**Also posted on Rapture Ready.**
I come from a broken home. I have one sibling, and my father was not allowed in the picture. I was sexually molested as a little girl, and grew up with an abusive, alcoholic mother. By the time I was the age of 13, I had already tasted alcohol, and had already smoked my first cigarette. No, that's not shocking because before my time, it was normal for anyone to smoke, of any age. But, in my lifetime, it is completely unacceptable for someone under the age of 18 to be given a cigarette. I was on a journey to nowhere, and it took only one thing to turn it around - Salvation.
I was 5 when I started becoming molested. My innocence was being robbed by my, then, 16 year old girl cousin. I didn't know any better. I didn't know why we would play doctor, and why she was always touching me like she was. I did, however, know that it wasn't right. I didn't like the way it made me feel, and what it did to my thinking. I fantasized about older women, and craved their attention. I was confused.
In my Kindergarten year, I became the most liked girl in the class by all of the boys. For some reason, I was always put in the group with the boys. They soon began to explore my girl parts by feeling me up. They didn't know any better, either, but what drew them to me? I didn't understand. I tried to report it to my teacher, but to her I was just a stupid, lying, little Kindergartener who was just trying to make trouble. I wasn't. I didn't like how the boys would touch me, and I wanted it to stop. I told my mother, but she didn't listen, either. Why? Why wouldn't they listen to me? It continued for the remainder of that year. Luckily, it stopped there, and didn't follow me to the First Grade.
I never had that many friends growing up, and I was always picked on. People would pick fights with me, and make fun of the way I look. I always came home from school crying because some kid at school was making fun of me again. In reality, I was one of those kids destined to become a high school shooter. Praise God, it never came to that, as the teasing finally ceased during my 6th grade year.
I had no sense of direction, whatsoever. All I knew was hatred, and anger because of my upbringing and how I was treated. No one was there to hold my hand and guide me the rest of the way . I was lost, with no hope of any love in my future. I was even at the brink of suicide. Yes, at that age, I had already made up my mind that I didn't want to pursue life for what it could be, but for what it already was - meaningless. I was destined to become an alcoholic, just like my mother.
So, to shine some light on the events that took place prior to my salvation experience, I will tell you my story beginning at the age of 13:
It was New Years night, 1999 and I just watched the last of the fire rockets light the sky. I looked at the moon in all its shining glory, and said to myself, "This night next year, I am going to kill myself." I remember thinking these thoughts over and over, and even contemplated committing the act right there in front of all my friends and family. But, since I vowed to do so the following year, I held off.
So, I began my journey towards nothing, and continued my life as if it was going to be my last. I got my first nose piercing, and got into my first fight in the beginning of that year. I was a tough girl, and I wasn't afraid of anyone. My nickname soon became "Charles Manson" and China because all I sought out to do was fight. I fought with my sister, and her friends, both verbally and physically. I didn't care. I used to want to fit in, but that didn't matter to me anymore. I just wanted to be known as a someone you didn't want to mess with. I eventually acquired that title...in my home.
One night, my cousin and his girlfriend were over, as usual for a little party. My cousin said something that really sent me off the deep end. The deep end it was. I grabbed a screw driver from a storage cabinet. At this moment, I had already blacked out. I stood a couple of feet in front of my sister's dark bedroom where my cousin and his girlfriend was. Without hesitation, I threw the screwdriver head first into the pitch black room. The next thing I heard was a shriek of terror, soon followed by hysteric crying.
My cousin came out of the room, and I had already jolted out the front door. I panted as I ran down the street, thinking to myself, "What have I done?" Did I kill her? What happened? Are they going to come and take me away? I found an abandoned yard and hid there for hours until I thought things would blow over.
Later, I discovered that my cousin's girlfriend had to go to the ER. I had come close to hitting her throat, but luckily, I hit her chin instead. She had to have numerous stitches, as it had cut deep to her bone. I was very fortunate that they didn't report me, but my guilty conscience did the punishing for them, and so did my mother. I don't exactly remember my punishment, as I probably blocked it out along with the other abusive moments that I had in my life.
That was just one of the many times that I attempted to brutally hurt someone. There is only one thing, though, I almost always blacked out anytime I was executing this anger on my victims. As a little girl, at the age of 11, I had a tall wooden hammer with a big head (my uncle made it for me because I was fascinated with hammers) that I was ready to take to my mother while she was asleep. Simply because she refused to let me see my daddy when he came in and visited from out of town.
