May 24, 2012 by agirlikemee
Now before you get to thinking that I have gone loony, no, I am not telling my story all over again. I am starting a segment of periodic posts entitled “Who’s That Girl” that will highlight some very remarkable women I know and their path to freedom. Now I have plenty of stories to share myself, but these women have seen, done and experienced things I will never know. So to start things off I wanted to share with you the story of a woman ironically named Heather. In last weeks post which you can read here, I told you about a story I read of an incredible woman. After asking her permission, she has graciously allowed me to share it all with you. Please know that she too reads this blog and I know would love to encourage any of you if you need it. I hope you feel just as blessed by it as I did. Here is her story:
I am a Christian plain and simple. I am the daughter of the living God. I am a student, advocate and overall brutally honest type of person. I will listen, confront, comfort, empathize, love humbly and I will give you a fair shot in my life. Have I always been this person? Not by a long shot. Up until about five years ago I was a 20 year old college student just trying to make it by. I had Christ in my life, but he was far from being the center. I was thousands of miles from home in a small town where people did not lock their doors, and our college coaches pulled his athletes out of the bar. That is where I was found. During the week I was found either on the softball field, gym, bar or a church, although the church was limited. Despite my ability to play as a “Sunday Christian” I still managed to lead worship every week for the college group through the University.
You see I moved to this small town when I was 20 as a means to escape everything and anything I had ever known…not knowing that not only would I not escape it but it would follow me two fold. As child I was sexually, physically, verbally and mentally abused by none other than my father starting at age six and lasting well into my adult years. There was no escape, no help, and no resources for me to find safe shelter in a home that was broken beyond repair. By the time I was nine I had been sexually abused more times than I can recount now as an adult. At age 12 I thought I knew what it meant to love God when I just so happened to stumble upon a church youth group. I was the product of two alcoholic parents who thought that by drinking their life away their mistakes would disappear…the mistakes being myself and my two older sisters.
By the time I was nine my eldest sister was so far removed from my life that up until I was 18 all thought I had one older sister rather than two. High school was a joke, the only thing I wanted was to play sports and have as much sex as possible, both of with I succeeded at quite well. By my sophomore year, I had slept around with more people than I can recount, had become addicted to masturbation, and was also an elite athlete preparing to compete in state games. My family had nothing to do with my wellbeing, had nothing to do with the church I attended and nothing to do with how bad I was falling. By my senior year of high school I was an alcoholic, developed an eating disorder and had attempted suicide twice. I literally thought I was done, that if I had to wake up another day I would be dead.
Death was closer than I could have ever wanted it to be, both the elite athlete and eating disorder I spoke of…they both almost killed me. I was training at least 20 miles a day and weighing a whopping 80 pounds…WOW is probably what all of you are thinking right now…well yes WOW is right. Looking back, there is no logical reason I should have been alive. Thankfully I had a coach who made me strip down (I know I know HUMILIATING) in her office and said I needed help and I needed help now! I got the help I needed and moved forward. I though life could not get any worse than it already had.
My senior year of college to this day has been noted as the worst year of my entire life. In less than 24 hours I had lost three teammates in a deadly drowning incident when their care submerged into a local stock pond. The weeks that followed I know now it was by the grace of God I made it through.Never in a million years would I have thought I would have had to bury three of my teammates (FAMILY) in less than one week.
The moment everything turned for me was the moment I was leading worship the week after I buried my teammates and I felt HIS presence more than I ever had. In the middle of leading worship I fell face down, tears streaming and knew I had hit my rock bottom. I can remember crying out to God asking why, why was I abused, why did my teammates have to die, why do I have an eating disorder, and why does life have to be so hard? His response was simple. Because you are more, and I want you to show the hurting and broken that I am more. WHAT I thought, I am not more, and I am not going to show anybody that you are more, because obviously you have proved that you are not. I received an explanation I will never forget. I heard YOU ARE MORE, you have overcome more than most others could only imagine, you overcame aggressive abuse, you had to lose your sister, you made it through the eating disorder, you were there for your teammates when three had passed, and you cannot honestly sit here and tell me that you are not worth more than what you have been shown! I want you to go out and reach those who appear to be unreachable!
It is in that statement and my obedience that has led me to where I am today. I was able to reach teammates who seemed unreachable when I was approached about my strength through trial; I now work at a Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center as a child advocate. I daily GET to work with children and teens that are facing very similar and sometime to close to home situations to my own. I get to pray for them (in my head of course), I get to love on them and I get to show them the respect that they have always wanted and never received. At 25 I hold my elementary teaching license, and am in the process of receiving my M.A in both school and community counseling. God has thrown me gracefully into the exact situations that I thought I never had to face again; this time…I get to be a voice for the voiceless.
Here I sit stating loud and clear. I AM MORE, I am the daughter of the living God, I am blessed beyond anything I could have ever imagined, and I am doing it without alcohol, without masturbation, without sex and WITH GOD! For four years now I am able to regain a relationship with a sister after 12 years of no communication, I was able to bare witness on her wedding day to an incredible Christian man who sought out God to find her. I am able to interact and be a part of my niece and nephew’s life, and pour a Godly truth into everything they do. Again I say, I am more than what I have been through, done, seen and more than what anybody has ever told me. I am his DAUGHTER!