Tag Archives: Survivor

The Art of Brave Living

I am excited to announce that I am a co-author with 22 Christian women who share their brave stories in this beautiful new book called “The Art of Brave Living”. First of all I praise God for allowing me the opportunity as I have known for many years that I am a writer that would one day write books. My freshman year high school teacher Mrs. Bjorklund would chase me down in the cafeteria to encourage me to enter writing contests. I had no desire to be in any writing contests at that time of my life but I knew that English was my favorite subject and I enjoyed writing poetry.

Fast forward a few years and my goal in life was to become a print journalist. That goal was tossed aside when I was interviewed for a story in a newspaper and the journalist twisted my story. She apologized and told me the hard facts about print journalism. I knew that writing would somehow be a part of my life as I loved to read but unless I was going to write an underground newspaper I would not be going into print journalism. At that time I was working at a job where I created a monthly newsletter which I thoroughly enjoyed.

For approximately 10 years now I have felt a strong prompting to begin writing my story. I literally have tons of journals with enough material for several books but I was always afraid to take the steps to actually write the books. I also knew that there was much healing that needed to happen in my life before I could actually share anything anywhere. That healing began in 2009 and has been ongoing ever since. I was presented with the opportunity to join a group of women to share their stories about being brave. I knew it was time to take a step forward to being a published author. I thought this would be a great introduction into the world of books.

I have learned so much about birthing a book over the past 5 months. It’s a brave action to take for sure. I am especially thankful to Diane Cunningham for the opportunity to join her in her 7th book and my first as a co-author. I learned a lot about being brave from Diane several years ago when she had a Be Brave email challenge for 30 days. It was just one of the many people and tools that God would use to propel me to where I am today. I didn’t mention Diane in the story that is written in the book but I want to publicly acknowledge her in this blog post today. Visit her at http://dianecunningham.com/

If you are interested in an autographed copy of the hard cover book you can order here The Art of Brave Living Book



Diary of an Abused Woman Part 4

The diary entry that follows is purely fictional. None of the situations expressed are linked to actual persons living or dead. Although some things may resemble actual events, the intent is not to relay a true diary but a fictional character that can express many different stories of women who have been abused. The intent is merely to bring awareness from the inside out since we mostly see abused women from the outside looking in.

Trigger warning – The content below contains wording which may be triggering to domestic abuse survivors.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month But for Me, It's also JAN, FEB, MAR, APR, MAY, JUN, JUL, AUG, SEP, NOV & DEC

Diary February 16, 2016

I have not updated my diary in a long time. Gosh I don’t even know where to begin. My life went into a major whirlwind at the end of October. I became highly suicidal and was hospitalized for a few weeks. Even though I was being treated for my suicide attempt, being at the hospital was actually nice. I mean I had three meals a day, people to talk to, a warm bed and it was a safe place. It was certainly much nicer than being in those crummy shelters. People just don’t understand that when you are homeless it doesn’t mean that you are a bad person. Sure there is bad and good people in every area of life but shouldn’t people be allowed to have a little dignity in whatever station of life they find themselves in?

I suppose I should be grateful. The last shelter I stayed at was an awful mess of a place. It was located in a run down old church building in the basement where they had rows of cots. The place stunk to high heaven but it was better than being out in the cold. I could never sleep at night so I would go up and talk to the volunteer who was there 3 nights and 4 days a week. She was a sweetheart, middle aged and very intelligent. I could tell she came from a wealthy family but something in her just oozed with compassion for homeless people. I talked to her for hours on the nights that she worked. I couldn’t believe that she was just a volunteer. Who does that? Who spends 56 hours a week with a bunch of homeless people? Cora did, that was her name. She was an angel. The night that I tried to commit suicide she actually accompanied me to the hospital. She sat in the emergency room until she found out that I was going to survive. When the nurses allowed her to come in and see me as they were waiting on the transport to come and move me to a room on the behavioral health unit she told me that she had been praying for me all night. I asked her why, she said she loved me and Jesus loved me. I knew she was an angel. She gave me her phone number and made me promise to call her every day to update her on how I was doing. I told her that I would and thanked her for caring.

The behavioral health unit was dark as I was transported up to my room. It was a private room and I was so happy to have a bed instead of a cot to sleep on. I wrapped myself up so tight in those blankets and fell quickly off to sleep. The next morning I met the team of “professionals” that were going to be helping me back to a place of healing. I wasn’t listening to a word they said to me, they sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher “wha wha wha wha wha wha wha wha”. HAHA it’s funny now but I suppose I should have paid more attention at the time since they were trying to help. I think I was at the hospital for 10 days when Cora came to visit me. The staff allowed it because I had no family or anything and she was on all my paperwork since she was with the ambulance that brought me there. She gave me a big hug and it was a little awkward but nice. She told me that a woman had come to the shelter looking for me, an older woman with gray hair named Minnie. Tears immediately fell from my eyes as I remembered meeting Minnie. She was the woman at the church lunch who invited me to stay with her. But how did she find me? I was confused. Cora said she had looked for me at every shelter in town. Who does that?

