Wounded. Broken. Damaged. These three words summed up my life. These three words were the foundation I built my confidence, my future, and my current state. Growing up, these three words were all I knew. Who am I? I had no idea. Beautiful? Barely. Happy? No. Looking from the outside in, you would never be able to tell that I was wounded, broken, and damaged, but I learned how to hide it well. Masking became an art for me. Allow me to share with you my journey. My ups and downs, my doubts and fears, and the moment Jesus found me.
Losing my mother at 7 years old was hard for me. I grew up with three sisters and my father was a Pastor of a church in Queens, NY. I don’t think any of them knew how to cope with my mother’s passing, but they did the best they could with raising me. When I turned 10 years old, my father told me that I was to move to Delaware with my sisters. He said he wouldn’t be able to give me everything I needed with him working two jobs and Pastoring. I was devastated. I was a daddy’s girl and that was the last thing I needed to hear from my father. I felt rejected. I would always question myself, “Why didn’t he want me to stay with him?” Logically, I supposed it made sense, but to a hurting 10 year old who hasn’t coped with the loss of her mother, this felt like a huge loss also.
I moved to Delaware to be with my sister and her husband. Everything was good at first, until things took a turn for the worst. My sister’s husband was a drug addict and things were getting worse in the home. They were always fighting, glass breaking, screaming and cursing, holes in walls, hidden guns, cop visits and his famous disappearing acts that left my sister depressed. There I was, still hurting from the loss of my mother, the rejection from my father and now this. Often times I felt invisible. My sister had a lot on her plate so she wasn’t there for me the way I needed her to be, so what’s a girl to do who’s lacking attention? I began acting out in school and other areas in my life. I was cutting classes and tied to the wrong crowd so much that my family withdrew me and sent me to a home school.
I learned a lot in home school and I had a great relationship with my teacher and her family. They really showed me the love and affection I was lacking at home. I remember looking at them and saying to myself “This is what a real family looks like.” They adopted me as one of their own. Although I learned a lot of education, unfortunately I had to bear the weight of being molested by her boyfriend. I was 13 years old and it started with touching, then a couple years later it became more intense. I never told anyone, I just dealt with it because I thought that’s what you’re supposed to do. I always felt like no one would believe me and I would have to bear the title of being a liar. Since they were the only form of real family and I didn’t want to lose them, I stayed quiet. The molestation lasted 7 years.
As I grew older I never learned how to get healing from anything that was hurting me. I carried the weight. I wore the mask. I hid the hurt. On the outside I was smiling, but on the inside I was destroyed. By 16 years old I was dealing with deep depression that led to two suicide attempts. I was hurting and no one knew. I needed someone to see my hurt. I prayed that someone would look past the mask, but no one ever took the time. By the age of 20 years old, I was using my body to help heal the pain from lack of attention. I would get with guys who made me feel worse than I was already feeling in hopes that they will love me, but that never happened. When I would leave them I felt more hurt than before. This happened well into my late 20’s. I would party and drink myself sick to ease the pain. Yet, that wasn’t enough for me to change my ways. The awesome thing about God is, He will always get your attention by any means necessary. I hit rock bottom and I couldn’t take it anymore. I found myself crying and depressed all the time. I was tired of sleeping around with men who made it clear to me that I was worthless. I was tired of living the party life with friends who weren’t my friends. I knew I needed God. I grew up in church and aside from everything I went through I still went to church every Sunday because that’s what I knew. When I reached this point in my life, I was praying God would look past my faults and see my heart.
One night in my living room, I finally had enough. I fell to my knees and cried out to God. I laid in the middle of the floor balled up screaming for God to rescue me. I needed a fresh wind, revival, and new anointing. I knew God’s word about how He’s married to the backslider and He’ll never leave me or forsake me, I just needed help believing it. I needed God to know I was serious this time. I needed Him to understand how tired I was and I needed Him to wrap His arms around me. I was tired of loving the wrong people who didn’t love me back. I needed God.
After I let it out, I got up and sat at my table, still praying and feeling God’s presence heavily upon me. I quieted my spirit and sat in silence, at that moment I heard God’s voice clear as day say “Adjust Your Crown”. Immediately I said, “Huh? What do you mean Lord? Adjust my crown?” He said, “Adjust your crown”. Then He began to show me that this would eventually be my ministry and once I fully adjusted my crown, I would help other women adjust their crowns. He showed me what this ministry would do and how far it would go. I couldn’t do anything but praise God and cry. I was full of gratitude. I couldn’t believe that God would want to use someone like me to help others. I was a mess. I was broken. I was hopeless. I was rejected. I was used. I was talked about. I was lied on. I was forgotten. I had no worth or values. I didn’t know who I was. I was nobody. Then God came in and told me I was somebody. I was healed. I was delivered. I had hope and a future. I was accepted and validated by Him. I was always on His mind. The things that were used to destroy me, God used to shape me into who He needed me to be.
Purpose was birthed out of my pain and low place. February 2016 began the launch of my ministry Adjust Your Crown. I had an official launch in June 2016 and throughout the years I would host “A Heart to Heart” where ladies come together and we talk about our issues and how we can overcome them. Through social media and emails, my team and I send out encouraging words to uplift women. I am beyond excited that God took my brokenness and made me whole again. He used my mess for a message and I am now able to be His vessel.
Isaiah 41:10 "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Psalm 34:18 "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Romans 12:2 "Do not confirm to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is- His good, pleasing and perfect will."