My name is Pam, I am 33 yrs. old. I was raised in Church, but never felt like it was "real". My family was from Kentucky, and very southern, I suppose the slang is Hillbilly. They came from the actual "hollar" of Salyersville, Kentucky. We were very poor, and Church was all they actually had to hang on too in life.
I never really understood the importance of it all while growing up. When I was very young I was molested by a family member, but could never tell my parents. By molesting, I mean he fondled me, but never used his body parts on me. One night my Mom read to all of us kids (I have 2 brothers and 3 sisters) the Bible. What she was reading was about "incest" and how it was wrong. Well I was only 6-7 yrs old at the time, but that really stuck in me.
A week or so later, the "person" who was molesting me came in my room, (which I shared with my baby twin sisters), and started touching me again. I felt so sick inside as before, and I pretended I was asleep as usual. But this time I kicked him all the way across the room, and he landed in the dresser!! He never touched me again after that day. But he did my baby sisters for years, and I didn't know it. ( I carried the guilt of this for many years upon finding out)
When I was 9 yrs. old my grandpa died. Oh how I loved him, he was a Baptist Preacher. He was the most precious man I have ever met. He loved me so much, he would sit and wait with me for the bus, under a tree with his Bible across his lap reading. My grandfather NEVER LEARNED TO READ!!! But he prayed and prayed and somehow, the Lord opened his mind to be able to read the Bible!! Any way, when he died, I was so crushed. When I heard of his death from my older brother, I laughed out loud!! Then ran into the bathroom, and lost my mind. (had to go to a psychiatrist for my inability to handle situations later in life) My Mom who was in tremendous grief at the time, said to me, "why are you crying? didn't you say everyone has to die sometime?" I was only 9 years old!! I was totally crushed.
I went a bit "crazy" after that, I would talk to myself, and walk around in circles in the house with my head hung low. My Mom, one time grabbed me and shook me, and yelled and screamed at me to straighten up. I never grew up hearing "I love you", I never received hugs. It just was not done in my house. And if we did hug our Mom or tell her we loved her, she always responded like this, "what do you want?" The night my grandpa died changed my life. I had to go sleep with my grandma that night cause she had a bad heart also, and no one would. All the adults were afraid she would die in the night, so they opted that a 9 yr. old child should stay with her. How bizarre!! They actually woke me up out of my bed, to go stay with her. I ended up moving in with me grandma at 10 yrs. old. She was partially blind, had to use a white cane to get around.
I lived with her until she died, I was 16 yrs old. While living with her, I tried to kill myself by gas, I blew out all pilot lights to the stove and turned on the gas. But, she came home right after. I had to move back in with my parents, which I hated!! I didn't think they loved me or wanted me. And I didn't want to be there with them.
I was raped 2 weeks after my grandma died, and that put me through another stage of life. Before the rape, I had never seen a naked man, nor kissed a boy before. I had never smoked or drank, never had a boyfriend. But that night my whole life once again was changed. I was FORCED to drink, he actually pulled my hair from the back and forced schnapps down my throat!! It was awful, I can't even or don't even want to go there. I was dumped off at the school entrance way, covered in blood, reeking of booze, drunk and crying. Oh I was so ashamed!!! I knew now I was going to "hell" for sure because in my mind I was a "whore". A friend of mine took me to her house, her Mom gave me a "bath" and washed my clothes!!
My Mom came and picked me up. And I will never ever forget the words she said to me through her pain, she said, "do you feel like a woman now!?" Oh man, talk about kicking someone when your down. That clinched it for me, I was a "whore" now, and God hated me, like my Mom did. The doctor's who examined me, told my Mom I was "cut" up inside and bleeding worse than if I was on a period. I started drinking, smoking pot, and skipping school after that. The boy was never charged for rape, not enough "evidence". Later I found out after me, he raped a 6th and 7th grader also....
I got married at 17 and moved out. I was 6wks pregnant when I married. We moved to Illinois, and I had a miscarriage. I called my Mom crying, and again not a very compassionate conversation. She said this to me, "well Pam, God corrects his mistakes, maybe something was wrong with the baby." Not to mention she never let anyone know I was pregnant, due to shame on the family.