I didn’t know what to think about knowing that Minnie had been looking for me. I mean I only stayed with her for one night. It wasn’t like we were best friends. I remembered that she too had been abused and she really got me. She didn’t get that look of terror in her eyes when I told her my story like most people. Cora revealed to me that she actually knew Minnie from her church. They worked on a women’s bake sale together once to raise funds for the youth group. She had no idea that I had even been to her church because apparently the day I went was the one Sunday she had to cover for another volunteer at the shelter. She told me that Minnie showed up at the shelter the day after I was admitted to the hospital and they had been praying for me ever since daily at noon. I had to ask Cora to leave, this was just too much for me to handle and I couldn’t see why anyone would care that much about little old me. It was too much emotion for me to handle. I yelled at her to just get out and leave me alone. I saw a tear roll down her eye as she looked back at me while walking out the door.

To be continued…



Depression is not a one size fits all topic. It looks different for everyone but people who have struggled with depression can find common ground in many of their experiences. Today I invite you to take a peek at a time when I was very depressed and what I did to begin to turn my situation around. The following is from my own personal journal:

“I am so discouraged today. I feel like my life is going down the toilet. God seems very distant and I feel like I have been dropped into a ditch somewhere and left to rot. Who am I to think that I should get special treatment from anyone or think that anyone should care or want to sympathize with the fact that I am struggling today? I am at the end of my proverbial rope and I cannot see any hands this time reaching to pull me out. I don’t know what to do, what to think, what to feel, how to respond. I just know that I am a walking zombie right now. I am going through the motions of life only because I am familiar with the day-to-day schedule. Everything I do is only achieved because I have been doing it for so long that it is a habit. I get up, I go to work, I go home, I make sure all my family is home at the appointed times, I cry, I sleep and I wake up to do it all over again.

I don’t know. I just feel like my guts have been ripped out of my body and strewn all over the place and I can’t put it all back together. I feel hopeless and miserable. The only place I feel like I have any control is at work. Why is that? How can I possibly keep my head on at work and then lose it on the way home. Hello! Can someone hear me? Can anyone hear my pain? Can anyone help me? I doubt it sincerely. The only hope I have is God. And He is even distant right now. Or at least that’s how I feel. But it could be my fault too because maybe I’m not listening for Him as closely as I should and maybe I can’t be still long enough to know that He is still in control even though I can’t feel His presence.

My mind just races with all these thoughts and I can’t make them stop. Maybe that is why I can’t hear the voice of God when He speaks. But how do I stop the voice in my head. I mean it’s me, it’s my thoughts, it’s my concerns, it’s my pain, my memories, my logic trying to make sense of it all. It’s me and how do I stop me? How can I flip the switch on my thought processes to make them work differently? I can be talking about one thing and thinking about a totally different thing. It’s ridiculous. Then of course when I talk about anything in my life, here comes the flood of tears. Who wants to hear me talk? Who cares that I cry all the time? No one cares. I used to have friends, not many but a few that I could actually call friends but they have all disappeared. Why is everyone so afraid to ask me what is wrong? Why is it that I can ask someone about their problems but no one can ask me? Why is it that when someone tells you they want to be there for you, they disappear when you really need them? Why say that at all? Why can’t I be like some other people and just not care? Why do I have to care about every single thing and person in my life? Cause of course no one cares about me or thinks about me. No one wants to really ask me, How are you? And actually expects a truthful answer.

I know I am rambling today and I don’t know why. I guess I just feel that maybe if I put this out there in print that I will be able to overcome the pain I feel every day. I am so out of sorts. I am so disorganized and there are so many things I have to take care of so that I can actually maintain.”

During this time of my life I was very much isolated and when I say isolated I mean I lived in what I call “a turtle shell” I poked my head out just long enough to take care of my responsibilities but I refused to allow anyone inside my little shell world because it was not pretty at all.  I didn’t allow anyone to get close enough to me to know that I was struggling. I knew how to go through the motions of daily life but inside I was dying. Since I have always kept a journal and I really truly loved to help other people, there came a day that I decided that I needed to be by own advocate and so I began a series of letters to myself as though I were a friend. I had read in 1 Samuel 30:6 how David encouraged himself in the Lord.

1 Samuel 30:6 King James Version (KJV)
And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God. (emphasis mine)

David was a man who knew about depression. Have you read any of his Psalms lately? Have you read about all the things that he went through before and after becoming king? When you are done reading my blog today I suggest that you go read about David, you can start in 1 Samuel.