You know the really amazing part of all of this, I believed in God. I just didn't know who He was, and what He could do in my life. All of my life, I was always told that the only way you can get saved is through a Preacher, and baptism. I wanted to do right, I just didn't know how. It had become a part of me that became lost, and even when I wanted to be good, I couldn't. My anger always got the best of me. To most, I would have been considered a crazy little girl, and that I was. I was crazy, lost, and searching. I wanted to be a Christian. I wanted to be saved, but how? The answer was soon to come, and God was the only one who knew what I was looking for.
It was a Saturday in April of 1999, and my sister had some of her friends over. With them, they brought their friends, and so would be begin a party. Our mother would buy us alcohol, wine coolers and cigarettes. I can still remember my first drunken experience:
I crawled to the bathroom hoping to make it to the toilet where I could then get rid of the bubbling that was over taking my stomach. I stood up and looked at myself in the mirror. The reflection staring back at me is one that I will never forget. I couldn't believe what I saw. It was a woman with cold eyes, and she looking back at me in hatred. I got angry, and formed a fist with my hand, and shook it at my reflection, "WHO ARE YOU?!!! WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?!" As I continued to stare at this reflection, I saw my future. Images swarmed my head of me becoming a drunk, just like my mother. Deep down inside, that's not what I wanted. I didn't want to become like my mother. No! I wanted to be somebody.Right there, in that moment, I got down on my knees and raised my hands to Heaven. "God, if you are real, please save me from this! I don't want to do this anymore!." I then, heard a voice mocking me in my head, and it sounded like mine. "God doesn't hear you! You are drunk! Why would He listen to you?!" That ended my night with, yet, another feeling of hopelessness. Weeks later, I found myself doing the same thing. Except this time, I was on my knees in front of everyone. "GOD, PLEASE GOD, IF YOU ARE REAL, SAVE ME! PLEASE I DON'T WANT TO BE LIKE THIS! I DON'T WANT TO KEEP DOING THIS! PLEASE, SAVE ME, GOD!" That same mocking voice spoke again, this time, with condemnation, " GOD DOESN'T HEAR YOU! HE DOESN'T LISTEN TO PEOPLE WHO DRINK! GIVE IT UP! HE WILL NEVER HEAR YOU! WHY DO YOU EVEN BOTHER?!" After that, I found a spot on the cold floor, got in the fetal position and wept. I can still remember the thunder outside, as it terrified me thinking that was God's angry voice yelling at me. I was sure that thunderstorm came for me to let me know God was angry with me.
That following Monday, I was sitting in my gym class with one of my acquaintances. She started talking about God, and about her church. In the back of my mind, I was rejoicing because this is exactly what I had been waiting for - someone to reach out to me. I gladly accepted the invitation to go to Youth Group with her.
The night before I was supposed to go to Youth Group with my new friend, I watched a little bit of TV. There was a program on that was dedicated to talking to teens about God. I was moved by everything that was being said, and it seemed as if God himself was talking to me. I didn't understand most of it, but I knew that I wanted to. They closed the program with this prayer, "Dear Jesus, I am a sinner. I believe you shed your blood and died for me on the cross. Please forgive me of my sins, and come into my life. Save me and cleanse me. Amen." I repeated that prayer with them, hoping to feel a change. I didn't feel anything. I prayed some more, and I remember that I laid down on my couch to go to sleep for the night. It was different from any other time, though, because I felt a weird, but peaceful presence in the room. I couldn't explain it, but I slept like I was floating on a cloud that night.
The next day came, and I almost forgot about the night before, when I said that prayer. I didn't feel any different, and I almost didn't want to be any different. I did tell my friends about what I did, but I expected things to remain the same as usual. They did, for that day. So, Youth night came, and my friend warned me that she didn't know how they would react to my nose piercing. That scared me, but I said to myself, "If they don't like it, so what? Christians shouldn't judge by appearance, anyway!" I was puffed up with pride and determined not to let anyone tear me down.