I was married close to 5 years, thought I was the most lucky woman in the world. Until one day again my life crashed around me...One of my baby twin sisters accused my husband of trying to rape her. Well...it was all messed up. I confronted him and he said NO WAY, but let us lay all of our "cards out on the table" He told me he cheated on me, with our apartment "caretaker". WOW talk about a huge blow. I left him and took my little daughter with me. Later I found out that he had at least 7 affairs that I confirmed, probably more. In his words they were accidents. I couldn't live without him, so I went back to him. But things were never ever the same.
I got drunk one night and he actually RAPED ME while passed out, he performed "sodomy" on me, and boasted about it the next day. I was stuck now, I didn't have anywhere to go, I was so full of shame.
I met a man that became my knight in shining armor so to speak. He and I had a lot in common, he was raised Pentecostal/Baptist as I was, he was born in Sept. as I was, he loved horror movies as I did, his Mom was an evangelist, my Mom was an Ordained Preacher. WOW this man was sent from GOD. I left my husband because he told me that if I stayed I was going to be a "wife" and that meant in bed too. So I asked if I could go to my sister's with our daughter for a little bit. I left and did not return. I moved in with my "knight".
My husband had visitation of our 2 yr old and during this time, her behavior really really changed. She started acting very strange with Barbie dolls and her Raggedy Ann doll. I found her doing "sexual things" to these dolls and with these dolls. Then one night, she was moving her pelvic back and forth, and said in her innocent way, "this is what daddy does to me"!!! I lost my mind!!! I knew that this was all my fault. He was molesting my daughter, because I wasn't there to "feed his sexual appetite". This was what frame of mind I was in. So I would actually go and have sex with him before visitation thinking that, if I did that he wouldn't touch her anymore. There was an investigation, but not enough "evidence". Story of my life.
I ended up getting pregnant and didn't know who's baby it was. My husband's or my "knights". Well my "knight" moved to Florida for a better job opportunity, and was going to send for me later. During that time, I was so messed up I didn't know which way was up. I ended up getting back with my husband. I had a baby boy, and my husband said right after his birth, I mean right after, he is not mine...
Not long after that I found out that my baby sister was having an affair with my husband. It started off by him molesting her at the age of 10 and just continued. When I found out, she was 21-22 married and had a baby. Talk about hating life and everyone around!!! I went on a complete and total nut then. I drank, ran around with anyone and everyone, my oldest sister took care of my 2 kids for me. And I became a "hot piece of property" around town. I lost a lot of weight and used it all to my advantage. I was going to prove that I was "loveable" I was pretty.
Well about a year later, I moved to Fl. with that "knight" of mine. Lived there for about a year I think, had a little baby girl named Savannah Rose. Up until this time, I had tried to commit suicide 4 times, once while pregnant with Savannah. What stopped me was I heard a voice tell me I was pregnant and it was one thing to take my life, but this baby did nothing to deserve death.
I left him, moved home. And ran around like a cheap whore!! I started working at a fast food restaurant. People always gave me compliments on how beautiful I was, and how could someone that looks like me work in a "fast food restaurant" blah blah blah. No one could ever guess my age, because I didn't look my age, dress my age or hang out with people my age. My husband moved back in with me, but I was never faithful to him for long. You see I found out in Florida he slept around while he was "waiting for me" and lied to me about it. So in my carnal revengeful mind, I had to make up for all the women he had by having affair also, I could not get back at him or my first husband enough. I always justified my actions by their past. So sad...
Well I straightened up a bit, but he and I broke up. I wanted to make a career out of my job. So I really cleaned up, because one day I wanted to be an owner operator of my own restaurant. I worked very very hard, and ran shifts by myself with very little help. And I was on the ladder to success. Still had a downfall though, during this time I was dating a teenage boy, he was 17 going on 18 and I was 27...
