I surrender

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Do you remember your first memory? Think as far back as you can and what’s the first thing that pops up? My very first memory was my grandpa’s face. He was looking down at me with joy on his face and he was playing with me. My mom told me he would always come in before bedtime to tuck me in. She told me I was around the age of 3-4 when he passed away, but I remember him so vividly. I used to grab his face and ask him why he had salt & pepper all over his face. He would sneak me sips of beer when my mom wasn’t looking, so every morning when I woke up, I’d find myself at the dining room table drinking whatever was left over in his beer can.

I also remember the day he was buried… I hugged my mom’s leg and all I could see was a pile of dirt and a bunch of people crying. My little heart had no idea what was going on. All I knew was that the beer cans weren’t on the dining room table anymore, there was no more being tucked in and there was no more squishing his wrinkled salt & pepper face.

To give my true testimony, I must start at the very beginning, as far back as I can remember. God told me to write and that’s what I’m going to do. Growing up, I was a tom boy and I played with hot wheels & GI Joe toys. Many, many trees were climbed, tons of forts were built and it as always just me & my cousin Jeremiah. We fought over the TV, we stole each other’s toys but we were best friends. My mom was a single mother and she did amazing job being my mom. It has always been just here & I, So, growing up a lot of time was spent with my grandma.

My grandma was my best friend in the entire world. She had eyes on the back of her head, she was an excellent cook and we would talk for hours. Kids have a million & one questions a day and she answered every single one of them. She taught me about our family history, she told me what it was like when she grew up and she loved me. I was her favorite!

Around the age of fifth teen I got a little rebellious… Okay a lot of rebellious and I was shipped off to go live with my dad. It was the first time I had ever been away from my mom & grandma. My dad and I barely knew each other, I met him around the age of 10 and the only time I got to spend with them would be during the summer months. He lived in Massachusetts which meant I was a long way from Georgia, and I spent my second year of ninth grade in a high school with people I didn’t know. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed living up there with my new family but that wasn’t my home.

It got to the point where my grandma was having some health issues, she had a heart attack at one point which lead to having a few major surgeries. So, when my mom called me to let me know she was having another surgery I wasn’t at all worried. My grandma was a superhero and there was no way she’d ever die. My mom had me flown back to Augusta since I was on spring break so I could visit. Grandma’s surgery was on Monday and I got there on Sunday. No one told her I was coming so being able to surprise her was such a blessing. I remember the look on her face as I walked into her hospital room and I also remember my mom & aunt leaving the room, they left me in there with her so I could spend quality time with her. It was like no time had passed, we talked & talked & talked & talked…. It was just like when I was little asking all my questions.

The next morning before the sun came up, all my family huddled around her hospital bed before they wheeled her off into surgery. All I could do was just stare at her as everyone kissed & hugged her. I was the very last one to kiss her and I will remember for as long as I live the final words, I said to her, “I love you grandma, I will see you soon.” She passed away during the surgery due to her lungs collapsing. My cousins & I were at my grandma’s house waiting for someone to call. My aunt Donna & Fritzie had pulled up first and they were crying, that’s when I found out she died but I didn’t believe it. My mom pulled up shortly after, the minute she got out of the car I seen it on her face. It was real… she was gone… and I felt like I had no one. There is so much to the relationship I had with my grandma and I grieved her for a very long time. She has always been a very hard topic to talk about with people, because I miss her so much.

SShortly after her passing I turned seventeen and moved back to Georgia. It was my sophomore year in high school, and I was boy crazy. It was time to fill that void, so I filled it with a bunch of weed & sex. I dropped out of high school and about 6 months later I was pregnant with my son. Since no one cared about me I just stopped caring about myself. I willingly gave myself to the flesh of this world without even batting an eye. Walking around this world existing was the only thing I knew to do. When my son was born, I was barely eighteen and I had no clue what to do. My mom worked her butt off to take care of me & her newborn grandson because having faith in myself to take responsibility wasn’t an option.

By the age of twenty, I had two kids & still completely clueless on what life should be like. I got my first apartment in low income housing and since I had no money, I didn’t have to pay rent. I lived off a small check, food stamps and determination to find a man so I could take care of myself & my kids. My self-worth was not a priority and all I wanted was a better life. If I could only find someone to love me then it would all be okay.

This was only the beginning on my path of self-destruction. Having to dig all this back up to share with you is going to be very difficult because there are things I don’t want to remember. I pushed it all way down deep inside hoping to never think about it again but the enemy keeps using it all against me and God knows I have a hard time talking about it but he also knew it would be easier to write about it. So here I am… I’m going to stay faithful to him because he’s always been faithful to me.

#iamawarrior

I am a warrior

About eight years ago, I was challenged to take a photo of myself every day for the month of November. To be honest, I didn’t want to do it, but because it was a challenge I just did it anyways. On the very last day, it was cold & rainy, I had no idea what to do so I just set up my tripod put my camera on self-timer & there you go. It wasn’t until a few days ago that I realized that this photo is a perfect reflection on how I’ve been living for a long time. It was dark, cold & I had no identity. I wasn’t allowed to have one…

My fears were preyed upon and used against me in a way that made me numb to reality. My very first blog I ever wrote spoke a lot about living a in a bubble of denial. Denial was my happy place.. it was the only place I felt safe from the boogey man. God laid on me to write and now I understand why, because the more I wrote about myself the more I learned about myself. When you start to realize that you truly are a good person, the enemy will press harder into you and he did… My heart truly believes that God led me to blogging because I needed you all to help me. If my fears, thoughts & feelings were put on blast then the enemy couldn’t use them against me anymore. By writing, I was setting myself free and God was working his way into my soul.

1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love.” Fear loved me and I loved him. Now, after all these years I realize… that wasn’t love. Nothing about it was.. This photo was also taken during the selfie challenge eight years ago. Again, my camera was on a tripod and the self-timer was on. The light was in my hand and I just let the camera do all the work. The title for that photo was the darkness was overcoming me. If my eyes were open to the truth back then my story today would be different. When I look at this picture now, I see God’s light reflecting away the darkness.

We must surrender to God’s will and not lean on our own understanding. For so many years, the little voices in my head kept telling me I was a nobody. No one loves you… you’re fat.. you’re not very pretty.. everyone thinks you’re stupid. When I started writing, those voices started back up again. You are irrelevant, you’re insignificant, you don’t deserve to be loved in a real way, you brought this on yourself, you’re getting everything you deserve, no one is reading your words…. nobody cares about you… So I would post blogs all the time, then I would stop… I would post all the time, then I would stop… because I kept letting those stupid voices get to me.

The only light in my life was the church I attended. If it wasn’t for Pastor Ray feeding me the word, if it wasn’t for my friend Pam that kept holding me up, if it wasn’t for Christy that kept speaking truth into me and if it wasn’t for my friend Erica that held my hand as I walked into church willingly for the first time, fear would have overcame me and I wouldn’t be here to share my testimony. So many people played a role in my salvation but the most important person was God. He placed all these women in my path that just kept loving me and feeding into me.

There is an entire series of blogs & vlogs I plan to release over the next few months and the vagueness I tend to use will all be revealed. God is pressing into me in ways that are taking me out of my comfort zone. Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” So, I’ve made my mind up, I’m giving you my entire heart.. it’s broken, battered and bruised… Please pray for me, even if you have no clue who I am. I need strength, guidance & peace to overcome my fears.

My prayer for the women who live in similar situations is that you know you’re worth it. God created you in your mother’s womb and if you doubt yourself then that means you are doubting God. I’ve doubted God for a very long time.

I am beautiful.. I am enough.. I am a warrior…