I once heard someone say when someone is anointed, chosen to do good things the attacks for that person start early. I believe that's where my testimony begins. Starting from a young age the devil tried to break me, to destroy my hope in the people around me or take away my dreams of bringing peace and being a light that would shine bright. He started with love, love was never something that came easy to me. I couldn't really find it in those around me. I was born into a chaotic point in my parents relationship and although I knew they loved me the devil took away their ability to express it to me or to show me what it means. At the age of 2 my parents divorced and I had to learn quickly how to take care of myself, at the age of 9 I was a mother to my brother and taught myself to cook to provide food on the table. I spent a lot of time alone, the devil whispered in my ear often, trying to convince me that I was unloveable, that I was just here, nothing special, nothing great, not worth much. As I got older I struggled a lot with depression. In front of friends or family I seemed fine, happy, strong, normal. Inside I hurt, my heart was always broken. I became very hardend and cold inside but there was always that piece of my heart that just wanted to give anyone and everyone some sort of peace, someone to reach out to when they felt no one else cared or understood. I became the go to person to talk to and confide in but the bitterness inside me never let me forget that I couldn't be that person who received peace or was worthy of compassion from others. At the age of 12 I experienced first hand just how dark evil can be. I was put into a situation that changed my life, that drew me deeper into darkness. Rumors were spread and I remember people talking every where I'd go, the looks, the stares, phone calls with threats on my life or to harm me in some way, I was left to deal with those things on my own. The devil had me right where he wanted me and I was to young to even notice the path I was about to travel. At the age of 13 I considered suicide. I became sucked into the numbness and emptiness in the shadows of those who walk around completely lost and confused. I had a lot of why me moments, those why be here moments, those undeserving of life moments. I resented God, I felt abandoned and forgotten.
My loneliness began to change when I met my husband. I was 16 and head over heels with the idea of love and having someone by my side, finally a glimpse of light. We were young and he was never fully ready to commit to a relationship and I chose to turn the other cheek a lot in our relationship and ignore things because I wanted to be loved, to just have one person tell me I'm worth it. He joined the army and we always talked about marriage, you see even though we had our struggles I knew he was it for me, he had my heart and he would have it forever. We grew apart while he was gone, he got into things that distracted him from our relationship and when things got bad they got horrible. I remember being 19, at that point my dad became a preacher, and for the first time going to my dad and completely breaking down, letting go of everything. I'll never forget the first words he said to me, sissy girl it was never your fault, you've been let down by a lot of people but it was never your fault. My dad became my rock that day and after Josh and I got married and things got the worst they've ever been I sunk into the darkest deepest depression you could imagine but my dad always pulled me through.
I began to turn to drugs to release my pain, to erase that pit i was surrounded by, to try to find that place we all want which it to just know you have a place to lay your head and have peace. There were days I couldn't even get out of bed, I felt defeated. Every time I saw my dad I could see the worry in his eyes, the fear that he was gonna lose his baby girl. I was ashamed of who I became and I knew he could see it, I knew he could see the desperation in my eyes. One day he sat me down and he just held me while I cried for what seemed like hours and when I calmed down he looked at me and he said sissy girl I know you don't see it but you're special, you've been given these burdens for a reason and Gods gonna use you to do big things. At the time I thought to myself you're wrong, that's just not ever gonna be me. I went home and I sat down with my bible and I began to think about my dad, all the things he's overcome to be the most amazing and incredible father, preacher and Christian I've ever known. His faith is so inspirational to me, it's unshackled, undeniable and so special. I thought to myself I want that, I want to be completely emersed in the spirit, to always walk with The Lord right beside me. My mind was spinning with all of my struggles, all my pain, and it clicked for me. I thought to myself thank you God for seeing me as worthy of knowing this pain so I can be the light to all of those who are lost and carry that pain I've carried. Thank you God for seeing me through it, there are times I should've been dead, thank you God for protecting me through it all, for ignoring my cries and pleads to take me away and ending it all. I was finally ready to be my Heavenly Fathers daughter, ready to embrace my responsibility to stand up and be strong through the salvation of Christ we are all given. He took my addictions, he gave me love, and he filled all the lonely broken places in my heart and my soul. He took my husband and he made him new, my God gave me the strength to always forgive, even when I was lost I always heard the lords voice whisper to me Liz don't you give up on him, watch how I will bless him, watch how I will change him, watch how I will reward you with the husband you deserve, his grace provided, his mercy overcame, his love won. I stand before you now blessed, stronger in my faith and focused on my purpose of being a strong voice for those who are lost and need compassion, direction and not be afraid of judgement. My husband is who he was always meant to be growing in faith every day. My future is bright and full of amazing experiences that I can't wait to have. The Lords spirit is in me, he saved me and with him I can do anything. He conquered my demons and gave me light. He over powered every time the devil tried to shut my mouth and quiet the strength in my voice. My name is Liz and I will forever be a child of God.