Jesus didn’t say life would be easy, but you can persevere through anything. I grew up with one parent most of my life who kept putting her children in the arms of abusive men. When I was 11 years old, I sat across the courtroom from my stepdad and testified against him. I was scared out of my mind, yet I knew it was the only way to protect my family.
After he had been convicted, we moved across the country. I don’t believe in dwelling in the victim role. I didn’t blame my mom, we are a very close family and have always been there for each other. Now I am older, I think she should have seen the signs. She put us in that situation. But when I was young, I told myself – how could she have known? I made excuses for people and always to try to see the best.
The day my son was born, I felt I came home. Peace, serenity, and magic – it’s hard to describe, other than he was a miracle of perfection. He had freckles on his nose and a full head of dark hair. Perfect in every way. He was the most beautiful baby, and it became the happiest day of my life.
For a long time, I had a vision of what my wedding day would look. After months of planning and on the day my wedding dress came in, my fiancée told me – you are not the person I want to be with. We were together for seven years and had joined homes and families. The breakup shook my whole world and shifted my whole being. Back then, I was all about pleasing him and others the forever people pleaser. I worried about whether I looked good, was house well kept, and what the neighbors thought. From the outside, everything must have seemed perfect.
It was a humbling experience. As a single mom, there were points where I was completely broke and felt secluded. I was in school and only able to work part-time, so I moved in with my brother and his family. But I had to be strong for my boys, support them. The rebuilding process took time. I’ve always had an active prayer life, but I wasn’t as plugged into God’s message. We went to church and prayed at dinners, but I didn’t let God lead. Then I realized there was no control. I submitted and asked God to lead me to where He wanted me to go. I started to make better decisions; I stayed away from distractions and became even more prayerful. Christians introduced me to other Christians. People were praying for me and taking me under their wings. I felt like I was where I needed to be and things happened for a reason.
Now five years later, I feel completely blessed. I am not even sure how I got here. It was God. He led me to a better place. I have an amazing man in my life. He is the one I want to spend the rest of my life with, to experience excitement and happiness, and to be there for each other. He is built for me, my best friend. Having him in my life makes all of it worth it. Being in love with him feels very much like when I had my son. It’s a sense of acceptance like no other. It feels like home.
My hope for my boys is for them to grow into spiritual Christian men. For God to protect them, to help them feel comfortable in their skin, find friends who will support them, and discover their paths. Don’t listen to the voices in your head that say you can’t get there. You can always grow and learn.