’ I wanted to tell her so bad, but I was so scared. “
The beatings continued into Anita’s teen years, until she finally ran away.
“I remember I ran out of the house, and I ended up hiding behind bushes, because I knew she would come out looking for me and if she found me she would be angry. If she found me, it would be over.”
Anita quickly learned she could take her good looks into the night clubs and make a money stripping.
“When I started doing it, it was nerve wracking. But of course after the first time that I did, it was to me it was easy. It was raunchy. It was a very bad atmosphere. Guys just wanted to touch you and they were not allowed to but to make more money you could let them. There would actually be a back room where there was prostitution going on. I didn’t go that far, but just the fact that I would do lap dances and whatever I could to do to make more money without going as far as the other girls were going, I would do it.”
But she still didn’t make as much as she wanted to, so Anita decided to move to California to pursue a modeling career. That’s where she met Ignacio. They eloped to Las Vegas, but Anita’s ugly side surfaced quickly.
“Immediately after we got married, our marriage was going on a downward spiral. He had no idea what he got himself into. I was a mess. I would want to fight him. I had so many anger issues, and it really stemmed from years of abuse. I didn’t want to be intimidated. I wanted to show that I was the intimidator. I would literally pick fights with him. I would argue with him. I would belittle him. I would make him feel horrible. I was going to show him and everybody else that I wasn’t going to be hurt anymore.”
The anger turned to fear when Anita suddenly began having panic attacks.
“I’m petrified. I was shaking. My heart is beating a mile a minute. I couldn’t catch my breath.”
As the anxiety attacks increased, her relationship with her husband continued to dissolve. One day she called an old friend to complain about her marriage. She didn’t know her friend had become a Christian.
“She said, ‘You just need to give it to God.’ I remember when I heard her say that, I was angry. That’s not what I wanted to hear. ‘What do you mean give it to God? I don’t need to give anything to God.’ I immediately brushed that to the side and continued complaining. God, to me, was nothing.”
Then Anita pushed Ignacio too far. He walked out claiming he would never return.
“I was crying. I was screaming. I was just so angry and sad and scared. The first words that came to mind was her words: 'just give it to God. Give it all to God.' I remember crying. I was shaking. By this time I was so trapped with anxiety and panic attacks, I was scared to leave my house and drive anywhere without feeling anxious and panicky.”
Anita wanted to go to a church. It took her weeks to get up the courage to leave her house and drive to a nearby chapel.
“I started crying and I said, ‘God, please, I’m begging You. Please just take everything. Take my fears. Take my husband. Take my life. Take my marriage, everything.’ Everything I could name, I named.”
Then a local church was promoting a play over the upcoming Easter weekend. Anita decided to go.
“I remember watching this play from the beginning to the end, and I’d never seen anything like that in my entire life. They literally spoke and they played out the life of Jesus and what He did, how He died for us and how He walked this earth. When I saw Him hanging on the cross, I remember how touched I was inside.”
Then the pastor gave a brief message, saying, "Jesus is knocking on the door of your heart. If anyone wants to open up the door to Jesus, raise your hand."
Anita says, "I remember as soon as I heard that invitation, inside of me, I said, ‘I want to. I want to.’"
She accepted Christ that day and began reading the Bible and praying for Ignacio. Soon, he too accepted Christ as his Savior.
“God, my Father gave my husband a new wife and it was me. Our marriage is literally built on the solid rock foundation of Jesus Christ. Our marriage is lead by the precious Holy Spirit. Our love is out of His love for us and we can reflect that love towards each other and it is powerful.
“By His stripes you can be completely and utterly healed from every emotional, verbal, physical and mental abuse that you’ve ever endured.”
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