Sunday, January 24, 2010

10 Years

For the past few months I have been in a place of a lot of personal growth and a major deepening and maturing in my relationship with God. I have had dreams of me doing things that are impossible on my own but with God I know that nothing is impossible.

Tomorrow, January 25 will be 10 years that I have been walking this faith journey. On New Year's Eve someone asked me what I was doing on New Year's 10 years ago and I rejoiced at the realization that was the last time I have ever been drunk.

This post will be kind of long but I wanted to take some time to tell you my story; to tell you what my daddy God has done in my life. He is such a loving and kind Father. So here goes...

I will never forget the day that Jesus came into my life. I was a 22 year old girl who had no hope, no love, and no self worth. I had exhausted all avenues in an attempt to find happiness and all had ended with regret and each added to my feelings of inadequacies. Let’s start at the beginning.

I was born in Houston, TX. My parents divorced when I was 11 months old and my mom and I moved to Florida and in with my grandmother and 3 uncles. When I was 7 my mom and I moved in with her boyfriend Jerry. At 9 years old he began sexual abusing me. At this point I didn’t really understand what was happening or that it was wrong. I did however ask my mom about it and she said what he was doing was wrong and that it wouldn’t happen again. I honestly didn’t think anymore about it for a long time. Within a few more years both my mom and Jerry were using cocaine and drinking on a regular basis and I spent much of these years hanging out at the local pub. My mom and Jerry got married when I was around 12. I spent my teenage years being physically, emotionally, and sexually abused by Jerry, as well as physically and emotionally abused by my mom. I started getting kicked out of my house in the 8th grade. I would come home from school or work and my mom would just start yelling at me, calling me all kinds of mean and hurtful names, usually throw something at me or slam me against a wall or two and then throw me out of the house. She would never allow me to take any of my clothes or other belongings. I would typically be gone for 2-3 weeks and then she would show up at school or work to pick me up. I would be home for 1-2 weeks and then out the door again. This was the typical cycle. I told her a few times about what my stepdad was doing and she always said it wasn’t a big deal and she could handle it; one time even saying that she didn't have time to deal with it. I was eventually taken out of my home by the state for 3 months and then was returned back to the madness.

I spent much of my childhood striving to be the exact opposite of my mom and stepdad. I was a manager of a restaurant by the age of 17 and pretty much either worked or was in school. However shortly after graduating high school things began to change in my life. I began to realize how unhappy I was and began to try and become a happy person. I had no self worth or confidence and felt hopeless and Worthless. I began to sleep with any guy that said anything nice to me. I figured that sex was all they wanted and it was easier to give it to them than for them to fight for it. Besides, for that one moment I was given the compliment, I felt I was worth something. This promiscuity eventually led to a bisexual lifestyle. I was so desperate for attention especially attention from females that I didn’t care how I got it or who gave it to me. At the age of 20 I began smoking pot and at 21, I began drinking. I also began doing ecstasy and acid. Ecstasy was definitely my drug of choice and I enjoyed doing it weekly. While in the moment allowing me to be “happy”, this behavior was continually bringing destruction to my life and I was falling further and further into the pit of despair. At 22 I became pregnant from a one night stand with a guy from work. I was happy about this because I was going to have a baby and this baby was going to love me and life was going to be great. However, I made the decision to go against what I felt was right and have an abortion. This event brought me to the lowest point I have ever been. I had killed a child, a child who was part of me. I will never forget that day or how dirty, shameful, and disgusting I felt. I couldn’t even stand to look at myself in the mirror. The next two months that followed I did everything I could do to mask the way I was feeling including doing ecstasy almost every night. My life was on a downward spiral to nowhere.

Then one day my best friend and I got into a fight over something extremely stupid. That’s when I broke. I mean I couldn’t get the flood of tears to stop. I told her that I didn’t want to kill myself but I didn’t know what else to do because I couldn’t handle anymore of this life. She suggested that we go to church; her mom had been trying to get us to go for 2 years. I started out saying no. I thought there was no way I could go to church (because of how I looked and felt). I had a shaved head, eyebrow ring, tongue ring, no “church” clothes, only big baggy jeans and clubbing clothes. I eventually gave in and went to a youth service. It was your typical youth service and I enjoyed being there. When the man speaking gave his alter call my life was forever changed. He said that he knew there was a girl in the audience that had been sexually, physically, and emotionally abused. That she was hurt and felt rejected, useless and hopeless; like no one wanted her and her life was a waste. She had tried everything she can think of to be happy and has not succeeded. God wants her to know that he loves her and has a plan for her life. He is waiting on her.

I was so completely shocked that this man knew all this stuff about me. I mean he basically read my mail. I went up for prayer and a few weeks later gave my life to God. I didn’t do it that night because I wanted to make sure I was sure about my decision. Once I gave my life to God He radically changed me. I never touched drugs or alcohol again. He delivered me from bisexual behavior and I stopped giving my body to whoever wanted it and have been saving it for my husband. Shortly after giving my life over to God I enrolled into a discipleship/ministry training program called Master’s Commission, in Birmingham, Alabama. They have programs all over the world. During this 1st year of this program God really began a deep work of healing in my heart and for the 1st time, since I could remember I was beginning to be happy again. It was in this place that God restored my innocence.

I remember one day looking at my life and realizing how much destruction the enemy had brought to me. He tried to destroy me and almost succeeded. The grace of God was so at work in my life and what the devil meant for bad God has been able to turn around and use for Good. I have had the privilege of traveling all over the country and sharing my testimony with tons of people. God has placed my life on solid ground, given me happiness, joy, peace, patience, understanding, and forgiveness. He took a girl that had no hope and no future and spoke life into her. He gave me a hope and a future. I am forever grateful for having met Jesus and allowing Him to take control of my life. I have been completely sold out to God since January 25, 2000 and I’m not looking back.

Much Love,