The Lord instructed me to start this blog last year and I felt like it was time to share my personal story and how I came to know Christ.
So taking it back, I basically grew up in the church. My family church was the Price Memorial AME Zion Church in Concord, North Carolina. I remember ALWAYS attending Bible school and being in the Christmas programs. I was an EXTREMELY shy child and although I enjoyed the things we did at church, I didn’t like being on stage or in front of people. I couldn’t handle the attention and would freeze up most times.
When I was around 5 years old, two days before I was set to be in yet another Christmas Program, my father, my grandmother, and I were in a bad car accident. It was raining hard and my dad lost control of the car which then flipped over a couple of times. I remember being in and out of what seemed like a deep dream. I only remember the ambulance asking me what hurt and I could only say "my heart" before drifting back into a deep sleep. The only thing I remember next was being in the back of an ambulance and being surrounded by a bunch of people I felt like I knew. They were all just hovering over and looking at me. Me being the shy person I was, I was afraid to open my eyes to see who was there. I later learned there was no one inside the ambulance with me except maybe two paramedics. I strongly believe I was surrounded by angels who were watching over me through that. I also believe in God’s protection and healing power because I walked away from that accident with nothing but a scratch on my head. My grandmother only had a sprained neck and my father had a sore back. Either way, we came out of that alive which was a blessing because we shouldn’t have survived that car wreck. That car was completely destroyed.
Shortly after the accident, we started attending the University City Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. It was at that church where the Pastor would always talk about coming to the altar to get saved. By the time I was 7 years old, I started asking my mom about getting saved; but I was terrified of doing it in front of the church. By that time, I was well aware of who Jesus was and I would always say "I don’t want to go to hell, so I have to get saved". I wanted to do whatever it would take. Not long after, my mother and I spoke the prayer of salvation and joined the church. That’s when I truly believe the Lord placed His hands on me. Although the Lord was at work in my family’s life, so was the enemy.
So far, I haven’t talked about my father much because he wasn’t really around in my first few years. My parents were together, but I don’t remember him at many church functions or places me and my mother would be. I believe the enemy was at work early in my household and was using my father as a host. The enemy was using him to try to tear me down with verbal abuse. Throughout my childhood, I remember the rage my father would have towards the smallest things and I was honestly afraid of him. I felt like I was a target and I could never do anything right. He would just choose something to go off the deep end over and I would have to deal with the hurtful words. I remember how piercing his words were and the scars they would leave in my heart. My heart used to ache from the things he would say and how he would tear me down. It would be especially worst when he would drink. There were so many times where I had to hear the loud arguments from my parents. I didn’t understand why the rage was always directed towards me. I honestly didn’t feel loved by my father.
Once middle school came around, I started looking for the love I desired in guys from my school. I had the worst self-esteem. I would hop from guy to guy and whenever I would feel rejected or get my heart broken, I would be extremely hurt. I just wanted to feel love and validated because I didn’t truly feel it from my dad. This continued through high school and honestly, my high school years were the worst for me. Between my father’s rage, seeking boy’s validation, and my inconsistent friendships, I never felt secure in anything. I didn’t think I was worthy of anything. I used to cry myself to sleep almost every single night. I'm almost certain that I was depressed. Many nights I would think about ways to take my life because I didn’t think it was worth it. I just didn’t understand why I could never do anything right in my father’s eyes and I thought things would just be easier if I wasn’t there.
'The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. Praise be to the Lord , for he has heard my cry for mercy. ' Psalm 28:6-7 NIV
Towards the end of high school, I began to pray more. I began to seek God for healing and peace through the tough times. Things would begin to get worst but I knew I needed Him to come in and take over. I was depressed and needed Him to bring me joy again. He was building me up even when I felt broken. I was a lot stronger than I thought.
When it came to my father, I eventually learned to recognize when the enemy was in him and I would know how to handle him when he would attack. Sometimes, I would feel the presence of God with me through those attacks and He was speaking the opposite of the enemy’s words. I started to not care about what he would say to me and the words wouldn’t pierce as bad. Since being an adult and stronger in my walk with Christ, the enemy can’t bully that little girl I once was. He can no longer get to me.
Now, I don’t believe that my father was a horrible person. I love my father dearly. I recognize now that it was the enemy trying to break me down all those years. The enemy was ultimately trying to get me out of the way because he knew all the God has planned for my life and didn’t want me to make it to see it. My father taught me how to love the unlovable and truly forgive.
Looking back, I see how everything I have been through was so I could help others. In those rough moments of my life, I used to pray and ask God, “why me?” but it wasn’t just for me. God continues to pour in His love, strength, and wisdom; so I can pour out. I have never felt more content with the Lord like I do now. He has shown me that He will ALWAYS be with me and He is my loving father. I didn’t have to believe the lies the enemy tried to plant in my head all those years. More than anything, I have learned to fully receive that fatherly love I desire from the Lord. The Lord is my strength! He carried me all through all of that and continues to carry me! I owe Him my life!
If anyone has ever gone through something similar, please understand that God can love and fill those voids you have in your heart! He can be your loving father! He knows all that we need and wants to give it to us!
'My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. ' Psalm 73:26 NIV
'Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” ' Joshua 1:9 NIV