During long hard shifts without days off. I was tired all the time, and cranky. I worked the night shift so I didn't get home until 2-3 am in the morning. So in the mornings when my daughter and step daughter (which lived with me, instead of her father) went to school I would lay on the sofa trying to stay awake. But most of the time it did not work. And Savannah and D.J. would be into everything imaginable. Oh the messes I would wake up to!! One day she had gotten into the eggs and threw them all over her bedroom, she asked me if I was "mad" I would say "yes" she would then say, " I taking a nap" and go to sleep!! Gerbils would be hidden in tight places, coffee would be all over kitchen, pepper on the burners of the stove. It was a very very sad time I was raising my kids in...trying to make something of myself and working all the time, I had no time to be a mom and didn't know how to be one. I never spanked them, or yelled at them, and I would hug them and would always tell them they were pretty, smart and that I loved them. But those were words, my babies needed action's not words.
Savannah had started talking about God and Jesus a lot. She would point and say to me, "Mommy do you see them, they are beautiful, they love me so much." She would describe them in her little 2 yr old way. She was very smart, I thought she was a baby genius actually because she spoke and talked like an adult most of the time. One day she said to me while I was laying with her in bed, "Mommy, there is JESUS look Mommy He loves me," " do you love Jesus Mommy?" I quickly told her to go to sleep, and left the room....
A few weeks later, I had 3 day's off!!! WOW actually 3 days off in a row. I decided that these days were dedicated to my babies, Jess, D.J. and Savannah. I let my step daughter go away with her friends and it was just us. I had a wonderful time with them, I truly did. The day I was to return to work, my life for real crashed and tumbled on me as never before....
The kids were outside with an uncle and cousins playing. Earlier it was raining and Savannah wanted to go outside so bad, I told her no that it was raining. She lay down with me on the couch, and grabbed my face in her two little hands and said to me words I will never forget," I LOVE YOU, MOMMY" we fell asleep in each other arms for the last time ever..
While outside playing, my step daughter was dropped off. My nieces and 6 yr old came in following, cause they wanted to see my reaction to my step daughter's shaven head. I yelled at them and asked, "where are my babies?" go watch them. Then, the next moment is something that is imprinted for life in my mind...my niece came running in and all she said was SAVANNAH!!
I dropped everything and ran outside, there on the road laying in a pool of blood from her head, mouth, and nose was my baby girl. One shoe on, one off, fishing pole clutched in her hand. I ran, oh, God did I run to her, I looked up and saw the lady that dropped my step daughter off, crouched down behind her truck screaming I DIDN'T SEE HER OH GOD I DIDN'T SEE HER!!!
I found strength from somewhere, I yelled, "call 911". I knelt down beside her, and touched her face. I said, "Savannah wake up!", then I yelled at her in an authoritative voice, "Vanna, MOMMY SAID WAKE UP!!" She didn't. I picked her up, I couldn't handle people coming out of their houses looking at her and me as if we were the 10 o'clock thriller. I ran into my house clutching on to her for dear life. I laid her down on the floor, tried to clear out her passage ways, but she was blue-purple.
That was June 2nd 1996 at 12:50 pm on Sunday...
On June 30 1996, 28 days after I lost her, I lost my dad in a freak car accident.
I lost my mind, I lost my job, I lost my self respect, I lost my identity also. I found out that all of our life our Dad was lying to us, about our heritage. I found out instead of him being 3/4 Indian as he always said, that his father was Black and his mother was Indian, and that he was never divorced from his first wife, which was his 1st cousin, and he had 3 kids besides us 6, and I knew GOD hated me. I knew that all of my life was meant to be a joke to GOD. And He hated me.
I went into the mental hospital 3 times, last time was March 2000. Before this last time, I tried to reconcile with my Knight/husband in 97'. But it was a joke, I couldn't leave the house for 6 months because of panic attacks, I drank all the time and was on xanax and prozac. When I finally was better we went to bars all the time, he had his own band and was the singer. And all we did was party, I was on the verge of having an affair with a WOMAN which my "Knight" thought was "cool". This was not the first time, a woman had "come" on too me and I was "flattered" by the attention. But I knew it was wrong, and I never could or would cross that line completely.
Though money was never the issue during this time because he made over $100,000 a year that is when I found out $$$ doesn't bring happiness or respect. No hope, no will to live, no self respect, I was an alcoholic "secretly", I smoked pot everyday 5-6 times a day, I took pills, I hated myself, I hated GOD, I certainly didn't love Jesus Christ. BUT...something always inside of me defended HIM desired HIM.
