Lara grew up in a home that was broken. She could remember the night that her father told her mother he wanted a divorce. At the age of 9, she didn't know that's what was being said at the time, but she understood enough that it was a significant night that she remembered it in vivid detail. So her father left and remarried leaving her and her mother to fend for themselves. Between alternately hating her father so much that she wanted nothing to do with him, and loving him so much she frightened him away, Lora grew up without her dad. He had another family complete with a daughter the same age as her. But Lara's mother was good to teach her about the love of a heavenly Father and in Him she found solace and peace.
As a teenager, men were a mystery to her. She had a good head on her shoulders, loved Jesus and had committed her life and future to His will, till the mystery of men prevailed. One young man, wrapped her around his finger and unwound her ideals. He promised to love her is she would only give him what she wanted.
It all happened so fast. In one evening, she lost her virginity, her faith, and her love. At first she cried and pleaded to the boy, but her pleas fell on deaf ears. Self hatred and rebellion took over and she soon found what she thought had been ripped away could be had in the arms of another and another and another.... Each time, hope was built and crushed. She quickly learned not to trust men, but became fast addicted to the emotional rush of sex. Lara had been conquered, but she quickly learned to be the conquerer.
Lara spent the last year of high school pregnant. At the end of her senior year, she gave up her daughter to another couple who was unable to have children just in time for graduation. Still the hunger was there for the love of a man and love was by then equated with sex. All through college the hunger drove her. But still she remembered the perfect love that only Jesus could give. She yearned for it, but could no longer ignore the fleshly desires that were raging in her.
Lara had another child, married, divorced, and returned to the habit of feeding the hunger. After years of this, death was becomming a beckoning lover. Thoughts of a suicidal escape were weighing heavily on her. Remembering her First Love, she began to earnestly seek God and plead with Him for a way out. He began to pull her heartstrings and put people in her path to remind her of His love and to point the way. Finally committing to His love once again, she embraced the life she had left before, one of following God's will.
Now Lara new that there would be no earthly love for her. She had a daughter and a sordid past. No Godly man would want her, she would have no other. She resigned herself to seeking Jesus to be a husband to her. But Jesus in his infinite mercy, sent her heart's desire-a man who REALLY loved her. In their human way, they didn't go about it ALL right, but they realized that God had brought them together and married.
Years and five children later, Lara and her love lived the perfect life. Lara was fully active in church and homeschool, while her husband worked and went to school. Lara felt complete. She knew Jesus on an intimate level and loved Him deeply. Her past life haunted her and she never felt good enough for her husband, but she KNEW grace and mercy and was grateful for it.
This was her idyllic life for nearly 10 years. Then, one day, on the computer in a Christian chat room, the hunger was awakened. She began to realize how much her husband was away. She was lonely for him, and here was another man, though on the computer, available to her, talking to her, emotionally drawing her. The computer man realizing that he was doing wrong, went away. It was no longer enough. Lara had to find another, but in Christian chat rooms, they weren't readily available. So Lara began to go into adult chat rooms. Finding all the attention she could ever want, as long as she talked dirty to them, she was hooked. Chat rooms turned to private messaging, and talk of sex turned to pictures of sex. Lara had a new addiction. Men would show her pictures and tell her that's what they wanted to do with her. She could easily place herself in the image. The image itself was not important. It was the imagery in her mind of recieving that kind of attention that fed her hunger. Words would have done the same, but images were a quicker high.
Lara found herself connected to one man in particular over and over again and eventually exclusively. He feeded her high with the most determination. She went to him like a druggie goes to a dealer and he never let her down. He always had a new high for her. When "playboy" wasn't good enough anymore, he gave her "Penthouse". With each numbing of the senses, he knew just what would make her high again without shocking her to the point of waking her from her porn induced stupor. She felt like she was caught in a downward spiral, being sucked into an ever darkening, looming pit. When Lara was on the computer, she was lost in world of flesh. When she was off the computer, she was struggling with right and wrong. She would go for walks to think and end up running as if she could get away from her thoughts. Her kids practically fended for themselves. She put them back into school beacuse she could no longer focus on anything besides the addiction. She began to drop her kids off at church so she could run home and nurse her high. Friends could see there was something different, that she was acting odd. Lara's mind was always back at the computer even when she was away. Her conversations were stunted and she was forgetful.
