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Temptress Chooses God’s Path Instead

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“I had decided, in that moment, that I would never be a victim again, that I would be the predator. I remember at 16 years old I was still counting my sexual partners. And at 16 I already had 50.”

Once a sweet, church-going girl, Michelle Caswell’s life was upended when she was six and her parents divorced. Michelle prayed desperately that God would make things better again. She says, “I knew that He was a miracle-working God and I knew that if you prayed then he would answer your prayers and I didn’t understand why He wasn’t answering my prayers. Like He could make my mom and dad get back together and He didn’t. So, the feelings were definitely like a hopeless feeling, a helpless feeling.”

Then a short time later she was molested by an older boy she trusted. She recalls, “I knew it was wrong and I started looking at myself in a bad way, like I was his dirty little secret. And that’s when I started feeling like God started getting more and more distant, and I started feeling like He was also very disappointed in me.” 

Her confusion and hopelessness spilled over into anger and she started acting out. By middle school Michelle was drinking, smoking marijuana, and flirting with boys. Then, after she was date-raped at 14, Michelle decided to turn the tables and vowed she would never to be powerless again. She recalls, “I started becoming the predator. I looked at men as just something to be used and abused. I looked at them as something to be conquered and I wanted them to fall in love with me so that I could make them feel the way that I felt in the past. The attention was actually, a real drug for me more so than any of the drugs that I took.” 

When she got pregnant at 17, Michelle decided to head back to church to try and get her life straight. However, by then she felt she couldn’t measure up. She says, “They seemed perfect and they seemed happy. But I felt like I didn’t fit in there. And so, I would just try to get good. And that’s what I thought I was doing when I went to church, is to get good.”

By now, Michelle’s addictions to sex and drugs were stronger than her good intentions. Throughout her 20s she continued to drink, took harder and harder drugs, and still used men for sex. Michelle recalls, “I didn’t call myself a sex addict but I called myself a nympho. I didn’t call myself an alcoholic or a drug addict or anything like that, I called myself a party girl. Didn’t even know I had a problem.”

After countless sexual conquests, a couple of failed marriages, being unemployed with two kids, and as many abortions, Michelle realized how out-of-control her life was and decided she needed to fix herself. So, she signed up for a Christian women’s retreat as a gift to herself on her 30th birthday. Michelle says, “You know, I’m trying to get good so that’s why I signed up for it. I was trying to crawl my way out of my addiction. I just thought, just like any other part of my life, you pull yourself up by your bootstraps.”

Even then, she arrived at the retreat a day late and drunk. She expected they’d make her leave and judge her. Instead, they listened intently as she shared her story. She recalls, “Instead of them looking down on me, they all like got up spontaneously and walked straight over to me and started laying their hands on me and praying for me. And they were praying for the baby I just aborted 12 days before. They were praying over my sons and our future and it was just like – it was just weird because here they were actually touching me, and loving on me, and praying for me and believing in me when I just told them all this horrible stuff that I had just done and who I was and so that was really surprising.”

The outpouring of love softened her heart. The following week Michelle started a Christian rehab program where she started to address her anger and addiction issues. Then, four months into the program, Michelle discovered something unsettling. She recalls, “The Lord showed me like, 'Actually you have no gifts. You have nothing to offer but yourself.' And it was gut-wrenching because it – that doesn’t feel good when so many parts of your identity has been stripped and now you find out, and you’re also not a good person, you know, so He knew all my stuff and He actually forgave me. And when I received His forgiveness that was the meaning of love for me.” 

Michelle soon accepted Christ as her savior. She also got clean, and over the next year focused on pleasing the most important person in her life – God. She says, “I was so ashamed of who I had become and so angry at myself for the choices I had made. It was like, 'I don’t want to be this girl anymore. I don’t want to be a seductress, a temptress, a harlot, you know, I don’t want to be this person anymore.' He showed me how to just purify my thoughts and purify my feelings towards other people, to view men as brothers and not as sexual objects. He showed me how to be a godly woman.” 

Six years later, Michelle met and married Bill and the two have a happy blended family. She says, “He didn’t look down on me for my past. He was proud of me for what I had gone through and overcame. It made me really feel loved by God and that I just feel like he was perfectly designed for me.”

Michelle wants to share the hope she’s found in God’s relentless love with everyone she meets. She says, “God went after me and loved me enough to choose me, use me, and forgive me, that filled me. My life is radically different than it used to be, and you know, if there’s hope for me, then there’s hope for anybody.”

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About The Author

Ed Heath

Ed Heath loves telling stories. He has loved stories so since he was a little kid when he would spend weekends at the movies and evenings reading books. So, it’s no wonder Ed ended up in this industry as a storyteller. As a Senior Producer with The 700 Club, Ed says he is blessed to share people’s stories about the incredible things God is doing in their lives and he prays those stories touch other lives along the way. Growing up in a Navy family, Ed developed a passion for traveling so this job fits into that desire quite well. Getting to travel the country, meeting incredible people, and