I was born with a heart murmur; a really bad kind called pulmonary stenosis. It was so bad that the doctors wanted to do a heart operation, but my parents refused. The doctor told my parents that without this operation, there was no telling how long I would live. Still, my parents put their trust in God.
My father, in his early twenties, was going to school to become a catholic priest and there, he studied the bible and learned how to trust God.
We were living in Connecticut at the time, but moved to New Jersey to be closer to Deborah Heart & Lung Hospital for treatments. Then, from New Jersey, we end up moving to Pennsylvania when I was 4 years old to continue other treatments at St. Christopher Hospital for Children. At this point, I still hadn’t had any operation!
Eventually my parents began to struggle financially, emotionally, and spiritually. It took a toll on my mother so bad that she started drinking. She would leave my little sister and I with her friends while she went out to the corner bar to drink. My other brothers and sister where at the age that they were either taking care of themselves or hanging out with their friends, so we were always left behind.
My life changed forever when my parents let a so-called friend move into our house. I was 7 years old. I remember bits of pieces of my life. I was mature for my age-always with my little sister, protecting her and myself from everything. My mother started leaving us home alone with this man over and over again so she can go to the bar while my father was working. I remember it all started with touching games.
The day came when he sexually assaulted me. I remember crying and my little sister running out the room. Afterwards, my little sister and I hid in my brother’s room. We were so scared. My father came home from work early that day. It was like God sent him home to save us! I remember holding my father so tight and trying to explain to him what I could remember as I cried hysterically. I never seen my father’s face look so angry, and my mother was nowhere around.
Years pass and my parents were working things out with each other. My father met this man at his new job that invited my parents to his church and things changed; they officially accepted the Lord Jesus Christ into their lives. When we started going to church, I was very happy for my parents, especially my mother. I knew deep inside she felt bad for what had happened to me because she really changed her life. She never picked up another drink again.
I was just 12 years old when I felt the presence of the Lord in my heart. Meanwhile, as the years went by, I kept trying so hard to forget what happened to me. I started feeling hurt, confused, angry-you name it, that’s the way I felt. I kept asking God, “Why me?” I was 14 when I started smoking weed with my friends, feeling broken, while still going to church with my parents. The truth is, no one knew what I was going through. I always had a smile in my face and always tried to help everyone else expect myself. The reality was that deep inside I was a broken vessel. I couldn’t see anything. I kept asking God to let me see Him for who He is and give me peace, joy and forgiveness, but still nothing.
Fast forward to eighteen years old, I received bad news from my gynecologist: because of the assault, I wasn’t able to bear a child. I got so upset that suicidal thoughts began to cross my mind. I decided to get a second opinion. I remember sitting in the waiting room asking God to please help me. “Please, Lord, if you helped me with my heart condition, I know you can help me with this situation!” Little did I know, my doctor was a believer. I started crying and asking the doctor what could help me. At that very moment the doctor said, “I’m going to try one more thing, and if that doesn’t work, I am sorry, but nothing else will.” It really touched my heart when the doctor finally told me to pray, pray and pray.
Later, I went home crying with little to no faith and fear began to grow. I clearly remember my father encouraging me, “Cynthia, pray. God has the last say!” He continued, “Write down how many kids you want, put it in the bible and go and pray on it,” and I did exactly that.
My doctor ended up performing a salpingectomy on me, which took away one of my fallopian tubes, and within months I was carrying my first child! But, oh, believe me! The devil tried so hard for me to lose him. I had him premature at 32 weeks, 4 pounds 9 ounces by C-section. Then my 2nd child was premature also at 34 weeks, 4 pounds 12 ounces by another C-section. I was told I could only have 3 C-sections because anything more would be considered high risk. My 3rd child was full term, 8 pounds exactly. With my 4th pregnancy, I had a miscarriage at 12 weeks. But that didn’t stop me! I refuse to let the devil take from me what God has promised me. My 4th and 5th child were 8 pounds, all by C-section. Wow! God answered my prayer. I was so thankful, but deep inside I still carried that wound in my heart; my heart still heavy, bruised, hurt, confused, sad, filled with guilt and feeling ugly and rejected. I was going through a secret storm-a storm that no one knew except for my husband.
I was one of those Christians that for many years I was going to church, receiving the Word, yet praying and still feeling separated from God. I know as believers, we’ve all been there! We may earnestly seek God, but in return only sense His silence. This situation can be difficult, frustrating and even unbearable. The enemy worked overtime to stop me by surrounding me with fear all my life, reminding me of my past and making me question my faith over and over again-even the miracles God has done in my life.
My pastor at High Place Church, Pastor Edgar, declared that 2018 is the year of FREEDOM! I definitely received that prophetic word over my life. At the beginning of 2018, during a fast, I prayed and told God that I wanted to be FREE: free from this secret storm & pain in my heart. You can have a short prayer and, by faith, God will move! I remember going to the women’s gathering at church, “Make Me Over”, and that was confirmation for me. In the segment, “Beautifully Broken,” a woman broken into pieces tells her story. The pieces of her life are the art in the masters’ hand and she will come out as a wonderful masterpiece. After hearing other testimonies, God spoke to me that very night when I got home. I couldn’t sleep. I realized that every one of those Young Beautiful Women had a story to tell and each of them experienced a broken situation. Wow! My God! Before you hear other people’s testimony, you believe that you’re the only one going through it! I learned that even though everyone’s situation is different, we all experience brokenness. Keeping that storm a secret, especially from my kids, hurt me more, but today Love is spoken and I AM FREE!
“Beloved, I am with you. I will fulfill my Word concerning you as I promised. My promises are perfect and trustworthy and you have the power to overcome, to rise up in strength and prove My Word is true.” (Genesis 28:15, Psalm 18:30)
Understand that the storms of life prove the power of God within you. Amen!