The 700 Club with Pat Robertson


Debra Davis: My Daddy the Devil and Me

By Cynthia Savage
The 700 Club

Original Air Date: August 30, 2010“My childhood was really wonderful growing up. My mother did everything.  She was a stay-at-home mom. I would just come home to the homemade cookies and cakes and the clean, clean room.”

Debra Davis had everything a girl could want except for her real father.  When he did come around, he made big promises but rarely followed through.

"I always thought that my biological father would just come and sweep me off my feet give me this big loving relationship," Debra tells The 700 Club.

“My mother would try to warn me and tell me that my father wasn’t any good.  But I didn’t know what that meant. I didn’t want to hear it.”

When Debra was 15, her dad asked her to move in with him.  She was more than ready to move out of her structured, sheltered life.  He took her to the hotel where he was staying.

"I didn’t have any reasons to be suspicious of anything.  Until later on that night, I start feeling a little bit weird. When he was telling me, 'You can come over here and you can lie on this bed with me.' he pulled out a small aluminum foil. He told me, 'Sniff this up your nose. You can trust me. I’m your dad.  It’s okay.' Then he kissed me. Before I realized it, he was on top of me, and I was like, ‘Oh my god, I’m having sex with my father.’”

Afterwards Debra locked herself in the bathroom as she tried to make sense of what just happened.  From the other room, her father used the Bible to justify his behavior.

“He reassured me there was nothing, absolutely nothing wrong with what just happened. That’s where the brainwashing started. “

Overnight Debra was torn from her innocent childhood and placed in a world of drugs, violence and prostitution.

“I was 16 years old, and my father had a prostitute girlfriend. He explained it to me. ‘Well, do you think you could do that?’ I was like, ‘Well, yeah, sure, I could do it,’ because if this is what it takes for him to love me, then I’m going to do it.'

“I wasn’t used to being on a corner or being in the hood. So it was frightening, but I didn’t want to show fear. He would say to me, 'You’re a punk. You’re not my daughter. Because if you were my daughter, you would be a gangster.' [I said,] 'I can be whatever you want me to be, if that’s what it takes for you to love me.'”

By the time she was 19, Debra had two sons by another man.   There were years when she would be free from her dad and tried to live a normal life.  Yet her dad would show up whenever he was low on cash or in need of a partner in crime.  Debra spent 21 years entangled in this twisted on and off relationship.

“I felt a seductive force pulling me that whenever I hear his voice or if I saw him that I had to go. There were times I would drop my jobs, my children, no matter what it was, I had to go.”

One of the schemes involved going from state to state committing bank fraud.   Debra spent a lot of time in jail. She finally realized what her father was doing to her life.

"He used me to prostitute to go into the bank. He used me to do his time in jail; He used me over and over again.I’m looking for him to love me. Now I’m wondering, 'Why do you hate me? What did I do?' I was 36 years old when my eyes were opened to the devil. That’s a scary sight. Immediately I knew that I never wanted to sleep with him again. Immediately I knew that I’m better than this. Immediately I wanted to live."

Debra had no place to go and was still wanted for other crimes.  So she turned herself in to the police.  With her focus off of her dad, she finally looked to up for a heavenly father.

“I fell on my knees and I just said, ‘Lord, I can’t handle this. Come in to my life, come into my heart. Make me whole again.’ And God came. “

In time, Debra was able to forgive her father. “It’s going to take time but once you realize that’s where the freedom lies I had to forgive him for everything that he did to me. I forgive myself. In jail, I felt more freer than ever.  It’s strange to say, here I am locked up and all this overwhelming freedom comes over me like you’re free. You’re free of your dad. You don’t have to look over your shoulder anymore. If this is what it means to be free, I’ll just stay right here for now.”

When she was released from prison, Debra wanted to restore the broken relationships with her family.  She started with her two sons.

“They were grown and they had been through so much. It took years before they said, 'Wow, you really have changed.  You really mean it.' So to have that love and respect from them is awesome.”

Debra goes back into the same jail where she found Christ and shares her story with the inmates.

“All the things that my daddy told me about myself, they weren’t true. I know the truth today. I know that the truth will set you free. That is why I can tell my story and that is why the guilt and shame that I carried around for three decades, now I can say God has given me grace, and mercy to rise above.

To know that I can live, not just exist, but I have a life today. I’m a mother.  I’m a grandmother. A wife, a niece, I’m a woman today. I’m God’s woman today.”

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