Broken Pieces Made Whole
By Robert Hull
The 700 Club
CBN.com -“He used to find me in different places. I had to play hide and seek because he would pull me into the garage in his dad’s car and do unspeakable things to me. I could tell that it was wrong, but I couldn’t—I didn’t know how to tell what was happening. So I didn’t tell anything. I kept quiet.”
When she was five years old Teresa Kemp was molested repeatedly by her best friend’s teenage brother. As she grew, misplaced shame and guilt poisoned her self-image.
“I always felt that it was my fault for some reason,” said Teresa. “There was—the shame that came on me. I always felt guilty for everything. It did something inside me. It was like I—that little girl died. I couldn’t even explain what was happening to me, because I didn’t know what was happening to me. I just knew that I had this rage and pain in me and I didn’t see any hope.”
During her teens, Teresa drank heavily and used drugs to escape the pain. Sexual encounters led to pregnancy and abortions—and more self-hatred. She turned to lesbian relationships for comfort.
“When I got around with more of the gay lifestyle then automatically I just thought that I was gay, that I was born like this. I was sleeping with everything that moved. I mean, I just became such a terrible person. But I didn’t know any other way. I was broken inside.”
Crack cocaine and methamphetamines ruled her life from her first hit.
“I remember holding the pipe up to my mouth and taking a hit. I was looking in the mirror. As I took the hit, it was like life left me. I literally went ‘ahhh!’ because it was like I crossed over to complete death, and I was completely consumed by the drugs.”
She did anything necessary to get money to stay high.
“I didn’t care about anything. I started stealing; I couldn’t hold a job. I couldn’t do anything. I lost everything. My parents would look for days trying to find me, and I would hide out in the crack house. I started walking the streets, started selling myself. And I had resolved that I was going to Hell and I didn’t care about it. Because I was so in hell I just wanted to finish it. I was –I was done.”
Teresa and her girlfriend were eventually arrested on multiple charges ranging from drug possession to identity theft. She was sentenced to 40 years behind bars. In prison she would often meet with her girlfriend in chapel to talk. While there she heard a message about God that intrigued her.
“Even though we were passing notes, something started happening to me. I was very curious. I was like ‘what is she saying? How can He forgive me? That cannot be. There’s no way possible that He could want me.’”
During that period she learned that her beloved older sister, who was a Christian, was dying. Teresa would be unable to see her before her death.
“When I hung up that phone I was so riddled in pain and there was nothing to numb it. The emotional pain was so bad, every pain from the abuse as a child all the way through. Everything came upon me. For the first time in my life, I saw how bad I had become. I saw what a mess I was. I said ‘how can I get out of this?’ I didn’t want to be like this anymore. But I didn’t know how to come out of it. And those words I heard, ‘Jesus loves you, He can forgive you,’ started coming back up to me.”
During the next chapel service Teresa eagerly asked God to forgive her sins and let her join her sister in Heaven.
“I wanted Jesus. I didn’t know Him; I didn’t know anything about Him. But if it’s true what they say, that He forgives sins, and that He could change my life, I wanted Him. I didn’t care about anything else; just give me Jesus. I did not want to go to Hell. I wanted to see my sister. All the pain left me. The tics, the paranoia, everything left me. I literally lit up like a light bulb. I knew that Jesus just came in my life. I literally was looking because I could feel the power of God all over me. I never craved another drug. It is not true ‘once an addict always an addict,’ because ‘who the Son sets free is free indeed.’ I’m always on my soapbox about that because if you have an encounter with God, He changes you. He transformed me. I became a new person.”
As she repeatedly spoke the word of God over her sexual identity, Jesus set her free from homosexuality.
“You are not born gay. You are born in the image of God. I speak to the original intent that God made me - I am a godly woman. I am made in God’s image, and I am a woman of God and I speak to that original intent and instantly I felt something break. From that day forth I was completely different and I’ve been completely set free after that. I never struggled with it ever, ever again. My identity is not in sex, it is not in me being a female, and it’s not in anything else. My identity is found in Jesus.”
After five years, Teresa walked out of prison a different person. In her book Forever Changed she tells how the love of God rescued her from a life of hopelessness and despair. She says that same power is available to all who call on the name of Jesus.
“People need to know that He’s still in the business of miracles. They need to know that however far you go in the pit there’s somebody that can deliver you from that pit. If you’ll run to Jesus, He’ll change your life. ‘Cause if He touched me and I was the worst of the worst, He can touch anybody. He had every reason to turn from me. He had every reason to turn His back to me and not come to me, but love came right to me.”
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