One day I heard a voice it was audible to me, maybe not to other's but to me it was, and it said "I WILL DESTROY YOU". I was so scared I knew I was crazy, I needed help, I needed forgiveness, I needed to know that someone LOVED ME, for ME not for my looks, not for my body, not for what I could give them today, not because they "had" too, but LOVED ME.
I met a wonderful man and we were married 4 days before my mental break down in March 2000. He is the most loving compassion, sincere man I have ever met. And for the first time in my life I can truly say, I Love Him. But it wasn't enough, I knew there was something more, SOMEONE who could make me feel complete and whole.
I asked through many tears, Jesus Christ to come into my heart in May of 2000. I never in my life felt more shame, than I did that day before He came in. I could not lift my head, I could not speak words through the weeping and wailing. I was broken to the point if He did not come in that day to my heart I would not be here today. And I know the very moment He came in and cleansed me and forgave me and set up a new heart of flesh inside of me. I FELT IT!!!
I felt the world of sin, bitterness, lust, hate, deception, guilt all LIFT off of me, in an instant. I felt as if I could float, I would laugh and cry and smile and cry I never felt a joy like that in my life. I felt a peace that came over me, from the top of my head to the very soles of my feet that felt like a warm thick covering, I knew I was in the arms of Jesus Christ and HE REALLY DID LOVE ME.
Since then, I have had a thirst for Him and for His WORD, I love Prophecy and the BOOK of Revelation, I search and read a lot, I study a lot, I have a lot of questions. There is still healing to be done in my life that I do know. I still smoke cigarettes, at times I feel bitterness creep up on me, at times I feel rebellious and don't want to pray, I hear voices at times that tell me I am crazy that Jesus doesn't love me or I am not forgiven.
I can't remember things because of all the medicines and street drugs I did, so I struggle with reading news stories or other's comment's on threads. But there are areas in my life that he has healed completely. I am a full time Mom, and a new wife to a wonderful man. He loves ME, and shows it in everyway I never imagined, from covering me up in the middle of the night on chilly nights when he thinks I am sleeping, to opening things like pop before he hands it to me, buying me the Bible on cassette tapes (though he is not saved and doesn't' understand the term, yet)
I honestly believe with all that is within me that God made this man for me. I know this is rather lengthy, and probably boring. I do not know why I have had the kind of life I have had. But I do know that when I hear of other's in pain, or read News stories of someone's pain. I can honestly sympathize with a lot of different people. Because I have been there, I lived it, and I can honestly say to someone who has lost a child, been in an abusive marriage, been molested, raped, beaten, engaged in illicit sexual affairs, drug addicts, alcoholic's, work alcoholics, loneliness, loss of Father, being abandoned, I can honestly look them in the eyes and say "I KNOW YOUR PAIN" and I KNOW SOMEONE WHO WILL WIPE AWAY EVERY TEAR, FOR HE DID FOR ME, and I am not anyone special. That is why no matter what I face in this life for here on out, I will always be joyous_n_jesus.
I have learned about Jesus from my childhood days but I got very close to him when I had to select a partner for my life. I always wanted a person who believes in my LORD Jesus (2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness) this was in my mind day in and day out.
My parents were Christian's but different denominations we had ups and downs in life where we went to both churches but I newer wanted to do this but lately I too found a person from another denomination and with a different race. I feared that this will not work out at all but I only had hopes that My LORD my Saviour would guide me all along. My parents were against this and one night when I was praying to Jesus I only asked " Jesus please let this happen if only you could get my parents blessings" and there came the reply " I will get your parents consent" at this time I had already broken up with him as my parents were against but then every thing changed I had this affair for about 5 years secretly and all the time I think Jesus guided both of us. There came one Christmas day when we came after church my mother was opening the Christmas cards and a card which was send by one of my friends were address to my boyfriend too. Oh all the fire works started they wanted me to stop this but the words kept ringing in my ears " I will get your parents consent" there were two other verses which I kept on saying " Don't quit" and " Jesus Never Fails" that all the way I had hopes of that Jesus will get the consent for me.
But by the 28th of December every thing was settled both parents met and the consent was given. "Praise to the LORD my GOD"
We both married in June 1991 and at present we are having two daughters (age 10 & 7) and is very happy as we both know that Jesus was with us and is guiding all our way providing every need for us. But life has not been so easy there had been times where the children have been very ill but he was there for us for protect them even then showing his presence to us.
