“My spiritual journey from lust to love was refined by fire,” stated Sabrina Lawton, of St. Lucie Florida.
Like entirely too many young girls, Lawton was sexually violated at the tender age of five, by the hands of her 15-year-old, female cousin. “She opened my sexual center. It was a world I didn’t understand, but I began to explore with my male cousins from as early as eight years old.” Lawton elaborated, “Pleasuring myself became an escape!”
An escape from abuse that began when she was an infant. “I was temporarily removed from my mother’s custody at three-months-old for having a fractured skull, which happened at the hands of my stepfather,” stated Lawton. “My mother, age 17 at the time of my birth, was nudged to marry him. My father apparently wasn’t available for her to wed.”
It is presumed Lawton’s biological father wasn’t ‘available’ because he was incarcerated for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl. Charges Lawton felt must have been justified. At the age of 12, she received a collect phone call from her daddy while in a drug rehabilitation facility. As they got acquainted, the conversation turned awkward as her father began speaking to her in sexual overtones. Lawton went along with the conversation, but did not engage in what she understood to be phone-sex. The conversation ended after a presumed climax on her father's end.
“I learned to equate sexual exploitation with love. Inappropriate sexually driven and abusive relationships became my norm”
That explains how she entered a relationship with a 23-year-old man at the age of 14. During their first date, her refusal to have sex with him concluded with full-throttled slaps across her face until she surrendered herself to him. While he was abusive from the onset of their courtship, Lawton says she didn’t have the courage to leave him until after she became pregnant, two years later. She elaborated about an encounter he’d had with another woman with whom he shared a child. She said, “He was laughing about something and when I asked what was funny he said, ‘I just left (so-and-so’s), we had an altercation. He continued to chuckle stating, ‘As I was leaving, the baby was walking behind her, picking up her braids.’ The visualization of his two-year-old toddler picking up her battered mother’s hair scared me. The first chance I got, I had an abortion and moved to Seattle to live with my mother.”
Within a year, the then 16-year-old Lawton, met another man, this time 12 years her senior. However, unlike his predecessor, he was a nice guy, who offered Lawton a secure place to call home. Several years of dating became the gateway to matrimony, which didn’t outlast the length of their courtship. “We’d been together for eight years prior to marriage, but we were divorced after two,” explained Lawton. “When I met him, I was still a kid trying to work through all of my baggage. I got pregnant with our son, Martin, at 18. I wanted to be in love with my husband, but I just wasn’t. I was totally checked out of our relationship.” The grass began to look a lot greener on the other side of the yard. Lawton said an affair with the neighbor led to their divorce.
“I couldn’t continue the affair. I can’t lie. I’m terrible at it, I just confessed,” stated Lawton. “My husband wanted to work through it, but I chose to leave. I hadn’t cheated because I wanted the neighbor, I wasn’t satisfied in our relationship and didn’t know a better way out. I needed to discover the woman in me that I never knew. So, we verbally agreed he would keep our son Martin for a couple of months while I sorted through some things.”
It would take four years for Lawton to untangle that verbal custody agreement.
She had several fierce battles in court before being awarded primary custody of their son. She said she felt especially hopeless during that period. Being separated from Martin put an enormous strain on her psyche.
Lawton reminisced about the evening a Divine encounter changed her path. “I remember the night everything began to shift. I was out in a lounge, alone, just trying to clear my head,” said Lawton. “I looked up to see this guy, with a smile in his eyes, making a beeline right for me.”
Lawton went on to share how he asked if he could buy her a drink. Distracted by his familiarity she responded, “I know you.”
He replied. “No, I just moved here two weeks ago.”
She persisted. “I know you…Eric, right?”
Totally flabbergasted, he responded. “Yes!”
Eric was an old friend with whom she double-dated during her High School years in Los Angeles. They would later discover that they came into each other’s lives to share more than a glass of wine. Each offered the other something significant to fulfill their individual purpose. “When my wife and I met, I had recently returned from war in Iraq as a Sergeant in the US Army,” explained Eric. “I was completely disconnected from GOD. I was moving through life fulfilling needs of desire and survival with an enormous hole in my heart. ”
Today Eric is a Federal Law Enforcement Agent. He said Lawton taught him how to connect with his spirit, and his emotions. “My wife introduced me to what it means to be a spiritual being, which is something I’d never experienced before. She taught me how to live beyond myself for a greater purpose.”
