For over 20 years, I had not wanted anyone to find out what had happened to me in my past. I was embarrassed and ashamed.
I grew up in a Christian home and I am the second oldest of seven children. I have four brothers and two sisters. My parents decided that they wanted us to live in a warmer place than Chicago, so when I was three years old, they took their three children, at the time, on a long motorhome trip across 42 states. They found nothing they liked, so the packed us up again and we flew to American Samoa, Fiji, Tahiti and Hawaii. They instantly knew that they had found their home and we moved to Kailua-Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaii, the following year.
I had a wonderful childhood playing at he beach with my siblings. Sadly, when I was 12 years old, my life completely changed. I was molested by a group of four boys and my innocence and trust were gone forever.
*To hear my story on Focus on the Family, click here.
Unfortunately I turned to the wrong things to hide my pain. At 15, I had my first “boyfriend.” He was 18 and on his way to college. Little did I know he had a bet going on with his friends to see how many girls he could “conquer” before he left for school. He got me drunk and I was date raped.
Soon after, I fell hard for a boy who I thought was the love of my life. We dated for a while and then I got pregnant in the 10th grade. My boyfriend and his sister convinced me that there was no way I could have this baby. I truly wanted to keep it and knew how terribly wrong it was to get and abortion, but I finally succumbed to the pressure. I felt that I had no where to turn. So I did the unthinkable, and at age 16 I got an abortion.
With tears in my eyes, I cut school, boarded a plane to Honolulu, went to the clinic and had the abortion. I was back home before dinner and my parents never knew a thing, until I told them many years later. I cried the whole time, during that awful event. In my heart I never wanted to do it. But I was selfish and I made excuses. "I'm only a teenager," I'd tell myself. "You won't be able to go to college" I followed up with. Weeks after the abortion I began to hate myself and didn’t want to live anymore. I walked down to the new subdivision being that was being built next to ours. I was going to end my life. As I sat there, drenched from my tears, I remember someone telling me that if you took your own life, you would go to hell. This twisted belief actually saved my life. I was scared to burn in hell forever.
After the abortion, I vowed never to have children. How could I be a good mother when I killed my first baby? Having no-one to reach out to, I became involved with drinking and led a promiscuous lifestyle. I struggled with this for many, many years and went to counseling again and agin in an attempt to “get over it.” But it never seemed to go away. As a result, I was in many unhealthy relationships. Then, thinking I should do it God’s way, I got married after just six months of meeting someone. I divorced this abusive man and proceeded on to the next bad relationship.
I had started competing in the fitness competitions and had done fairly well. I won the Ms. Fitness Hawaii contest and the Ms. Fitness Colorado competition. The photographers wanted to take pictures of me for the magazines and I was thrilled that someone thought I was pretty. My self esteem plummeted after the abortion and I just wanted to feel special again. Regretfully, I posed for photos that I wish I never had done. Sadly, at that point in my life, I was so far away from God that it didn’t seem like a very big deal to me. Satan was in my ear each and everyday telling me that it was the best thing to do for my career. Stupidly I listened. I gave in. I sold my soul.
What still amazed me was that God was always watching out for me during those dark, horrible years, even when I was so far away from Him. He could see my future and the plan that He had for my life and knew that I would soon be giving my life back to Him and telling my story for His Glory and not mine. He also knew that the only way He was going to get my attention was through a man. That’s when my husband entered the picture. In September of 1999, I met my husband, Dan, at a restaurant on a girls’ night out. We had both been dating, but he wanted more. On our first date he informed me that he wanted to get married.
God had begun working on my heart and began to prepare me for a new season in my life. My last boyfriend had convinced me to work at a high end gentleman's club. When I met Dan, I was in a terrible place, and I knew that it was wrong. I was trying desperately to get out of the business, but felt trapped. Dan took me to church with him, but it was very hard for me to sit in service and hear God's Word. I'd cry throughout the entire service. The guilt that I felt from my past mistakes began to suffocate me. I became very confused and jealous. I didn't know who I was. The sexy fitness model or a child of the Most High God. It took many years of counseling and prayer to finally be set free from my past.
Dan and I fell in love and began planning our life together, but we had a long road ahead of us. The men in my past had destroyed so much of me. Our first year of marriage had many struggles. We almost got divorced. We’re both very hard-headed people, and Dan had his past to contend with, too. We worked hard on our relationship and hung in there. We both worked long hours and tried everything to make our personal training business succeed, but we were doing it our way, and not God’s way. We didn't stop to ask God what His plan was for our life.
As we entered our fifth year of marriage and we decided it was time to have a baby. I had put it off for a long time. I was so scared of losing my body and afraid that I wasn’t going to be a good mother.
Financially, starting a family would be a strain on us, and I did not want a baby unless I could be a stay-at-home mom, like my mother was. My not working would take away half of our income. In my heart, I believed that God would provide for our needs and He always has. Some months have been really tight, but we still have a roof over our heads and there is always food on the table.
Then something happened when I became pregnant. Even though I was a Christian and had accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I still didn’t know Him. But during this pregnancy, I grew closer to God than ever before. There was never a day that went by that I didn’t pray for my baby. I prayed for health, joy and wisdom for my baby every day. And each week I researched the baby’s development, and then I prayed for that specific body part that was developing. And you know what? God answered every prayer for my child. Micah Kekoa Polimino came into this world on August 5, 2005, and I have never been happier in my life.
I used to say, “I’m never having kids, no way.” Thank the Lord that He had different plans for me. He has blessed me so much with this beautiful little soul. God answered every specific thing I asked for. Micah is a very healthy child. He was one of the happiest babies in the world—he rarely cried as a baby. He started smiling, and I mean real smiles, at four weeks old.
I had prayed for joy and wisdom and God has blessed him with a tremendous memory. At 24 months he could recite the 23rd Psalm and the Lord’s Prayer. Praise God! And he learned at least 15 Bible verses by three years old. Because of him, I know them too. I can honestly say that my children are the reason I am closer in my walk with the Lord than ever before.
Every day, God is teaching me something about Himself through this little boy. He’s teaching me about compassion and grace; about unconditional love and trust. And now the best thing is that Micah is now an older brother. Malia Grace came into our lives on March 19, 2008. She is as much of a blessing as her brother. I can see that the special prayers I’ve prayed for her are already coming to pass. She is as caring, compassionate and has wisdom beyond her years. As you can see, it doesn’t matter what you’ve done in your past. I’m not a perfect mother—far from it—but I do my best. And most importantly, I teach my kids about Jesus, our Lord and Savior.
If you would like to ask Jesus into your heart right now and know that you are forgiven and that you will spend eternity in Heaven someday, simply pray the prayer below. Make sure you email me and let me know that you received Jesus into your heart today so that I can pray for you also!
By His Grace Alone,
I admit that I am a sinner. I have done many things that do not please You. I have lived my life for myself. I am sorry and I repent of my sins right now. I ask You to forgive me and help me to be the mother/father that You want me to be. I believe that You died on the cross for me, to save me. You did what I could not do for myself. Jesus, I come to You now and I humbly ask You to take control of my life. I give it all to You, my life, my children, my husband/wife etc... Help me to live everyday in a way that pleases You.
I love You, Lord, and I thank You that You have adopted me into your Kingdom.