I wasn’t always the positive woman I am today. Though I’m still a flawed, heck of a mess that God is still working on, it took a twisted, life changing event for my spiritual eyes to be open and to become who I am today. I began seeing life from a different lens.
I grew up as a mischievous, free spirited and reckless little rebel that fell in love with exploring new things and drawn to the excitement of being a daredevil. After being exposed to molestation at 9 years of age by a close friend of the family, and the same year losing my father to a heroin overdose, I found myself carrying the weight of hurt and anger into my later years. As I grew older, I couldn’t control my anger and short temper and began fighting anyone I felt “offended me or crossed me the wrong way”. By the time I was 13, getting referrals, being suspended from school multiple times, drinking, smoking, breaking into homes and even disrespecting my mother and stepfather at home became the norm, and though I felt I wasn’t doing anything wrong and had everything under control, I found myself getting pregnant at the young age of 15. Now, I was a young mother who instead of tightening up, I dropped out of high school and moved to Orlando to “start over” and begin a new life with my lil son. My rebellious behavior then began to only get worse as I fell into the same traps and began affiliating myself with a gang who I saw as my brothers and family. Little did I know that I would soon see the consequences of my actions to the point where my entire life would be changed forever,
After a few years, I ended up finding myself involved in a relationship with a man who was involved in the same lifestyle I was. I thought it was love and was naive at first to all things that toxic relationship brought. Even after the emotional and verbal abuse we both put each other through, it was him not accepting my young son and treating him unkindly for me to finally leave the relationship. I decided to leave my apartment, break my lease and move to the opposite side of town to avoid the mess. Unfortunately, that didn’t keep me away from the fatal attraction that had begun. After a few months of my now ex, stalking me at work and my family and friends’ homes, he couldn’t let what we once had go, even though we both were dating other people.
On the night of April 15th, 2007, he showed up at my job when I was leaving to head home with a few friends. He insisted I allowed him to take me home so we could talk. After I refused to get into the car, he then picked up a 9mm, pointed it at me through the passenger side window, and threatened that at the count of 3 if I didn’t get into the car, he would shoot me. Saying “no” and me preceding to walk away, he counted to 3 and shot me close range in the neck. The bullet, entering the left side of my neck and exiting the right, tore straight through muscle, shattering my bones. My body instantly hit the ground and he sped off leaving me lying on the ground, struggling for my life in a pool of blood. I couldn’t move and felt myself struggling to breath and my body shutting down. I then began praying to God to save my life…I knew I was dying.
That night, doctors had no hope for my family, telling them to prepare for the fact that I may not make it through the night. But God said otherwise! After surviving such trauma, they then had the report that, now having a spinal cord injury from the gunshot wound, I would be a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the neck down.
But God once again said otherwise! After about 4 months of being in the hospital and rehab, I regained mobility and feeling throughout my entire body! There was no explanation for my recovery other than a supernatural miracle.
I vowed to give my life to God for saving me, but shortly after coming home from the hospital I began to fall back into my old ways. I began being flooded with many negative thoughts and emotions. I contemplated suicide, angry at the fact that now, being a young mother, how was I to live with this painful and difficult injury and care for myself and my child? I became pregnant again, having a difficult pregnancy and delivery, and now was a disabled mother to a beautiful, healthy daughter (who doctors insisted I aborted).
Still, I turned into drugs and alcohol once again, just to “cope” and cover up the hurt I was allowing to control me. But the more I tried to push God away for allowing me to suffer such pain, he drew closer to me. He continued to bless my children and I, even after I spit in his face. I didn’t deserve his love and grace, yet he continued to give me the strength I needed to carry on in life and to forgive the man who tried to kill me. If I expected to be forgiven for all I had done, how could I not extend forgiveness and God’s love to him? After some years I surrendered, I became aware that I couldn’t do life alone. I was freed from all those dark, evil thoughts and temptations. God had filled my life with such peace, there’s no explaining how I can carry on with daily struggles without HIS power. HE had given me the ability to overcome hate, depression, anger and addiction.
I can never go back. I know no matter what we go through in life, we can’t fight it on our own. And no one can tell me otherwise! All Glory is to God. And I am forever grateful for my struggles because through them I have strength.