Really, God?

Putting my life’s scandals on the line with the dirty laundry and my husband’s battered Army gear is NOT my idea of a good time or a release of bottled-up emotions. I learned a long time ago to get the thoughts out on paper then burn them in the fireplace to get them out of me and out of the hands of anyone who could use my thoughts against me. Alas, here I am diving into unknown waters after my Lord tells me to jump. I started reading The Power Of A Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian a couple weeks ago to learn how to pray for my husband concerning all areas of his life such as his work, health, purpose, finances, his relationship with his future children *hopefully* coming and his relationship with God. Yesterday as I was reading her entry on his relationships where I came across Matthew 5:23-24: “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come offer your gift.” 

Well… As I said in my last post I am fairly new, a baby Christian with a heck of a past, still trying to figure things out. Since February this year I’ve felt a deep need to share my story, to help others who have been through what I’ve been through find Jesus, the only One who can save and heal. The problem with that is talking about my family, respecting their privacy, keeping their secrets, and most of all my father. He’s such a different man than he was then, I couldn’t possibly go forward about the past once I’ve finally made it to “good terms” with him. Yesterday as I read that passage I realized God has no grandchildren, that my dad is also my brother and I needed to reconcile with him before offering any gift to the kingdom. I needed to call my father, apologize to him for being such a rebellious child and ALSO dig up old dirt about his abuse toward me. I called my mentor, my husband and a close friend to saturate the prospective conversation I was to have in prayer. I was so nervous, this is the sort of thing one should do in person but I’m out here in Fort Benning, GA and my dad’s back home in Folsom, CA, and I really really felt like I had to call him. We never talked about the past but I forgave him long ago and started building a wonderful relationship with him a year and a half ago when I was saved. I was completely blindsided by his reaction; he said if his heart could smile he’s grinning inside out, he said he could never be more proud or happy to have me for his daughter and that he was deeply, deeply regretful for how he used to be. My mother did absolutely everything she could to destroy him, and I think somehow when I was young I reminded him of her. We didn’t get that deep, but that’s my thinking on why he was so resentful and angry with me above my sisters and brothers. He told me to read The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver as it reminded him of himself and my sisters, and gave me his entire blessing with this journey I have with writing ahead of me.

Anyways, I feel there’s nothing holding me back from beginning this writing and sharing journey except my own doubts. I pray God won’t let me make a fool of myself, that He won’t let me be ashamed- I’ve had more than my share of shame in this lifetime. And who the heck am I to write? I’m neither witty nor punctual, proud or haughty. I am not a savvy person, I don’t even know what that means! I don’t know anything about writing except for the essays and papers I had to complete in college, I’ve never studied it, I just read! Obviously I’m assuming a more relaxed format here as the purpose of this blogging experience is for open discussion, not grammatical punctuality and correction, but I digress. I pray I’m not just drowning myself in hot tar, chicken feathers and all for everyone else’s amusement and judgement. I pray that if God wants me to blog and tweet and start writing my book that He will fill me with an unquenchable desire to do so and provide me with the strength and courage to do it. I pray that He will give me the words to use and a teachable heart as I go forth on this mission trip. I also pray he will give my husband patience with me as I learn and grow, and lastly that He will provide us with the means to spend this time putting together this work He has put out for me. In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN!

I have already personally donated to this cause. Would you join me? Please check out my site for more on my story and prayer requests at Gofundme.com/ElizabethGudel

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First blog post: Finding Grace

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

I dream to write a book sometime very soon, I have quite the story to tell and I’m here for feedback and comments as I go forth with my writing journey. I feel I can give bits and pieces here, put it out there and see what happens. Please leave me any feedback you may have! I’ve never felt compelled to tell my story to anyone and never imagined I would write a book. I was a Psychology student, about one semester from attaining my Bachelor’s degree in Sacramento, CA when I realized I didn’t want to spend my life administering to crazy people and label them based on a set of symptoms to make a living. The idea of writing my story is not to make a profit, either, but for what I feel God has called me to do. To be honest, the idea of talking about my past terrifies me and I feel the only way I can get it out is to write, however laconic that may be for a while. I became a follower of Christ in December of 2014 and have since transformed entirely. Before you go thinking this is going to be some esoteric Jesus party, hang on to your hat.

My childhood was very sad, I was abused and neglected, searching for love the only way a little girl can- by finding value in what the world told me I had. I was pretty, so pretty my mother never had trouble finding some random person to watch us girls. My mother put me into the hands of a modeling agency where I achieved a certificate of completion after two years at Barbizon when I was twelve (a total scam, come to find out) where I learned to pose, put on makeup, act and walk runway. As I reached my adult years I started modeling for multiple companies, the most widely known being Playboy. I’m still rather young physically (28) but I’ve seen and done so much it feels like an eternity. During that time and among the gregarious company I kept, I was rewarded with more money than I knew what to do with, people vying for my time and attention, the jealousy of other women pretending to be my friend in the highly competitive industry… The world rewarded me for my lascivious lifestyle and I believed I’d finally made it on top. I perniciously kept myself fueled with toxic relationships and chemicals, searching always searching for control of my heart. If I kept my heart closed with my soul buried deep inside it then nothing could hurt me, I’d tell myself over and over like a mantra. In my never ending disillusionment I became a stripper, a dancer at multiple different “high-end” clubs, Sacramento, San Francisco, Reno, then to Las Vegas. Then I got real sophisticated and became a webcam performer. Adelante! I eventually ended up robbed on the streets of Las Vegas with no family, no friends, and nothing but the clothes on my back and my empty heart. I was at the end of my rope at age 26 in June of 2014. It felt like I was born to be used, created to suffer, made for precarious purposes.

I was able to get in contact with a friend in Santa Clara by email and stayed with him, detoxing and screaming at the voices in my head. A few months later I moved in with a girlfriend from the past, the only true friend (as it turns out) I had in the industry we both clawed our way out of. She pointed me to Jesus, and since I have accepted Him as my Lord and called upon His name, my life has been turned inside out. I’ve grown such a heart, I’ve learned to love people and truly care about others as I never knew how to before. He has filled my life with meaning and purpose, He blessed me with a loving husband who helps me grow and challenges me to progress in life, He restored my health to me, helped me reconcile with each member of my broken family, taught me to forgive others and pray for those who hurt me in the past. I just can’t believe I was so spiritually blind and ignorant before, I never gave Him a chance, but he chose to give one to a wounded and soiled dove like me. I am so excited to share the gospel and bring women in the industry closer to Jesus! I know my purpose now is to share my story by writing so that others who can relate will turn to Him. I know now that my suffering was all a part of God’s path for me, that I would arrive at His intended purposes for my life’s long and painful journey not a minute late to bring other women still trapped in the corrupt industry of sexual hustling. I pray that you won’t have to suffer as I’ve suffered to realize the God of the universe is very real and ready to open His arms to you, bless you and give you everlasting life. May the Lord place you within His perfect will and hide you in the shadow of His cross, bless you with a life of joy, peace and everlasting love.

I have already personally donated to this cause. Would you join me? Please check out my site for more on my story and prayer requests at Gofundme.com/ElizabethGudel