The Scarlet Letter

What’s one of your most humiliating moments? I vividly remember mine. Years ago, I began receiving messages on Facebook from random guys asking me to hang out. It seemed odd but I ignored them. Then, a lady sent me a message saying I was on a popular website. The article was about a girl at an HBCU claiming she was a virgin, exposed in a threesome. The picture was extremely graphic with the girl’s face blurred out. Within the comments, people were going back and forth about who it was. Then, one anonymous person proclaimed that it wasn’t any of the mentioned names and it was, in fact, Aneesha Perkins from Hampton University. As I read that sentence my heart dropped and I left work immediately. Someone obviously had a vendetta against me and it was more evident when I discovered a Facebook friend shared the article on their page encouraging others to read it mentioning that it was about me. For the next few days, messages from friends invaded my inbox. I thought my reputation was tarnished and believed that no man would ever take me seriously nor would I ever be a role model for younger girls. In addition, this could damage my professional career and negatively affect my family. There was nothing I could do to erase it nor the impression it left on everyone. Everything I aspired to do, was now impossible.

To set the record straight, the girl in the picture wasn’t me. While that particular story wasn’t my truth, there are other mistakes I’ve made and wholeheartedly understand how others can’t help but to hold you hostage to them. Your past may shape you but it doesn’t define you. Out of this entire situation, what really bothers me is the actual girl in the picture. She got caught up in a bad situation and someone saw it fitting to expose and embarrass her in front of the world. That article was intended to be her scarlet letter, a symbol of shame and guilt. The same scarlet letter Nathaniel Hawthorne referenced in his novel of a mother who conceived a child from an affair and was required to wear a scarlet letter A for adulteress on her dress for public humiliation.
There are some of you wearing scarlet letters from your previous experiences and it’s time to work on removing them. Yes, there are consequences for every decision you make but you are in control of the person you desire to be today. To make strides in removing your scarlet letter, first, be honest and accept what happened. Second, forgive yourself and the person involved. Holding onto unforgiveness in your heart is unhealthy and an obstacle when trying to move forward. Lastly, you can’t change or hide what happened, however, God makes all things new. Plus, you never know, your story could be the one to save someone’s life and break them away from their current lifestyle. You are a lamp among the dark.
This is dedicated to those who made decisions they regret and did things they’re not proud of. Those labeled. Those in pictures and videos circulating social media. Whether it’s you or not, whoever you are, this is for you. What happened isn’t the end and you can serve as living proof of how God can turn things around and remove us from our past. This experience made me humble, more compassionate and stronger than I’ve ever had to be. It molded me into the woman I am today, a woman whose character has been challenged but still choose to stand tall. While the intentions of the person who published that picture and comment were malicious, they didn’t get the last say on who I am and who I will be. The same goes for you, forget about what everyone is saying of your past and stand firm on your future.

I removed the scarlet letter, now it’s your turn. Let it go.

10 thoughts on “The Scarlet Letter”

  1. Love this! “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
    ‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:17‬ ‭KJV. Your past is just that the past. Behold Christ has made you new remove your scarlet letter.

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  2. Thanks for sharing your story and encouraging readers to leave the mistakes of the past in the past. We all need to remember that “God makes all things new.”

    Love the new look of your site.

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  3. Great Read! Like many others I too have allowed my past to dictate my future. I’d be lying if I said on some level I’m not still haunted by past transgressions. But I know through faith and forgiveness the Lord keeps me inspired. Inspired to live, inspired to love, and inspired to forgive. Thanks for your testimony Neesha. Peace and Blessings Queen!

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  4. Loved it Aneesha! I just posted on my facebook about how some of my past experiences make me cringe when I think about them because I’m like “OMG! What if that haunts me! What if that title never leaves” but honestly we can’t let those titles drag us down! Excellent read!

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    1. Thanks Taryn! As long as you take those experiences and learn from them don’t worry about what others may say. People are always going to have something to say. Its not their thoughts that matter, only God’s. Continue to push forward, great things await you, with your past and all.

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