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  • Michelle Stoddard

Letters with Lizzie: Rape and Sexuality

Updated: Jul 24



I am so blessed. My daughter Lizzie has been in contact with me quite often recently. We have become pen pals through email and I am just amazed at what an amazing young lady she has grown into. Her and I have been sharing everything about ourselves, including some extremely hard to discuss topics. She is a teenager and very wise for her years. I believe many of the things she is going through in her life are similar things that other teenage girls go through. I remember going through quite a few of these things myself. I discussed it with her several times and she has agreed to allow me to post some of her letters to help discuss some very hard topics that her and many other teenage girls may go through. I've discussed with her the possibilities that putting her personal business out to the world may bring up it's own set of difficulties and she feels confident that she would like to tell her stories to help other young girls and their parents really connect and learn to communicate. I would also like to add that Lizzie is seeing a counselor to help with some of the harder topics we have been discussing and she knows and understands that she can also lean on her parents, and myself for support. So, I will be publishing large portions of the letters we have been exchanging in this series titled "Letters with Lizzie". If you disapprove in any way or if any of the topics are difficult or triggering to you please email me directly at mlpstoddard@gmail.com instead of posting responses on here, as some of these topics will be fresh and hard wounds that are still being healed, however, as I stated all parties agreed that they want this information published to help others. So, without further explanation - Letters with Lizzie on Rape and Sexuality.


From Lizzie:

"Michelle,Hello! It’s me, Elizabeth, I just feel impatient recently, and I miss hearing from you. I want to ask if you could do something for me. Can you pray for me? I know you tell me in the letters you have sent that you pray for me, but this time, I feel like a lot has changed for me, and I am insecure about it. Well… here it goes…So in April 2019, one of my close friends at the time was having a party, and she invited me to come over. From the way my friend talked, she was going to provide drinks and food. It was originally going to be a sleep over, however I had basketball the next night, so I was going to be picked up later that night. She said her dad was going to be there, and that she was inviting a handful of the girls from our friend group over, so immediately I knew my parents probably would agree to letting me go. There was a trusted adult, and presumably only going to be girls at the party, right? WRONG!


What my friend failed to mention was that her dad was very antisocial, and that he was going to stay in his room behind a locked door, with his cup full of what I am assuming was some type of alcohol. Her father stumbled around and mumbled a lot whenever he appeared, but he never actually said anything to anyone in the house. There were also a handful of boys at the party. I had no clue she was going to invite these boys, but I didn’t say anything either, because I just thought maybe this was something she didn’t want me to tell my parents, for the fear that they wouldn’t allow me to come. I never had been in this type of situation, so I was slightly more alert of my surroundings. Or so I thought.One of the guys who, at the time, I was somewhat close with was there. His name was (Allan). He handed me a drink, telling me it was Dr.Pepper, which was my favorite drink. Everyone knows it’s my favorite. I just assumed he was being kind, so I drank some. He continued to be very nice, and he followed me around at the party. I thought he was just being friendly, but when my friends decided to go to the opposite end of the house to make some crazy drink combinations with things like Sprite, Coke, and other types of drinks, this took a turn for the worse.

Because I did not want to try the new concoctions my friends were making, I stayed behind in one of the bedrooms. I decided to google some fun types of games we could play as a group. (Allan) was standing by the doorway. He slowly closed the door and locked it, then sat next to me on the bed. I thought maybe this was going to be one of those jokes where you lock your friends out of the room and need the password or something stupid (because this type of stuff normally happens), so I didn’t think much of it. Shortly after though, he got super touchy, then he tried to grab my thigh. He then proceeded to get on top of me, and I couldn't push him off. Then, he raped me…


Shortly after, my dad came to pick me up. I was silent the whole ride home. When I got home and changed, I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror. I thought I had let a lot of people down, especially God. All I could do was cry. That night, I got no sleep. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, but I was too afraid to speak up.I kept this secret for two months, but eventually I broke down and told my right hand man, Sophia, what happened. Eventually my parents found out. Ever since then, I feel like a lot of the time, the topic gets brought up, and I get singled out for it. I don’t want just one significant event like that to define me."


From Michelle:

"I am so grieved to hear what has happened to you. You should not have been made to feel disgusting. You are a precious child of God, a princess in his kingdom. Do not feel ashamed for what was done to you, it is part of your testimony.