Now, after I read that verse and heard some teaching on the verse as well I decided that I needed to try something new to encourage myself in the Lord. I began to write letters to myself instead of just writing in my journal. You might think that is weird but hey we all do weird things sometimes. I will share just a little bit of the first letter I wrote to myself.

“Girlfriend you have been carrying around way too much baggage and garbage and it is time to get rid of it all. I know that you have been through so much that has bruised, scarred and maimed you but how long are you going to let those things define who you are? When are you going to bust through that shell once and for all time and start letting people see you for who God made you to be and allow them to love you and be there for you and be your friend. Look around you dear one, what do you see? Do you see emptiness and sand like you once did? Do you see someone trying to destroy your self-worth and your very character and personality just for their own gain? Do you see egg shells? Do you see darkness? What do you see? You might not be able to answer that question right now but here is what you should see…A single road, a step, a path and it is leading to one place…it’s leading to Jesus Christ and the Light that you should see is your Heavenly Father showing you the way….”

I will end there as the last sentence was the key for me, this paragraph was the beginning of me learning how to encourage myself in the Lord. It was the beginning of me learning how to firmly fix my gaze on Jesus Christ and truly allow Him to begin healing me from the inside out.


Psalm 143:7-8

Answer me quickly, O Lord, my spirit fails; Do not hide Your face from me, Or I will become like those who go down to the pit. Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; For I trust in You; Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul.

To be continued…




I can’t remember not being depressed on one or more holidays in the past 20 years or more. It seemed every time I tried to shake those awful feelings of despair, loneliness and sorrow it would just overtake me. One Christmas my brother called me Scrooge McDuck, that was back in 2009. It was one of the first times since my brother had grown up that we were spending Christmas together and we both were acting like Scrooge McDuck! Thanksgiving was another holiday that always caught me in the grip of depression. No matter whether I providing a meal for my family or spending it with another family that graciously invited me to spend the holiday with them, I was miserable. Yes I smiled and tried to hide my pain but the reality of it all was ~ depression was my best friend.

Depression has been a constant in my life from a very young age. My mother also suffered from depression and for all I know it could have been passed down to me from her.  However, I am sure that the source of my depression was from the deep, hidden wounds that began to build a cement wall around my heart from a young age. It was my way of protecting myself from others or so I thought. It drove me to a place of deep isolation where I was hidden in plain site and yet I was deeply lonely and desperate to reach out to those around me who appeared to be safe yet I couldn’t trust, no one could be trusted in my mind.

On Thursday November 27th, Thanksgiving 2014, somewhere around 4pm it hit me that I was not feeling depressed at all! I was actually quite happy and content. I cooked myself a nice meal of spaghetti, collard greens, corn bread, candied yams and pecan pie. My son was home with me part of the day but we really weren’t interacting much and I was very content with that as well. I started to think about all of the holidays that I’ve spent being sad and depressed. I began to pray about why all these years I ended up in that miry pit of depression. My mindset used to be “today is just another day when everyone else has something to do besides me”. Unfortunately that is what I passed down to my children because we didn’t make our own traditions for the holidays. I didn’t know how to make new traditions with my family because I was so locked inside my own misery. I remember trying to make things different but it would never turn out as planned and at the end of the day I would beat myself up because I had failed again.

I spend some time really pondering this whole dilemma and I think I may have discovered the problem – memories have power! I have some really bad memories from different holidays that I revert to when the holidays approach. I don’t think I was doing it consciously because I could never figure out why I kept falling back into the same pit time after time, year after year. Quite frankly the time from mid-October until the first week of January was usually the time I spent in full blown depression. My doctor called it seasonal depression and put me on medication. Maybe he was right but I think the reality of the depression was more about me re-living the bad memories from my past. One would think that after being away from abuse and living in a safe environment that it would move me to want to create new fun memories with my family. Not me, nope, I succumbed to the feelings and the memories instead.

This year will be different. This year I refuse to allow myself to go back to that pit of seasonal depression that has ruined almost every Thanksgiving and Christmas that I can remember. No way, this year I am going to rejoice in the freedom that I have because my Lord Jesus Christ has picked me up from the miry clay and set my feet on SOLID ground. No more living on shifting sand! No more crying over things I cannot have or control! No more phony smiles hiding my tears! NO MORE! NO MORE!

I praise God Almighty today for the freedom I have found in Christ Jesus! I know that I have had a horrific past that I lived through and there were many ruined Holidays but I don’t have to re-live those memories every single year! I will press forward and renew my mind through the reading of the Word of God, the Bible, every day! I will pray and sing praises to Jesus for all He has done for me and YOU! I will find ways to be there for people who are still struggling with the pit of depression and I pray God will use me to speak joy and peace and love into their lives. I will walk boldly with my head held high knowing I have peace within because of the Holy Spirit that resides in me. No more depressed Holidays for me. Thanksgiving 2014 was just the beginning!

