I didn’t grow up in a Christian family, and there was always tension. Both of my parents had been in a previous marriage, and my mother had a son from her first marriage. He and my dad never got along. And my relationship with my mother wasn’t much better. I won’t go into detail, but she would just be really hurtful with her words. When I was 7, my parents split up. A few months before they were officially divorced, my mother moved into a rental house with my two brothers and I, while my dad stayed behind in our old two-story house. It was hard because I’ve always been close with my dad.
I was sexually abused by a family member while all this was going on, so I learned how to keep everything inside and lie to everyone. I became very closed off and taught myself to lock every emotion inside, hardly ever talking to anyone. I grew up with hatred, unforgiveness, resentment, and bitterness in my heart, and it only got worse as I got older.
When I was 13, I started struggling with eating disorders. I hated my body, so I felt like it needed to be punished. I would end up switching between eating disorders every year or so. From starving myself completely, to binge eating/making myself throw up. I wasted so much time on websites supporting this sickness. When I was 14, I started cutting myself. It helped, as morbid as it sounds, to see myself bleed. From locking my emotions up (which, by the way, are God-given and not supposed to be locked inside), my heart had become so numb that seeing myself bleed was kind of like the only way to know I was still living. Yet somehow I was also feeling the hurt, bitterness, and everything I had locked up years ago, and cutting myself relieved that, if only for a moment. This addiction got so bad that I was cutting everywhere and anywhere. I hid razors in clever places, allowing myself to cut at school. In public bathrooms. Even at church, when I rarely went. I was literally a mess. satan had a huge hold on my life.
I finally had enough. When I was 15, I was in so much pain, it felt like I was drowning and nobody was trying to save me. I couldn’t cut the pain away anymore. It had gotten to be too much to handle. I decided to end my life by overdosing on certain pills. I ended up in a psych ward for a week. I told everyone I didn’t really mean to try to kill myself, that I really had a bad headache. I lied about the number of pills I had really taken. I don’t know how it did zero damage. For the next few months, I continued with my eating disorders and cutting.
Finally in January of 2009, God started getting my attention in different ways. For example, one day I got a random phone call from a girl I didn’t know. I have no idea how she had my number or knew my name, but she said everything I needed to hear. We talked for a good two hours. About God, what I was struggling with, everything. In March, an older friend who is like an older sister to me invited me to her church. I was a little reluctant because I hadn’t been to church in so long, but I was desperate. I went one Sunday morning. The sermon was amazing. It was like nothing I had ever heard before at any church service. The pastor was talking about God’s love, which is something I had been dealing with. I could not accept His love, because I assumed I had to earn His love like I was trying to earn my family’s. I felt like my eating disorders, cutting, suicide attempt, and a few other things had made me done for, God’s love gone. But it was like God was whispering to my heart, “I love you, daughter. I love you because I made you. You can’t lose My love, and you can’t earn it. Stop trying to earn what you already have.” The next week or two, I was in Florida with my dad for Easter. It was after midnight, and I was in a room in the pitch black, writing and thinking. It finally really hit me while listening to the song By Your Side by Tenth Avenue North. The words of that song helped draw my heart to God’s, and I lost it right there. I fell on the ground weeping, overwhelmed with God’s love for me. That was when I became a Christian.
From Easter 2009 until now, I have made many mistakes. I ‘fell away’ from God for about 8 months. I’ve slipped up and cut again. I’ve tripped over eating disorders again. I fell into a few other sins I won’t mention right now. But after everything, this past January (something about that month lol), I completely gave my life to Jesus; every part. I had my heart broken by a boy, but Jesus touched my wound and healed me, just like He did every other wound.
Today, I’m consistently going to the same church that helped bring me to God, though the friend that brought me there is married and at another church. I’ve made so many Godly friends who love me like Jesus does. My relationship with God is growing, and so many amazing things are happening in my life that I wouldn’t be here to see if I had succeeded in killing myself 4 years ago. I love Him so much, and I have so many moments where I get so overwhelmed with His love and grace that I can’t even stand and I start crying. I want Him to use me to show other people in the same dark prison I was in. With His strength alone, I am able to run back into that same prison cell and rescue ones who need Jesus’ love. I have a burning passion to tell everyone about what Jesus has done for me. And I love to talk about it! God speaks to me through so many ways. Reading the Bible, praying, and writing keep bringing me closer to Him. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to use my ask box! :) And never forget how loved, beautiful, and delighted in you are by your Creator!
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