I’m not good at this story writing but I have never really fully told my testimony and whether or not anyone read’s this, I do feel the Lord letting me re-live some memories for this purpose but for a brief introduction, hello, I’m Shirley Mann, a 19-year-old on-and-off student. I struggle to this day with suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks, and self-confidence issues, if I could at this moment without thinking of the Lord and my future husband, I would murder myself.
It’s funny to say that my life was never hard, I grew up as a “Daddy’s Girl” and basically got what I wanted, or that’s what I’m told. I can try to think back to my childhood days, and I get brief images of birthday parties, friendships then they are gone.
My real memories start when I was in fifth grade, ironically the day when my father passed away, I didn’t know God then just the visit to a Catholic church on Sunday’s which I knew I hated. Our family changed so much after his passing, there was really never love between any of us, there was fights, arguments and disconnections daily.
I would say that I lost my mom during my years of middle school, she wasn’t physically gone but more mentally, while she turned to drugs and an abusive boyfriend, I turned to wrong crowds, though I never used drugs, I let men use me. I let them touch where they wanted and kiss where they wanted. I never let them have sex with me, but the feeling is just the same.
I do know I wasn’t the only person struggling with things in my family, but that’s their story to tell. When it came to high school, our family moved and I took this chance to change the way men used me, I thought it would change if instead of being just a girl I would be the girlfriend, I dated quite a few people but then I thought I fell in love but trust me.
It wasn’t love.
I got myself into an abusive relationship, I tried to find a way out, I tried taking myself out of the world and that’s when I started self-harming, I don’t remember how but I knew God came into the picture, during one of those days I spoke to a teacher of everything I was feeling, how we treated each other and how I just wanted to die.
Of course, at that moment the teacher had to report this, and I was sent to therapy, and I don’t know how God told the man to influence my mom to take me to church, but he did. From there, God let his word flow and I knew I had to change.
I am not a saint, and I do wrong things every day but I try, I came to Lord on Easter 2011 and I still struggle with these thoughts daily, my family may not love me nor respect me but I do know 2 specific people that do, the Lord and who the Lord has blessed me with a man that is going to be my husband and that’s all I have to look forward to in my life but I have to remind myself daily that it will be o.k.
I talk about my walk with Christ with loads of people because I do want to show them that a unperfect person is able to be loved by him and my goals is to show girls that you do not have expose your body to get men to love you because a man will love you for who you are but anything before that, love that God has made you in his image and share your relationship with him.
Once you become a follower of Christ things do not get easier, things get much harder. But it’s a relationship worth holding on too. I do not know what the Lord has in store for me, but I know he has a battle for me to stay while the Devil is trying make me exit this world and he isn’t giving up.
I do not know why the Lord influenced me to type this but I do hope it’s for someone to read this and influence their life.
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.