Philippians 3:13-14

 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Romans 12:2

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Psalm 40:1-2

I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me and heard my cry.
He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay,
And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.

How may I pray for you today? Please go to my prayer page and send me a request. God bless you and thank you for reading my blog!

“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.”





“Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me”. Those words ring in my head as I recall myself saying them in a sing-songy way with my red pony tails flapping on either side of my head to the boys who were hurling insults at me in second grade. I learned early in life how to handle those insults by stuffing them deep down in the reservoirs of my heart and making sure nobody knew how much they hurt me. My mother hurled insults at me regularly but people in the family told me not to let it get me to because she was sick and really didn’t mean it. As I got older the words became harsher but I had learned how to be a bully by then and I knew how to fight back with words. My mom and I hurled all kinds of ugliness at one another and my dad said we acted more like sisters than mother-daughter. Actually as I got older my dad and I hurled insults at one another as well. I just stuffed all those words deep in my heart pretending that they didn’t affect me.

You’re stupid, you’re never going to amount to anything, you’re fat, you’re ugly, you’re slow, you’re just like ______, you’re an underachiever, you’re a mess, you’re a loser, you can’t do anything right, you’re a _____! That’s just a sampling of the things that I struggled with as an adult because I heard those words over and over in my head. Then I used those very words against my own children, at times I still go into a place where I beat myself up for bringing those words into my own vocabulary against my beautiful children. The verbal abuse that I had sustained was not just from the boys on the playground or from my parents but it was from my boyfriends too. It tainted my perception of love.  I didn’t really understand what love meant because love to me was a series of insults without apology. Oh there were family members who didn’t use those words and didn’t belittle me. They tried really hard to show me what love was supposed to look like and I was very grateful but it just wasn’t enough.

All of the words that were spoken over me that were negative took root deep in my heart and caused me to believe that these things were true. So if it was true that I was fat, ugly and stupid then I was going to be the best fat, ugly and stupid girl I could be! My eighth grade teacher told my dad that I was an underachiever right in front of me. I figured well I will be the best underachiever I can be! My boyfriends added to the mix lots of vulgar words and heaped more insults on me in addition to re-enforcing what had already been spoken over me. So I would be all those things because since so many people had said those things, it must have been true. I believed it all to be true or else my mind wouldn’t continue to play those old tapes over and over. I became a very bitter and angry woman as a result. I withdrew into what I like to refer to as my turtle shell. Inside my shell no one else could hurt me. Outside my shell I was angry and people thought I was mean so they left me alone.

I remember when I gave my my life to Christ I thought that I was completely set free from the affects of all those words and to be honest, I was, because the finished work of Christ made it possible for me to be free. However, walking out that freedom would be a laborious task for me. See I thought that all that stuff I hid in my heart would just go away. Well I found out that Jesus doesn’t work that way, He walks us through the pain and then we are set free. It’s a process though. It was a long process for me that began in 2006. I had to learn how to live, how to love, how to think, how to act and how to just be. I was like a little baby in Christ even though I had been a christian for several years. What was missing in my life was discipleship. I knew the gospel but I just didn’t know how to walk it out.

One of the biggest lessons I needed to learn was how to recognize love. True love, the love that comes from God. Then I needed to learn who I am in Christ. Here’s one of the scriptures that I needed to understand that was a challenge for me.

Colossians 2:9-10: – “For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,  and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;”

What? I have been made complete! No, that’s not possible because I am a broken, tattered and abused woman so there’s no way I am complete. I mean hey, I am fat, ugly and stupid! Remember?

John 1:12 – “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,

What? I am God’s child.

Romans 8:1 – “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Wait, no condemnation?

Ephesians 2:4-5 – “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,  even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)”

He loves me? God loved me even when I was dead in my transgressions?  But, but, but??

No, there are no buts. It’s true I am no longer the same tattered and abused woman that I used to be. All those words that were spoken over me no longer have power over my life.

Galatians 2:20 – “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Christ lives in me and He has made me to be a new creation. A new woman. A loved and complete woman of God. I wish I could have believed those scriptures the first time I read them but it took a long time for the truth to get deep inside my heart to pull up the tangled roots of lies that I believed about myself. It was a long process but today I know who I am and I am not fat, ugly and stupid anymore. If someone thinks that about me, well, that’s just their problem.

Psalm 40:1-2

I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me and heard my cry.
He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay,
And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.


“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.”






Yes those were the words that I found myself saying over and over before I surrendered to the Lord all of my past and all of my pain.  I don’t want to live anymore! That was the cry of my deeply wounded soul. It was such a pain filled thought and yet it was at the forefront of my mind every day. I was a believer in Jesus Christ, I knew I was saved and I knew that God held my life in His hands. Many times I would write in my journals, if I wasn’t so afraid of going to hell I would kill myself.