Since were on the topic, let me just talk to you 1 minute about sex. I'm going to try to put sex into perspective for you here.  We live in this society where people treat sex like it is extremely casual. So casual in fact that regularly in movies and tv shows you will see people hook up with random strangers whose names they don't even know. This mindset has made people start to feel more comfortable with having sex with someone than they are having a conversation with someone. Sex is not like this. Real sex is intimate, extremely intimate. That's why when (Allan) hurt you, you felt violated. Because what he did was something intimate.  Our Christian society has forgotten WHY we push "No sex before marriage". They have also forgotten to explain God's grace and good works. So I'll explain these things to you one at a time.  1. No sex before marriage This rule is not a "rule" to be legalistic or confining. This rule is there for protection. Sex is something given to us by God. He gave us a kind of intimacy to share with our spouse and only our spouse. It is a gift he gave us to share with our marriage partner. The world wants us to believe it is casual, but not when it is done properly. When you share sex with your husband you will understand better.  Your husband is someone that your heart aches for, your inward desire of your heart is to be his partner and friend and helper. And because you feel deeply that love and desire for him, God gave you a gift that you can give to him that is for him and him alone. It is so beautiful and amazing to be able to give that beautiful gift to your husband. And now I'm not talking about virginity, I'm talking about faithfulness, loyalty. More important than virginity is faithfulness to your husband. It is so much more of a violation for a husband or wife to have sex with someone other than their spouse after they are married than it is before. Now that is not to say you meet your spouse and before you say I do you go have a fling. When you are connected to a person so deeply that you agree to marry them, then you have already entered into a marriage covenant in your heart. Do not violate that.  Ok, so then you're wondering why is it that our Christian society pushes so hard "no sex before marriage" on teenagers and people who aren't married, if it worse to marry someone and cheat. Wouldn't you be better off just being a forever single person who gets to have all the sex you want? Again, I can't emphasize this enough. Sex is something you feel physically in your body, but more so than that it is intimate. And the more people you have sex with for the physical pleasure of it, the less intimate it becomes for you. So think about your tooth brush. Your tooth brush is yours, it doesn't belong to any one else. But if your best friend Sophia came to you and said "Liz, omg I haven't brushed my teeth in 2 days and I'm desperate, please can I borrow your tooth brush!?" Well, that's a little gross, but you know were besties and you're basically my sister and I trust you and know your mouth hasn't been anywhere disgusting, so fine. Yes, you can use my tooth brush. So since Sophia has now shared your tooth brush does that mean you should go share it with everyone? Should all the kids at your school get to use it? You could take it to pep band and pass it around that stadium. How about that homeless dude down at the (convenience store)? He hasn't brushed in a long time! I know the analogy is gross, but that's my point. You wouldn't share your tooth brush with the world because by the time you get it back it's disgusting and worthless. If, however, you share your tooth brush with Sophia and no one else, and when she comes over she knows she can borrow it, and borrow your clothes, and borrow your textbook, but ONLY her, no one else, then that thing you share actually bonds the two of you. You become the best of best friends, sisters instead of friends. Our Christian culture pushes the sex issue with unmarried people because you want sex with your husband to be intimate, something you have shared with only him. Now my precious Liz, just because you aren't a virgin, it doesn't mean you have to share with everyone. Sex is still now intimate. Don't share it lightly.


2. God's grace - I know you've heard it your whole life, but you haven't from me. I want you to know that God is so good, in fact he is the best and most loving and loyal relationship you're ever going to have. He forgives again and again and again. There is literally NOTHING that you could do that God doesn't have grace for. He will never stop loving and forgiving you. And if you love him you will want to give him everything in you. I guess what I'm wanting you to take away is that even though this thing happened and you feel gross and violated, none of that matters because you are forgiven already. The only opinion that matters is Gods, and he has said you are his princess, his beautiful child whom he loves and whom Christ died for. That's not light. Christ literally left his life in heaven, he real true life in heaven to come to earth to be tortured (and this life is torture, you've already discovered) and then spit on and killed, because he loved you that much. He would rather himself be tortured and killed than see it happen to you. When you really start to understand how deep that love is you cannot help but want to give him everything in you. I also want you to think about Christs love for you when you are choosing a potential husband. (Is he a) Christian? That is the most important quality you must find in a husband. I cannot emphasize enough why it is so important to find a Christian man. The bottom line is that having common interests is not as important as having common goals. In life and as you grow up you have to make a lot of decisions, some are minor decisions and some are major. I'm gonna compare it to picking a college. When you are deciding where to go to college you consider many factors like cost, location, student aid, living situation, the quality of the school and so forth. It can seem like where you go to school is the most important decision of your life. It's not. When you get into the working world you will see, where you went to school is only 1 small factor and often it doesn't even come up. What is more important is what you choose to major in. If you choose nursing, you will be a nurse! You are a trained nurse, you will work nurse hours, you will have many job offers in that field. If you decide however that nursing isn't for you and you go apply for engineering positions with a nursing degree, it won't matter that you went to Yale to become a nurse. You aren't qualified to be an engineer. So in that regard choosing a major that you believe suits you is much more important than where you go to school.

I'm saying all this to let you know that even if a decision seems massive, it isn't always to most important decision, and sometimes the important decisions don't seem huge. When you are choosing a spouse it is a huge decision, because you need to choose a man who shares common goals with you. If he is a Christian man and you are a Christian woman then your common goal is Christ. In that way the decision is made easy. The most important thing you can look for in a husband is whether or not he is a Christian. He isn't going to be perfect, trust me no man is. They get fat, they lose their hair, they don't always smell great, they can be lazy. Don't worry about all of that, I'm telling you right now if he is a good Christian man who loves the Lord and loves you and treats you like the precious princess, the child of God that you are, then you will always find him so extremely attractive and you will always have desire for him."


Again, I'm going to ask, If you disapprove in any way or if any of the topics are difficult or triggering to you please email me directly at mlpstoddard@gmail.com instead of posting responses on here. The letters are between a birth mom and her adopted teenage daughter and some of these topics will be fresh and hard wounds that are still being healed. All parties agreed that they want this information published to help others and discuss these hard topics. The entire letters were not published, just the hard issue parts and responses to those topics.

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