I remember how liberating this was to write! It still encourages me and speaks volumes to the grace of God! I hope it encourages you and teaches you a little about me!
This is by far the most difficult blog I have written to date. But it has to be done. God has ever so slowly revealed this specific idea to me, and I believe I have all the pieces now. I’ve never completely told my testimony, and why I am so passionate about my relationship with Jesus. I felt led to really expound upon my journey, and why I feel that encouraging and empowering others is one of my callings and passions of life. I have a heart of people and their pain because I’ve been through a lot in my life. This is simply a snippet, as I haven’t fully been released to give detail to detail. My hope is that you see me unmasked. That you see me as a person who goes through life just the same as you. That you are inspired, and that you understand why I ever live to love, serve, and uplift the people of God.
I guess we will begin with my childhood! I was born into a married household but raised in a single parent household after my parents divorced. We did live in a shelter for battered and abused women for a little while until my mom found us a new home. We lived in the projects for years in Mobile, AL, my hometown, until we moved into a house. I honestly enjoyed staying there. My mom made it feel like a mansion! We had stairs, so I really thought we were rich! lol We had fun as kids. We traveled all the time with my mom visit family. We also went to tons of amusement parks with my Dad during school breaks. My grandma involved in a lot of extracurricular activities. Even in all the fun I had with my sisters there were some situations in my life, as we all have, that really have molded me into the person I am today!
Our dad was always in our lives, however, used drugs for the majority of it. We experienced most of the pain and hard times associated with having a parent with an addiction. I can say now, with thanks to God, that my Daddy is clean and has been for going on 8 years! (*praise break*). My dad is such a great person and very smart. I have learned so much about life just being with him and experiencing his authenticity. It wasn’t always pretty, but God gets the glory, and has worked all things together for our good!
As a preteen into my teen years, I was sexually harassed by a few men in my family. I never told my parents until recently, when I was ready. I was involved in some incestuous sexual acts that I honestly hated, but was exposed to it at such a young age I never knew how to stand up for myself, until I was in middle school when I stopped it. Because of all of this, it opened up a snowball effect of masturbation and watching porn. All of that turned into severely low self-esteem, shame, and self-disgust. This is the main reason why my husband and I waited so long to have sex. Yes, I wanted to honor God with my body, but I was trapped by my past and was extremely uncomfortable with intimacy of any kind. I bless God that I’m free from all of that now and that he blessed me with a patient, understanding, and loving young man who is now my husband! (Heeeeyy boooo!)
My high school years were better, other than I was still really insecure and hid that through sports because I was really good at them. It gave me an outlet. I was very rough and tom-boyish and sat through several conversions/lectures from my mom and dad about taking more pride in my appearance. It finally stuck and I was into all things hair, make-up, and nails! I am still pretty chill in my appearance but am growing into my womanhood every day!
I got to college and had THE TIME OF MY LIFE! My first few years, up until my second-semester junior year I partied and drank until my heart’s content, still making honor roll every semester. It was fun while it lasted. Then God started showing me the real reason why I was drinking so much and smoking weed here and there. I was suppressing everything! Yes, I was the life of the party, but I was tore up on the inside Y’all!! God saved me from so many car accidents from drunk driving or riding with someone drunk, wrong place at the wrong time situations, fights, and dangerous areas and neighborhoods! Jesus!! Thank you!!
Right before I fully made the decision to surrender my life to God I went through bad depression for about a year. I had dealt with the spirit of depression on an off since I was young, but this time almost drove me insane. I remember it getting so bad I called my parents on three-way and told them I wanted to kill myself. They talked me off the ledge. I bless God that they didn’t judge me, or fuss at me. They listened to their hurting daughter and prayed for me. They spoke to me with love and even told me some of their struggles that mirrored mine. That comforted me to know I wasn’t alone.
My second semester junior year is when I made the decision to get my life together and really start building my relationship with Christ. I was still battling depression, but I so desperately wanted him to take the messed up me and make me whole again. He’s still working on me day by day. So when I post blogs and do my best to encourage, it’s not just something I heard or something I read, It’s what I know to be true! You are never to far down for God to reach down and grab you out of a pit! He grabbed me, and He continues to grab me every day! There is so much more I could tell you about, showing God’s goodness, but I’ll leave it here for now!
God really changed and is changing my life. He made me a new person. I love who I am, and who I’m becoming! I was nervous to tell my story, but how can I work towards living a life poured out for Christ with a mask on? God loves my flaws! He loves yours too. It makes me think of a song by Kierra Sheard called “Flaws”. I pray this has blessed you in some way! I don’t mind if you all share this, it’s all for God’s glory. Check out that song when you get a chance!
Until next time.
I love Y’all
❤ Annette D.