I will start from the beginning when the Lord gave me life in my mother’s womb, my mother told me that my biological father had non consensual sex with her and that was how I was made. My mother and Steve (earthly father) were married but Steve was an alcoholic and a drug abuser, my mother also abused drugs. She always told us she never wanted to have children. When I was four my mother and Steve decided to divorce, they always fought and Steve was never home, my mother said he was always at the gentlemen’s club.
After the divorce we moved into an apartment in Taylor, Mi (mom, sister and I). We didn’t see Steve to much and when we did he was always drinking, I don’t remember much of my childhood, I have (or the Lord has) blocked it out. Last I remember is moving from the apartment in Taylor to my moms boyfriends in Dearborn. I remember going to see Steve while he lived in Monroe with his friend named Roger. He was drinking again; I can still smell the beer on his breath from his mouth and the smoke in the air from Roger’s pipe. I remember picking up this really small bible and reading some of it. I was wearing this long T-shirt with a dog on the front.
Well, it was time for bed, my sister fell asleep fast that night, Steve was lying in between us, we were on a mattress that was on the floor. Steve took my innocence that night, at only seven years old. But I always tried to forgive him, somehow knowing it wasn’t his fault.
My mom and her boyfriend broke up so my mother found us a new home in Canton MI, it was a trailer park. I was nine when we moved in there. It was a very fast paced environment. I started hanging out with this older family, they were all drug users. I remember the one had a daughter about three or four then. I would always babysit her, she would call me mom. They taught me a lot on what not to do, I loved them dearly, they were good people they were just trapped in these chains that they just couldn’t seem to escape. I was ten when I started going over there, I would drink alcohol and smoke weed but wouldn’t do the other stuff they were doing, they tried their hardest to hide it from me. Once they started acting different, I just knew. It was sad watching their lives get taken from them.
Steve came to pick us up (age 11) and took us up north to his house with his girlfriend. I finally came out and told someone what he had done, which was his girlfriend, Tammy. She didn’t believe me, she told me to confront him about it or she was taking me home. Well they took me home that night and that was the last time I seen Steve.
After that I started drinking more and skipping school a lot. I went to jail for my first time (age 12)for retail fraud, I was so angry, I also almost got an assault and battery charge for beating this poor helpless girl up.
My friend and her sister had come to my house, and we wanted to smoke so her sister invited these four guys to come over to smoke with us. Her sister left and we were left at my house with the four grown men we had never even met before. They took my friend into my mother’s room, and all raped her, I have absolutely no idea what stopped them from messing with me or taking it as far as they did with my friend but all I can say is thank you Jesus. He really protected me that day.
Then my mother’s father passed away, he was from North Carolina, so we left to go there for the funeral. My second Cousin Jackie and her husband David offered for us to stay at their farm because they heard we liked horses. We grew a great relationship, and they wanted me to move down there, my mother was planning on moving down there to get away from the fast past city life.
So, my mother agreed to allow me to move down there until she got her stuff together for her and my sister to move down. Before I moved down there, I had already started being sexually active (age 13). I moved down there August of 2004. Jackie unfortunately wasn’t able to have children, so she really enjoyed having me she taught me how a mother was supposed to love her child. David taught me how to rope cows and work with horses. He also taught me what hard work was and how to respect adults. He used to always tell me to slow down that I talked too fast. Jackie made sure we went to church every Sunday. They taught me a whole new outlook on life.
My mother decided she wasn’t going to move down there and so she wanted me to move back to Michigan, but I didn’t want to go. Jackie, David, and my mom were going back and forth with court. One day she came to my school to try to take me back but david blocked her in with his truck and trailer. I prayed so hard, they said if the judge didn’t call back the I would have to go with her. I prayed and prayed and as they were walking me out to go with my mom the judge called, so I got to stay a little while longer.
Unfortunately, I was still the same kid, I started hanging out with the misunderstood kids (troublemakers). I started smoking weed and cigarettes again and hiding it from them. I even chewed tobacco YUCK!! well one day I was shaving my horse and left the clippers out and went to my friends, but we weren’t where we said we were going to be and david came looking for me to put away the clippers and he found me hanging with a bunch of older boys. Needless to say, I was on a plane back to Michigan within the next couple of days. That was may or June of 2005.
After coming back to Michigan, I went straight rebellious, blaming God, blaming my mom, I was just mad at everyone and everything. I was drinking every day, breaking into cars and houses, not listening to my mom or the courts not going to school. I was in jail every other weekend was fighting a lot and selling drugs, having sex. I did what I wanted when I wanted, and nobody could tell me a thing.
Steve passed away November third, 2005, the last time I seen him was when I was eleven. I was so upset because I felt like I never made peace with the situation. I just wanted to ask him why. I realized dwelling on it would do nothing but hurt me, so I finally let it go and forgave him. When he died 85% of his body was burnt, there was an explosion, and he was caught in it. I guess before that happened, he told his girlfriend the truth on what happened, she later apologized for not believing me.
I remember coming home and my mother telling me that the heat was turned off, it was below zero outside. She had one space heater and had to work in the morning. I always slept in the living room on our leather couch. I remember lying there shivering asking God to keep me warm. He comforted me and helped me fall asleep.
I remember standing in the shower one night and asked God for bigger boobs, well I got what I wanted, a few weeks later I found out I was pregnant I was only fifteen years old. My mom kept pressing me about an abortion, but all I could think about was Jackie and how she was unable to have children and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.
Well all the wrong I had been doing finally caught up to me and I went to court, I was a mess and pregnant. My judge looked at me and said she seen potential. I was thinking like what is wrong with this lady I am a mess and it would be a miracle if I was still alive in five years or not in prison. I was put into the juvenile system until my mother moved out of Wayne county. Praise God for that judge, at first I was depressed about it but when I was sent to Vista Maria we had church services and I started really getting into praying and what thinking about what type of person I wanted to be. I started feeling really bad about all of the bad things I had done and how I was so mean to people and to my mom. I knew there was more to life then all of the negative I had around me.
