I had a very cold and bitter childhood. My mom was a single mother of 5. We were very poor and my mother was very promiscuous. She would have men coming in and out of our home. A lot of times she didn't know who they were. She would get in a very depressed state and would take it out on us by physically and mentally abusing us. She would leave us weekends at a time to be with different men leaving us with no food in the house. My older brothers had to go out in the neighborhood and ask for odd jobs. My oldest brother cleaned houses and my second brother mowed lawns or shoveled snow to earn a few bucks to buy milk, bread and eggs for us 3 younger ones while my mom was out partying with her men. Needless to say I began resenting my mom and as I got older our relationship got further apart. By the time I was in high school my mom had a steady boyfriend who was physically abusive towards her. I had to call the police several times but each time she would drop the charges and would let him back in the house.
My older brothers were moved out and it was just me and little brother and sister left at home so now I was the oldest sibling to have to take care of things. Throughout all of this my major escape was through music. I was always in my room singing along to latest popular songs. My dream was to get out and become a singer myself but my mother always was a discouragement. She always told me that singing was a waste of time and that I would never make it as one. (She was such a loving and supportive mother wasn't she?)
Well, by my junior year in high school I met someone whom I fell madly in love with and ended up losing my virginity to. (I'll call him Will) Unfortunately Will was the bad boy type and wound up in jail the day after our intimate moment for attempting to rob a convenience store. He ended up in prison for a year. I ended up waiting for him to come out. My mom disapproved of him and our relationship. But she was the last person I wanted to listen to about relationships. When he got out we stayed together and planned on being together forever.
It was time for me to go off to college and I decided to get far away from home as possible. I told Will that he didn't have to wait for me because I knew that long distance relationships never last, as much as it hurt me to leave him. But he refused and said he would be supportive of me and be there for me. We kept in touch the first 2 months but then he suddenly disappeared with no word until a friend of mine told me that he was seeing someone else.
I was hurt and furious at the same time. So what do I do? I began dating this Frat guy who had been wanting to get with me the whole semester.( I'll call him Ron). Basically I was on the rebound but Ron turned out to be a really caring guy. We got along really well but the thoughts of Will still kept lingering in the corner of my mind. I went home for Christmas break and guess who paid me a little visit? You guessed it, Will!.....To make this part of the story short Will apologized but ended up hurting me again the same way. I ended pregnant by Ron and found out that Will had 2 daughters by 2 different girls. I was devastated!
Needless to say I never finished college, Ron ended being a loser dead beat father and Will and I got back together. We ended up living together for about a year and within that year he was a totally different person. He became abusive mentally and physically. I swore I would never let a man hurt me this way because of what I saw my mother go through but here I was accepting all this abuse for the sake of blind love.
I then found out that I'm pregnant by Will. My son by Ron was a year old at this point. I decided I wanted out of the relationship but Will became furious and held me prisoner there. He said I wasn't going anywhere with his baby in my belly. I finally got the courage to just leave and moved in with my aunt and Will did every thing he could to get me back. I had the baby and seeing him with her just melted my heart and my weakness allowed me to give it one more try.
Well, like the other times it didn't work out and Will became furious that I finally began showing him that I didn't need him anymore. So what did he do? He beat me and kidnapped my daughter. I called the police and pressed charges for domestic violence and kidnapping. But the police told me since he's the biological father he had rights to her. From that point that was the last time I saw my daughter.
I took every measure I had to as far as establishing custody and making the kidnapping charges stick. There was a detective on the case who I made sure was working hard to get my daughter back. (I'll call him him Detective Firestone). Detective Firestone and I kept in touch almost everyday because I wanted to make sure he didn't treat this case as any ordinary case. He was very understanding and very supportive. I was determined to get my daughter back. I cried every night wondering how she was doing, whether or not she was eating properly and if Will was taking good care of her. Now mind you I was not a Christian at this time, obviously, but I would cry out for God to help me. Detective Firestone had gotten approval to have a nationwide warrant out for Will's arrest. So where ever he went within the U.S. he was wanted. I had made a call to America's Most Wanted and they were willing to accept my case. They came out and interviewed me and my son. They were very nice and sympathetic.
Although I was showing on the outside that I was being strong about all of this I was totally breaking down inside. The thoughts of not ever seeing my daughter consumed me and I felt so helpless. But like I said, I had to stay strong because I still had my son to take care of. One night I was crying in bed and at this point I was tired of crying myself to sleep, so I decided to watch tv. As soon as I turned the tv on there was Billy Graham. I quickly changed the channel to see what else was on. There was nothing appealing but something told me to turn back to Billy Graham.
His message was about trials and tribulations. As I listened to his message I felt that he was talking directly to me. At the end he had mentioned that there was only one way out and that was through Jesus Christ. He also said that if we give all our burdens to the Lord he would take care of it for as long as we have faith and live for Him. In closing he asked if there was anyone who wanted to open their hearts up for Jesus and allow Him to take care of them to just simply repeat the sinners prayer.
Well, I felt this may be what I needed. So, I repeated the sinners prayer with every feeling in my body and my arms lifted up in the air. Afterwards, I instantly felt a feeling of relief. I felt all burdens lifted off of me and I began to cry hysterically. It wasn't a cry of depression this time. It was a cry of joy because I knew in my heart that I was going to be ok!
The next day I felt like a whole new person and saw everything in a positive light.
The next week on Thursday I was waiting for Saturday to arrive because that was the day America's Most Wanted was going to show my segment on the show. I was so excited. I was thinking, "Boy, is Will in for a great surprise!" But no one was more surprised than I was when I received a phone call that Thursday night from the California police dept. calling me to tell me that they have recovered my daughter. Talk about a state of Shock! I began to cry "Thank you Lord! Thank you sooo much!". I called Detective Firestone to share my joy. I called the interviewer from America's Most Wanted. They were all so happy for me.
I flew to California that night to get my daughter. It had been 10 months since I've seen her. She was big and beautiful!
The great thing was that I got her just in time to celebrate her 2nd b-day. I threw her a big party and invited all my family and friends even Detective Firestone who I ended up marrying a year later. He's such an awesome man and a great father to my kids. Will is serving 6 yrs. in the Pen. My husband and I have found a dynamic non-denomination church that we are very involved with. I am one of the soloist in the choir.
Remember when I said that singing was my dream? Well, I found my purpose in life and that's serving God through the music ministry. Many doors of opportunities are opening up for me as far as many Christian organizations requesting that I sing for them at certain Christian events. I'm also on the verge of cutting a Christian CD. If it's His will, it will be done. I am truly blessed! My life has been going up-hill from the moment I accepted Christ into my life. Of course Satan is there to try and throw monkey wrenches into my life, but having love and strength in the Lord there's nothing I can't overcome. I now know my purpose here on earth and I'm running with it. I live for Him and He brings many Blessings.
I'm sorry that this was so long, but I was told to never be ashamed of my testimony because there's always someone out there who just might be going through the same thing and need encouragement.
If you read this whole thing, thank you for allowing me to write this.
Have a Jesus filled day!!! May the Lord shower you with many blessings!