my testimony

My father abandoned my mother (my sister & I) when I was only four years old. According to my sister he was abusive to her & honestly it was the best thing that could have happened to us all. But I wonder how I would be different if I had had a father growing up. I’m 32 now and I have 5 of my own children (two live with their father) and an amazing husband who has taken care of my kids and the twins we now have together. I honestly can’t imagine doing this job on my own. But I must say it took a long time, a lot of suffering and refining before I got to where I am today.

I grew up without a father but had a verbally abusive stepfather. It would be hard to say what damages have been most caused by whom. To me a father would have provided a male to validate my being female. A man to say I love you, because you are you—a man to teach me how to respect myself as a woman. A father would have protected me from abuse.

By the age of 13 I had lost my virginity. I remember after my first time staying in the shower for over an hour asking myself, “What have I done?” But that didn’t stop me. I felt so lonely and any guy that gave me attention I slept with. I got pregnant for the first time when I was 16, but had a miscarriage when I was 7 weeks. Three months later I got pregnant again and had a beautiful daughter, who is now 15 years old. I didn’t stay with her father, because of his cheating and left to live with my mom.

At the age of 20 I had my second child and married his father. I thought I had met my prince charming. What I never expected was to spend the next 5 years being severely physically, mentally and emotionally abused. I was dragged down the street by my hair, forced to have sex after a drunken night, a gun to my head. . . It goes on. . . I remember watching “Enough” starring Jennifer Lopez and crying wishing I could be brave like her. I went as far as planning my get-away. The day I realized I had had enough and had to leave before he killed me was one night on our way to our place after drinking (he drank too much), out of the blue he punched me so hard in my face that my head broke the car window. I remember I couldn’t hear anything out of my left ear for at least 2 hours. By the time we got to the house my eye was swollen shut. I grabbed an ice pack and went to bed. Finally my get-away plan was going to be put to use.

One night while he slept I packed my clothes and my kid’s clothes and stared at the door with happiness inside knowing that I would finally be freed, yet feared the unknown. What was I going to do? How was I going to start over? Could I do it? I opened the door and escaped into the night. I went to my sister’s house—she was waiting for me already. The next morning was the first time in years I had felt so free and although scared, excited at beginning the next chapter of my life. I got a restraining order (after his attempt to kidnap me), and began the divorce process that same week! This was just another way God showed me He was there, but I still wouldn’t see it.

I did go on to marry again when I was pregnant with my third child. Just another court-house marriage; showing signs of doom from the beginning. But I was scared to be alone. That was a very short marriage after he left me and the kids for his co-worker. I was 26 with 3 kids and headed for destruction.

You can say that at this point I didn’t have a positive view of men, but that would have been an understatement.  I almost hated them. I was going to work then picking my children up from day care only to drop them back off at another sitters just so I could go the clubs, drink, smoke, have sex. I did everything I could to ensure I never had a quiet moment to think, to reflect, to hurt, to mourn. Every guy I was with I would have sex with and toss them off to the side. I felt good treating them how they had treated me for years. I never realized how much of a wall I had built and how bitter I had become.

When I met Jarrad, I didn’t have plans on dating him. I wasn’t looking for a boyfriend. I just wanted to have sex with him and get rid of him quick, before he got rid of me! For months we did sleep together, but he stayed around. He wanted to actually be together and that scared the hell out of me. After months of messing around we made it official as a couple. He broke down the walls slowly and I found myself happy again.

Now I was not saved, and he was not saved, but raised in a Christian home. We talked about God and attempted to start going to church together, but “something” always came up.

In 2009 we welcomed twins into the world. We had so many problems. When our twins were 10 months “we” decided it was time to leave Illinois. It was expensive, my fiancé (Jarrad) was in a gang and new it was time for a change.

Not until we got to North Carolina did I realize “we” didn’t decide the move. God did! It was all in his plan. We moved in with his family who were all Apostles. One week after moving to NC we were married and gave our lives to Christ… The journey begins…

We have gone through some things since our marriage in 2010. But I believe God put us together to get us where we needed to be together. We had children together, and found Christ together! For me that meant so much, because we knew He was the center of it all. I thank God for my amazing husband.

I feel insecure with my husband at times. I fear that i am not enough…not good enough, not fun enough, not worth enough, not attractive enough. Logically, and spiritually I know this is not true but it can be tough to get down to the core feelings of abandonment.
I am 32 and this is my third marriage. I can sit here now and try to give a good justifiable explanation as to what caused my divorces, but even before the physical abuse (1st marriage) and the infidelity (2nd marriage) I have to admit I had always been insecure when it came to men. I also wonder how I would be different if I had had a “good” father.  I searched for security for so many years only to find out I would NEVER find in a mere man. Only Christ could fill that void in my heart, in my life.

A father was what I had longed for as a young woman. Instead I found attention, love, and an escape from my broken home in other guys. And even later in the years while still having children I still found myself searching for that father figure.

My father has passed away now, but the last time I seen or talked to my father was 8 years ago and I finally told him everything I had felt inside and how his absence had affected my life. Unfortunately, the conversation didn’t go well and it ended with him telling me that my sisters and I were the worse things that had happened to him. I carried that with me until last year when he died. I mourned for my father and prayed that he made peace with God so that one day him and I could be together in a better place and better time.

Now what I never knew was that I had a Father all along. My Heavenly Father…I wouldn’t find this out until 16 years later that He had been there all along holding my hand. His amazing grace, mercy and unfailing love stayed with me always. God is amazing and beautiful and I will spend the rest of my life telling the world about my Abba! The greatest thing about my husband and I, is that we got saved together and asked him to come into our lives and marriage together! That is the reason I know now that God blessed me when I found my husband. I am so excited to see what God has planned for us next. Praise God!! Glory be to God!!! I HAVE BEEN REDEEMED!!!


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