Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares The Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."



Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Grace

Jeremiah 29:11 NIV “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares The Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Romans 8:37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord

The story I am about to share with you is not for those who are not mentally and emotionally able to handle the raw details of abuse. My story is not a happy one and a lot of the things I will be talking about are not pleasant and you will be hearing very graphic details of childhood sexual abuse and domestic violence. With that being said…

You never know what goes on behind closed doors..

My girls and I have this "obsession".. well its actually out of curiosity and just being nosy.. but its still an "obsession".. We drive by homes and look for the ones with their blinds or curtains open. When we find one, we love to look through the windows (as fast as we can because my husband Greg usually speeds up when he realizes what we are doing) and wonder what kind of people live there. If there is a cross hanging on the wall or the door we automatically assume they go to church and if we see huge crystal light fixtures hanging from the ceiling we assume they are wealthy. Looks can be very deceiving though.. Just because the outside of the house looks really bad.. doesn't mean the inside does too or that the people living there are bad people and vice versa. Just because the people living in the homes, by all "appearances" seem perfectly normal and happy.. doesn't mean they are.

The reality is sexual and physical abuse takes place every where.. Even in respectable, loving, Christian homes. It occurs where you least expect it and it affects us all

I was born to a mentally challenged mother whom physically abused me and allowed different men to physically and sexually abuse me as well. Back in 1984 it was one of the worst cases the Fort Worth Police Department had ever seen... As the CPS Investigator told my current mom... It was the worst in Tarrant County at the time. It was so bad it made the news..

My Bio logical Father and step father both sexually molested me over and over.. One of the earliest memories of my bio logical father was him laying me naked on the bed and taking pictures of me. He would then touch me while touching himself. My step father would rape me violently. He would rape my mother and make me watch then he would rape me and make her watch.. All the while video taping it all. I remember him sitting me in a chair in the corner of the room and saying “Laura watch what I’m going to do to your mommy” Then he would get on top of her, hold her down and rape her. My mother would scream at me to not look and he would tell me if I don’t then I would get it worse. He shoved a broom stick inside me and made me bleed.. he made me watch pornography with him and my mother. He would urinate and ejaculate in my mouth and beat me if I threw up. When my mother would leave to go to the store he would lock the doors and have his way with me.. I would scream so loud the neighbors would come and bang on the door.. We would run and hide then. He said he was making love to me and if I told he would kill me and my mother.

I remember a lady named Sheryl "befriended" my mother and my "step dad". She became my friend and I felt very comfortable talking to her about things that were happening to me. One day she came to our house and my mom told Sheryl that she needed to take me because she was fixing to kill me. Sheryl didn't know what to do but she knew she had to get me out of that house one way or another, so she "kidnapped" me and took me to her house. I don't remember how long I was at her house but I remember being woke up one night by screams and banging on all the doors and windows. Everyone was frantic and scared.. Next thing I knew the house was surrounded by cops, TV news crews and helicopters.. I was rushed out wrapped in a blanket handed to a woman who got in the back of a police car with me.

I awoke the next morning in a strange place, scared and alone... I was in a Foster home... My old life left behind... Mommy and all...

Strange as it may sound, considering all that I had endured... I loved my "Mommy" and I didn't want to leave her.. She was all I knew..

Actual Statements given to the FW Police Dept:

April 23rd, 1983: On April 3rd P called our home and asked me to come pick her up and take her for job interviews the next day, Monday. I told her I would but then called her back and told her I couldn't. When Monday came, I changed my mind because I had prayed and felt that I had to go there. As the mother started putting in job applications Laura started talking and snuggling up to me as if she was afraid. I started asking questions then and she said her mother had told her that morning that she was going to kill her. She told me she was afraid and asked Jesus to come and get her today. I told her to not be afraid that I would help her. When I took the mother home I asked her if she was OK and she broke down crying and said she felt guilty about all the things she had done. She had been so upset with Laura and was beating her daily. She said they had to stay home from church for 2 weeks because Laura‘s face and back was marked so bad from being beat with a belt. She said her husband was also mean to Laura and he would punch and bite her.