I entered the building, and as soon as I walked in, I felt this amazing, indescribable presence. I couldn't explain it, I just knew it was there, and it was peaceful just like the night before, only stronger. I walked into the bathroom where my friend and her cousin was, and she was asking her cousin if she thought that I would get saved. I retorted, "Ha, no way! Not me!." I meant it, too. We left the bathroom and headed towards the youth room. There at the door was some youth assigned to greet at the door. I remember the smiles on their face, they were so full of love as they hugged me and welcomed me. And no one said anything about my nose ring. So, service began and I sat in my seat nervously, expecting to hear your typical "Fire and Brimstone" message. I got the opposite. The Youth leader began the service talking about the fruits of a Christian. This got my interest, as I had never heard a teaching like this before. He went on to talk about how you can distinguish whether or not you really are a Christian. This was very interesting to me because this was the answer that I had been looking for. No one knew the excitement I felt as I listened to this youth leader talk. The more he spoke, the more questions I had were answered. I started to learn what it was all about to be Christian. It became more clear as to what I needed to do.
I sat there in my seat, anxiously waiting for the typical alter call. This tugging in my heart was so strong. I felt a presence come all over me, and it was just over taking me. I just knew God was calling me. He was the only one who knew what I was searching for, and He was the only one who could answer it. Through that message, He spoke to my heart. I finally had hope that I could be saved. But what was this tugging that I was feeling? Have you ever felt a longing for someone whom you haven't seen in such in a long time, that you miss? A pull to connect with someone whom you love? The urge to run to someone's arms when you are feeling distraught and need a shoulder to cry on? The need to call on your mom and dad for help? The longing just to be held by someone who you knew could protect you or that you felt secure with? Well, that's what that feeling was like, and I had never felt that before so strongly.
The time came when he gave the alter call, and I didn't hesitate to raise my hand. He then said, "If you are here, and you want to get saved, and know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, please come to the front." At that moment, I got up from my seat, and I felt as if I was floating to the front. It was like I was being carried or something. I knew that I was walking, but I don't remember walking, I just remember that it felt like I was floating. As soon as I got the front where they met me to pray, I began to weep like I had never done before. Tears ran down my cheeks as I stood there, shaking and praying. They led me through the sinner's prayer and I felt a heaviness come up off of me. I felt lighter and so much peace and love filled my spirit. I still can't explain it to the best of my ability. I just know that for the first time in my life, I felt loved. I knew that it was God, and that He welcomed me with open arms.
Things don't end there. That voice of condemnation started to speak again, "You know that when you leave here, you'll go back to the same lifestyle. You'll still drink, smoke and listen to your music. You aren't a changed person. Besides, look at where you live. How can you even begin to try to be a Christian in the midst of that?" I felt doubt trying to overtake my thoughts, so I started to pray.
At that moment they started to have Praise and Worship Service, where they sang and praised God. I didn't understand this. Where was the traditional hymns? The music sounded so wonderful! It was filled with such happiness, that I just couldn't believe how beautiful it sounded. I still didn't understand it, though, so I began to pray and ask God. Doubts started feeling my head again. A youth leader came over to me and began to pray. At that moment, I gracefully fell down to the ground, and my body began to tremble. No, I wasn't having a seizure, nor was I cold. It was the presence of God. I laid there, and all I could do was sing praise to God. I felt Him all over me. I tell you, I still can't explain the love that I felt, I just know that I could have laid there forever.
My body was still trembling and I felt as if there was electricy shooting through it. It was amazing! But what was happening? I asked myself these questions, and then the youth pastor leaned down to my ear, and began to whisper, "God is cleansing your soul. He is getting rid of all of the garbage that is left." I heard this, and I began to utter words to God. I began praying, but because I didn't know what to say, I uttered what my heart was saying. I started to weep again, but it was weeping of joy. Then that weeping soon turned to joyful laughter. I still felt God all over me, and then finally after about 30 minutes on the floor, the trembling stopped. I stood up, and I could feel a change in everything about me. Everything that I had once stood for, was in the past. Everything that had tried to destroy me could no longer touch me. I was suddenly so happy that the only way I could describe this happiness, was that I felt free. For the first time in my life, I felt so free that I could finally see hope for my future. Things finally started to make sense. God is real, and always was.
That was 10 years ago, and God is still changing me. He is awesome! It takes the Holy Spirit's drawing to find Salvation, but you have to heed the call. Had I not heeded to the tugging that my heart felt for God, I would have missed everything that I just told you about my Salvation experience. God draws us with love, not condemnation. You have to realize that you are a sinner, but that Jesus died on the cross for those sins. Once you realize that you are sinner, then the door that Jesus is knocking on can finally be opened. The door He knocks on is your heart. You have to open your heart.
P.S. I removed the nose ring shortly after my salvation.