It’s been 13 years since, I guess you could say, that I hit rock bottom. My life was a mess mostly due to choices I had made but kind of unaware that I was actually making choices. To fully understand my life, I need to take you back many years ago when I was 5 years old. I had an older and younger sister and a younger brother. My parents started taking us to a family friend who would babysit us. They lived on a farm and had many children of their own and there were always other children around. It wasn’t very long after we started going there that the babysitter’s husband began to sexually abuse my younger sister and me. I hated being left there because I knew what was going to happen every time but was also scared to tell anyone. I thought that I was bad and that my parents would think bad of me. They decided one day to not let them babysit us anymore and in my five year old mind, I thought that they had found out what was happening but they never said a word about it, just never took us back there again. I was out of danger in the present but the damage had already been done that would change the course of my life for a very long time.
Fast forward to my teenage years…all the other girls around me became interested in dating and had boyfriends but I really was afraid of boys. I did date some but as soon as they got too close, I would break it off. I just couldn’t trust anyone with my heart or my body. I felt like the natural thing for me to do was to date women instead. I didn’t understand at the time that what I thought seemed natural or feeling like I was somehow born this way was lies straight from hell. Being afraid of men but wanting love and companionship, I thought relationships with women would keep me safe and solve all my problems but it didn’t. If anything it gave me way more.Society and the media portray this lifestyle as wonderful, loving and brave but that is just not true. Understand that my mind was messed up. I was messed up from not dealing with the initial hurt or even understanding what the initial hurt was. I had been angry with my parents for not pursuing punishment for this man for so long and finally after years of carrying this anger, I asked my father why? He didn’t even know anything had happened to me. They took us out of that home because of a dispute the adults had and it had nothing to do with the abuse. So I had hurt from the abuser and misplaced hurt from my parents, who were clueless about the abuse. Then I would get into relationships with women who were just as messed up as I was or even worse. You put two people like that together in a relationship and you have a perfect storm for a toxic environment. These kinds of relationships most often have jealousy, insecurity, hostility and anger. Many become abusive on all kinds of levels from emotional to physical. Drugs and alcohol often are involved also. You either are trying to fit in where you don’t belong or trying to dull the pain, pain you feel because you think you are trapped in this lifestyle because the world tells you you were born this way. One of my girlfriends introduced me to cocaine. It wasn’t long before I was addicted. It completely controlled me. I hurt many people I loved and allowed it to take me places I didn’t want to go and never should have been. I ended up homeless. I found ‘friends’ who let me stay with them but it was just one bad decision followed by another every day. My whole life, I just kind of allowed things to just happen and never really took control of my own life. I met someone who helped me get off drugs but then became involved in a very abusive relationship that I couldn’t seem to get out of. It seemed as if I went from an abusive relationship to an abusive relationship all the time. As soon as I’d think this was it, this time it would be different, it wasn’t. I finally had enough of living by everyone else’s rules and being controlled and got my own apartment for the first time (in my late 30s). I was doing a lot better but I still wanted something more, I craved something better. I remember sitting at the bar with my friends and watching everyone partying and drinking and thinking is this all there is? Is this all I have to look forward to the rest of my life? This was my rock bottom moment. My aunt Charlotte had always invited me to church but I never went. I felt like I wasn’t good enough or worthy to even walk in the door much less try to live a Christian life. All I knew was that I wanted something better out of life so I went to church with my aunt on Easter Sunday, March 23, 2008. I was at the altar before the song service was over. I didn’t know what to expect, but I just asked God to take out what He didn’t want, and I then gave Him my life. If He could do anything with the mess I had become, I would do what He wanted me to do. Now I did not get up from the altar completely straight but over time with prayer and reading God’s word, He changed my heart and mind. I lived that lifestyle for 22 years and that was all that I knew but He showed me a new way to live and a new way to love. Now it has been 13 years since that day and I am more in love with Him than the day He saved me. All those years, I was trying to fill that God-sized hole in me with anything and everything else but Him. Now that God is in my life, it’s the greatest relationship of my life and the longest relationship I’ve ever known. He taught me that love doesn’t have to hurt. He’s given me a heart for the hurting as well. Not long after I was saved He called me into jail ministry. I use my testimony to help others who are on the same path that I was or just the wrong path through this ministry.
Maybe you weren’t sexually abused but something else….physically abused, mentally abused neglected, abandoned or just fill in the blank with whatever hurt you may have experienced. Just know that this is your past and it doesn’t have to control your present or your future. God thinks you are worthy enough to die for so you should believe that you are worthy too.
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