I sat down with Laura and asked her why she was afraid of adults and she said her new daddy would, after her mommy went to the store, take off all her clothes and have "private" with her. She said she would scream and the neighbors would come and knock on the door and her daddy and her would hide then. He would slap her mouth and tell her to shut up. She also said her daddy would tell her she better watch when him and her mommy had private. Laura would tell her mommy and her daddy would laugh and tell Laura he would do it to her again for telling.

Now the original statement from Laura:

April 23rd, 1983: My mommy's name is P and my daddy's name is W, My mommy said she was going to choke me, hit me and kill me.
My daddy hit me real hard
I have dreams of my old daddy. He locked me in the bathroom and outside. He told me he was going to let the dogs eat me because he hated me. He spanked me with a belt real hard
My daddy touches me between my legs. My old daddy and my new daddy did that
My daddy sneaked in and got me one day while I was watching cartoons. He touched me and made me touch him. He touched my mommy there too and made me watch. I always told my mommy and she said "W if you don't stop that I'll call the courts"
When mommy came home from the store she said “Laura get those clothes on before I spank you!"
He takes all his clothes off and gets on top of my mommy. You call that making love. He doesn't do that to anyone but my mommy and me.
My old daddy lives in far away. I don't see him anymore and I'm glad. He's mean to me and doesn't love me. He told me.
No one loves me. They told me.

You see... By all accounts we were a good "All American" family.. We went to Church every Sunday and had lots of friends from Church.. But no one ever knew what was going on behind closed doors.

I was adopted at the age of 5 by my birth mothers cousin and her husband and they loved me as their own..

I lived with them until the age of 17 when I decided I knew it all.. I knew EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING and could not be told different..

I met a guy and fell madly "in love" and since I knew everything I decided to run away and go live with him. We moved into a drug infested neighborhood which in turn led me to become addicted to drugs... Methamphetamines to be exact..

The beatings started the second night of us living together..

He would beat me so bad I thought he would kill me. He would punch, slap, kick, bite me etc etc... All because he loved me... I thought this was what love really was... I mean after all... My biological mom and dad loved me and they did all those things.. This is what love is so I might as well get used to it..

I was knocked out, hung off a bridge, beat with anything he could find, had knives to my throat and stomach, my throat slammed in a car door.... All because he "loved" me...

He loved to beat me with electrical cords and metal coat hangers..

He would drive me out to the country... Beat me until I was almost unconscious then rape me repeatedly.. On the way back into town he would tell me how much he loved me and that he only did these things because he was so scared of loosing me.

At the end he was beating me almost 24 /7. He installed a dead bolt on our door that could only be locked and unlocked with a key, and he had that key. He screwed all of our windows shut and put black trash bags over them so no one could see in. During one beating he forgot to lock the dead bolt and I escaped.. I got across the gravel parking lot and up the stairs to my neighbors apartment when I felt my hair being ripped out of my head. He drug me back down the stairs, back across the parking lot and inside to finish what he started.

I left him numerous times, called the cops and had him arrested, put restraining orders on him and even moved back home… but I still took him back each and every time he said he was sorry. I believed him..

Why did I stay you ask... "Your stupid for putting up with it" you might say "You deserved what you got for not leaving" you might think.... But you see leaving takes careful planning.. Or you might just get killed.. It takes so much strength and courage to leave and I didn't have either of those.. He had sucked all my strength, courage, self esteem and self worth right out of me... He LOVED me... I mean he told me so, He told me each time how sorry he was... I thought I could change him... I could make him love me... I was dead wrong and almost died trying...

I did finally get the courage to leave... And get help… after 7 long years...

The definition of Help is simple... to make it easier for (someone) to do something by offering aid.

Help can come in many forms.. But YOU choose to either be the "helper" or the one receiving the help... Never consider yourself "helpless".

I at one time thought I was "helpless". I was lost in a world of abuse and addiction with no easy way out. I was as low as one could go and still sinking lower.

