When I was 18, I thought I was pregnant. The thought of being a mother was thrilling. The child would be mine and DJ’s(partner) to love for the rest of our lives. Dreams of having a family.
I remember the excitement and happiness I felt. We were afraid but planning our lives together. I had to tell my parents which was scary. My mother was an alcoholic and my father very strict. It took a lot of courage to tell them.
My mother was excited, thinking she would be a grandmother. My father smiled or smirked. I could read his disappointment.
It said, “You’re too young. You’re not married yet. You have your whole life to live.”
His face said it all. I knew him well.
In the days to come, dad and I talked some. I had no ideas about life, goals, or plans. I wanted to finish high school and marry DJ. Live happily ever after. I was naive. But it wasn’t God’s plans for me to become a mother. One day, I went to the bathroom and it didn’t feel right. While urinating, something passed which felt like a large stone. It was painful. I looked in the toilet and saw blood. I was scared and my heart was pounding.
Filled with fear, I tried to take a closer look. Upon inspection, there was a dark small circular thing covered in blood, about the size of a half-dollar. I think it was a baby. I felt devastated. I wanted to check it but I couldn’t bring myself to.
My mind was racing. If I dug it out to figure out and if it were a baby, I’d only end burying it. I couldn’t handle these thoughts or deal with this right now. My body aborted it. The pregnancy was early and no way it could live. It’s in the toilet and probably already dead. I flushed the toilet wondering if I was flushed a tiny body. It felt as though I was flushing my dreams down the toilet. I was heart-broken. What else could I do?
Several days later, I took a pregnancy test and it was negative. I was filled with disappointment and had to tell DJ and my parents. Did I do something wrong or was something wrong with the baby? Sadness filled my heart. I wanted to have DJ’s children. He is a few years older than me.
DJ told me that his ex-had become pregnant and had a tubal pregnancy. She lost the baby and he thought it was his fault because of a past surgery that questioned his fertility. This danced around in my head and I wondered what happened.
I decided it was best for both of us for me to disregard it and not tell him what happened. I didn’t want to hurt him. I was hurting but I was strong. I lacked in communication and held back my feelings. Was this the solution? Probably not. I acted as nothing happened. I was in denial. I wanted no drama or self-pity, especially from my mom. I didn’t think she loved me and didn’t want her to pretend. She was heavily into drugs and alcohol and seemed to care about herself. I wanted nothing from her.
Instead, I told everyone that I had made a mistake and the pregnancy was a false alarm. So… I sucked up my emotions and marched on. Not letting people know the pain I was in and that a piece of me had died. My dreams were null and void. I held myself and cried myself to sleep for several nights. When I think back about this experience tears still run down my cheeks. Remembering the excitement, the dream, and watch it all fade away leaving an emptiness in my heart.
I finished high school, then DJ and I moved into an apartment together. I wasn’t sure if we could live together. My parents fought like cats and dogs so we waited to get married. I went to work as a Certified Nursing Assistant at a nursing home with no plans or directions for my life. No money for schooling. We had to work for what we had. DJ was a cook and we still had the dream of starting a family.
I had good medical insurance through my job and DJ became sick. He had no insurance and we couldn’t afford the medical bills. We were living together for 6 months and dating for over 2 years. I loved him and cared deeply for him. I was worried about him and wanted to help. I figured if I loved him and wanted to be with him, that was enough.
So, I took the next step and said, “DJ, I love you. I want to be with you for the rest of my life. Will you marry me?”
We were already engaged since I was 17.
He said, “Yes if you’re ready. I was waiting for you.”
We married on March 15, 1997, and took the weekend off together. We couldn’t afford a honeymoon. I figured steps towards becoming a family. I just wanted to get married. We decided to keep it simple with the justice of the peace and a small reception. Whether it’s right or not I don’t know. I still consider it my vow to him. I consider us married under God.
