Who Am I?
What does a miracle look like?
Regardless of our differences at birth, I was delivered into my mother’s arms just as you were delivered to yours: innocent and as fresh snow. Seen with the utmost worth and a lifetime of possibilities ahead…. but, the Prince of Darkness has other plans for us: Abuse. Shame. Betrayal. Despair. Deceit. Confusion. Heartache. Trauma. Desolation.
These weapons are intended to devalue and destroy us; to mock the image of God.
The Accuser’s role in my story begins very early on but I’m going to skip to the most impactful part, where Jesus performed one of his greatest miracles in my life.
I was 21, raised as a devout Catholic, and moved to the city from a small-town in Montana. No parents, no family, and thrilled for my independence!
My best friend from High School had been in severe trouble with the law for a series of illegal activities. My heart broke for her disadvantages following that.
I invited her to leave the small-town gossip behind, move into my one-bedroom apartment, meet my friends, apply at the Best Buy in Denver, and start fresh.
I was so happy when she did.
One night after work, however, I stopped by a Moroccan party my bestie was at. We had been at odds. She was drunk, and doing hard drugs and she begged me to try my first line of cocaine with her.
My dad’s voice echoed faintly about “the slippery slope.” I felt too rigid and I wanted to feel close to her. I’d never seriously considered trying hard drugs before that night…
When my lease expired, we moved into a condo that we absolutely cherished. Less than a year later, my world turned upside down when we got evicted.
My bestie had ruined the dining room ceiling with water damage from her bathroom, we lost our jobs in the same week, we had no savings and no family to move in with.
Our landlord wanted his condo back, accepted my TV as payment for the water damage and said I was the only one invited to remain. So I chose my friendship over my landlord’s offer.
I began working at a strip club to immediately secure a 2 bed/2 bath apartment for her and I. She couldn’t hold a legal job, and she spent her money on drugs and became best friends with a prostitute.
She started inviting men overnight and asking them for payment. So, I urged her to make changes as I fully supported us financially.
When she stole thousands in cash I’d brought home from the job I resented; I snapped, shamed her, and told her off.
Feeling ashamed of my mess, overwhelmed, alone, uncertain, and vulnerable, I confided in the new roommate I’d found. It felt good to be validated.
I shared my goal with him at the time which was to earn as much money as quickly as possible so I could securely quit dancing for good.
He told me his “homie” had the top connections to the best Las Vegas clubs. Both of them promised I’d make $30,000, and get me back home in time for Christmas.
I certainly made it back; after I’d been drugged, held at gunpoint, sold to men, threatened, beat, sexually exploited, and left barely in one piece. I discovered my roommate was on parole after attempted murder, dealing drugs, and other gang-related activity.
By some miracle, The Savior rescued me and I slept for 3 days. No water, no food and no will to live…
And that is where the Holy of Holies found me: in this desolate place.
To this day, I can barely make sense of my story. It just doesn’t make sense. Even to me, the girl who lived it.
Who am I that The Holy Shepard would leave the 99 to search for a sinner like me?
Short of a miracle, I never should have made it out of bondage how I did, when I did, or as alive as I did… but, God…
Between then and the freedom I now feel this December, I would wobble like an infant through more trials, attacks, victories, mistakes, failures, and shame.
All on my way back to Abba.
Many people can’t see a miracle in these stories. Many judge and only see a deplorable. In fact, I’ve been called a “liability,” whore, slut, prostitute, and “unworthy.” The truth I sit and share with you today has been exploited, exaggerated, and weaponized to destroy me.
To tear down my esteem, my reputation, my relationships, and my resolve. I’ve been sexualized, discarded, interrogated, rebuked, judged, condemned, lied about and publicly shamed.
Some of these people call themselves Christians. A few have called me friend. A couple I even considered family.
So, like Adam and Eve beneath their hand-sewn fig leaves; I covered my sins and I hid… for a time.
As you reflect on your own story of anguish, I hope you’ll take a moment to feel the presence of One who knows and feels your wounds most intimately. He wants to give you the miracle He’s given me.
I wish I could sit across from you now, look you in your eyes, hold your hand and share this miracle that’ll change your life forever, if you let it:
Don’t hide. You can’t. And you don’t need to, because you are already worthy!
Not because of who you are, what you have, or what you’ve done… Your worth isn’t determined on whether you’ve been a stripper, an addict, a victim, a prostitute, a worship leader, a philanthropist, a spouse, a parent, a saint or a jerk.
Although your story is different from theirs, from mine, and from Jesus’, the weapons waged against us since our birth have all been the same.
Likewise, His miracle for us all has been the same: Redemption.
Your worth is because Jesus paid the price for our shame with what is priceless. The same price for the tax collector as the woman at the well. The same price for me and the same price for you. Non-refundable.
Your wounds transformed to healing.
Your death transformed to rebirth.
You made new, as fresh as snow.
So, while those who continue to do the Dark Prince’s bidding will look upon you with contempt and spread rumors as though you are unworthy; you know the truth.
You are redeemed.
The Almighty King of the Universe looks upon you now as He did the day your mother first held you in her arms. And so do His true followers; in whom you will find refuge.
The next time you feel uncertain, I hope you will rest in the miracle of your own story. It is already finished!
Author / Kaelei M. Trontel
With a heart after Christ’s heart, Kaelei currently serves her community and clients as a Real Estate Agent. She’s also an aspiring author, with a background in trauma healing and a story of redemption from sin. Kaelei’s burning desire to bring people closer together and closer to God fuels her work and her connections.