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Peace after the storm

I grew up in a very strict Christian home. We literally lived in church. We knew every book of the bible and every commandment. However, the devil will always try to attack. I struggled with anxiety and fear. I would have anxiety attacks over every little situation that would occur in my life. I remember waking up with nightmares and running to my mother to pray for me. My mother eventually got tired of me waking her up every other night with my dreams and anxiety attacks. She told me that I had to begin to speak over my anxiety and fear. She taught me how to pray for myself and to quote, 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”. I would always feel so much better after praying and quoting that scripture. I knew that once I called on Jesus, anxiety and fear had to leave.

After I graduated high school, I entered Norfolk State University in Virginia. College was a huge adjustment for me. Coming from a very strict and over-protective environment to complete freedom was life changing. I was so overwhelmed with my freedom and eventually strayed away from God and what I stood for. I was introduced to partying, drinking, smoking, and sex. I completely stopped praying and going to church. I didn’t want to feel guilty for my lifestyle.

After college, I was doing pretty well for myself. I had my own apartment, car, great job, and boyfriend-who I loved. During this period of my life I noticed a change in my little sister. She was excited to share with me what God was doing in her life and how she loved the new church she was attending, High Place Church in Merchantville, NJ. I could not help but to feel a little jealous of how she had completely changed her lifestyle around for Christ. My sister invited me a couple of times and while I attended those services, I felt God’s presence and He began to work in me.

When I went back home to Virginia, I was awakened out of my sleep with an urgency to pray. I began to ask God to bring me back to Him, even if I could not do it myself. I asked Him to put me in a situation where I would have to give myself completely to Him. I also asked Him to reveal to me if my boyfriend was the guy for me. A couple of weeks later, my sister invited me to her baptismal. During the end of the service, I went to the altar and rededicated my life back to God. There was a lady there who prayed over me and whispered to me, “God wants you to know that He heard your prayers and He is about to answer them.” I was blown away! Then, a couple of days later, I found out I was pregnant. I was completely surprised and frustrated with myself. I had just gotten into a graduate program to become a licensed professional counselor.

My boyfriend was excited and very supportive about the pregnancy. I became very sick during and was unable to keep anything down. With my hormones going crazy, I began to become very insecure with my relationship and question everything my boyfriend would do. I became a private investigator in my own relationship, checking his phone, messages, and Facebook. To my discovery, I found out he was cheating on me with his ex! I reached out to her and was devastated when she informed me that they had never broken up. Our relationship of one and a half years was all a facade. I was so confused. How could he juggle two relationships, when he practically lived with me?

Shortly after that news, I found out that it wasn’t only one baby that I was pregnant with, it was two! I remember falling to my knees and weeping. I began to pray and ask God to give me strength and to heal my heart. I felt so hurt and so betrayed that someone I loved so much could hurt me and shatter my world in seconds. As I was on my knees weeping, I felt God’s presence in my room. I felt God literally wrap His arms around me as He picked me up off the floor and whispered, “You will need me now more than ever before.” God is so good! I got off the floor and wiped my tears away. After that moment of peace, I reached out to my ex-boyfriend’s mother, asking if she could come pick up all of his things from my house. I no longer had any desire to see him.

Weeks went by and I became more and more sick. I was in and out of the hospital, and I even had to resign from my job that I loved. My mother begged me to move to New Jersey with her and my sister, so I packed up my apartment and moved. I was so sad to leave Virginia Beach and the life I created there. Once I moved to New Jersey, I started attending High Place Church. I was 3 months pregnant and completely broken. My pregnancy was such a hard journey, from the breakup to being sick day and night. I had to put my trust in Jesus. I prayed more than ever before. God began to heal my heart and mind. My ex-boyfriend never stopped pursuing me during my pregnancy. He called me all day long begging and pleading for his “family”. Being pregnant and emotional, I wanted my family as well. But, the closer I drew to God, the less I wanted my ex. God began to mend me back together. The devil was not happy with what God was doing in my life, so he started sending attacks my way.

When I was about 4 months pregnant, the doctors told me that my babies were not going to make it and that I should abort them. The test indicated that they would have all types of mental and physical issues like Spinal Bifida and Down Syndrome. I told the doctors that I did not care what the tests were saying and that I wanted my babies! I would love them no matter what. At 5 months, my babies stopped growing. The doctors wanted to deliver the babies early, but they had to be at least one pound. While my girl twin reached the desired weight, my baby boy never made it to one pound.

During my ultrasound, they informed me he did not have a heartbeat and he was no longer alive. I felt like my world was completely shattered, once again. My heart was so heavy and I instantly began to blame myself. The doctors gave us sympathy and encouraged me to stay strong for the other twin. She reminded me that she would feel every emotion I was feeling. I knew that I had to be strong. I stayed on my knees asking God for strength and comfort. God gave me so much peace during that storm. People were so surprised by the way I handled the loss of my baby boy, Cayden. My mother couldn’t believe the strong woman of God I had become. She joked and said “I can see the transformation that Christ has done in your life. If this would have happened before, you would be in a psych ward.” We laughed. I told her God had really sustained me by giving me peace like no other.

On June 10, 2017, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Ava Denise. She weighed 4 pounds, 11 ounces. I give God all the glory and honor. My baby girl was PERFECT! I want to encourage others to stand on God’s word. Once I completely gave my life back to the Lord, I witnessed the deliverance of anxiety, fear, heartbreak, smoking, drinking, and depression. I was broken and He mended me back together. Give Jesus all of you, and watch how He will transform your life.

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