I ended up on getting placed in Adrian Training School. That’s how my mom found her house in Brooklyn. The people there really changed me and made me feel fortunate on what I did have. I thought I had been through a lot but the Lord blessed me more then I knew. Some people get stuck in their ways and don’t grow, it’s sad.
Well, I left ATS august 4th 2006. Hanna was born October 27th 2006, I later messaged the people I was mean to and apologized and asked for them to forgive me. I had never seen God the way I did the day my daughter was born it was such a beautiful moment. When Hanna was eight months old, she started going to my aunts every other weekend so I could be a teenager. Which meant I was partying every chance I got, she did that until she was two and only took her every now and again. So, I was already in the habit and kept that habit going, after she would fall asleep, I would go out.
When I turned nineteen, I became an “exotic dancer.” This is where the war really began. The first six months when I was learning how to dance and how it all worked it seemed easy. But then the guilt started setting in, so I started drinking and doing a lot of drugs to try and block away the guilt I felt. Then I finally realized that wasn’t working so I would quit every couple months to give myself a break.
While working there I asked a few married guys to leave and go home to their wives, a lot of people felt the need to talk to me about the troubles in their lives, I enjoyed that more than anything. There was this guy that would come in, he told me he was a preacher’s son and also had battles between good and evil inside of him. He told me I wasn’t like the other girls and I needed to stop working there. I always got mad at him because I knew deep down he was right but always told him to leave me alone, in a joking manner.
So, then I got pregnant with my son Levi, his father was abusive and just didn’t understand right from wrong. I had always wanted a son and when I first found out I somehow knew it was a boy. The Lord came to me in a dream and told me to name him Levi. after he was born, I went back dancing a few times but was pretty much over it. I started reading my Bible in June of 2014 but was still confused about Christ.
I finally came to Christ in May/June 2015 and got baptized in Jesus’ name, still didn’t understand it completely until coming to Solid Rock Church and having an at home Bible Study with two of my favorite people Ron and Fay Mangrum. Since coming to Christ, I was really convicted of two things, forgiving/asking forgiveness, of my mother and to end my addiction to cigarettes. I was contemplating forgiving my mother for six months or so before doing it. The day I received God’s Holy Spirit was the day God gave me the strength to finally do it. I felt like a heavy burden was lifted off of me that day. Since then, my mother and my relationship has gotten a lot better. Praise God!! She has even come to church a few times!!!
Cigarettes, they were really hard for me and still are, it’s a battle I face daily especially with most everyone around me smokes. I was eleven when I started smoking, only quitting during my pregnancies. I liked smoking, I smoked when I would have a conversation with someone, or just being upset. Cigarettes for me was always there when I felt no one else was, it was always my go to, happy, mad, sad, it has been really hard for me. Even the day I received God’s Spirit I was so happy but yet I had to share that happiness with cigarette.
Every Time I did something right or something wrong, I turned to cigarettes. That is why it was so important for me to quit. It controlled me and my life. It not only took time away from my kids and family but also took time away from God. and hurt my health. It controlled me I never knew how much until it was time to say goodbye. I even got weak one day and asked my friend to pick me up a pack but thankfully the Lord knew my flesh is weak and she just so happened to leave her purse at home. Thank you Jesus!! The Lord has been my strength through quitting this horrible addiction and I couldn’t do it without him!
Before Brandon and I started talking I wasn’t a part of a church, I attended West Winds once in a while, but I mostly was working on reading my Bible. I thought I didn’t need to attend a church. He was the opposite he loved church and went every Wednesday and Sunday. We started talking because I always seen him posting about jesus and I remember telling him how awesome it was for him to love Jesus with being so young. That was in a Facebook message.
So, after that we started doing over the phone bile studies which led to me going to his place after my kids went to bed to do bible study with him. This went on innocently for two months. We were both growing and starting to like one another. He asked me to try his church out and I did but I knew it wasn’t the church for my kids and myself, so I didn’t go that often. It was the first relationship I had been in that started with God as our center.
On February 28th, 2015, we went on our first date, we went to play laser tag and grabbed some beers after because our flesh was weak. So, we found out three to four weeks later we were expecting a baby. Things went really fast from there. We moved in together and slowly started getting away from God and caught up in life. We were due December 6th, Brandon kept saying we needed to find a church to go to and he said something about a church in Clinton.
So, we decided to try it out one Sunday in November. Pastor was talking about people having their own concept of God and not truly knowing him. Well that hit the home plate for the both of us. We were so happy to finally find somewhere that spoke the truth. We had our baby November 24th 2015, Brandon named her Serenity. We got married December 26th 2015. We were struggling for the first few months on getting along but our church is not just somewhere we go every Sunday. They turned into our family they helped us through our struggle and taught us to rely on God’s strength. God knew I needed my husband before I knew.
So through abandonment, hurt, sadness, loneliness, drugs, prostitution, stealing, lying, guilt, and much more, it was finally shown to me that that isn’t who I was or am, that was not who God destined me to be. Now I know I have a lot of work to do but the Lord has brought me through so much even when I didn’t know it, he was there, loving and comforting me, like the night I didn’t think I was going to make it through because I thought I was going to freeze to death.
Without God I would not be who I am today. I would be nothing. I am finally not ashamed of who I was or what I have gone through. They happened so I would know who He is. I may not have had the best earthly parents, but I have one amazing Heavenly Father to guide me and to love me even when I don’t know how to love myself. I am so thankful for his grace and mercy over my life. All the Glory to You my Everlasting Father.