Beauty from Ashes: How I Overcame Sexual Abuse (Guest Post by Priscilla Bordayo)

3 (Photography by Elise Vargas)

My name is Priscilla, aka Pri (Pree). I am a five-foot-tall, gummy bear cravin’, rib lovin’, coffee addict, brown girl who wants to inspire the world. The thing is, I really am just an ordinary girl who surrendered her life to someone who had the “extra” means. And in return of my surrender, I now have an extraordinary life. Not a perfect life, but a beautiful life. A life of purpose and a life full of meaning. I have self-worth and an identity that will not change based off life’s circumstances. All made available because of Jesus.

But my life wasn’t always beautiful. It didn’t always make sense. It was a life full of dark moments and complete brokenness. I mean, if one would have looked in the dictionary for the definition of brokenness years ago, I’m pretty sure she would have seen a picture of my face. Seriously, if brokenness had a face, it would have been the face of mine- “Pri.”

At age 13, I was questioning if I was miscarrying my father’s child. At age 14, I stood before a judge and lied to protect my family. So I thought. And at age of 15 into my early 20s, well, I took the road less traveled. When one has been taken advantage of sexually at such a young age, and has innocence taken away by their father in middle school, unfortunate things happen.

Self-worth is lost. I had a misconceived perception of love and because my view of love was distorted, I searched for some type of love, any type of love, only in all the wrong places. I ended up in places I never thought I’d find myself, with people who only wanted one thing from me- Sex! I gave it freely because it was my drug of choice. It was easier than healing properly. The problem was that my drug of choice left me only temporary satisfied. It wasn’t until I looked into the mirror, got brutally honest with myself and with people that I trusted that I was able to take steps towards freedom.

No matter what happened, no matter what I did or didn’t do, Jesus never stopped pursuing me. He didn’t run from my messy life. In fact, he stepped right into it and stayed. And I am forever changed because He did. I used to think that I had to wait until I had some special title or position in order to make a real difference. Now I know I just have to surrender and trust in the one who created me.

Jesus completes me. With Him, I can just be me, real, whole, and use my gift to love others. Everything falls into place with Him in my life. I don’t want to just pretend to love others but really love them, especially those who have offended me. It’s easy to forgive since I have needed much forgiveness and when the blessings of forgiveness are realized it is even easier. It is a choice and I choose to forgive.

My forgiveness is not dependent on whether or not the other person is sorry. It is not what they can or can not do for me. It’s not an even exchange. My forgiveness is for me, for freedom, for my heart; freedom from bitterness, anger, resentment, comparing, manipulating, and oh so much more. Freedom allows me to experience God’s blessings.

I wanted the beauty for ashes deal that God offers, but I had to give him my ashes first. I wanted the good fruits in life He offers but I had to dig deep into the rotten roots that were planted in my heart. So I did and I continue to dig. The more I share my story, the more I realize I am not alone.

My greatest hope is to encourage and inspire others to become the best they can be, to help them find their self-worth, and genuine freedom. I want to offer others the hope I met. The hope in person; His name is Jesus!

My hope in Jesus has given me a great passion to help both victims and their perpetrators. Mercy and justice go hand in hand. Jesus made a way for us all to make it in this life and the next despite our sin. In working with the justice system and allowing Jesus into the picture, I believe we can accomplish more restoration and others will experience true redemption and healing the way I did.

Currently, I am writing a book of my journey. It is the story of my life in which I plan to share with others. It’s not always a glamorous road as it is quite uncomfortable being vulnerable and raw, but it is rewarding as I continuously find out that I am not alone.

Whatever you are facing today dear friend, you are not alone. Jesus is the answer. After you go to Him, try coffee, pizza, exercise, using a different tone, saying “I’m sorry,” sending an anonymous pizza to someone, or paying for a stranger’s lawn care. The point is get low, get humble, raise the bar, set your self apart, don’t give up on people and expect miracles to happen everyday. I know I sure am one of them!


Priscilla was born in Abilene Texas and raised in Lansing Michigan. She is a graduate of Southwestern Assemble of God University where she received her B.S in Early Childhood Education. She believes education offers a bright feature for every child. She is passionate about worship through singing and served as a worship leader throughout college. After graduation, Priscilla worked in a foster home with at risk teens. During this time she served her church in all department including worship, kids, youth and women. She has a special heart for connecting families, which is why her current profession as a nanny is a perfect fit. Priscilla currently resides in Lansing MI and serves her community by volunteering at many non-profits which includes ministering to sex-traffic victims, abused girls and women, foster-home teens, and children who have lost loved ones. She is in the process of writing a book about the life she traded in to gain true beauty. Priscilla is also a conference speaker and uses social media to encourage others. Her aspirations include traveling the world and sharing her story, but she is perfectly content and finds great joy in her local life, church, and job!

 Follow “Pri” on Social Media:

Instagram: Littlepri04

Facebook: Priscilla Bordayo

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  • Amazing and powerful testimony LaLa!!! I went to school with you and CeCe, and never would’ve thought with the upbeat kind of characters you guys where that this was the cross you where carrying. I myself am currently picking up the pieces of my life after a failed engagement to the only woman Ive been with or loved for the past 7 years because she was able to get from someone elsewhat I was saving for marriage after getting Saved in 2009. So after keeping myself celibate for 4 1/2 its pretty demasculating and humiliating as a man to be hurt by someone you loved like that, never thought an affliction for Christ’s sake would hit me like would be like this. Your story is refreshing as Paul told Philemon “refresh my bowels in the Lord” – Philemon v.20. Fight the good fight sister! Through it all we have a Great High Priest in Jesus that is able to SAVE us to the uttermost that come unto God Him!!! – Hebrews 4:14 and Hebrews 7:25. God Bless you sister, rest in Jeremiah.29:11, thats what getting me, through – Ed Naranjo

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