~They overcome by the Word of their testimony and by the blood of the Lamb.~
We have a family joke. My love of food must stem from the story that my mom waited until after thanksgiving dinner to have me. A chef I was destined to be. My mother was a single mother of two who lived with her mother, my grandmother, a widow, who we lovingly called PeeWee. My mother’s story would take a turn only a year or two after I was born. She was diagnosed with primary pulmonary hypertension. This is a condition that caused her heart and both lungs to fail. My mother’s life was on a time clock and around the time I was three years old she was told she had six months to live. My mother proceeded to pour as much love on my brother and I as she could. She was stern in her discipline but generous in her love and affection. Six years later my moved succumbed to her illness. I take pleasure in knowing that I was nine when she passed and I remember her. She wasn’t taken so early that I have no memories and I praise God for that! After my mother’s passing my older brother and I continued to live with my grandmother. Yes, I also had an absentee father. I was a statistic. A young fatherless black girl.
After that, as you could understand, life was tough. As a young girl I delved into a world of books to get away from my life without my mother. Finding solace in the fantasy world of whatever book I could lay my hands on. In those books there was always a happy ending, an ending different than my current world. My grandmother was an amazing loving woman but my pain was too deep even for her to touch. There was a secret. The hardest part of life didn’t come from my mothers death, it came from the fact that I was being molested by my older brother. I can’t remember the time it started or ended but I remember him telling me that if I told my mother would get mad and it would make her sicker. It continued for years until one day I realized that was a lie and telling him to stop. He did. But God.
Eventually I grew up. My brother, who was not only sexually abusive but physically abusive to me, eventually went to jail for beating up a girlfriend. Sadly I must admit, it was a happy day for me. I was free from him. Even though he was gone I never told anyone about the abuse. I allowed it to sit in me and I held it in. Never really getting any help. I turned to alcohol and attention from men. The alcohol numbed the pain and the attention from men made me feel what I thought was the “love” I never received from my father or brother.
At the age of 17 I found out I was pregnant. The first response from most people was, when’s the abortion? You can’t keep this baby. What kind of mother will you be? For the first time since I was a little girl, I prayed. I prayed a lot when I was younger because I was raised in church. We stopped going when my grandmother started getting sick and could no longer make it. Back to the praying. My prayer, as silly as it may seem, was directed to my mother, who I just KNEW was in heaven. She had to be! I still believe that to this day because my mom loved Jesus. Even in my naitivity the Lord heard my prayer and impressed on my heart to keep the baby. I told his father, who proceeded to head off to college and stop taking my calls. I was a statistic again! My grandmother, that wonderful woman, was the only one who looked at me and said – we can do this. We will take care of this baby. I cry, even now, thinking of the grace she gave me.
A month shy of 18, I gave birth to the most beautiful 9 lb 5 ounce baby boy you’ve ever seen. Yes, he was that big and I’m a beast for giving birth to him. His head was as big then as it is now but this baby saved my life. I was going to be the best mom ever! I was going to prove everyone wrong! I was NOT going to be a statistic. What I didn’t know was that this baby would be the catalyst for the work the Lord would do in my life. Before my walk with the Lord, however, I still had a time of it. I was a single mom and six months after my son was born my grandmother died. I went to live with a family friend and found solace back in the arms of my son’s father. A few months later, yup, I was pregnant again. Statistic! This time would be different though. I took a different path as I didn’t see another option at the time. I had an abortion. The shame was horrible. I didn’t want to do it and even requested to be put to sleep through the whole thing. I didn’t want to be there. I just didn’t know what to do and everyone said it was for the best. My little angel is now in heaven.
A while after that I began to go back to church. Honestly, it wasn’t for me though. It was for my son, because that’s what good parents do right? They take their kids to church. I had NO idea that the Lord had other plans for me. I was tired. I had a 3 year old and I was tired of fighting all by myself. I was tired of trying so hard to be right and not be a statistic. I was tired of proving and in the same breath I was tired of hiding. I was tired of the shame of being molested and my father not wanting me. I was tired of the shame of the abortion and being pregnant twice as a teenager. I was tired!! Then, I had an encounter with God. God took me to a place where it was just me and Him, and as a single mom I realized that I couldn’t do it on my own. I remember one day falling to the floor and giving up. My day of salvation wasn’t at a pretty altar with a bunch of people. It was on the living room floor of my one bedroom apartment that I shared with my son. These words came to me “ “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. I gave Him my life. I was against the wall and I knew I had no other choice but to take His hand. He didn’t condemn me. He loved me. God didn’t care who I had been or what I had done. I didn’t have to hide anymore. He loved me and most of all He wanted me! In all that I am and all that I am not, God still loves me.
I am now a happily married personal chef and my son is 19 and excelling in college. I have been blessed with three “bonus” children and three “bonus” grandchildren from my husband. Can I say that at the point of salvation life became perfect? Can I say I never sinned again or never had to fall to my knees in repentance again? Of course not. That’s not what salvation is about. I’ve made more mistakes after I’ve been saved. I’ve also made great leaps and bounds! I am who I am because of Him. I am proud to say salvation is not about my works. Salvation is simply about a God who loved His children so much, inspite of their actions, that He would send His Son to be the payment for their sins. It’s about a love that reaches beyond abortions, alcohol, drugs, unplanned pregnancy and any other sins you can think of. Its about a love that reached beyond the grave just for you and me.
God bless you my friend!
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