We are women with challenging stories of pain, hurt, and joy. Our stories have a common thread desiring love, nurture and hope for forgiveness and a better future. God tells us to watch and guide our feet down the right path. Proverbs 4:26. One fall evening God directed us to an undesirable neighborhood. I know the crime, the addictions, and the reality of my fears in this place. I prayed for safety. I sat that night at the back table. My back was facing the other patrons. We prayed and as I rose there were not one, but four police officers enjoying a meal. I knew at that moment God was watching, protecting, answering prayer and bringing us safety.
That evening she said she had to write. She had to tell her story…..
My grandmother was a strong woman of faith. If the church door was open she was there. She did not own a car. She walked to church. She taught Sunday school, held babies, sang, could play any instrument by ear, prepared meals, cleaned and just loved serving her Lord. Whatever the church needed she volunteered. My mother took me to live with my grandmother. I did not want to leave my crazy family. I returned home. My regret hurts deeply. I understand now my mother was trying to prevent me from the abuse to come.
Single motherhood and an alcoholic father became my reality. To not be loved by a parent is a hurt beyond words. Every cry for nurturing became abandonment. The abuse became a domino of broken hearts through my young life.
My parents were professionals. Yet, my siblings and I lived poorly. We understood hunger and bullying, we understood rags for clothes, we understood beatings and the ugliness of sexual abuse. We understood fear. Soon love was substituted for lovelessness, and loneliness. Brokenness became our reality. There came a time when the pain was too much to bear. I left. No education, no money, nothing but the rags on my back. Fear turned into years of hurt.
Years of hurt turned into prostitution. Prostitution became webbed into addictions, and trafficking. I tried to reach for healing, many times. But failure was always at the door waiting for me. My story was becoming more and more violent with physical abuse, sexual abuse, drugs, and alcohol. My health was declining. My body now; diseased.
Now, stories of faith, truth, and hope are showering me. Do I deserve such? Fear is crippling me. How do I leave a broken life for Jesus, a better future and hope? How do I walk through the pain to the promise of Jeremiah 29:11? I relate to the music in worship. I guess I have my grandmother’s passion for music. My mentors shared a song by Big Daddy Weave titled “My Story.” So, this is my song, my story, what is yours?
Obeying God’s call to worship beyond four walls has brought life strategies together in ways I could have never formulated, Psalm 22:3. Our stories have common threads of pain, joy, regret, love, addictions, Jesus, hope,desires, loneliness and friendships. Pain and brokenness feels the same for all. Lets remember that Jesus came for the broken hearted and He loves and forgives each of us. John 3:16. This is my song, my story, praising my savior all the day long.