GOD LOOKS AT THE PROSTITUTE,
AND THE HOMELESS PERSON, THE
HUNGRY PERSON, THE THIEF – WITH AN
ABUNDANT, RECKLESS LOVE. HE SEES THEM PERFECT THROUGH
THE BLOOD OF CHRIST, AND
THEY’RE HIS CHILDREN. MY CHILDHOOD WAS
FILLED WITH LOVE. ALL THE NEIGHBOR KIDS
WOULD COME OVER AND OUR
HOUSE WAS A PLACE TO COME, AND BIRTHDAY PARTIES
AND OVERNIGHT PARTIES
AND POOL PARTIES. I NEVER FELT DIFFERENT
FROM… FROM MY FRIENDS;
I GREW UP WITH THEM. AND THEN I FOUND OUT I
WAS MOVING TO ARIZONA,
AND FEAR STRUCK ME. AND THEN WE GOT THERE,
THAT’S WHEN IT ALL CHANGED. I MET THIS BOY,
AND SEX CAME UP. AND HE WANTED TO MAKE
LOVE, AND I WAS AFRAID
AND I TOLD HIM NO. AND HE SAID THAT HE’D
GO AND FIND SOMEONE
WHO LOVED HIM THEN. AND THEN I GOT
AFRAID TO LOSE HIM. SO I HAD SEX WITH HIM, AND
THEN AFTER THAT IT WAS THIS… I THOUGHT THAT’S HOW I
WAS GOING TO GET LOVE. I WAS WORRIED ABOUT
WHAT I LOOK LIKE. I MADE THEIR LIES
TO MEET MY TRUTH. I HATED MY NAME, I
HATED MY HAIR, AND I
HATED HOW I LOOKED. I QUIT LOOKING IN A
MIRROR; I DIDN’T CARE
TO SEE MYSELF ANYMORE. AND THEN I PICKED UP
ALCOHOL FIRST, AND FROM THAT IT LED ME INTO
DRUGS, AND THEN INTO A… PLACE SO DARK I
COULDN’T SEE ANYMORE. WHEN I DRANK IT WAS BLACKOUT.
IN MY MIND INSTEAD OF SAYING, OK, THIS IS NOT PROBABLY
WHAT I SHOULD BE DOING, MY MIND SAID, “OK, LET ME
START COCAINE. I’LL BE
ABLE TO CONTROL THAT.” AND WHEN THAT DIDN’T
WORK OUT FOR ME, I GOT
INTRODUCED TO CRACK, AND IT GRABBED AHOLD
OF ME SO TIGHT. IT MADE ME DO THINGS,
AND SAY THINGS, AND HURT
PEOPLE, AND STEAL FROM, RIGHT DOWN TO SELLING
MY OWN BODY… BECAUSE ALL I COULD THINK
OF WAS ANOTHER HIT. I’D GO INTO WHAT I
CALL A “CRACK COMA,”
AND WHEN I’D WAKE UP, I DIDN’T KNOW HOW MANY
MEN HAD RAN THROUGH ME. SO A GUY THAT’D KNEW ME
FOR A COUPLE YEARS SAID
THAT HE WOULD PROTECT ME. AND HE TOOK ME TO HIS
HOUSE, AND WHEN I WOKE UP,
HE WAS BRUTALLY RAPING ME. AND I JUST GAVE
UP THAT DAY. I REMEMBER SCREAMING
OUT TO GOD, YOU KNOW,
“KILL ME OR SAVE ME, “BUT DON’T LET ME LIVE
LIKE THIS ANYMORE.” GOD PLACED ME BACK IN A
SUMMIT COUNTY JAIL IN AKRON,
OHIO TO SAVE MY LIFE. AND THEN I THINK I WAS THERE
A WEEK, AND BECKY MORELAND
FROM RAHAB MINISTRIES… I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW
WHO SHE WAS… THEY SAID OVER THE INTERCOM
I HAD CLERGY VISIT, AND I
WAS LIKE, “WHAT IS THAT?” “OH, SOME LADY WANTS TO
TALK TO YOU ABOUT JESUS.” AND I FLEW UP THE
STAIRS BECAUSE I WANTED
TO HEAR ABOUT HIM. AND I GOT UP THERE,
AND THERE WAS THIS
BEAUTIFUL LADY… ON THE OTHER SIDE
OF THE GLASS. AND I JUST REMEMBER SHE SMILED AND THAT SHE LOVED JESUS, AND SHE
CARED ENOUGH TO COME… SEE ME AND TELL ME
THAT HE LOVED ME. AND IT BEGAN RIGHT
THERE. I DID A LOT OF
WRONG CHOICES. I WAS GIVEN SELF-WILL, AND I CHOSE TO LIVE MY LIFE TO BE IN POSITIONS
WHERE I WOULD BE RAPED, AND TO PICK UP THE DRUGS
AND ALCOHOL THAT I COULD
HAVE SAID NO TO, AND THROUGH MY CHOICES,
HE PROTECTED ME. I SHOULD BE DEAD WITH THE
LIFE THAT I LIVED, WITH
THE PLACES I FELL ASLEEP, AND WHAT THE THINGS THAT
HAVE HAPPENED TO ME. HE PROTECTED MY LIFE
THROUGH THE BAD CHOICES I
MADE. HE WAS RIGHT THERE. BUT THROUGH IT, GOD PLACED
ME BACK IN HER PATH WHERE
I COULD BE AROUND HER, AND SO SHE COULD
COMFORT ME, AND… PUT HER ARMS AROUND ME
IN THE TIMES I WANTED TO
BEAT MYSELF UP AND QUIT. AND SHE ENCOURAGED ME THROUGH
THE WORD, THROUGH JESUS’
LOVE, AND THROUGH HER LOVE. AND WHEN I STARTED READING
THAT I WAS MORE THAN A
CONQUEROR IN CHRIST, AND THAT I WAS A BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER OF THE KING, I SEEN JUST HOW WRONG IT
WAS FOR ME TO BELIEVE… THAT I WAS WORTHLESS. AFTER WHAT JESUS
CHRIST DID FOR ME? THAT’S WHAT BRINGS THE
JOY AND THE GRATITUDE FOR THE LIFE THAT I HAVE.
THAT IS LIFE-CHANGING. I’M SO DIFFERENT
FROM THE BEGINNING. I HAVE LEARNED TO DEFINE
MYSELF AS A BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER
OF THE MOST HIGH KING. I DON’T HAVE TO REMEMBER
THE BAD THAT I’VE DONE. WHEN I ASKED FOR
FORGIVENESS, WHEN I REPENT,
HE THROWS IT AWAY… IN THE IN THE SEA
OF FORGETFULNESS. SO IF HE’S NOT REMEMBERING IT,
I DON’T HAVE TO HOLD ON TO IT. AND SECOND CORINTHIANS 5:17,
I’M A NEW CREATURE IN CHRIST
AND ALL OLD IS PASSED AWAY. I AM A NEW CREATURE
IN JESUS CHRIST.