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Satisfying an Empty Soul

“An 18-year-old that was a friend of the family sexually abused me, singled me out to sexually abuse me. I was 9 at the time and so that more than anything, it really messed with me,” Hunter recalls.

In addition to being sexually abused as a young girl, Hunter suffered physical and emotional abuse as well. “My mom, looking at me as being physically unattractive, would say, "I'm sorry you were born with the ugly genes; I'm sorry your head is misshapen.’ My nickname was ‘Ugly Smugly’ by her and she had a little song she would sing sometimes with it,” Hunter says. “When she would be angry, which was often, she would grab whatever was near and just hit us over the head. She'd get frustrated and smack us. My self-image as a child was broken almost before life even got started.”  

Much of the abuse continued throughout her teen years. “She just saw that I was interested in the opposite sex and I was referred to as a slut and ugly. I think I was struggling to find acceptance, someone just to love me, someone to prefer me.”

Hunter grew up in the Mormon church, where she was heavily involved as a young person.  her involvement, however, faded in college and young adulthood. “Purity is very important (in the church) and that was a deep desire I had, was to stay pure until I was married,” she says. “When I gave that up, it's like all the walls just fell down. It just breaks you. It just completely and utterly breaks you.”

She became curious about witchcraft because of the control it promised. “Growing up, we would watch shows on Disney channels like ‘The Worst Witch’ or ‘Hocus Pocus.’ I always loved these witches,” she recalls. “It seemed innocent, it seemed fun, it seemed intriguing. It seemed so cool to have that kind of power. “

Hunter practiced witchcraft for over seven years. “I bought every book on witchcraft. I recognized I was a very spiritual person… I believed in a divine power. When we cast spells it's just like saying a prayer, and we believe as long as you don't harm anyone, do whatever you want.”

Hunter also says her sexual activities began to take a darker nature. “I was constantly with guys trying to search for that knight in shining armor, that rescuer, that guy who was going to be the one,” she says. “I constantly cohabitated with anyone that I was with. I believed that in order to truly understand who I am spiritually, I needed to be sexually free. That began a very dark period.”

That period culminated one unnerving weekend in Chicago. “In December of '05, we were in a hotel room and I was in bed by myself, but I suddenly became very aware of a very dark presence,” she says “I was paralyzed. and I just knew if I pulled down my covers I would see a dark image above me. I was just so afraid. But eventually I broke free of that paralysis and I pulled down the covers and nothing was there. But it rocked me. It was so scary.”

The encounter made Hunter question her lifestyle. Then she took a job at a local bookstore. “All the women at this bookstore that were older women, they were all believers, fierce, godly women,” Hunter says.  “And I was very loud and proud about my witchcraft. And because I was so vocal about it, this one particular older woman, she knew exactly how to meet me where I was at.  She started speaking the love of God to me. We could have these little discussions and she would keep pointing me to scripture.”

Over time, Hunter’s heart began to change. “I mean, God was just prompting, prompting, prompting.,” she says. “One day at work this very cute guy, he asked me if I had ever read a book called Captivating. He said, ‘Yeah, it's a Christian book.  You should read it sometime.’  And so I was like, ‘Yeah, okay. I will.’”
Captivating, written by John and Stasi Eldredge, was life-changing for Hunter. “It was the first time that so many things came to head about my childhood abuse, sexual, physical, that deep desire within my heart to be known, to be loved,” she says. “And they kept referring to Jesus. I had heard this one church in our community was huge, and I knew if went nobody would notice me.”

Hunter began attending this church and was later invited to a bible study. “I did not know the Biblical God.  I didn't know who He was. When it (the Bible) talks about ‘They bowed down and worshipped made things, the creature, instead of the Creator, that definitely penetrated my heart with witchcraft.”  

During a conversation with the pastor, Hunter realized her need for Christ. “I know that God pulled back the veil of who He was and I saw sin for what it was, and I saw sin in my life, and recognizing the depravity and the depth of my sin and the bondage of my sin,” she says. “But I did also hear the good news of Jesus, and he explained to me that salvation comes through faith alone, through Christ alone and believing in Him. And that very moment, I believed. “

Hunter accepted Christ and began to mature in her faith. “I bought myself a Bible. I wanted to know God; I wanted to know him more. Everything that I possibly could do, I wanted to be of Christ. I had lived such a dark life. I was in; I didn't want that life anymore. I was done with that life. It was not going anywhere. It was on a very fast track to a dark place. I knew I still wanted to be married, but it was different. I did not want to pursue men anymore. I knew that if God wanted me to be married, he would bring to me a godly man who loved Him.”

God did bless hunter with a godly husband, chad, who is a pastor, and four beautiful children.

“The only man I wanted to have my heart in such a way was Christ. He was that knight in shining armor that I was looking for” Hunter says. “As soon as He revealed himself to me, the truth of who He was, I knew then that I was satisfied, my soul was satisfied. All the emptiness in my heart, the hole in my heart, he filled.”

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