There was a day that my eldest daughter was very ill with (dengue fever) It so happen when I was in hospital with her one afternoon she was sleeping and I was really afraid and was reading the bible psalm 121 & psalm 91 and I fell asleep when I got up she was breathing heavily I was crying and asking Jesus for help I suddenly stood up and was waking towards her bed when I saw Jesus picture and all my fears vanished, but wondered how the picture came there as it was not there when I went to sleep. But it helped me to know that Jesus was there. Only after 2 hours that I found out that my brother-in-law had come seen both of us asleep had left the picture and gone.
In 1994 I had lot of problems in my office where another superior wanted the section which I was handling under her purview and I knew this was unfair as the section which I was handling served all sections, Day in and out of my office I just wanted to leave and stay at home. It was my birthday and I told the church priest to come home and have a word of prayer I also asked my mom to pass the message to the church priest, which she did too.
On the day of my birthday when the church priest came and was saying the prayer it was all about office and advice to me. It went on " I have been with you all through your life I have taken care of you so why do you worry about problems in your office these problems are temporary, as I have been with you I will be with you for ever.." I really can't remember some of those, which were said, but I could remember the above words of comfort. At that time I was wondering why my mom has gone and told the priest all my office problems but when the prayer was over and the priest had left I asked my mom why she did this and she told me " It was not me I thought you had mentioned your office problems to the priest " I even had my brother and he said at the prayer session he knew it could be my mom who had said this but then at once we all knew that it was our dear father who spoken to me through the priest that day. I only had the comforting words to lead me all the way, within months my office problems vanished thanks be to GOD.
Five years after the above incident I left the office and even when I started to join another office every thing was perfectly planned by GOD and I really had the courage to leave the previous office after 15 years of service.
Quite recently in June 2002 I had a memorable night where I saw JESUS with a large crowd I was a bit far away from him but he was wearing a white robe with his golden hair falling down his shoulder the next moment I was seated at his right side I held him with both hands around him from the side and kept my head on his head Oh ! I started to cry .. And why I cried I do not know but I wished I held on to him a little bit more.
I told my office friends about the dream and after 2 weeks I had to travel north on an office mission. One morning I got a call from one of my friends who said that she also saw Jesus and when she saw she kept asking Jesus why do you only show your face to Nelum but not me and she kept on asking but Jesus was only smiling and there was an angel next to him who asked her "Do you know why Jesus is smiling" and when she said no! The Angel said " Child don't be jealous about others"
I some times think why Jesus loves me so much, and why he helps me like the way he does when I am a sinner (Matthew 9:13, For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.")
But Jesus came to this world to catch the sinners but each time I think about this the reply is " Because I love you" Yes Jesus loves each one of us its just that we too need to be close to him talk to him, Thank him each time you know that he has done something for you because we have a living GOD we have a saviour where we could talk to any time. You do not need to go to a place thinking that only to this place that Jesus lives. As the hymn goes
He Lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today! He walks with me and talks with me along life's narrow way He Lives, He lives, salvation to impart! You ask me How I know He lives? HE LIVES WITHIN MY HEART
Nelumdini Samaranayake Sri Lanka
It has been just 6 months short of 20 years now and some of the details are but an unpleasant and fading memory but I think it is just as valid today as back then.
I was raised in the Mormon Church, six generations on both sides of my family. One of Joseph Smith's wives was my fourth great aunt (Desdemona Fullmer). John Taylor was my father’s uncle, I don't know how many greats in there, but my grandfather was named after him. For over 28 years I faithfully believed that the Mormon religion was true.
I fell in love at the age of 16 and 3 years later married my high school sweetheart. He was a non-member. He was raised in a church that believed in salvation by baptism and so was also un-saved. I had decided that it didn't matter that we didn't believe the same things until our first child came along and there was a conflict as to how we would raise him spiritually. It became very important to me suddenly.
My husband (David) also was disturbed by the problem and began searching for God. He had many voices from all different religions telling him that they were the only way; Mormons, Catholics, Buddhists, Seventh Day, etc. He was very confused. He was also an alcoholic from the time he was about 14. He restrained himself from drinking but had a strong desire to drink.