This was never a thought that I would share with anyone. After all when you are in the depths of despair you really have trouble reaching out to someone with this type of thought. What will they say? What will they think? How will they react? Will they call the police on me? Will they commit me to a psychiatric ward somewhere? How do you tell someone that you are in so much pain that you just want to die?

I remember the time that I drove up to the train tracks and sat right there in the middle waiting for the train to arrive. Tears poured out of my eyes as I screamed at the top of my lungs “I don’t want to live anymore”. Honestly I firmly believe it was the Presence of God that filled my car that night and moved me to drive away from those tracks. I remember driving to a friend’s house after that and just sitting in front of her house. She didn’t know I was there and I never made it to her front door. How could I tell her what I was planning to do? What would she do? The last thing I needed was a lecture. I didn’t need her to tell me what the Bible said or anything like that but I was desperate to just find someone who would hold me and say “it’s going to be ok”.

The next day I saw her at the church lunch and told her what I had done. She hugged me and asked if she could gather a few people to pray for me. Yes of course.  I can’t recall if it was three or four people but each of them loved on me and prayed over me. I am so thankful for that moment in time over 8 years and I will never forget it. It was a beginning for me so to speak. It put a desire in my heart to be like those precious non-judgmental people who just loved God and loved people.

This subject comes up because a couple days ago a woman jumped in front of a train in my town. It caused me to pause and wonder what happened? What was going on in this woman’s life that would cause her to jump in front of a train? It grieves my heart each time I hear that someone has taken their own life. I grieves me because I know that I’ve been there. I’ve been at the place where I could not see anything good in my life. I couldn’t see anything to live for because my pain was so devastating and I could no longer handle it.

As a Christ follower I know that this is a subject that is kept pretty quiet in the church. It’s not something people talk about very often. It’s a difficult topic but the truth of the matter is we need to talk about it. We need to know what to do when someone in our midst is hurting so bad that they just want to check out of this world.

Save.org states that suicide takes the lives of nearly 40,000 Americans every year. That’s 109 people every day. That’s 4 people every hour. In the time that it has taken me to write this blog 2 people have taken their own lives. That should cause us to weep.

I have experienced two sides of people trying to help within the church. I have encountered times when I was so deep in the pit of the miry clay that I couldn’t see any possible solutions to my pain. I couldn’t even see God because I was convinced that He didn’t love me anymore. On the one hand I had a very well-meaning sister in Christ push me overboard by sharing scriptures at me and trying to re-assure me that God still loved me. I asked her to just leave me alone but she persisted and I found myself parked at the corner of a busy intersection in the parking lot of Walgreens just weeping. I stopped there because I just wasn’t convinced that my foot would not go along with what my head was thinking. I wanted to just put the pedal to the floor and slam my car into a brick wall. Right there in the midst of that horrible moment in my life I believe God sent the right person to talk to me. However, I couldn’t even talk to her at that moment. She respected my wishes when I said I didn’t want to talk and we hung up the phone. I didn’t tell her that I was sitting contemplating my death or anything like that. But I know that I know that I know when she hung up she prayed for me. I know that because soon I felt a peace come over me and I was able to drive home.

How can we help someone who has come to the end of their rope? How can we be sensitive to the needs of others who are in so much pain that all they want to do is die? I don’t have the answers. All I know is that we need to pray and cry out to the living God on behalf of these loved ones and allow the Holy Spirit to minister to those deep wounds. We cannot heal them, we cannot change a thing in their lives. We have to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s prompting of whether we should call in authorities or just allow God to work on their hearts. It’s such a sensitive subject and I only know what I have experienced in my own life. I have a close friend who has always shown me a great example of what to do when you just don’t know how to help someone. She prays and she listens to the Holy Spirit and if He says don’t press she leaves me alone and if He says go forth and speak she speaks the truth in love to me. We all can learn from her example.

I praise God today that He preserved my life. He kept me from following through on the plans I had to end my life each and every time. I know that many times it was the enemy attacking me and other times it was just my flesh feeling tormented and desperate. Each time the Lord saved me from those thoughts and kept me alive. He has a purpose for my life and he has a purpose for your life too.

Today if you feel that you are at the end of your rope and cannot see beyond the miry clay, be patient and look to Jesus. Seek help from professionals if needed and don’t be embarrassed to talk about it with your Pastor.  I don’t know all the answers but I know that Christ has all the answers.

If you need prayer, I would love to pray for you, please send me a prayer request on my prayer request page.

Psalm 40:1-2

I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me,
And heard my cry.
He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.

Looking for books about Suicide? Click here.



Today’s blog is the result of a conversation that I had with a friend this week. The Lord used this conversation to propel me back into the days of my youth when life should have been simple but it was not for me. This post is not easy for me to share today but I know that there is a purpose for it and so I pray that God will use it for His Glory.