God wasn’t a big part of my life at that time. I was only giving Him bits and pieces of me. I believed in God and thought that was enough. Walking blindly through life. I always had a strange connection to God but wasn’t willing to give in and follow. I ignored Him at times and wouldn’t listen. I went on with life my way. He pursued me with His love but I wasn’t willing to accept it. The way I perceived my past and things that happened blinded me. My view was tainted but I wanted the American dream. I pushed my past to the back of my mind.
I’ve had health problems that began early in life since I was a child. As my health became more of an issue, I had surgery after surgery. I had female problems and surgeries. The female problems were heart-wrenching. Killing my hopes and dreams of having a family and my feelings, my wants. I wanted a family but I never asked God to give me one. I just assumed.
I talked to God sometimes but didn’t have a relationship with Him. I didn’t always see God as good. I knew He was God and had accepted Jesus as my Savior. But did I know God? Not really. I didn’t seek to do what was pleasing to Him. I did what I wanted. I didn’t go to church and hardly prayed. Church seemed boring and not worth my time. I could worship God my way.
One female doctor said, “You have a severe case of endometriosis. I recommend surgery. It should help your pain.”
My periods were very heavy and came frequently. I would bleed two weeks heavy then stop two weeks and start again. I was on birth control pills to help with the bleeding yet they did nothing. I hoped this was a temporary fix until the timing was right. I had surgery hoping it would help fix my situation and pain.
Unfortunately, the surgery didn’t take away my pain. I felt like the doctor wasn’t helping me and went to another which led to more surgery. I finally ended up with one female doctor by accident.
I went to the hospital for pain in my lower stomach. It turned out to be my appendix. I was scheduled for another female surgery in 2 weeks. Silly thing but I told the hospital they couldn’t do the surgery until they found a doctor to do the surgery with the doctor performing the appendix. I wanted the female surgery. If I didn’t have it now, I knew I couldn’t have it in two weeks because I would be healing. I was desperate. I told them I wouldn’t do the appendix and I didn’t care unless done together.
They found a gynecologist willing to take on my case after reviewing information from my other doctor. He was willing to accept me as his patient as long as I agreed to become his patient and follow-up with him. I agreed.
On a Monday morning, I had the surgery. I woke up and saw the surgeon who did the appendix but not the female doctor. He gave me an appointment with a follow-up at his office. When I met him, he was an older nice gentleman and was old-fashioned. He told me the endometriosis was bad and that if I wanted to get pregnant, it should be now, but he didn’t know if it were possible. He said that I couldn’t give birth naturally and a c-section was a must. We discussed other options. I couldn’t get pregnant right now because we were in a bad place financially.
As time went on, I continued to see this doctor and he helped me figure out that some of my pain was due to my bladder. I had a bladder disease that was not curable but could get treated, so I started seeing a urologist.
I had to have more surgery. He sent me to a female specialist who did laser surgery and was a fertility specialist.
After the surgery, this doctor said, “Your uterus is like a tomato. When I touch it, it bleeds. It’s smoochy like the inside and unhealthy. I don’t think you could hold a baby.”
I went home and cried.
After reading the reports, my doctor agreed with the specialist. He said that having a baby could kill me. I was extremely high risk. He recommended an IUD so I didn’t get pregnant. My heart was broken and dreams were shattered. I still wanted a child. I discussed it with my husband.
DJ said, “I love you. I couldn’t bear losing you. I would rather have you than a child any-day.”
My hopes and dreams were crushed. I thought about adoption but we couldn’t afford it. I still hoped for a child in the future. I understood DJ but I thought he was just trying to make me feel better. We talked several times about a family but now it didn’t seem like it was part of the big picture. I had the IUD placed.
In the meantime, my health became worst. I found out I had Lupus, Hashimoto’s, Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Several doctors took me out of work. I became disabled. I almost lost my home fighting for a disability which took 3 years. I lost my independence. I could no longer work and could hardly take care of myself. Taking care of a child was out of the picture. I went into a deep depression, feeling like a failure in life.
