The beginning of the end started when I was twenty and pregnant. I didn't want children - I have never wanted children. I saw no beauty in pregnancy. I married because I felt I had no other choice. In my eyes, to be a pregnant, unwed girl screamed slut. Whore. Harlot. Cheap. Easy. Getting married covered up the scandal.
At five and half months I almost miscarried due to a double kidney infection. When I was in the hospital I prayed that I would - anything to not become a mother. Despite my wishes, we both survived the infection. I even researched ways to induce an abortion naturally, I tried two of them and failed.
A few months before I was due, I agreed, with the help of a counselor, to try and give a Bible study a shot. I went and realized that all of the women there were at least 10 years older than I was and I was the only one pregnant. I was the only one who didn't look put-together or established. I didn't look "well-to-do". There is nothing attractive about advanced pregnancy; I looked and felt like a freak. But, much to my surprise, they didn't make me feel that way. They were warm and welcoming. They didn't pity me. For every embittered, loathing, angry glance I had, they returned it with the exact opposite. I was closed off and they were social. I was both terrified of and hated God and they simply exhibited his love. I lived in hell and they lived in peace. I realized I wanted to possess that peace they had. I didn't understand why I craved it, but I had to have it.
I finally came to a place where I was ready to pray the prayer of a sinner seeking salvation.
Then on April 27, 2010, I gave birth to a girl, Avery Alexah.
Post-pregnancy was almost worse than being pregnant. I had to accept the reality that nothing would ever be the same. I felt like my life had been stolen from me. I saw no blessings. I just saw and expected a bleak wasteland of a dead future in front me. I compared being a mother to slavery. I was living my biggest nightmare and I didn't know how to make it stop. I believed in God but had no faith in His abilities or willingness to help me.
Though I was saved, I felt like I was living inside a black hole. I went through a deployment of my own, had several affairs, went through a bitter divorce, and a suicide attempt. I reverted back to shut down mode because I saw myself as a failure. I was utterly without hope. I pictured myself as used goods fit for nothing more than a scarlet letter "A". Life had become a bitter pill swallow. I had a very difficult time seeing myself as worthy of being fixed. I would look into a mirror and see only a shattered visage of what I was. I thought I would never be vindicated. I could feel the demonic oppression that weighed so heavily on my head like an anvil crown. It was almost inescapable.
It took years of counseling, prayer, breaking demonic strongholds, and spiritual counseling to heal all the damage and hurt. At one point, I had to go to counseling twice a week for 2 months straight. But I was willing to do whatever it took to feel free. Freedom became my battle cry and it still is. Freedom is found in Jesus and Jesus alone. Along with the intense counseling sessions I went through equally intense deliverance sessions. I literally learned how to battle demons on their own turf in other realms. I learned how to wage war in the Spirit. There is nothing as freeing as true freedom; the ability to breathe and not feel crushed at the same time is amazing.
I've learned that even in times of war there is still peace.
I honestly have no clue what’s next for me, but I know that my future will be international. The United States just isn't my permanent home. I will leave a mark that will be unforgettable, undeniable, uncontested, and even possibly outrageous to some. Freedom is my battle cry and freedom I will bring.
How has God changed your life? How has he changed how you see yourself?
We want to hear your story (even if it's still in process) of victory in Christ!