One of my earliest memories of being exposed to sex was when I was around 5 years old. The little boy across the alley was over in my back yard and we were playing and I remember going into my house and then when I went back outside there he was calling me under the stair case. I walked over and he pulled out his privates! I told him to put it away and go home.  Then there was the boy in the apartment next door who would talk to me as I would play in my yard. He would ask to see different parts of my body and eventually after several requests I would oblige him from the window of my apartment since I didn’t want to be seen by everyone. I would dance for him and reveal parts that no boys should have been seeing at that young of an age.

Unfortunately I knew about women’s bodies already because of my father’s Playboy magazine collection. I doubt that he knew that I was looking at them because it wasn’t something that he invited me to read or look at and I always looked at them when he was out of the house or sleeping. I would see these photos and actually I remember wanting to be like them. I wanted to be pretty and sexy. I wanted to be able to wear sexy clothes but I knew my little chubby body was not like those photos.

It was very early in my childhood when I was introduced to the sex act. There were men who took advantage of me and made me their sex objects. Some of these men never even touched me but I knew the look in their eyes as they undressed me in their imagination and it disgusted me to no end. I didn’t know that I was being molested but I knew that there was something very wrong with what was happening. My friends in school never talked about things that I was experiencing so I didn’t tell anyone. It was my little secret. In fact one of the men who molested me frequently referred to it as our little secret. If I told him I didn’t want to do the things that he wanted me to do, he would threaten to go to my cousins or my girl friends. No I couldn’t let that happen so I would comply with whatever secret acts he wanted me to perform. I learned quickly how to pretend I was not even there when these things were happening to me. I would just lay there and pretend I was somewhere else until it was all over with. The reality would always overtake me when it was over and I had to go and shower and get the dirty, disgusting smell of that man off of me. It was a dreadful existence and yet I couldn’t dare tell anyone about it.

My father was the only man who I knew was different. He didn’t look at me that way, he didn’t touch me that way, he treated me like the little girl that I was supposed to be. I wish I could have told him about the other men but I was too embarrassed and didn’t want to lose his love. My parents split up and were living apart so I only was able to see my dad on the weekends and it was during those visits with him that I felt like I was just a normal kid. I didn’t want to crush that reality by telling my dad how men would put their hands on me and fondle places that no grown man should touch a little girl. How could I tell my dad that? What would be do? What would he say? I didn’t want to take any chances! I loved my dad and I would do anything I could to protect that relationship. He was the one man I knew I could trust.

By the time I was 8 years old I was smoking cigarettes and marijuana. When my first daughter turned 8 and I watched her innocence it pierced my heart knowing that I never had that kind of innocence when I was that age. It broke my heart but I quickly stuffed it back down into the recesses of my mind so that no one would know the pain of my childhood. By the time I was 11 I was a full-blown alcoholic and pill popper. I remember sharing pills with my friends at school and ultimately getting into some pretty hairy situations where my life was in danger after one boy got really sick from the pills I gave him. But that is a story for another day.

When I was between 10 and 12 years old I recall making up all my boyfriends because no boy in my school or neighborhood liked me. All my girlfriends had boyfriends and I was jealous because not one boy ever asked me to be his girl. I wondered if they knew that I was tainted. I wondered if they knew that men had used me and thrown me to the trash heap so that I was just damaged goods. I was in a gang at that time and lots of boys hung out at my house and they would make out with girls all the time. One day, five of those boys that I hung out with every day and loved as my brothers decided to pull a train on me. Well I wasn’t going  to have any of that and with great force and thankfulness that I was a chubby girl I fought back and yelled at these boys. I must have really had a serious look on my face because they backed off and then played it off like they were just kidding around. But one of those boys was very serious and the following week he returned to my house alone. He made me feel briefly like he actually liked me and started kissing me. I pushed him away because I knew that he had a girlfriend and I didn’t want to be “that kind of girl”. Well that just made him angry and the next thing I knew he was on top of me and I couldn’t fight him. He raped me.

How many times would I be violated? That was the foremost thought in my mind. How many times will men and boys take advantage of me? I silently screamed “I DON’T WANT TO BE A SEX OBJECT”. I’m not even sure if those were the words I used but I knew that no matter how smart I was or how friendly I was, the only thing that boys and men wanted was to touch me and use my body to please themselves. It never once pleased me. It repulsed me. Soon after this event I got so drunk and high that I tried to commit suicide. I had carved my arms and legs with knives and razor blades. I don’t even know what really happened that night but when someone guided me home I didn’t recognize my own mother. I remember threatening to kill her and trying to hang myself with a jump rope. The next day I had a doctor’s appointment and my mother told the doctor everything I had done and the next thing I knew I was in a mental hospital. I remember the counselors asking me what was going on in my life to cause me to drink, do drugs and cut myself. I lied to them. I made up this really sad story about how my boyfriend was in a gang fight and he got shot and died. I was a pretty good story-teller. They bought it hook, line and sinker. The truth was I didn’t have a boyfriend. I just couldn’t bring myself to tell them that I was just a piece of meat for men to use and abuse. I couldn’t tell anyone. I just wanted to be left alone.

