Hey Ya’ll, welcome to my first blog post! I am starting this in hopes that I will be able to help other young women, moms, and wives feel like it is OKAY to have the occasional messy laundry room! Really – I want to share REAL life content, my views and opinions, and my love for Jesus to the world. I have been contemplating whether or not to do this and how to even get started for quite some time now, and about a week ago God gave me the nudge I needed to JUMP! So to get started I thought I would share my testimony with you, now… where do I begin? The beginning I guess. This post will probably be longer than my future posts, so get comfortable because i have a lot to tell.
Well my beautiful mom got pregnant with me in the early 90’s by her high school sweetheart (swoon). Only, it was the opposite of a fairytale classic. She ended up marrying my biological dad because she was pregnant. Fast forward to January 8, 1993 and I had arrived! From the moment I was born I had the words “I didn’t want you” spoken over me. You see, because I was not a boy I was not a good first born. At least not in my “dad’s” eyes. A couple years later my brother was born and it was like the world had stopped for a moment. His son was finally here! Only, his umbilical chord was wrapped around his neck so his face was all sorts of blue, swollen and bruised. So my dad got his son – but he didn’t let anyone take pictures of him until he looked “decent”. I think by now you have a good idea of the man we lived with for a while… but I promise you: it gets better. My mom found out she was pregnant again and this time my dad’s reaction really won the grand prize – get an abortion! That’s right, he went there. Obviously my mom did not cater to his demands because I have had an amazing sister for nearly all of my life. So for ten years we lived in this environment. I grew up hearing him yell as if he was still on active duty, OOHRAH!? I grew up hearing my mom get ripped apart by his words on a daily basis, I grew up watching him manipulate her. I grew up watching him brainwash her. “You could never take care of them on your own. You need me.” She believed him. She was a beauty school dropout (thanks to me) and at this point in her life the only thing she had going for her was her love of Jesus and us kids. Needless to say, we spent A LOT of time with my Nana and Papa.
My mom landed a job working at a bank and began saving so she could leave my dad. While she was working, a family member whom she trusted to care for us, showed me a new form of abuse. I was sexually abused every day after school by her teenage daughter and her friends. I remember being woken up from my naps and pulled into the bathroom with her. I remember her pulling down her navy blue underwear and telling me what to do. My aunt saw me playing with my Barbie’s in an inappropriate way and was quick to take action. I will forever be thankful that she rescued me. I remember sitting with my sister in the bath tub showing my mom things that I had to do, things that I learned. I remember crying, and feeling embarrassed that this happened to me (I will post how I dealt with that later).
Years later my mom was ready to leave my dad, and she raised us three without any child support, making too much for state help but not enough to keep up on the bills, sports fees, and groceries. Our go-to meal was mashed potatoes and fried eggs mixed together, because sometimes the only thing we could afford was milk, bread, and eggs. We were getting by. She worked her way up at the bank and took on real estate to make ends meet. I don’t think anyone will ever know how hard she worked for all those years. I learned not to ask my dad for help, it resulted in him telling me I was ignorant and undeserving. He moved out of state and to be honest we liked it that way. At least, me and my sister did. My brother had a harder time, because our dad asked for custody of ONLY him and my mom said NO. After the sixth grade there always seemed to be some tension in our home. While I chose not to put any effort into a relationship with my dad after this, I still had a lot of unhealed hurt. My heart would ache every Father’s day. I remember hiding in the bathroom stall at church one year, crying during the entire Father’s day service. I wanted to be that girl who got to parade around before a daddy- daughter dance. I wanted to have someone tell me I was beautiful. I wanted to have someone tell me they would protect me. I wanted to have someone treat my mom like a queen.
When I was 14 I started to get these things. It took me a few years to see it, but the man that stepped in and saved us quickly covered a lot of our needed bases. I still felt like something was missing. My sophomore year I met a boy who invited me to church, and that is when my life really started to change. I learned in a new way who Jesus was. The youth pastors wife took me under her wing and she became more than just a pastors wife to me, she became my best friend. I told her everything, I asked for her advice on everything. I remember wanting to be just like her, so full of Jesus that all my past hurt faded away. I changed the way I talked, the way I dressed, the people I hung out with, and most importantly I changed the way I viewed myself. I wasn’t just a high school cheerleader putting on a front anymore, I was a teenage girl feeling complete for the first time.
Fast forward to 2012 and I was getting married to my high school sweetheart (now you can swoon for real) who was interning to be a youth pastor. Well let me just tell you that the first four years of our marriage were more downs than ups. I was 19 and feeling like couldn’t do this “wife thing” and I was also being told that I was failing. Those few short years of building up my confidence had started to be buried by what seemed like a repetition of my moms marriage. Was I doomed to live the same life she (my mom) did? Did I really deserve nothing more than negativity, being controlled, being verbally abused and one day being physically abused? Would I for the rest of my life wonder if I was satisfying him, or if he wanted more than I could offer? Throughout all of this I did not lose hope that MY GOD had destined me for so much more than what my present situation was. I was standing in my kitchen, with a toddler running around and nursing my new baby when I decided that I would not live the same life my mother had lived. I decided to stop protecting my husband from what the world would think of him, and I started protecting myself and my children. I gave my husband an ultimatum- “you can stay here and have your church, or you can come with me, get help, and have a family”. Reluctantly he came with me. I can safely say that was the best decision we have ever made. He got counseling and within a year became a transformed man. He was no longer putting CHURCH first, but he was putting GOD first. He became the prince charming I had longed for. It was hard, it is still hard, but we are now in a healthy place with God as the center of our family. We renewed our vows in August of 2016 and made new commitments to each other.
Now I am a hard workin’ momma raising two beautiful children, with a husband who I love like crazy. We’re succeeding in ministry together, helping teenagers find themselves in Jesus. I hope that this helps you realize that even though someone looks put together, they may have walked through some battlefields to get there. If you would like prayer for any similar (or not) circumstances please comment or contact me!