Brenda: U-Turn To God

I was raised into an environment full of chaos. I was a witness to sex, drugs, and abuse at a very young age, and then later became a victim of it.

My father played a very big role in abuse towards my mother and me. By the time I was 7, my parents had divorced. Although I love my father, I was happy to be free from his abuse. That happiness quickly faded, and sadness and depression quickly became part of my life. Not only did I lose a father, but I had an absent mother. So much of my childhood was spent with babysitters or other family members that I never got to build the true, mother-daughter relationship that I wanted and needed.

I decided to go live with my father when I was 10. He had remarried and seemed to have changed from his abusive ways. I was so desperately seeking some stability of what a family life should be for me. I was wrong. My father still abused drugs and then he abused me. By this time, I was experimenting a lot with marijuana. This allowed me to mask my pain and escape from my life, not to mention I thought it was the cool thing to do with my friends.

By the time I was 13, my father threw me out of my home and into the streets. I began hanging out with gang members, and most of them were drug dealers. Before I knew it, I was selling drugs for them. I had quickly learned hot to be a survivor of the street life. I’m not proud of the things I did, but at that time, I had no real guidance or stability. I did not have a relationship with God. I knew of a God just because I was told there was one. I did not truly know Him, and my life was full of sin.

By the time I was 15, my life had another big change. My mom found out I was no longer with my dad. SOmehow through the courts, she was awarded custody of me and had me brought to Florida where she resided.

Things were rough for my mother. Five years had passed without really knowing each other, especially throughout the most important years of my life. It also didn’t help that my mother’s boyfriend, who I did not like, was in the picture trying to play the father role. It was because of him that my mother and I argued a lot. This led to a big fight between us one day, and I did the unthinkable; I hit my mother numerous times. The next thing I knew, I’m being thrown out of the house again. This just brought me into a bigger depression in my life. I felt nobody loved me nor wanted me.

I moved in with my boyfriend; living the “adult life.” I began experimenting with acid and rolls. Life in those days was great and full of happiness, or so I thought. Because of my partying ways, I was out of control and even abusive towards my boyfriend. So he left me.

I continued to hide my pain. I just did more drugs and jumped into another relationship. After 4 months of dating, we got married. Things were great at first, as they always are, but I was living a life of lies. I learned I was pregnant. I was so excited to think of being a mom. Finally, I thought, I have something worth living for. I was about to have something I could love that would love me back, even with all of my flaws. That excitement and joy quickly faded away on my 21st birthday, which I spent in the hospital being told by doctors that I had miscarried.

I went deeper into drugs when I lost my twins. I felt as if I was being punished for all the wrong things I had done in the past. I wanted children so badly that I agreed to have the surgery that doctors told me I needed in order to have children. Without a second thought or opinion, I put all my trust into the doctors and had the surgery. This was a big mistake. My surgery went terribly wrong. In the process of my surgery, the doctors cut my bladder extensively, and I was stuck in ICU for a week or two. I went through 6 painful surgeries in 8 months to reconstruct my bladder. Within this span of time, I had a failed marriage, lost my teaching job, quit school and fell into a deep depression that I hid through the numerous painkillers given to me by my doctors. I was only 22 when all of this happened to me.

From that moment until I arrived at Faith Farm, it was just one big roller coaster. I went through a few more relationships, lost some more jobs, and my drug habit got worse. Due to my drug habit, I began to isolate myself from my family and friends. I was so ashamed and embarrassed over what I had become, which was an addict. I could not face my family, and my pride did not allow me to admit I had a problem. I convinced myself, “I got this; I can beat this addiction.” There goes my pride.

My mom tried to help me, but my stubbornness and denial did not allow it. The devil sure did have that stronghold on me. I finally did speak to my mom about getting help, and she introduced me to Faith Farm. At first, I was okay in trying this place because I thought it was just some regular rehab center. Then she mentions it’s a faith-based program. I quickly put the brakes on that conversation. That was completely different from what I had in mind. I did not know just then that this was all in God’s plan for me.

The way my mind worked, I thought I was entering some sort of convent. I mean, I had never even read a Bible before. Now, my mom wants me to go to some faith-based program? It was very easy for me to decline my mom’s offer. The devil did not want me going, and at that moment, he won! Therefore, I continued to do what I always did, get high. About 4 months later while on my way to work, I was high. I don’t know what came over me, but I had enough of the way I was living. It was at that moment I quit my job, called my mom and said, “I’m ready! Let’s do this.”

I never knew much of Jesus or how to build a relationship with Him. I couldn’t forgive myself for all the pain I’ve caused, and I wondered how He could forgive me. I never thought I could experience such joy and freedom as I have experienced here at Faith Farm. The Lord has blessed me in so many ways. He has delivered me from drugs, and He has given me hope and faith, which has allowed me to experience this awesome relationship with Him. And the best blessing; He has given me restoration with my mother and family.

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