“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”—Jeremiah 29:11

Several years ago, I was a single yet-to-be-saved 20-something, living at home with my ungodly family and working with a motley assortment of artistic people who were entirely lost. To say my life back then was filled with confusion and the presence of Satan is a massive understatement. Lost in the world, I was seeking a way to escape my toxic, abusive family and at the same time looking for the future husband I was sure would lead me away from my family and into a more loving home.

It was around he time when online dating was in its heyday and so many of my coworkers were finding hookups, dates, and long term love through Yahoo Personals, Match.com and more. I caved to peer pressure and sure enough set up several online dating profiles for myself.

Although I have seen with my own eyes that online dating does work for many people, it’s also a medium that is abused by the enemy to bring people down to his level. I used this medium to search for acceptance, validation, and for my savior out of a toxic environment.I was seeking a man who would fill the hole in my heart.

What I found online was pure deception. Lured by false photographs and misleading descriptions, I found myself having many first dates where I was stunned by the person on the other side. And then there was my ex-husband. He knew what words to use, how to present himself, how to manipulate a lost young woman’s feelings. He was slick, looking for women who would satisfy needs he wasn’t completely honest about. I was deceived by his flowery letters, his seemingly sincere words. Here HE was, the man I was waiting for, my savior – at last!

I got what I wanted – a marriage that allowed me to escape the evilness that was pervading my life at home. Yet, what I got in return was a little extra evil. My husband revealed  his true, ungodly nature even before our elopement, and yet I stayed, allowed myself to be physically abused, verbally abused, out of pride. I wasn’t completely innocent – I would allow Satan to take over, and when attacked would attack right back, leading to a vortex of endless pain and suffering.

Although in retrospect, I can see the presence of God’s hand through out the experience, it’s not one that I would wish to redo or wish on anyone else. No child of God should be abused by their partner. We are here to glorify the Lord, and playing evil online games serves no good purpose.

The birth of my child was the impetus for ending my relationship … and because of my son, I eventually found my way to the the man who permanently filled the hole in my heart. My son’s birthdate is the same day I was reborn to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And he has cleansed my sins, opened my eyes, and filled my heart with such love … love that I wish everyone could allow themselves to feel. Love that everyone has the right to feel. Bless you, Lord Jesus.