I’m 37 years old and the mother to my 15 year old son. I was born and raised in Bronx, NY (home of the NY Yankees)! 🙂 My parents divorced when I was a baby so I didn’t have an active relationship with my dad when I was young. I was the product (like so many today) of a broken marriage. I was raised in church from the age of three, singing for the Lord and due to several unfortunate events in my family, I stopped attending church around the age of twelve. Though the seed (the Word of God) had been planted within me as a child, I pulled away and wanted nothing to do with church for a very long time. So, as a teenager, I went on to live life without Jesus. The only godly influence in my life was my maternal grandmother and boy oh boy, I did not want to hear anything she had to say concerning God. Let’s just say, life without God, is not life. It’s sad, it’s empty and it’s painful.
At the age of 21 I gave birth to my son. He wasn’t born into a loving relationship – in fact, there was no relationship. Only a broken past that couldn’t be mended. In the years that followed his birth, there were many, many painful events that took place in my life, many including my son’s other side of the family as well as many that didn’t and as the pain intensified and the wounds got deeper, I changed into someone I didn’t even recognize – it wasn’t for the better. Since my son’s birth, I tried on and off to seek God but I was always pulled away by anger, bitterness and often paralyzed by fear all around me. I had several failed relationships throughout the years. I always seemed to be “the one before the one.” So I began to settle for the position of being “second”. I believed I wasn’t worth more; that I wasn’t worth loving. The enemy had me exactly where he wanted me. Though I had my family who loved me and tried to encourage me, what many didn’t know was that I was struggling with strongholds in my life BUT the God who created me in HIS image, had a plan to restore everything the enemy took from me! I just couldn’t see it at the time but HE saw me.
I thank God every day that I was never a victim to drugs or alcohol, never got involved with a bad crowd, never abandoned my son or my responsibilities. Through it all, I was always with my son and family, especially my mom. Oh how I thank God for my mom! I worked full-time and went to school full-time and she helped me raise my son. My son was an amazing boy and is growing to be an amazing young man who has always managed to maintain high grades in school and boy is he intelligent! In fact, my “escape” for the pain, was college. I pursued and acquired two degrees in Criminal Justice. Go figure! Accomplished by someone who was called a “lowlife” but what Satan means for evil, God uses it for good! GLORY TO GOD!!!!!!!
In August 2011, I moved to Florida with my son and we were separated for a season of two years; during which he lived with his father allowine me an opportunity to get settled (or so I thought – God had another plan)! As Proverbs 16:9 says “A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” To say the least, those two years were the most challenging years of my life but also the most adventurous and most needed in order for the change within me to begin. God brought me from New York to Florida, separated me from my son and my immediate family for a season – all I knew and loved was nowhere nearby. He blessed me with a place to stay here in Florida with family and for that I am forever grateful because that is where God began to work within me – it was time for change. Now, it was HIM and I. God had me exactly where He needed me to be so that He can begin getting rid of the internal junk.
In February 2012, I re-dedicated my life to Jesus and the journey began. A journey of love laced with pain, falling, getting up again, laughing, crying, etc. I surrendered my life to the Lord and pretty much said ‘Do Your Will in my life’. But even as I said that, I still didn’t understand it. The Holy Spirit knew the changes He needed to make in me and He worked in me little by little as it was necessary for me to be freed from all of the past hurt, pain, resentment, anger, turmoil, etc. As the months progressed, the Holy Spirit continued to make me aware of things I was so used to doing in my life (before Him) that weren’t glorifying unto Him. I didn’t like the correction and didn’t see I was wrong but He was patient with me.
The closer I drew to the Lord, the more He revealed and the more I confessed, the more I was freed in different areas of my life. I used to be a very bitter and angry person because of the pain from my past and as a result, I hurt a lot of people along the way (which I am not proud of) – BUT BECAUSE I FORGAVE I can tell you today, God forgave me and has removed every stronghold, all oppression, all bitterness, pain, any and all hatred harbored in my heart toward ALL those who hurt me and He’s placed within me His love, His peace, His patience, His kindness, His goodness. He’s been gracious to me and His mercy is never-ending. GOD IS GOOD!!!!
It’s important to forgive in order to be forgiven. Matthew 6:14 says “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you”.
Every tear I’ve cried, every wound I endured, every painful memory, He has taken. He’s restored me and the relationships with my family members, He’s redeemed me, He’s made me a better woman, a better mother, a better daughter, a better sister, a better friend, a better Christian – a true woman of God after HIS OWN HEART. I now live totally and utterly in love with my Savior and it all began when I decided to let God CHANGE ME. It was a choice because He wouldn’t force me.
How did I get through it all? I had to die to my flesh and sinful ways (still do so daily) and I had to remove people from my life that were going to hinder my walk with the Lord. I also held on to the promise God gave me when I first moved to Florida – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. Jeremiah 29:11. His Word has not returned void! “God is not a man that He should lie; neither the son of man that He should repent: hath He said, and shall He not do it? or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?” Numbers 23:19
God is the God of second chances. He’s a forgiving and loving God and His Will is not for anyone to perish. 2 Peter 3:9 says “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance”.
I am not perfect; I certainly don’t claim to be and I don’t claim to be better than others. What I am saying is that I am being transformed by the Lord DAILY from glory to glory and it feels OH SO GOOD because I see the change in me but also in my son. I know who I am. My identity is in Christ. I know Who’s I am because He died for me and His Holy Spirit lives in me. I know where I am going, because He guides me and orders my steps. I’m not defined by my past, I am a daughter of the King of kings; a warrior for the Kingdom of God. Today I can BOLDY say this; for the rest of my days, as said in Joshua 24:15 – as for me and my house, we WILL serve the Lord!!
So if you’re reading this today and believe there is no hope, or think you’re the only one going through what you’re going through know this: you’re not and it’s no coincidence you’ve come across my page today. There is HOPE, there is LOVE, there is PEACE and His name is JESUS, the Son of the ONE TRUE LIVING GOD! The I AM, The ALPHA and The OMEGA, The FIRST and The LAST, The ONE WHO WAS, WHO IS and WHO IS TO COME!
Don’t give up, stay encouraged, and look for Jesus – He’s waiting for you to give Him your heart! 🙂
In Christ’s Love,