Today on the podcast, I’m chatting with Elizabeth Melendez Fisher Good.
Groomed with Elizabeth Melendez Fisher Good
I grew up with one brother, four years younger than me. Ronnie was the sporty one, and always the best on his team—the pitcher, the quarterback, the high-scoring guard. I, on the other hand, read books. Lots of books. I was the statistician for softball and basketball. While others played, I kept a record of their successes, one tally at a time.
Ronnie was always much taller than his peers. But me? Before I blossomed at age 13, I was too plain, too chunky. I don’t remember noticing when I thinned out and curved up, but I do remember how others noticed. As someone who always had crushes on boys in my classes (but never got asked out), the first one who noticed me was a friend’s older brother. As you can guess, my desire to be noticed and loved made it easy for me to go too far, too soon.
Looking back, I can see how my need to be chosen and important led to bad choices, but it wasn’t until recently that I’ve begun to understand that more was happening internally, due to the messages I was receiving externally.
I had been groomed to believe that my body would get me the attention I longed for.
Even before the time of social media, the messages were clear. MTV videos, Seventeen Magazine, and HBO made it clear that being sensuous was more important than being smart. It was the message I received at home, too. My stepdad wasn’t a Christian, and he wasn’t shy about what he watched. He didn’t hold back his comments or whistles when he thought someone looked good. Even though none of this was directed at me, I got the clear message that to get noticed you needed to be pretty and sexy.
My heart breaks thinking about all this now. I wish I could go back and tell that young girl about her true worth. I’m not sure she/I would have listened though because the numerous messages around her were strong.
My heart breaks knowing that my daughters at home are getting the same messages. Even though we have lots of limits on what they can watch, play, and listen to, those messages still filter in. It reminds me that I need to be diligent about speaking to my daughters about their worth and reminding them again and again that they were created for a purpose. I want my daughters to know that when the world wants to strip them down and expose them, Jesus wants to fill them up with value, true, and love. And when the world shouts, “not enough,” Jesus wants to pull them close, wrapping them up in his arms of grace.
And while we need to share these truths with our daughters, it’s also important to go to Jesus with the exposed places of our souls. He can heal what has been rubbed raw. He can clothe all the places we’ve been uncovered. Jesus can take our clothes of mourning and clothe us with joy … how amazing is that?
Psalm 30:11-12 says, “You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever!”
And even though today’s broadcast might discuss hard topics, the tone of our talk is one of celebration. I loved chatting with Elizabeth Fisher Good. It’s clear that we are two women who have been set from the pain of the past. Where there was nakedness and emptiness, we’re now living full of joy and working to help others know how they can be set free. Our talk is proof of what God can do with shattered, broken hearts. I think you’re going to enjoy our talk!
Who is Elizabeth Melendez Fisher Good?
Elizabeth Melendez Fisher Good is the CEO and co-founder of Selah Freedom and the Selah Way Foundation, which exists to prevent sexual abuse, exploitation, and sex trafficking of children and young adults. Through her leadership, thousands of American children and young adults who have been rescued from the sex trade have found freedom. She has also helped educate millions on the topics of exploitation and sex trafficking. Elizabeth speaks and trains internationally and is passionate about protecting our youth from the secrets of abuse that so many are forced to keep. Elizabeth’s family is her true pride and joy. She lives with her husband and three children in Sarasota, Florida.
You can order Groomed HERE.
About the Book:
Someone in your past sold you a false story about who you are and what you’re worth. It has been holding you back for too long. Take control of your future.
A staggering one out of three women in America was a victim of sexual abuse at some point in her childhood. No matter how many years it’s been, if that’s your story, those scars are probably still with you. But even if that’s not part of your story, this book is for you. Women today have been groomed for a lot more than just sex.
Using her own story of abuse, family tragedy, and rebellion, Elizabeth Melendez Fisher guides readers toward an understanding that grooming is oftentimes subtle, but it’s always life-altering.
In Groomed Fisher incorporates the language and lessons gained over the past decade working with sex trafficking victims and her work in ministry and counseling before that. She draws out five specific ways that women have been groomed, from physical appearance to spirituality to finances, and shows how those manipulative messages have affected the way we see our worth and how they’ve oftentimes stifled and limited us. From there Fisher offers readers a way to overcome their past, starting with the all-important but rarely explored idea of a selah, or a time of rest and reflection, and exploring active ways to forgive and move forward to a new level of freedom.
No one has to be defined by her past. No one has to live for her groomers. It’s time to take a look back at where we came from to escape the messages of our past and take control of our future.
Walk It Out Scripture
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5
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Resources, books, and links mentioned in this episode:
- Groomed | Elizabeth Melendez Fisher Good
- Sex, Lies, and Media — Elizabeth’s free online training!
- Groomed Groups