The IUD helped stop the bleeding and heavy periods for several years. I barely had them at all. Then out of nowhere, I began to bleed. The bleeding wouldn’t stop and became heavier. I went to the doctors and had some tests done. Unfortunately, the IUD had punctured the wall of the uterus. It was causing me to hemorrhage. I had to have a hysterectomy.
Being a mother wasn’t part of God’s plans, a hard plan to accept. Recently I’ve been having dreams. I believe having a child would have killed me. The baby probably wouldn’t have made it either. My husband would have lost both of us. I don’t think he could have handled it.
2013 is when I stopped working and began feeling lonely. DJ was now a truck driver and worked several hours. My depression worsened and my past began haunting me. Nothing could make me happy. I tried everything to fill the voids in my life and my heart.
I went crazy with all kinds of animals and became a hoarder. When I became so sick, I had to get rid of them because I couldn’t take care of them. DJ couldn’t care for them. It was hard enough for him to work and take care of me. I cried and lost hope. I tried to find happiness in everything from my husband, animals, and material things. It didn’t work. The sadness felt overwhelming to the point I just wanted to die. I had nothing left to exist. DJ wasn’t enough for me to want to stay.
I was in counseling. I had been to several therapists and psychiatrists. I finally found a caring psychiatrist who was willing to help me. I needed more support. I was going to a trauma therapist who I liked and thought was helping. He helped me to stay the same.
I was a terrible communicator and held all my feelings inside. My marriage was failing. In 2015, it had almost ended due to my lack of communication and my past. My past was causing me a lot of grief. As a child, I was molested and raped by three different men. My mother was an alcoholic and drug addict. I lost trust in people. I saw the world as a bad place where no one could be trusted, not even my husband. Due to this lack of trust, I couldn’t even communicate with him. I pulled away from him and everyone around me.
In my despair, I started to seek God. I wanted to get to know Him. I didn’t understand everything that was happening to me. Sometimes, I thought God was punishing me but I didn’t have eyes to see. I needed answers. I began reaching out. I started going to church. I found one that I liked and began attending Bible study. I liked the people here and began attending on Sundays. I started to pray more often although I didn’t know-how.
I talked to the pastor there. I was hurting and in pain. At times, I was mean because I was hurting but he was nice and killed me with kindness. He answered all my questions and told me God is a Sovereign God. I wanted to know God. I saw what people at church had with Him. How happy they seemed and content. I wanted that happiness and peace. In a way, I was jealous of them. I was on the outside looking in.
I still had a lot of healing to do from my past and from my circumstances. I hadn’t yet accepted what happened to me. I felt like I was disabled and had nothing to give. In depression, I turned inward to myself. I tried everything to take away the pain. Narcotics and alcohol but nothing helped. We argued and fought like cats and dogs. I thought DJ didn’t understand me. He didn’t but either did I.
The things I was doing only made it worse for me and for us. DJ tried to fix and help me. In doing so, I pushed him away. What I needed from him was to listen and support me but he kept trying to fix me.
2015 was a turning point for me. I was seeking God and started asking for His help. I said to Him, “If your will be that our marriage stays together, then heal us. I leave it up to you.”
I started turning more towards God. Yet, I still fought for control! I felt like I needed to be in control because of things that had happened to me. We finally ended up in marriage counseling for 9 months.
The marriage counselor was a Christian and former pastor. He had been a pastor for 11 years and wanted to help people more. He did so by going back to school and becoming a therapist. God saved my marriage through counseling. He helped us to heal and learn to communicate with one another. He helped me to stop drinking and doing narcotics. Now I had to work on my past, feelings, and emotions.
My current trauma therapist wasn’t helping anymore. A few months after our marriage counseling ended is when I realized my therapist was only helping me to stay where I was. I prayed about it and talked to my husband.
He said, “The marriage counselor really helped and you liked him, why don’t you see if he does individual therapy?”
