The Forgiveness of an Adulterer
(Please listen to Kandria’s story by clicking the white play button at the top of this post. You can read the transcript of the story below.)
So a little bit about me. I’m the oldest of four, I was born into a really just broken family. The product of teenage parents with a lot of their own baggage. Our household was filled with a lot of violence. A lot of physical and emotional abuse, witnessed as a child and really hardened my heart, I think, toward men and, and just marriage in general. So as a result of the toxic relationship that my parents had, my mom decided to pursue a lifestyle on the streets. That forced us to have to move in with my father. And that was just kind of the beginning to my struggle with control and needing to control my environment and creating my own sense of safety. I became a victim to sexual abuse really quickly, as soon as we moved in with our father. I didn’t know what that was. I didn’t know how to share. It was something that I kept and I think it was suppressed. And I think again, that’s where the enemy kind of laid those roots down. There was just always these thoughts that I had needed to find someone to give myself over to sexually and I thought I found worth and love there. And that was a lie.
But fast forward, I met my husband, in high school, and it didn’t take long for us to engage with one another sexually and, again, I didn’t find any value there. I thought that was going to fill me with some sort of hope or with some love that I had lost and it didn’t. We moved to Dallas and I felt this huge sense of need to just separate. I was living in those lies that I would find worth being apart, being by myself in isolation. I decided that I was going to separate from my husband. And I think that that, for me was like an excuse or somehow validated my poor choice that if I were separated, engaging in a sexual affair would somehow be okay. And again, those are just one of the crazy lies that I believed. So I do, I move out. I’m in a full-blown affair with somebody from work. And my husband is still pursuing me.
Now, he’s not a believer at this time. I’m not a believer. Growing up, I was Catholic and I knew that there was a God. I knew there was Jesus and I knew that God was there if I needed Him. And if I called out to Him in times of desperation, He may or may not answer, but my understanding of Him was negative. And I just thought, yeah, He may be there, but He would never answer somebody like me. My father on earth abandoned me and is not a part of my life. So why on earth would somebody so good want to be around me? So at this time, I’m not praying, I’m not a part of any church, I don’t really, I don’t have a faith. My husband doesn’t have a faith. So my husband decides to get me a gift to the hair salon and the hair stylist decides that she wants to share the gospel with me. We share our stories with one another and she had been so good to just remind me that God knew every single thing that I was doing–everything. And yet, in that He still loved me so much and that He was waiting there for me. I just needed to be ready for Him. I guess at this point, my heart was just so rebellious that I wanted no part of Jesus. I knew what I was doing. I knew how bad I was hurting people. But at no point was I ready to give up my lifestyle.
I was fully — I was embracing death.
I had been drinking a lot at this point, I had been going to places, strip clubs. Again, really partying a lot. And so again, I didn’t care. I didn’t care what was happening to my body. I didn’t care what was happening to me mentally, but I had already been checked out of life, I think. So, after that, I’m still separated and these events start occurring where I feel like the Lord is trying to get my attention, you know, driving drunk, and the policeman sparing me a ticket and jail time and driving me back to the hotel and just all these things. And I think that’s what finally started to catch my attention. I had been in a car accident and totalled the front of my car and I felt like okay, God, I know you want me to be back with my husband. And so I’m going to go and do this. I’m going to try.
So I end up moving back with my husband. And then we are introduced to this local church, that the hairstylist had told me about, and they talked about a marriage ministry and just marriage in that sermon. And I think when we both walked in, we just felt the Holy Spirit. Absolutely. The words on the screen, the song, the atmosphere–like the Lord was present, and we both felt the need to be there. Now for me, it was a little different. My husband decided to get you know, fully involved and decided to commit his life to Jesus. But I had still again was so rebellious and my heart was so hard toward God and toward Michael that I was not ready. So we do this marriage ministry, and things are changing. I think outwardly behaviors started to change. But I again, I think that had to do with my control and not wanting anyone to know that I was still struggling so bad inside. It’s a couple months later, after we’ve completed the ministry, and I engage in another affair with another — another person at work. At this point, I did feel the Spirit and the flesh and there was an absolute war going on. And I could feel being pulled in two different directions, and yet I decided to give to the flesh.
It felt gratifying. It felt. Again, this is a lie, but it felt free. It felt, I felt that I was my own god. I felt so detached from everything. And I did that. And so I’m living in a lie. I’m living with unconfessed sin. And of course, it started to boil and things started to surface, and Holy Spirit had put it on my husband’s heart to check my phone. And he discovered that I had an affair. So we call our Re-engage leaders who prompt me to confess and to be honest, and so I confess and everything is, is out in the open and they counseled me to immediately quit my job–that the Lord would provide financially. It didn’t matter. If I was obedient in making that choice, that He would provide. So I had made the choice to quit my job The next morning, I’m not wanting to give up the job. I’m not wanting to give up the people. I’m not wanting to give up the lifestyle. And then I hear my husband, who’s speaking truth to me about this is what we need to do. And I think at this point, my husband and his great friend had been really talking about an exploring identity. And I think that was so crucial in this whole part of the story. Because at that point, he would, they were all reminding me of my identity and whose I was and what I was destined for and that I could have freedom. But those days were agonizing.