I sought and found help because I knew I would die if I didn't. In that instance I made a choice.. A choice to not be helpless anymore... A choice to change my destiny... change my legacy..

You can choose to stay right where you are for the rest of your life or you can choose to dig down as deep as you can go, and when you think your at the bottom and you still can't find it... dig deeper.. and find a thread of courage.. a thread of strength.... and get help..

If I found a way to survive all that I've endured and make an amazing life for myself... others can too.. We can’t use our past as a stumbling block and a crutch.. You must use it as a stepping stone, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep moving... Seek Help…

It is only by the grace of God that I am here today... nothing more and nothing less... The night I was able to break free, things happened that could only have been because of God. It was supernatural..

The night I left he had just finished beating me so badly I could barely move.. He pushed me onto the floor and started kicking and punching me anywhere he could.. I was so out of it all I could do was moan and pray for death to come quickly.. We only had one set of keys to our apartment and he left to go get more drugs, locking me in and taking the keys with him.. I was crying and begging God to please help me, to please save me from this life I was living.. I knew if I didn’t find a way to get out right then and there I was going to be killed very soon.. But I also knew I had no way out.. He had the keys.. I remember laying in a fetal position sobbing on the cold floor when I got the strength to get up.. Something told me to start looking.. Looking for a key.. I remember the pure terror I was feeling as I was looking and having no luck… All along knowing we only had one key.. I tore the apartment up looking when all of a sudden a voice ordered me to “Look in front of you” I raised my eyes and looked straight ahead of me and sitting in plain sight on my kitchen counter was a key! Not just any key but the key to the door that was holding me in my prison.. I grabbed that key and ran to the door frantically unlocking it and running as fast as I could to the pay phone down the road. I had no idea who I was going to call until I looked above the phone and there was a phone number for the national domestic violence hotline.. Tell me God wasn’t with me that night.. In my darkest hour.. He was there.

God was always there, even when I was a small child I knew there was a God, a loving merciful God and I knew He was with me. I prayed He would come and take me. As I grew older and ran from Him He was still there, patiently waiting on me to return. He gave me a burning desire to seek Him in my darkest hours, read His word and pray.

When I allowed myself to be broken… That’s when God was allowed to work in my life..

I am now married to a wonderful man and have been for going on 13 years. We Pastor a small church in Pilot Point called The Diffrence (spelled wrong on purpose)… We are striving to be difference makers and to make a difference in the lives of everyone we come in contact with. WE are ALL called for a purpose..

I've come to realize that God does have an amazing plan for my life. Although I must admit that I couldn't always see nor understand that plan. His plans are to prosper us, to give us hope and a future. Not to harm us. We must walk by faith and not by sight. We have to step out of the boat into the raging sea, to see that God will meet us right where we are.

There have been many times in the years following all of my "challenges" in life that I've felt completely uncertain of what God had in store for my life and I tried really hard to make things happen in my own timing. I have tried to take things into my own hands only to have them crumble apart right before me. Isaiah 55: 8-9 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." In other words... Move out of the way and let God work.. That is one of the hardest things for me to do. I am a "fixer".. I try and "fix" everything . God can't work if I'm running around trying to do His job!

I have made over a million mistakes in my life and I by no means claim to be perfect but I still know that God has an awesome plan for me and wants me to be all that He has called me to be.... In His timing.. I am a forgiven Child of God who He has called for a purpose. We can choose to sit around and wallow in self pity or spiritual arrogance or we can choose to put our flesh aside and live up to His calling. There is not one person who is more righteous than the other.. We all have sinned and fallen short.. None of us deserve the grace that God has extended to us…. But He still extended it.



 

1 comment:

  1. Wow. I'm blown away by your honesty and courage!! I'm so very sorry for the demons of your past.. but I'm so thankful for the blessings in your future! It's so refreshing to hear of someone not only overcoming a devastating start in life, but overcoming and giving credit where credit is due. Thank you sharing.and for being an example. Bravo.

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