I thought I had nothing to lose so I called him.
He had his own practice now and he said, “Yes, I do individual therapy for depression and trauma.”
So, I began seeing him.
I started praying for a new prayer in June 2017. I knew I needed to change. The way I saw wasn’t good. I was in the dark. So, I prayed, “Lord, I don’t see right. I’m in pain. Please heal my heart, my mind, and my soul. I’m suffering. Open my eyes and my heart. Please give me power over my pain, emotions, and mind.”
My therapist helped me in many ways. He was caring and wanted to help. He gained my trust and I told him more. He was smart and intelligent. He offered a new perspective and ways to cope. He offered solutions. I found myself beginning to heal but I felt as though, I wasn’t healing fast enough. I was suicidal and cutting myself. I could see his relationship with God. It made me want it even more. My perspective was starting to change.
My therapist helped me to stop cutting because he said, “Your body is a temple of God, why can’t you treat it as such?”
I stopped cutting because he made me feel like I was hurting God. I needed this wake-up call because I was! It brought me back to reality.
In March 2018, I was baptized and going to church faithfully. Seeking to learn more but not fully trusting God. I couldn’t give myself to Him. I had to be in control and still couldn’t find happiness. Healing was taking a long time.
In November 2018, I came to a point in my life where I lost all hope and just wanted to die. The pain felt like too much to bear.
I prayed to God, “Lord, please take me in my sleep. I can’t handle this anymore.”
I began making arrangements to die. I was going to take my own life. I made out a will and donated my body to science. I had plans that I shared with no one. I planned to kill myself at the end of March 2019.
On December 7, 2018, I heard God say, “Brenda, do not kill yourself. You will remember for the rest of your life.”
I cried. In my heart, I knew it was wrong. I learned from going to church and from therapy. It would only push the pain onto others yet I wanted to die.
I talked to God saying, “Lord, I love my husband. I know he is part of my purpose. I want to stay here but this isn’t working.”
God was quiet and listening. He was always listening to me.
I continued talking, “I cannot keep going on this way. My ways are not working.”
Still, God did not answer. He was being patient and waiting for the right answer. I began pouring out my heart to Him.
Finally, I said, “My ways are not working. Your ways are higher. I surrender to you and your will.”
God answered me by filling me with the Holy Spirit. All a sudden, I was at my couch on my knees praising God. The Spirit started talking for me to God, controlling me. Words were coming out of my mouth. I wasn’t speaking! The Spirit was. It was an ancient language that I never heard before. The Spirit let me know He was praising God, giving thanks, and singing. My life was saved by my surrender. The Angels were rejoicing! I could hear them. My heart wept with joy as they sang unto the Lord. Every part of me cried out in happy tears. The victory was won.
Satan lost and God had overcome… God is greater.
With the Spirit, came peace of mind. I had control over my mind, emotions, and pain. My heart overflowed with joy beyond comprehension. I was filled by God. He took my brokenness and helped my pain. He filled all the voids I had. He made me whole. He was the answer and the key to my happiness, I needed Him. I became dependent upon the Lord.
On March 17, 2019, my husband and I celebrated our 22nd Anniversary. Instead of suicide, I remarried him at our church by the pastor who helped me. We renewed our vows under God. I wanted to be married by a pastor under God in a church, my church. They are my church family and I have fallen in love with the people there. I have also fallen more in love with my husband than I ever have before. I wanted to become a better wife and asked God to help me. I have a loving and supportive husband. I try to be a good wife who encourages him. We encourage each other.
It’s almost one year now since I received the Spirit. 2019 has been a year of growth and it’s strange. This whole year has been new to me. I’m growing and learning from my experiences. I’ve learned it’s not all about me. My story is changing because I’ve changed. My perspective and view have changed. God never changed. He stayed the same. My heart had to change! I’ve finally given Him control and my trust. I gave God my heart. That is what He wanted. I’m in a relationship with God. I’m no longer lonely because He is with me. I want more of Him. I long for God and His goodness, His love. He fills me with a hunger and fire in my soul. I found that He takes care of everything, all of my needs. God is enough for me.
