A Simple Invitation Leads to New Life
By Zsa Zsa Palagyi
The 700 Club
CBN.com -Cynthia Shaver remembers, “I really wanted to be dead. I really thought I was a mistake. And I locked myself in the bathroom and I just grabbed a razor blade. As hard as I could, I just sliced it like that. And closed my eyes and just waited to die.”
Cynthia never had the childhood she dreamed of. Her birth mother gave her up, and she didn’t fit-in with her adoptive parents. Plus, she had a learning disability, which made it hard for her to succeed at school.
“Nobody understood me,” Cynthia sneers. “When my mom told me that I was adopted when I was five, I wondered then how could someone if they love you, how could they get rid of you like a piece of garbage. So I just started thinking I was bad like you know, bad little girls get thrown away.”
More than anything, Cynthia wanted to belong. She reflects, “If somebody wanted me, I was just happy feeling like being wanted. And so if it meant offering myself up and having a sexual experience, then fine, so be it,” even if the sexual experience was with another girl.
“Around first or second grade, I had met this girl who came to visit over the summers and we ended up getting into her dad’s pornography stash, some old magazines. And so we started acting out stuff that we saw in the magazines together,” Cynthia states. “I knew that it wasn’t right, yet I felt like she was the only person who wanted to spend any time with me, and that seemed to change me. I started getting extremely depressed, so I started drinking alcohol. The summer before I went into high school, I was sexually assaulted by a guy who was about 25, 26.” Cynthia weeps, “It’s just not what I had intended or planned, and from that point on I just turned off, I just didn’t care. But then a rage really began to build in me.”
Cynthia began cutting. She confesses, “I hated myself with a passion. I didn’t need people to put me down. Because I did it fine from the time I woke up until the time I went to bed. The inner dialogue that went on in my head was I was stupid, I was not wanted, I was ugly. The only thing I was good for was sex.”
Cynthia started using drugs, ditching school, and habitually lying. Her illegal activity landed her in juvenile hall multiple times. She recounts, “I just lived every single day to party!”
She met an older boy at work who was just as wild and angry as she was. The two ran away together and with her parent’s approval, married as soon as Cynthia turned 17. “We would push each other. We would throw each other into the walls, scream at each other, break glasses.” Cynthia says.
Cynthia stopped cutting and shortly after, got pregnant. Then for the sake of her child, she pulled back from the party lifestyle. But she couldn’t shake her anger, which now she directed towards God.
Cynthia reflects, “I could not understand why on earth He would just let these things happen to me - why all the pain and all the sorrow.”
But after she’d tried everything she could to numb her pain, she went to church with a friend. “The pastor had done this sermon on hope in Christ and it just spoke to me. I just remember sitting there going ‘I’ve got to do things different.’”Cynthia tears up and continues, “I really knew there had to be more even though I was angry with God, He was the only answer. So I made that choice to trust Jesus. I had made that choice to really trust Him. It was really a defining moment for me to realize that there is just a God, a Jesus who will come to me, down to my level and love me. And that kind of unconditional love? That’s what I had been craving, the kind of unconditional love that you find in Christ.”
Today Cynthia and her husband have a transformed marriage. They pray together and go to church on a regular basis. Cynthia is on good terms with her adoptive parents, and even went back to school where she earned a degree in Christian counseling. Studying God’s Word has helped her to process her pain and heal.
“Turning my pain over to Him is continual.”Cynthia declares. “I really had to ask for forgiveness and then forgive myself. I have intrinsic value no matter what, just because God made me. I can honestly say this is the day the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it and mean it.” Cynthia concludes with a smile,
“It doesn’t matter if I was adopted. God chose me to be born because He loves me, because He wants me.”
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