She told no one what she was doing. No one. Who could she tell? Who would not turn away in disgust? She knew she had a problem, but in the beginning days of the internet,who knew a woman could be addicted to pornography? Who would not see that as sick and depraved?
By the time plans were made to meet the computer man, she had already sunken into depravity. There was nothing left that was off limits, no taboo had been left unexplored and to top it off, Lara had discovered that this man would kill her in order to satisfy his own hunger. This thought did not even frighten her. She welcomed it. She even goaded him. "I only ask that you let me be found and that I be found decent" she told him. She didn't want her family to keep worrying about her, but it would end the insatiable hunger that she now knew could NEVER be satisfied. All the while, while being unable to stop it herself, feeling driven to do what she knew she should not do, she would pray "God get me out of this"
The week before she was to meet the computer man. She tried to clean up the messages on her computer as she always did after talking to him about all the taboos they were about to break, but she could not access the log. She tried every day so that her husband would not find what she had said or the pictures she had seen. After the 3rd day, of not being able to delete her logs, she was worried, but figured that the things said were so indecent, her husband would question her if he had seen them. The night before she was to meet the man, she logged off and tried to delete the days messages again. It frustrated her, but she had tomorrow to look forward to...and worry about.
As she headed toward her bedroom to get some sleep, Lara could not shake the thought that she would be the next rape/torture/murder headline by the end of the week. The thought made her shudder, yet was somehow comforting. Even as she thought it, she knew that the comfort was a horrible thing to feel. "God get me out of this.!"
She climbed into bed and all was quiet except for her thoughts. After a few minutes, Lara's husband turned over and whispered, "I know what you're planning to do. I found your messages and...I was shocked" and with those words, Lara's mind exploded into a million different thought processes in an effort to come up with a reply. As different excused screamed through her brain she wanted to seethe "I don't know what you're talking about!" But above the din of her racing mind she quietly heard a small voice, "you asked Me for a way out." All the other possible replies came to a screeching halt as Lara's mind embraced this voice. She was presented with a choice and as soon as she heard the words, the decision had been made-almost as if a light had come on with the words themselves. A rush of relief washed over her and she let out an audible sigh.
"I don't want to."
Tears and shame followed, even though she'd never physically been unfaithful, in her mind the acts were as vivid as if she had. There was no difference to her. The next few days, her husband also made a choice. He became her protector, her guardian, her savior, her Hosea. She fought the urge to contact the man and failed over and over again, but each time, her husband intervened and restored her. Still never a physical encounter, Lara carried the guilt just the same.
Eventually, her husband trusted her again even though it would be several years before she could finally say she deserved it. She had no one to turn to but God, for in the early days of the internet, there was no help for a woman with the kinds of addictions Lara had. But turn to God she did, and even though she fell over and over again, She overcame and once again enjoyed the love of her husband. Now Lara, understands grace and has compassion for any who are in bondage to sin and addiction.
Through it all, Lara always felt that Jesus was trying to pull her back. She could even hear Him call to her, "My beloved". She knew his voice and tried to run and hide her face from it, much as Adam and Eve tried to do. Still she would hear Him call, "come away, My beloved. She wanted to "come", yet always felt drawn, pulled, even bound to the sin. She would cry out Paul's words, "why do I do the things I don't want to do and not do the things I WANT to do?"
Lara is God's creation, His work, His love, and He understands all she has endured and submitted herself to. He loved her through it all and though there will be many who will never understand, and may never forgive, she is still His beloved.