I seek God. I pray and sing all the time. I’m reading the Bible, His word. Learning and changing as I go along. Change is not easy but following God makes it easier. Good things are happening. I’m healing! I’m still in counseling with my therapist who was my marriage counselor. I’ve learned that my past no longer defines me. It’s stepping stones to where I was and where I am now.
The past no longer has power over me. God has all the power. He made me an over-comer. I don’t have to be strong because He is my strength. He carries me. God is my help and rescue. He has ransomed and saved me. I’ve been redeemed.
Looking back, now I see how everything led me to Him. He has never given up on me and has always been helping me. I had to stop being so strong and become weak. When we’re weak, God is strong. I was stubborn and wouldn’t give into Him until I lost all my hope. Now God is my hope and my future. I surrendered myself to Him, His purpose and will. My purpose is to write and I find healing in that too. I’m writing all kinds of things from poems, novels, cookbooks, and even Children’s books.
No, I couldn’t have kids. I believe it would have killed me. God filled that longing in several ways, one was Himself. Second, growing up my brother was 14 years younger than me. He felt more like my child instead of my brother. I cared for him and helped him. My parents divorced when I was 25 and he was 11. It was hard on him. I helped him in every way I could, even financially.
I said, “Jon, you need to find things to help yourself. Why don’t you try some Sports?”
He was struggling with making friends. I thought this could help.
I said, “I will buy what you need for sports, the shoes, etc.”
He was suicidal and going to counseling. This helped him come out of that. I was meant to help him. We are very close now. We have a special bond I cannot explain. He married one year ago. Someday he wants to have children. I can’t wait till he does. I will be the best Aunt there is.
My mom has changed. God changed her after I prayed for her. She stopped drinking and doing drugs. In the past few months, I’ve forgiven her and we are spending time together. I don’t feel like I know my mom and I want to get to know her better. We have been talking and spending time together. I finally feel like we have a mother/daughter relationship. I can see God’s hands in everything.
I have goals and my future is bright. I have chosen to serve the Lord. Writing has become a passion. I absolutely love writing. I have a goal to become an author. One day, I would love to sit in church or in a library and read my Children’s books to the kids and watch them smile. I love making children smile and see their eyes light up. I give extra attention to them at church and try to help other families.
My dreams have changed. They align with God’s purpose and will for me. Someday, I want to be like Max Lucado or Charles Swindoll, not only in writing but speaking to others. There is so much of my story, I couldn’t tell here. I want to help others see the way I do, to help them out of their darkness and pain.
Good people do exist. You just have to look for them. It’s what is inside the heart that makes them good and beautiful. Just as I have found, my beauty comes from within. The world is not all bad and God is greater than anything in this world. People make bad choices. I have forgiven the men who hurt me in my past. With God’s help, you can overcome anything. He helped me forgive. I can finally say I’m healed and my pain is almost gone as I’m finishing up my healing journey. I’m still in therapy but my past is only my past. I’m changed. My help comes from the Lord. He can do the same for you.
Nothing can stop an unstoppable God. I couldn’t and neither can you. Remember, He is God and with Him everything is possible. When you chose to follow God and align yourself with Him, it is only the beginning of His promises. So many more good things are yet to come. I look forward to my future. I found hope in God. He gives the promise of a lifetime. The gift of life with Him. It’s only the beginning… there is no end. God is my reward. I look forward to the day I see Him in Heaven.
Where I will get to hug Jesus…
And Jesus will say, “Well done my good and faithful servant. Welcome to where you belong!”
I will dwell in the house of the Lord and worship Him. For now, I will serve the Lord with all my heart, mind, and soul. I will praise the Lord all my days and bless His holy name.