“From the outside looking in, I’m sure it looked like my family had it all together. My mom was a very devoted mother, and we grew up going to church, but when I was really young, my stepfather was arrested for molesting my older sister. I didn’t know why he left us, I just remember missing him and feeling devastated that my dad was gone. I began acting out to get attention. Lying and stealing compulsively, and it continued through the years.
Over the next few years, my mom remarried a wonderful man, but my life was again shattered when I was molested at the ages of 7 and 8 by two different people. I would not have been able go to church if it were not for a lady from my church who committed to drive my brother and I every week. I am still so grateful for her.
I kept the molestation a secret until I was 12, and although the perpetrator was found guilty, the damage was already done. A couple of years later, I was raped at the birthday party of a friend. I struggled with being promiscuous, but at the same time, church continued to play a vital role in my life and I found so much healing in sharing my story at a youth group lock-in.
I was dating a boy at the time who pressured me into having sex, and soon after, we found out I was pregnant. I left the church because I felt like my life was a mess. We were married a couple of months later, but he began beating me and I became good at hiding it.
My son was born on February 15th, 2005 and I submerged myself into being a mommy to this wonderful little boy. Life finally felt right, but on April 16th on a beautiful sunny day, I woke up to find that my sweet baby boy had passed away in his sleep at 2 months old, diagnosed with SIDS/Sudden infant death syndrome. My life was shattered.
My husband left me and I found myself experimenting with drugs and involved in another abusive relationship. I finally had enough, decided this was not the way to live. One night, in a drunken, drug induced stupor, I prayed.
Since that prayer, my life began to turn around. I met another man. The first few months of our relationship were filled with trials including homelessness and the discovering of precancerous cells on my cervix, but we started going to church together and in 2011, my now-husband and I accepted Christ into our hearts. We were married a couple years later.
In 2013, I began to get sick and I knew that I needed to go back to the doctor. It was around that time that I attended a LeadHer live event in Niceville, Florida. I was so encouraged. My eyes were opened to so much purpose for my life. I was shown how my life could impact others for Christ and how God could use my life to help others. I knew this was something I wanted to be a part of but I knew I needed to focus on my health and getting better first. I made a commitment to God on that 2nd day at LeadHer Live that as soon as I was better, I would throw myself into ministry for Him.
I still struggled with fear of the unknown but when I finally made an appointment to see the new doctor, I was told that my biopsy came back positive for cervical cancer. During this time my schedule was filled with doctors appointments and tests and my husband and I were arguing a lot. But in October of 2014, I received news that it was all gone. Just gone! I have complete faith and believe God healed me because He is good.
Two weeks after getting the good news from my Dr. I was invited to a LeadHer meeting from a friend who had no idea that I’d even heard of it before. I knew God wasn’t going to let me forget my promise to Him! LeadHer Local Crestview was launched at the start of 2015.
I am not proud of my past, but I am no longer ashamed. I guess it took a lot to shake me and break me down to rock bottom. I’ve heard that sometimes it takes us hitting rock bottom to find Jesus. Jesus truly is my rock. All else is shifting sand.”