THIS ME, THIS IS MY LIFE

THIS ME, THIS IS MY LIFE

I’ve never publicly told my story, but God has been leading me to do so for some time now.  I always spent my life hiding behind a smile not wanting to worry anybody. I just wanted to be happy so badly. I was raised in church my whole life but, yet I was seeking attention everywhere else but home and from God. Even though I grew up in church, I’ve always questioned Gods existence. At 12 years old I was raped by a guy I knew in my neighborhood, after it happened I was confused and lost. When I got home my mom knew something was wrong, but I was scared to tell her because I was scared she wouldn’t believe me. This started a mental breakdown and I started hearing voices telling me different ways to kill or harm myself, the first time I experienced this I shrugged it off, but the voices got heavier and heavier. I prayed and asked God what was going on deep down I felt like he was listening, and He didn’t save me from being raped, so I held anger towards Him. From 8th grade to junior year of high school I was in and out of the hospital for suicidal attempts. I was also diagnosed with Schizophrenia and Bipolar Depression because of this I was on and off medication. At the time I was going to a deliverance ministry and they help me there but at the same I was wondering what kind of God would allow me to go through this at such a young age. Soon I started to realize I needed to forgive the guy that raped me in order to completely move on I attempted to forgive in my own strength, so it was really hard.

As soon as I tried forgiving the unpredictable happened again! I was raped a second time but this time by two men I didn’t know. I was ashamed because I was drunk, and this was my prom night, it was supposed be special. I remember telling them no and screaming to God for help because I just wanted it to stop. One of the guys told me all I will ever be worth to a man is sex. I felt disgusting and violated.

I’ve lived my life believing I’ll never get married because no man would ever want anyone that’s been raped. Over the years after that incident, I have struggled with trust in men and people in general. I hated God so much, it made me full of rage whenever someone told me to pray or have anything to do with God.

After leaving the church I attended prior to the one I am at now I stopped going to church altogether because I wanted to do what I wanted to do. Yet I was still struggling, and the struggle intensified. My friend invited me to my current church (All Nations Worship Assembly—Chicago ). I eventually joined and when I tell you this has been the hardest process I have ever experienced during my walk with God, but it has also been worth it.

I am now 24 years old and have forgiven all 3 of the guys that hurt me, I know I forgave them because I find myself praying for them. I NEVER thought I would get to this point but I’m so grateful for God never giving up on me. He’s my father and my best friend. He’s shown me so many times he was there, but I was too stubborn to listen. I admit I still have those memories from the past but I’m using those memories to tell my story in order to help someone else. I want to show other young women that it is possible for God to heal all wounds. I no longer have any regrets about what happened to me or what I did to myself.

Janelle Renee

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