As I recalled all these things this past week, it caused me to take a hard look at some of the deep wounds of being a sex object for so long. I realized that this was the root of why I have had issues with weight almost all my life. Whenever I get to a place where I start losing weight and people say nice things about  my appearance it tends to cause me to fail in my efforts. I sabotage myself and end up gaining all the weight back. The Lord has revealed to me that this is because I have this faulty belief inside of me that if I lose the weight then I will once again become a sex object. This was a huge revelation to me. I have dealt with the sexual abuse from my past with a Christian counselor several years ago. I poured out all of my heart to Jesus over the sexual abuse from my past already and yet this one revelation never came to me until now. I had freedom in this area so why would this come up again.

Jesus knows when we are ready to move to the next step in our healing. He knows the right time, place and circumstance where we are able to look at the ugly ashes from past experiences and wounds. He redeems them. He heals those places. He has once again healed that part of my life and now I believe with all my heart that as I move forward in taking care of my body and losing weight that He will walk with me every step of the way. I won’t become a sex object, I won’t be subject to being used and abused again. No, I will be healthy and fit for His Kingdom purposes. So that I can walk in the calling and plan He has for me.  I don’t know if this post will help someone out there reading it or if it’s just meant for me but I had to be obedient to sharing these things with you today. So if you are reading this and you have similar broken places in your life and you have not found release or freedom from those experiences then I would love to talk to you. I would love to share my experience of the Lord healing me from these things. I would love to pray for you and walk with you to the cross of Christ to find freedom, healing, redemption, forgiveness and salvation. Please feel free to go to my “Prayer Requests” page and contact me.

Father in the name of Jesus, I pray for every person who comes to this page with a similar story that they have not yet laid at your feet to find healing. God would you meet them where they are right now and shower them with your love, your grace and your mercy. Lord I pray that I would continue to open my heart and hands to allow you to use me for Your Glory. You have redeemed me from the stigma of being a sex object and I pray that now You would teach me how to be the beautiful woman of God that you have called me to be. I love you Lord and I thank you for every reader that you bring to this page. Bless each one, in Jesus name. Amen.

Psalm 40:1-3

I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me and heard my cry.
He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay,
And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;
Many will see and fear
And will trust in the Lord.



Change Part 2

As I was preparing to share with you about some of the discoveries I’ve made over the past few weeks about my dislike of change I realized that from the beginning of my saying YES to Jesus and making Him Lord of my life I have been in a non-stop cycle of changes. The reality is that is the way it is supposed to be! Let’s take a look at this verse:

2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. “

When we make Jesus the Lord of our lives and receive His free gift of salvation we become a new creation. I believe that with all my heart. However, the reality is that sometimes we don’t walk in that newness of life unless we have someone to take us by the hand and disciple us. I cannot tell you how many times I went weeping to an altar asking Jesus to be Lord of my life before it really took hold and began to change me.

I was so messed up in my thinking and the baggage from my life was so huge that I was like the ones in the parable of the sower according to Mark 4:16-17 – “These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness;  and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.

I had so much to learn before true change would become a reality in my life. I wanted to serve God and I did really well when I was in church on Sunday but as soon as Monday came I fell flat on my face. Fortunately Jesus never gave up on me and soon I was connected with a group of women who would begin to teach me the Bible and teach me how to pray. That was back in 1993 and I really miss those ladies, unfortunately I was only connected with them for about six months. This was the beginning of many changes that would take place in my life.

One of the biggest problems back then for me was that I was trying to live with one foot in the church and one foot in the world. I was trying to continue living in sin and then I would repent every week. I thought it was the right thing to do and no one told me any different to be honest. Oh I am completely sure that the Holy Spirit was telling me that I was in the wrong but I didn’t pay much attention. I didn’t realize that living with my boyfriend and having sex was wrong. Truthfully I didn’t want to believe it was wrong because then I would have to stop doing it. At that point I was too afraid to stop though because I was afraid of being a single mother.  Not only that I was too afraid to tell my boyfriend that we couldn’t have sex because I didn’t want to make him angry.

Thinking back to that time in my life I thank God that He didn’t give up on me. I know that it was just the beginning of my walk with Him and over time there would be many changes in my life. Some would be very hard and some would be easy. It wasn’t until 2007 that I truly began a journey of being healed and set free from all the abuse, sin and addictions in my life. It was a process that continues to this day. I truly believe that discipleship is key to being able to truly walk out the verse – 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. ”

To be continued…..