Because he was practicing Judo at the time, another testimony altogether, his thinking was clouded. Judo is not a sport in any sense of the word, it is a religion. Anyway to make a long story somewhat short, I began studying the Mormon scriptures to know what I believed and then the Bible to prove Mormonism to my husband. I went to my bishop at that time to confess my sins and to ask him what I could do to convert David. He just said to me “Would you consider divorcing him?”
The man was supposed to be inspired! He didn’t know that we had been through hell together and came out loving each other even more. I had gone through seven pregnancies by then and had only 3 living children. Two of the pregnancies ended in miscarriage and two were full term babies that died of unrelated causes. Both of the full term babies had been given a “priesthood” blessing and we were assured that they would live. Praise God that they didn’t! David said that he would join the Mormon religion both times if they did live. Then my best friend (a temple married Mormon) tried to destroy our marriage and tried to seduce David. When he rejected her she spread lies that almost destroyed us, but God is faithful even when we aren’t.
The bishop telling me that there wasn’t any hope and that my children would be raised by another man that I would be given to in the hereafter, was a big mistake on his part.
In the mean time I was still studying the Bible and the Word, truly, doesn’t return void. David hired a believer to work for him and they began listening to gospel radio. He heard the true gospel for the first time and believed in the saving Blood of Jesus. He began praying for me without telling me that he was saved. I went through an entire year of torment. I felt spiritually torn apart, as if God and Satan were on either side of me pulling.
During that time we went to California for vacation. It was in March and so the beaches were closed (no lifeguards) we went swimming (David and I) and got caught in a riptide. I had been through seven pregnancies in seven years and had just had my last child cesarean section six months earlier so I was physically very weak. David was helpless to save me and we kept getting swept farther out to sea. The waves just kept pulling us down. He told me to float on my back since I am rather buoyant and so I did but to no avail, I cried out to God.
The God that answered me was not the Mormon god.
I sensed a presence that was so far beyond anything Mormon that I was stunned. I passed out just as a hand grabbed me and the next thing I knew was that I was on the beach throwing up seawater and crying out “ Oh God” over and over again. I had hypothermia and had swallowed gallons of water but all that I could think of was my encounter with the living God.
There just happened to be a guy with a surfboard and another guy with lifesaving equipment on the beach. They just happened to see us and save our lives. It was a year and a half later before I understood who the true Jesus was, and what He did for me.
The Mormons send out two elders each month to your home to check up on you and it was June of 1982 when they came to my house as usual. They proceeded to reprimand me for not going to church and asked my why I hadn’t been going, I proceeded to tell them that it was emotionally devastating to me to attend since I had to go without my husband and children and as I sat there alone while everyone else sat with their families, it tore me up inside. I would spend the whole time in tears and pain and when I got home I would start a fight with David. I explained that I only had weekends with my husband and children and that I wanted that to be a time of peace.
The one “elder” just coldly said to me, “That is no excuse, it is a commandment that you be in church!” At that moment I went into shock and was just staring into space when David came in and shook me out of it, the men had left and I had been thinking how I had read in the Bible that where two or three are gathered together… and that the whole thing about the Mormon church is families and that my family wasn’t as important because they weren’t Mormons etc. I just said to David, “I can’t be a Mormon anymore, I want to know the truth!” He took me aside and opened my Bible to Ephesians 2:8-9 and explained to me the Gospel that isn’t of endless works but by the Blood of Jesus. I instantly had my eyes opened and believed.
For the next year (actually ever since then) I had my face stuck in the Bible. For the first time I could understand every word and wondered how God had actually changed it.
David had been different but I hadn’t been able to put my finger on how. He was also delivered from the desire to drink alcohol. The craving was gone. He isn’t a dry alcoholic, he is a non-alcoholic. God is so able to change us.
The Saving Blood of Jesus is all that we can rely on for entrance into God’s kingdom. To find out that it wasn’t about endless good works that you could never know were good enough was such a relief. It set me free to know that I could know that I was saved. Tell the people that they are sinners and that the only way to be reconciled to God is by the works of Jesus. His Blood is sufficient to save.
Yours, in Christ Jesus,