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I'd love to tell you that my life has been all butterflies and rainbows. I wish that I could say that I grew up in a perfect Christian home. If only I could look you in the eye and tell you that my mommy and daddy loved Jesus and took their sweet little girl to church on Sundays. But that couldn't be further from the truth. The truth is, my life has been rather rough -- I've been through a lot. You see, my life has not been all butterflies and rainbows. I did not have the pleasure of growing up in a Christian home. And unfortunately, my mommy and daddy didn't love Jesus. . In fact, my parents didn't know Jesus at all!
My parents never married. They met in college, and they did what young and lustful college kids do. And poof! I came along! My father was not a part of my life. I didn't even get to meet him until I was eight years old. And sadly, that didn't work out too well. (We'll talk more about that in futures posts.) My mother never did marry and she struggled to raise me on her own.
It must have been difficult for her to be a survivor of horrific abuse raising a little girl all by herself.
Looking back on my life, I realize that it is only by the grace of God that I have survived 38 years on this planet. All that I have suffered and endured -- (a lifetime of pain and abuse) --all that I have overcome -- (mental illness -- chronic illness -- adultery -- addiction -- suicide )-- it is all for the glory of God. I praise Him that I am still here today to share my story with you.
Now, even though my mother is not a follower of Jesus Christ, I am beyond grateful for the most precious gift she has given me. When I was five years old, my mother blessed me with the opportunity to go to church and Bible camp with a trusted friend and neighbor. It was there at Bible camp I learned that I had not suffered what I had already endured in vain; nor did I suffer it alone. My Jesus was there. And He suffered with me. It was there at Bible camp that a five-year-old little girl who had already endured horrific abuse learned to spell the word "Obedience", received her very first Bible -- and read through it all, and knelt down behind the chapel all by herself and received Jesus Christ as her Lord and personal Savior.
So my sweet sister, rather than to try to convince you that my life has been a picture-perfect fairytale, or lie to you and try to convince you that the Christian life is somehow equivalent to becoming magically immune to trials and tribulations, I'm going to be straight with you. I'm not going to lie or sugar-coat anything here. Instead, I'm going to be completely raw and open here with you my sweet sister. I'm going to tell you the story of my life. I'm going to tell you how our loving and merciful God never leaves our sides. I am going to tell you how our merciful heavenly Father is taking a broken little girl who had been used, abused and abandoned -- that very same little girl who then grew up to become a rebellious and brawling woman -- and is shaping her, molding her, and growing her into a woman of faith, dignity, and virtue. I am going to tell you how Father God takes the ashes of our broken lives and turns them into beauty. (Isaiah 61:3) Not only I am going to tell you how God is doing all of this for me, I am here to tell you, sweet sister, God will work miracles in your life too!