(Mercy Found Me)

Today is for every girl that cried herself to sleep last night.

Today is for every guy who fills that void with an addiction.

Today is for the college student who wrote his goodbye letters to his family.

Today is for the single mother who is trying to numb her pain.

Today LOVE wins.

I've been wondering when I was finally going to write the post about my past. And I can't think of a more appropriate day. This movement, and what you are all doing today, means a great deal to me. Because it was only 7 short years ago, this month,
that I was writing those goodbye letters.
But Love won.

I haven't been able to publish this post yet, I've tried twice but could never seem to do it. Maybe because there is something about the truth that is very ugly. Lately there have been so many people that have emailed me and they ask me things like - "why are you so outspoken about your faith?" or say things such as - "I didn't realize that you were a Christian in High School." And I thought that today is probably the day that I need to set the record straight. It isn't pretty, and the story of how I got here isn't one that starts with a "Once upon a time", but it definitely ends with a

Happily Ever After.

You see, I would have claimed to be a Christian in High School. Sure, if you went through my notebook of poems or my journal you would see that I thought I loved God. But it is amazing what love will really teach you, when you finally look it in the face.

{And so it began}
At age 15, my world got turned upside down. I got into a relationship with a much older guy that was abusive in every way. At first, it was a challenge to me. You know, to save the one that nobody had ever loved. To change him. At least, that is what I thought. The only person that changed in the process was me. And it was not for the better. I am ashamed to say that this went on for a lot longer than it ever should have. I lost myself in the mist of it all. I found myself questioning my worth and value, my friends, my family. I lost a lot of trust in people and I wasn't really sure how to get it back. I remember turning my back on so many people because I was too embarrassed to tell them what was going on behind closed doors. Or because I was too proud to admit that I was wrong about someone. You would think that being held down on the ground by someone who tells you that they "love you" and having them spit in your face would have been most damaging.

But you know, that wasn't the worst part.
The fact that I no longer liked myself...That was the worst part.

{stop this downward spiral}
I finally get out of high school and leave this town of pain and frustration. I get a second chance. And I'm determined to change myself for the better. But the truth is, the more I tried to heal myself on my own from all of the betrayal and humiliation, the further from peace I got. Before I knew it, my first two years in college turned into a nightmare. I was broken inside. Sure, I put on a happy face and pretended to be "normal" (everyone wants to be normal, right?), but inside I was really screaming for help. No matter who I surrounded myself with I felt lonely. No matter how much I tried to ignore my insecurity and shame, I still saw it...Every time I looked in the mirror.

My second year of college started with a lot of partying. The more "fun" I had, the more I forgot about the emptiness inside of me that just could never be filled. For a while I developed an eating disorder. I also had signs of PTSD and depression. But I was in denial about those things. On the outside, I was well rested, put-together, and was always the one that was having fun. But I knew the truth. I spent most of my second year of college crying myself to sleep.

{the breaking point}

I remember the exact moment, still, to this day. I guess if I had to choose one word that would describe what kept me down, it would be worthlessness. I felt worthless. Satan has a way of whispering stuff in your ear, you know?And there I sat on my sofa in my apartment at 2 in the morning watching infomercials. And I started to write my letters. My goodbye letters.
I wrote one to my parents together. And then one to my brother. I laid them out on my bed so that whoever came in could find them. And then I got into my art set in my closet and pulled out the largest razor blade that I had. Being the person that I am now, it is hard to even type this part. But I think that in order to show the power and love of God, it's necessary. I remember sitting face down on the floor right there, right then, and praying to a God that I had never shown one bit of love or respect to.
Hoping he would hear me.
Hoping he would heal me.

{and mercy found me...}But I couldn't do it. All I could see was the face of my brother, my best friend, completely heartbroken, and I folded my letters up, and crawled into bed. Something told me that God was not finished yet.

I moved to College Station a year later and began working at a bank. There, I met a friend that wanted to study the Bible with me. I admired his love and faithfulness to God, but more than anything, I admired the way that he showed it in the way that he lived.

On April 14th, 2004 I was baptized into Christ and I came out of that water a new person.

Praise God, Love won.

1 John 4:8

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  1. Wow. Thank you thank you thank you for sharing your story! I went through very similar things in high school. I love TWLOHA day. It makes me think of where I came from...praise the Lord He is such a Savior and a good Redeemer! Thank you for sharing your story. Our stories have power!

    "They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony!"-Revelation 12:11

  2. Thank you so much for your courage. I know how hard it is to write about one's darkest moments, it brings up so many emotions. Your post has so much in common with what I've gone through, I hope you don't mind me giving you credit for a post I'm writing now in the form of a link to this post.

  3. This is a beautiful story, and you're so strong for writing it out for us to read! God is always there for us if we just listen.. I think that's such an amazing thing. Knowing that we are really never alone. It's comforting :)


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