Fulfilling one’s purpose brings about joy, but it’s not without sacrifice.
Eric explained, “My wife’s ability to utilize her GOD gifted talents for the betterment of all sometimes comes with a heavy weight attached. I’ve watched her selflessly dedicate her life to others, and through my observation, it can sometimes be a thankless job.”
Eric said Lawton does not seek gratitude in return for her work and that he knows she’s making an impact. “I have witnessed life-changing results in many of those who have been blessed by her life’s work,” expressed Eric.
The trauma Lawton has experienced throughout her life weighs on him. “I carry mixed emotions, mostly consisting of empathy, sadness, and anger. It hurts me. How could an innocent child endure such pain and sorrow? My understanding of my own spiritual journey has been expanded through my wife’s story. Unfortunately, what she’s gone through isn’t unique. Many people have a past riddled with mental, physical and sexual trauma. I’ve learned that the power to utilize our story to define our purpose is a gift from GOD that can be tapped into, given the correct guidance.”
Lawton and Eric have been married 10 years. In addition to her son Martin, now 21-years-old, and said to be very close to his stepfather, they share a 9-year-old daughter named Savannah. However, those initial five years of marriage hit quite a bit of turbulence. Lawton elaborated,
“When our relationship was on the brink of divorce, I found myself face planted into the ground crying out to God saying, ‘Everything the world taught me, I give it to you. Everything I think my value is as a woman, I give it to you. I am EMPTY now. You will have to show me who I am.’ I remember a still small voice responding, ‘Evolve.’ I was like, ‘What does that have to with anything?’ God responded, ‘You must learn self love. If you’re going to evolve, if the world is going to evolve, you must love. Look- the word love is hidden within Evolve.'"
Lawton said that conversation with God marked the birthing of her transformative organization, Evolve To Love.
Eric expressed his sentiments on working through difficulties within the marriage. “My wife and I are much greater than our actions. We believed that GOD would bless our relationship if we could see beyond the storm we were experiencing. We focused on addressing the concerns that got us to a breaking point and gave our relationship to GOD to nurture.”
Lawton said she and Eric have plans to facilitate Marriage retreats and counsel married couples in the future. Eric’s advice is this, “Invest in your relationship with GOD and continue to grow spiritually, both as a couple and individually. Our best self is ever evolving. Become best friends and create time together to just (be). Plan your journey together as a couple, define your destination, and manifest your vision through visualization and prayer.”
Lawton says one of the ways she’s grown spiritually is by connecting and collaborating with likeminded people and organizations like Wonder of Women. She said she was in awe after hearing, Wonder of Women Founder, Veronica Very, speak at a conference.
“When I heard Veronica for the first time I was like, ‘YOU!’ I could see that she was the essence of love the minute I met her,” recalled Lawton.
The Lawton family recently relocated to Port St. Lucie, Florida, from Seattle, WA. She is a powerful and transformative Keynote Speaker and the fierce and loving Founder of Evolve to Love, a spiritual advising organization created to raise the Spiritual IQ of individuals and organizations who desire to be impactful change agents in our world.
"I’ve learned it is Love, not lust, that heals and binds us," says Lawton. Evolve to Love, originated on the principle that every problem has a spiritual solution. Lawton has made it her life’s work to help women who’ve experienced sexual and emotional trauma to evolve from being empty, nicely decorated sexual shells, to glorious Temples of Love.
She recently founded and hosted the “Keep your Sexy Sacred” KYSS Retreat. Attendees lodged in a private, luxurious, oceanfront residence to take part in the spiritual work that helps them to move from lust to love and keep their sexy sacred. To learn more about Lawton and her next KYSS "Keep Your Sexy Sacred" Retreat Sept 29th - Oct 1st 2018. Visit www.sabrinalawton.com
Claudia Parker is an author, freelance journalist, photographer, videographer, and WOW news contributor. Learn more about her at www.ClaudiaParker.net
Photo Credit: Eyemagination Imaging