Updated: Oct 24, 2018
I came into this world on June 20th to a 16 year old girl in a small rural town in western NC. Raised by grandparents of modest means (since the age of four) I had a lot of pain, adversity and hardship in my young life. By the age of 14 I had been through a lot...plagued with all kinds of fears and insecurities. I had suffered neglect, abandonment, sexual abuse through a family member, lied to about the identity of my birth father, lost my grandfather to cancer and nearly lost my grandmother (my sole caregiver) to a car accident leaving her disabled. Striving to find my worth and value in school I suffered from depression, low self esteem, deep insecurities and panic attacks. By the time I graduated high school I was determined to make my way in the world without a God that obviously did not care about me. I had attached my identity to my grades, my achievements and my drive. I was determined to leave the poverty and hardship behind, chasing the happiness I thought came through money and success. I graduated from UNC-CH with honors and shortly thereafter started my own cellular phone business. I was a hard worker and my business thrived. By the age of 29 I had made a lot of money and was living the high life.
To the outside world I had it ALL: youth, success, money, a nice house, expensive cars and many boyfriends along the way. What more could a young girl want? On the outside I was living the American dream, on the inside I was living in Hell, with the real estate of my mind controlled by the enemy. I tried to fill that God shaped hole in my heart with “stuff”, trying to cover the pain, rejection and wounds I had buried so deep within my heart. One night I walked into my empty house from a conference I had attended with my business partner in Las Vegas and it all hit the fan. The voices in my head were literally screaming at me, telling me how pitiful I was, that no one would ever love me and that I would never be enough. “Not even your own mother and father wanted you...that’s how worthless you are.” Trying to silence those voices and escape the pain I picked up a bottle of wine and took a whole bottle of medication. The next thing I remember was waking up in the hospital. I had been in a coma for 4 days. The doctor looked down at me and said “I hope you believe in the Lord young lady because He is the only reason you are still alive.”
That day marked the beginning of my new life. I knew that the Lord had rescued me. He had given me a second chance. I was done feeling unworthy, unloved and unimportant. I began my quest to find Jesus. I was determined to find purpose in my life and figure out why He had saved me. Yes, I grew up in church my whole life but I did not have a personal relationship with Him. I knew about Him, but I did not know Him. I had tried life MY way and it hadn’t worked. The world had lied to me. Money and success did not fill me up, it did not satisfy that aching, deep hole in my heart. What I was craving is what we ALL crave: to be loved, valued and appreciated for who God made us to be. When you are not affirmed as a child and do not have a great start out of the gate you grow up trying to fill your cup with the things of the world only to realize that the cup has a hole in it. Today, my cup is solid, has NO HOLES, and is running over! Once I started chasing Jesus and stopped chasing stuff, He sealed and filled my cup with His love, healed my heart and showed me the love of a Father, the love I had always wanted but had never known. What are you chasing? Is it filling you up? Are you ready to have your cup filled with the one and only thing that quench your soul?
The longer I walk with the Lord the more I realize my total helplessness. In HIM is my strength, in HIM is my power, in HIM is my identity. It is the knowledge of my brokenness that keeps me tethered to Him, that keeps me grounded in His love.
Now you understand why I haven’t always seen myself the way God sees me. Only the love of Jesus could open my eyes to the truth of who I am. Today I can confidently say...I am a beloved daughter of the King, a General in God’s army, a teacher of God’s word; confident, strong, called and equipped for a time such as this.
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