She Thought the Solution to an Absent Father Was Running into the Arms of Different Men
For Laura Gallier, the reality of her marriage was more like a nightmare. “The atmosphere in our home was toxic. There was constant yelling, arguing, at times it would get physical,” remembers Laura.
This was the latest in a series of bad decisions that stemmed from Laura's need for male attention. This yearning began in her childhood. Her parents divorced shortly after she was born, and Laura missed her dad. “I do have memories of him coming to see me, but I also remember the sad goodbyes at the end of the weekend and it feeling traumatic and him just not being a daily part of my life,” says Laura.
At age eight, Laura prayed with a friend’s mom to accept Christ, but her faith was never nurtured at home. “I genuinely had a heart for God to learn more, to know Him,” says Laura. “At the same time you go from being a child to now this young teen and the temptations really hit. And you could say that I had a heart for God and a mind for the world.”
Laura missed her dad and that void had consequences. “I had my first boyfriend in the 8th grade and in two months time we went from being afraid to even hold hands, just nervous around each other, to actually being sexually active,” says Laura.
That scenario played out time and again through her teens and early 20’s. The faces changed, but the result was the same. “I felt used,” says Laura. “I felt like a piece of me was gone and missing. Ironically, the way I chose to deal with that was to go out and search with all my might for another guy to love me and to fill that void.”
All along, she believed she knew the solution. Laura met guy in college and they started having sex. This time it was different. “I was in the middle of my sophomore year and I remember telling my roommate, ‘You know, something is wrong.’ I eventually took a pregnancy test and realized I was pregnant,” says Laura. “Instead of breaking it off with this young man, we got married because I didn’t want to be a single mom. I wanted my child to have a mother and a father. The names we would call each other - the cruelty that we would come at each other with; it was vicious. I learned to cry out to God during that time because I was absolutely miserable.”
They tried to work on their marriage, but things never improved and they divorced. “It was very sad to me. It felt like a death. But I was prepared at that time to try to have a new beginning in life and try to not just think of myself but my daughter and what did she need moving forward,” says Laura.
Laura started going to church every week. She also attended an “Encounter God” weekend, where she learned how to get free from her past. “I repented for my past rebellion and specifically the sexual sin that was such a part of my teen and young adult years,” says Laura. “It was so liberating to learn that my happiness and contentment in life was not in someone else's hands. Just to know that I could count on the God in me and on the Holy Spirit and on the one who loves me perfectly.”
Over time, Laura learned more about God’s love for her. Finally she met and married Patrick. Today they are raising four children. “Our family is built on the word of God and on ministry and we're raising our kids in the word of God,” says Laura.
Laura is now a writer and speaks to young people about how the most important relationship in life is the one we have with Jesus Christ. “I have an intense gratitude to God for not giving up on me. Because I made promise after promise after promise as a young lady and a teenager, ‘I am going to live right, God,’ and I failed every single time,” says Laura. “That’s the beauty of our God. He picks us up. He’s present even in those dark days. He’ll teach us through suffering and through pain. He will. All of that is his way of getting us right back where we belong into His loving grace and acceptance.”