The winner from Thursday’s post How to Set Up a Prayer Journal is Carol Tinsley! Carol, please send me your address and I will get the journal right out to you!
Amazing. That is what I thought when I had the opportunity to speak with Kailee Ogden last month. Kailee is Miss North Star in the Minneasota Miss America Pageant program. Though she is new at speaking, I would have never known as she boldly shared her heart for Christ with the girls and their moms in Roseau, Minneasota. If you have time, stop by her blog at http://kaileeogden.blogspot.com/. She has a terrific story of how God is begun really working in her life as a young woman through the past year.
I asked Kailee to write and share a bit of her story with the moms who gather here. I knew God would pass on some wise to us through her. And of course He did…
The Power of a Mother’s Honesty
I grew up in a little tiny town a few miles south of the Canadian border. My family never missed church, I regularly attended youth group and spent countless hours volunteering as our church pianist and Sunday school teacher. National Honor Society President, volleyball captain, grades never lower than A’s; from the outside, it appeared as though I was the “perfect” girl who never did anything wrong.
While some of my peers in junior high and high school were undoubtedly having sex, the stance of the church was going to wait until marriage and I was going to. I didn’t understand why; I just knew it was simply the right thing to do. My mom had broached the subject with me a few times, simply to say that sex was incredible wrong, and that she had waited until her wedding night with my own father.
After high school, I met a boy that simply swept me off of my feet. Good looking, popular, and almost five years older. I wanted to start over and leave my “goody two shoes” persona in the dust. Surrounding myself with his older friends, they encouraged me to drink, telling me how “fun” I was to be around. I convinced myself that this was the lifestyle I wanted to carry into college. I wanted to be the girl everyone loved to be around. But as the summer nights grew colder, so did our relationship. He had consistently tried to pressure me into having sex with him, but I refused to give in. It certainly wasn’t because I had an intimate relationship with God. I was afraid to go against the teachings of the church, and I was even more afraid of disobeying or disappointing my mom.
Right before going off to college, I allowed the voices of my new lifestyle to trump my fears. I gave my full self to him, all the while convincing myself that this was something I had decided, it wasn’t that big of a deal. It was ok because someone really loved me. In actuality, he really loved my body. I didn’t know that there was someone waiting to pursue a relationship with me that had laid down His life so that I might come to know Him.
College was not an easy adjustment for me. I was addicted to the sense of love and security our relationship gave me. I began suffering from depression. Away from my boyfriend, I began to think about the life I was living. I knew in my heart that this wasn’t the way God was calling me to live, but I didn’t think I could handle him breaking up with me.
At the time, my roommates were my closest friends. They each were variations of the fun loving, college girl who liked to party and have sex. They talked openly about their hookups, and I tried to convince myself that my decision to partake was somehow justified being in a monogamous relationship. They would think I was crazy for believing there was something wrong with what I was doing.
Trying to make so many decisions on my own, every month I was on a different birth control, greatly exacerbating the effects of my depression. I seriously began to contemplate suicide.
I felt I had no one to turn to – I didn’t want people to think I was anything less than the fun loving, popular, college girl, and I was afraid my mom wouldn’t talk to me if she knew what I was doing with my boyfriend. At the time, I didn’t even know I was suffering from depression. I just thought I was really home sick, and that the birth control I was taking was making the problem worse. When I finally couldn’t see another way out, God stepped in. Although I thought I was doing a good job of maintaining a “perfect” exterior, one of my professors saw through it. He recognized my depression for what it was, and I ended up going home for a while to get the treatment I needed.
During that time, I found out my boyfriend had been cheating on me. It was in the aftermath of my relationship that my mom and I had the honest conversation that had been so long overdue. She admitted to me that while she and my father were engaged, he left her. In her own desperate attempt to make him stay, she chose to have sex with him. My father ended up leaving our family for our church’s youth director when I was in the eighth grade.
I know that my mom loves me unconditionally, and in a genuine effort to spare me the pain she went through, she chose not to be honest with me, but I believe her honesty would have opened doors for me to be honest as well.
When Lynn asked me to share, this story is what the Holy Spirit laid on my heart.
Moms, be honest with your daughters about your past. If you’ve fallen, show them how Christ has forgiven you. In Christ, you are whole, beautiful, new creations. And so are they. Teach them the “why” behind the wait, and instill in them that Jesus is the only one that can fill the love gap in their hearts.
Linda Blanford says
What an unbelievable honest writing from the heart.
I grew up in a household of secrets. What was the point? To shield me? Shield me from what?
Mom’s may think they have more paternal leverage by hiding personal struggles with their daughters. There’s a fine line, I believe, between being a fool who utters all their mind, and offering tips based on real (human) life.
Lynn Cowell says
I couldn’t agree with you more, Linda. I also believe there is a right time. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit is there is show us when that time is!
Wow! Her story is IDENTICAL to mine! I have a daughter now, and I will be sure to be honest with her and hopefully prevent some of the heartache. Thanks for sharing!
Lynn Cowell says
Thanks Laurie for sharing! I love Kaliee’s honesty and heart to share with others!
Donna B says
Ouch! Kailee, I think we lived the same college years but you’re the brave one to share your story. Me, not so much except for a few close friends. Thank you for your courage, your boldness and your realness. Thanks Lynn for sharing Kailee’s story with us. Love ya!
Lynn Cowell says
Donna, you are a very brave woman. Healing makes us even braver as we keep saying “yes” to Him!