I am proud to introduce to you, my sister-in-law, Pam Shomette. Pam has bravely chosen to tell her story of learning to recognize her worth in Jesus. I hope you benefit from her story. Thank you, Pam for your courage.
My Name is Pam, This is My Story
Growing up I desperately craved Daddy’s acknowledgment. His approval. His affection. Many of us have the same innate desire, don't we? The need to be wanted. The need to be important. The need to be told how wanted and important we truly are. Although he provided well for our family, he lacked to provide what my heart desired most.
Daddy grew up with a father who had no patience or tolerance for adults much less children. The smallest things would set my grandfather off. If Daddy's milk spilled at the kitchen table then his plate was taken from him. He sent Daddy to the corner to stand for hours as punishment. Tears shed would earn Daddy nothing but a spanking with a belt. The abuse at the hands of my grandfather was normalcy for the entire family. He spoke the laws of the house and they were not to be broken or debated. Any good that anyone did went unnoticed and unacknowledged.
Thankfully, my grandparent’s marriage ended some years later. My grandmother remarried a good man. A few years into their marriage, they began attending church regularly and were both baptized. Although money lacked in the household, life seemed to be better for them.
At a very young age Daddy was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease, Lupus. At the time, little was known about Lupus. Doctors attempted to come up with ways of treating it. Daddy became ill often and the disease caused severe pain. Despite the illness and because of their money situation, Daddy was only able to complete the fifth grade. He began working to help support the family. He worked hard his entire life. Often dragging his pained body out of bed to provide for his family. His determination and drive to provide lasted throughout his 59 years.
For years, I have felt an empty space within me. I haven't been able to pinpoint exactly what the lack entailed until recently. I needed to be Daddy's princess. To be good enough. To be beautiful. To be worthy of love. I needed to hear it from him. I wanted to hear him say the words, "You are a child of the King and made in His perfect and flawless image, Pam."
When I didn’t receive this affirmation from Daddy I easily fell victim to the sweet words and sexual advances of a handsome young man. He knew all the right words to say to make me feel wanted, important, beautiful and loved. I quickly fell in love and the fear of losing him and his threats of leaving me caused me to give in and lose my virginity. As a result, I felt ashamed and my self-worth wavered. As a senior in high-school I found out I was pregnant. This young man who claimed to love me told me to have an abortion. "I'm too young to have a kid right now. This will ruin my life." He told me.
For fear of losing him I did as he told me to do. I made the appointment. He didn't offer any assistance, so I paid for the abortion myself. I devised the cover up story for our plans on a Wednesday evening. After all was done, we drove home from the clinic in silence. The handsome young guy who claimed to love me so much never asked me if I was okay. He only complained about how long it took.
I carry the guilt and shame of aborting my first child. My daughter. The sweet baby girl that could have been. The one that wasn't.
A few years ago, before Daddy passed from this world, I confessed to my parents and asked for their forgiveness. Through years of counseling, I have been able to forgive myself. Through many long conversations with God, I have been able to accept God's forgiveness. I have asked my baby girl, who is now dancing in heaven, to forgive me and know she has.
There are still times where I feel as though I cannot voice my opinion against abortion because that makes me a hypocrite. If I speak out then it feels as if I am hiding behind the shadow of my own sin. Will they look at me in disgust and wonder how I can look at myself in the mirror? I have found, the answer is no. They will not. We are all broken in some way. We all carry our own wounds.
My name is Pam and this is my story. This is my official “coming clean” story. This is me screaming at the top of my lungs to all young women, you are not alone! More than that, though, it is a plea to the fathers to provide not only a roof over your daughter's head, but also provide the needs of their fragile hearts. Feed their self-esteem and feelings of self-worth. Tell them how beautiful they are. Make sure she believes she is loved, accepted, special, and worthy by him. Show her Christ-like love. A love never ending.
1 Peter 5:8 says, "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." Be aware, the enemy uses people to do his handy work. For so many young girls, the enemy uses their boyfriends to find their weaknesses. If we take a stand against the enemy and show our daughters the love of Christ, maybe, just maybe, they will not fall prey to the roaring lion.
I believe today, had my Daddy known how or been guided to show me the love of the Heavenly Father my life could have been very different. I loved and respected him for providing for us, but wished I could have heard the words of affirmation I craved from him.
If you have a daughter, granddaughter, or niece please talk to the father-figure in their life and stress the importance of expressing how valued, special, beautiful, and worthy she is. It could possibly change her future. Just a few loving words could save her from falling prey to the enemy.