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I came to know Jesus at seven years old for the first time, but it wasn't until sixteen that I really grasped the depth of how much Jesus loves me. My life at a very young age was chaotic. I lived in a household where sexual, verbal, emotional, and physical abuse took place. It became my normal. I remember nights where I would cry out to God to take my life because I was afraid of what tomorrow would bring.


God's plan for me was not suicide.


I lived in an abusive home for 15 years before I found freedom from the mental chains of darkness. While living in abuse God brought my attention to Him. I became obsessed with Him. I remember at age five praying outside by my favorite lilac bush that God would give me wisdom every day. It went something like this, "I ask dat you given me all na wisdom I need for tonay."


Did I even know what wisdom was at age 5? Probably not, but God knew.


Two years later, at age seven, I pulled my mom's sleeve as the communion was being passed at church. I looked at her with a pouty face begging for the grape juice to quench my thirst and the cracker to fill my gurgling stomach. She refused. She quickly explained that we would discuss it later.


I made it through the entire church service without stealing any grape juice or crackers; however, I did flip upside down every cup my family left behind to get a drop of juice on my tongue.


Later that day, I reminded my mom of her refusal to give me the yummy stuff at church. She sat me down on her bed and told me what communion was. I half listened and half dreamt of the juice that would be in my hands next month. She finished teaching me about communion and asked me if I wanted to be "saved". I anxiously said yes. I didn't want to die and go to hell, and I also really, really wanted those crackers (they were the kind she never bought us).


She held my hands, and I squeezed my eyes shut. We prayed a prayer that I can't remember word for word, but I feel it in my soul still today. I remember when my mom approached amen my eyes shot open, and I felt excited.

I ran through the living room shouting, "I AM SAVED!"

My feet picked up off of the floor and the realization of being rewarded with grape juice and crackers didn't matter anymore. The feeling faded away.


I felt safe. I felt lighter.


I grabbed my sister MarySue's hand and dragged her onto the front porch. We stood on the edge, by the stairs, shouting to the stars that I was free.


"I am FREEEEEEEEEE"


I am free.


Isaiah 43: 1-3

But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.

O Israel, the one who formed you says,

“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.

I have called you by name; you are mine.

When you go through deep waters,

I will be with you.

When you go through rivers of difficulty,

you will not drown.

When you walk through the fire of oppression,

you will not be burned up;

the flames will not consume you.

For I am the Lord, your God,

the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.


God never let me drown.

He never let me burn up.

He is faithful and He is so, so good.

 

Submitted by Liberty B. on 12/11/2021

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