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Marti knows she is a daughter of the King, so she wears purple—and not just on some days. Marti wears purple every day. It’s not that she wears the same outfit over and over—she just has a lot of purple clothes. She wears purple because it is her favorite color, but even more because it is the color of royalty.
Marti has a “girl cave” in her home. Guess what color it is? Purple. Her girl cave is where she goes to listen to music that reminds her of God’s love, His goodness, and His power. It is a place she can be quiet, read her Bible, and pray. It is her favorite place to start the day. In that space she is reminded of God’s continual presence with her.
Though Marti exudes contagious joy and continually gives thanks to God, she would be the first to be honest about her weaknesses, open about her life’s struggles, and willing to share her story if it will help someone else.
You see, Marti didn’t know until midlife that she could be a daughter of the King. Hearing that message made all the difference in Marti’s life.
From the age of six, Marti had been verbally, sexually, emotionally, and physically abused. As she entered adulthood, she took the only path she knew: drinking and promiscuity. She described herself at that point as “a tough chick who swore like a sailor.” At age 20 she married a Marine, who also abused her and then left her and their baby for another woman.
Even though Marti eventually married again, had two children, lived in a nice house, and had a good job at the post office, she still wasn’t happy. Something inside her was deeply wounded and broken.
She didn’t really know much about Jesus or understand all He had done for her, but that day a tiny seed of hope was planted in Marti’s life.
That first introduction to Jesus came in the locker room at her workplace, on a day when Marti had given in to despair. A coworker found her depressed and sobbing. When the woman asked what was wrong, Marti gave her a quick synopsis of all the ways she was beaten down, hopeless, and helpless to change anything about her life.
But one day someone pointed Marti to Jesus.
Seeing a crack in Marti’s tough-girl image, her coworker had just one message for Marti: You need Jesus. She gave Marti some Gospel tracts—but once the coworker had left the locker room, Marti dismissed her as a “Jesus freak” and tossed the unread tracts into her locker.
It was two weeks later that Marti—again crying in despair in that locker room—picked up those unread booklets about Jesus. She was thumbing through them when the same coworker, a woman named Mamie, walked in.
Like a firm mother, Mamie told Marti she needed to go to church. Marti began to wonder if this church thing—this Jesus thing—could give her hope.
At that point, Marti had no solid answers, but the pilot light of faith and hope had been lit in her life. And while Marti’s circumstances said, “Give up. This is the way your life will always be, so get used to it,” a small voice of hope said, Maybe life doesn’t have to be this way.
Responding to that whisper of hope, Marti visited a church. She didn’t find the answers there that she needed, but over the next few years her searching led her to visit several churches—not really sure what she was looking for but still drawn to keep looking.
One day Marti went to a church where she heard the message of God’s love and forgiveness. There she asked Jesus Christ to come into her life.
Marti had found the key to a new life but continued to struggle with the deep hurts she had carried throughout her life. She attended church services for a while but found that she was faking the kind of emotion that she saw in others in that church. She attended less and less over the years, eventually just at Christmas and Easter.
Still struggling with mood swings, and desperate for help, Marti again began looking for a church where she could find the kind of teaching and encouragement she needed. Her daughter mentioned Wheaton Bible Church, not far from Marti’s Carol Stream home.
She began attending Sunday-morning services, learning from the sermons each week. Then she got involved in a women’s Bible study.
Very soon it was clear that Marti had found her church home!
She also began to work with a Christian counselor, and over time she experienced healing from the deep abuse she had suffered. Initially, the nightmares that had plagued her worsened as decades-old hurts were probed, but eventually they went away, and Marti began to feel free. “Like a butterfly,” she says, “completely born anew.”
Marti’s sense of her identity also began to change. She began to understand that she was no longer “abused Marti” but rather that she was “precious Marti,” and “beloved Marti.”
The “damaged goods” label that once showed itself in Marti’s tough-girl exterior was transformed into a new identity as a daughter of the King.
As that royal relationship blossomed, Marti’s favorite color, purple, took on a whole new meaning. From that time on, she wore it proudly, as a reminder to herself—and to others—that she is the well-loved and precious daughter of the King.