Updated: Nov 7, 2022
People say that, "hindsight is 20/20." Well, while looking back, I could see God’s hand over my life in so many unexpected ways. I grew up in an unconventional home. For most of my life, it was just my mother and I. My father was in the picture for the first few years of my life, but because of my father’s drug addictions, he wasn’t there for very long. My father’s drug addiction almost took my mother’s life. One night after they had separated, while being under the influence, my dad found my mother and I at a family member’s house. At the time I had no idea, I was playing with the other children, but my mother had gone outside to talk to him. He had other plans than just talking. He wanted my mother back and when she refused, he pulled out a knife and stabbed her multiple times all over her body. After that, he fled leaving her there to die. My family found her and brought her inside and I remember hearing the commotion and heading towards the room where my mom was. Someone who was there at the time had blocked me and took me to another room so I wouldn’t see anything. I’m grateful for that one moment and looking back I know God protected me from that traumatic experience.
After weeks of grueling surgery and time at the hospital, my mom survived that horrific ordeal. After she came out of the hospital, we found a new place to live and started moving forward to create our "new normal." That "new normal" was, my mom being a single mother who worked multiple jobs to make sure that we had everything we needed and wanted. As I write this I cry because I know how hard that time was for her and how hard she worked to take care of me. I know God protected her and I for a reason. I think about how my life could’ve turned out so differently as I could’ve ended up as an orphan or with a mom who could’ve given into her circumstances. She had a very hard life and grew up with drugs all around her and she never gave in. She did her very best but with her working all the time, I found myself alone a lot. I felt sad and lonely. I cried for my dad, the one I once knew but at the same time, I feared the monster I last remembered him to be. I thought he would eventually come back to harm my mother and I. It was hard living and always having to look over my shoulder for him. Considering after everything, I still never hated him. Years later in my teens, he was captured and put into prison. I saw him and he apologized and I was able to forgive him because at that point I had already received Christ’s forgiveness. But we’ll get to that.
As a kid and teenager, I would consider myself to have been a good child. I rarely got into trouble and was fairly quiet, but I made a few mistakes in my pursuit of being loved. Growing up without a father, I always felt an emptiness that I thought another man needed to fill. In a short span of time, I found myself dating multiple guys and sleeping around. I just wanted to feel loved and feel whole but no man nor sex could satisfy the longing that I had. Throughout this time, my mom decided we should start going to church and so we went. We found a home church and started going regularly. While in the beginning I thought it was boring and I really didn’t care to be there. The more I went, the more the messages began speaking to me. Then during one service, the pastor invited those in the congregation who were ready, to pray the prayer of salvation and I did. After that everything changed. I started to feel joy, peace, fulfillment which I had never experienced before. While my lifestyle outside of church hadn’t changed, I began to feel different. While continuing to live the same way, I started feeling a guilt and shame that I hadn’t felt before. I knew I was feeling that way because God was changing my heart.
Throughout this time, I met my husband who was my boyfriend at the time. We started dating and going to church together. While being with him, I found out I had HPV which is a sexually transmitted disease. For most, HPV goes away on its own, but for some it turns into cervical cancer and that’s what ended up happening to me. The same year that my boyfriend proposed to me, my doctor gave me a diagnosis of a year to live. What I thought would be my happiest time quickly turned into a nightmare. I had to have immediate surgery to remove the cancer cells and I was told after the surgery I might not be able to have children. I went home and I started praying and telling God, “You say in Your word that by your stripes I am healed (Isaiah 53:5). I shall not die but live (Psalms 118:17). I will have children as a reward (Psalms 127:3).” Every time
I had a doubt or fear crept in, I would repeat those words. I had never felt such peace than during that time of my life that was filled was such uncertainties. I went into surgery a few weeks after my diagnosis with my fiance by my side the entire time. By God’s grace and the help of amazing doctors, I was completely healed, I still am today and I have a beautiful daughter.
While I was saved and healed, God still had me face the consequences of my actions. When I was younger, I thought that sex was just about pleasure and having fun, but I had no idea what it would cost me. First, it almost cost me my life. Then, I had to deal with the physical pain that came after my surgery. I got married the same year I had my surgery and while I was technically cleared to finally be intimate with husband, I couldn’t be for a while because of the pain. After that, the psychological aspect of my past intimate experiences started interfering with my marriage. I type these words today because so many girls and women today don’t understand why God says to wait to have sex until marriage. It’s not because he wants to stop us from having fun, but it’s to protect our bodies, our hearts, our minds, and our spirits. Sex is more than just a physical act, it’s spiritual.
As I close, I want you to know a few things that God revealed to me. He loves you with an everlasting love in spite of your mistakes. Everything about you is precious to Him, including your body. Lastly, you’re not a mistake. You were created on purpose and for a purpose.