CBN.com I hated my childhood. I was in a family of different kids of abuse. My mom was mentally ill. She was borderline schizophrenic, manic-depressive. My grandfather was a pedophile, and I found out later in life [he] sexually abused many young girls. Unfortunately, I was one of the ones that he raped -- and my brother -- and that went on for years.
My sister and I had gone with Papa to Alabama. He took us on a long ride down the pasture in his old truck. When we got there he said he forgot the paper bags so he made my sister go walk back to the house and get some.
I just knew something bad was about to happen. He made me lay down in the creek bed, he pulled my panties off, undid his pants, and he got on top of me. I just sort of looked up in the sky and tried not to think and then I caught his eye. His eyes looked just like two slits, and his smile was like a cave.
I don’t know if I did it out loud or if I sang them to myself but I sang, “Jesus, loves me. This I know.” I kept singing that. I didn’t look at him again
I had started having thoughts of suicide when I was about nine. I just really didn’t want to live anymore and I wished that I would have an accident or that somebody would poison me.
Then when I was about nine I heard my preacher say to a couple who had just lost their 14-year-old girl, “God does not give us anything that we can’t handle, that won’t make us stronger and better for Him.” He said something to the effect, “Hang on, hang on until the blessing comes.” The moment I heard that, as a little girl, it was a total epiphany for me.
Well, I’d given my life to Christ when I was 8 years old. As I grew older and started living sort of a fleshly life, I think I lost all capacity to fully understand living the life of Christ is such a sacrifice.
I became sexually promiscuous around 16 because I was living on my own. I had started drinking and smoking cigarettes, hanging out with the crazy crowd…
I knew that I had slid so far away from praying and Jesus. I was living a life that wasn’t acceptable to Jesus.
A photographer approached me and said I should be a model. He said he would take the pictures for free if he could send one of them to Playboy. He sent them and they called.
For 10 years I did Playboy. That threw me into a crazy, wild world of all sorts of sex. Sex meant nothing there. Sex meant absolutely nothing at the mansion.
I let myself believe that it was okay. This is beauty; this is an art. The things people tell you… “It’s art; it’s not porn. Why would God make a woman’s body so beautiful if it was not meant to be seen?”
“I moved my boundaries a long way and then they got so blurred so far away that I completely lost sight of boundaries of right and wrong and what pleases God and what just kills Him.
To make myself feel good, [I would] send a little check or something or sponsor a child. I knew I’d been through what some of these children had been through, and I knew I could help that way so much more than giving a check and be embarrassed by the amount.
I went down [to Haiti], and I kinda had it open in my head that I would either sponsor a child that I found down there or I’d find out what they need and maybe bring them back candy.
I felt so embarrassed when I opened my suitcase and all I had was candy when they needed things like cough syrup, diapers and dried milk.
The first real reunion that I had with Jesus from going so far the other direction took place when I started going to Haiti.
A lot of these children, I look at in their little faces, they ask me, “Will I die? Will I die today?” I devoured my Bible to find out as much as I could about how good Jesus is how He sees the little sparrows when they fall and how the reunion in heaven will be is like.
So helping them go through that process of dying has really grown me as a Christian.
I can honestly say that I love Jesus. I love Jesus with all my heart. I want to be a woman after God’s own heart, and I want Him to call me friend.
If you want to help the children of Haiti as Susan has, visit the Web site for The Mercy and Sharing Foundation.
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.