Candlelight Vigil

I attended our town’s Domestic Violence Awareness Candlelight Vigil tonight on the town square. Even though I am a survivor of many years this is the first time I have attended a vigil. I would never go because I was afraid that someone would see me and know “that girl is tainted”.  I really agonized over going as if it was a major event like going to see the Queen of England or something.

You see when the scars fade and the wounds heal no one knows. I think of all the times I have suffered abuse from many sources and the one thing I was able to do was hide it. I was able to pretend like nothing was wrong. I kept to myself, I didn’t talk to anyone. People just thought I was like a mean bully or something. Seriously I had someone tell me that. But the truth is I was protecting myself. I was protecting my heart inside a stone brick wall because I had promised myself that no one else would hurt me. That wall kept me from building relationships at work, relationships at church and relationships inside my very own family.

There was an angst inside me when I went to the vigil and I stood there listening to a survivor tell her story. The courage to open up and say look at me “I’m a survivor” is huge. I listened as she talked about the reasons she stayed and I recalled my own reasons. There are always reasons. Abusers fill their partners heads with so many lies that it’s hard to know what thoughts are their own. Abusers manipulate and control their partners to the point where that have no voice, no friends, no family, no resources…only the abuser. Then once you are so accustomed to the isolation and the lies take over your very own thoughts…you can not see a way out.

It takes much courage to walk away from everything you know and start over.

Change is hard.

But change is necessary. It’s actually a constant in life.


Tomorrow I want to share a message with you about change that I put together yesterday morning while walking to work. I hope that you will return for the message.

Below are pictures of me from tonight’s vigil. I didn’t know what to expect and they asked for people to come up and read an inspirational quote. I went up there and did it. I looked out into that audience and it did not matter if they knew I was a victim of domestic violence because the truth is I’m a Survivor!

Thank you for stopping by today! God bless!





Official Launch!!!

Today is the day! Today is October 4, 2014 and I am going public with this new site and blog. This is long overdue to be honest. I started this over a year ago but it never seemed to get off the ground. I had many people encouraging me along the way and wondering what was taking me so long. Truth is – I was nervous and fearful. I have blogged for many years but didn’t share too much. I would start up something and then it would fall to the way side. This site – Beyond The Miry Clay – is my story. It is my life that I have carefully kept in the dark. I have carefully let only a few people into my little corner of the world. I have shared my weight loss journey on my Losing4Christ blog but when I began that blog I knew there was much more that I would be sharing.  Here’s a snippet from my first entry on that blog:

So just to give an example of some of the things I intend to lose on this journey, I’ve created a short list below:

  1. Weight
  2. Sin
  3. Bondage
  4. Damaged Emotions
  5. Lack of discipline
  6. Fear
  7. Control

That short list ended up being even shorter because my sole focus became my weight. I had ups and downs, successes and failures but I mostly wrote about the failures once they turned to successes. Sadly I only saw the failures in my life. Well I have come a long way from that mindset not that I have arrived and don’t struggle but today I can see my successes as well as my failures. The victory in that is I am able to celebrate my victories and I don’t focus so much on the failures.

Today I am committing to keep both of these blogs alive. My weight journey will remain at Losing4Christ and my life journey will be here. First I want to say that I chose this day for my launch because as I looked over the path that my life has taken over the years and have found pivotal dates where I know I can say for certain that I had a life transformation. Saturday October 4, 2008 was one of those days. Besides that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and I am a survivor! I hope this site will become a place where people who are living under abuse and trying to get out will be able to come to for resources, hope, prayer, encouragement and at some point tangible help. I know that many people who visit here will not believe the way I do and I am OK with that. I can only share what Jesus Christ has done for me and be a safe place for people to come and be encouraged.

Today you know someone who has been or is being abused. How do I know that? Because the statistics tell me so. You are reading this page and maybe you have a friend who is in an abusive relationship and you have no idea what to say or do. Send them my way. I can’t help everyone but if I can help just one then it will be worth it. Check out my about page and see the other obstacles I have overcome because of Christ working in my life.

Before I end today I just want it to be clear that this site is not just about abuse. It is about a life transformed by the power of God! I am that life and I have been transformed. People who have known me for a long time can tell you I am not the person I was 5, 10, 15, 20 years ago. Frankly I am not even the same person I was a year ago.

I am a follower of Jesus Christ,  the One who brought me up from the miry clay and set my feet on solid ground. I believe that He is more than able to deliver and set people free from all the things that cause us to live in a miry clay pit of destruction.

Thank you for stopping by and please feel free to share this site.

Psalm 40:1-3

“I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me and heard my cry.
He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay,
And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;
Many will see and fear
And will trust in the Lord.”