I was so proud to be his daughter. And as I’m standing there with Christ, God says, “You are now set free. Welcome home.” That is a picture that I will never, ever forget.
I quit my job and those next two weeks were some of the hardest days of my entire life. Depression immediately settled in, and I felt a huge blanket of darkness in my apartment. I heard Satan tell me all these lies about that I’m not worthy, I’m finding worth on the streets, I’m finding my worth in men, how could I believe something so stupid? How could I believe in a God that has left me, who allowed me to be sexually abused, who took my parents away–all these lies. And I just–I remember falling on the floor and I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t fight. I couldn’t. I had nothing left to give. I had nothing. So in that moment, as I’m hearing Satan just throw dart, after dart, after dart, I decided that, okay, “God, if You’re real, if You really do love me, if You give me a new heart, like, You need to take all this from me. I can’t do it anymore. And so like, Okay God, I fully commit my life to You in this moment. But just please take all this for me.” And that was the moment that I had surrendered my life. It was in February of 2015.
So my husband ends up joining this Bible study about spiritual gifts and deliverance and again, growing up Catholic I believed in it. I believed in the spiritual realm. I believed in Holy Spirit. And so this group thought I would be great for this deliverance. So my husband had shared about it and I was for it, I was open to it. So I’m meeting with this amazing, gifted, Spirit-led group and they’re explaining this process to me of deliverance. But I had no idea what I was in for. They begin by praying over me. Everyone’s laying hands, praying for me, and He, God, audible voice, is telling me things like, “I’m giving you freedom.” Then I spout off a lie that I’m believing that I, you know, had been alone. And yet, God responds that I’m beautiful and His princess. And then there’s the part of the process where spirits are actually being pulled out of me. One of which is an orphan spirit and immediately that spirit is cancelled and rebuked and I’m given freedom and then begin to forgive my mom, my dad, one of my abusers. But I think where it really starts to get amazing is I’m hearing God’s voice audibly and He’s continuing to tell me “I’m there. You can only depend on Me. I will win every battle, surrender your self protection.”
And then I begin to get visions. Visions of me in God’s hand and this one is super special because He opens His hand and I’m crawling into it, and I will lay in His hand in the fetal position, and He closed His hands so tight. And He said, “I’m not letting you go.” He begins to declare these things over me that I am innocent, that I am pure, that He never meant for any of these things to happen. One of the hardest ones, hardest spirits that was clinging was a spirit of self-hatred. It took a few times for them to pray and rebuke that out of me. And that one was hard because I could feel it clinging to me and it would not depart from me. It would not. And so, about the third time, with complete God-given authority, it is removed from me and I am restored and renewed and given self-love. And then all these visions become super real.
In the beginning of this process, I had been with God the Father, and at this point, after I had been restored with self-love, I have a vision of myself standing alongside Christ. It was the most beautiful picture, vision I had ever seen. I was standing alongside Christ the Son, and I had been in beautiful white garments with the most beautiful crown on my head. I stood so proud and clean and I was so proud to be his daughter. And as I’m standing there with Christ, God says, “You are now set free. Welcome home.” That is a picture that I will never, ever forget. Life has never been the same. My desires were changed. I wanted to do everything for Christ. It took my mind some renewing to get caught up to what was true about me and what Christ said about me. So there were still some things that were hard for me. But for the most part, I was never the same person.
As I prepared to sit down and record this podcast. I had been prompted by God to open this journal that I never open. And I don’t journal. I don’t like it. I haven’t written in this journal since 2015. And there is an entry mark, and it’s written on March 6, 2015. And I’m looking at this and I’m reading it and I’m speaking to myself in the third person. The person now, the Kandria now is speaking to the Kandria that day. Early on in the entry, I write that I don’t want that life of death. And that, I hope that I can convince people to not want that either. Christ has been so so good, because I’m not gonna lie. I had been sitting for the past few days just thinking like “God, like, why me? What am I going to say? What am I going to… Right now I’m having a hard time believing, Lord.” And then He brings this journal to my table. The end of this entry is, “You are a child of God. He loves you. He is in you. Enough is enough. There is no turning back. The searching is over. Your happiness is found in Jesus Christ. Peace be still. The lies… the thoughts. They stop here.