I say ongoing because, obviously, I'm not physically dead yet!
At fifty two, lots of years to cover, but I'll try to sum it up a bit so as not to hit anyone with a huge wall of text. Still, it seems important, at least for me, to be open about who I am, where I've come from, so others will better understand whatever I may say in the future.
Basics are that I was born in Nashville, Tn, December 21, 1958. When I was a year old, my dad went into the Navy, and we were transferred to Charleston, SC, where I spent the first ten years of my life.
This may sound weird, and I don't know how to say it without it sounding weird, but my earliest memories are taking a flashlight into my little closet, closing the door, shining the light on the wall, and talking to my angels. The light made the exact shape of the classic angel, wings and all, and though I knew it wasn't really an angel, for me as a child, it filled the gap. It was real for me. My mother and I went to a Baptist church for a while as I got a bit older, and I was baptized, didn't really know the details of salvation, just seemed right to do it.
Those first years were the only childhood I knew. When I was ten, my dad was transferred to Philadelphia, and my life went to hell.
I had to go to inner city schools, understand this was in the late sixties with all the civil rights riots going on. I had not been taught racism, but got a real crash course in it, being jumped by black gangs and terrorized in school. My younger brother and I would run like crazy to get home before they could catch us at a tunnel we had to go through. I went from being an A student to making D's, kinda hard to care about learning when you were afraid of being beat up!
Transferred again to Newport RI, and the real shocker was this...first day of school, the main girl who had targetted me was in this school! Found out later her dad was also in Navy. Bullying started again, to the point I almost had a breakdown at thirteen years of age. Doctors told my mother to send me home to Tennessee or she'd lose me, through suicide or complete mental breakdown from the stress.
So I went to live with my grandmother til my dad retired. Actually had a few decent school years, but I was never able to fully catch up from the lost years, always a struggle.
At sixteen, I accepted Jesus as my savior, and something strange happened. As I walked down the aisle, I heard a voice say, Come home, my child, come home, I have a work for you to do. Only time I've ever heard that voice, and there are no words to describe it. Such love, such depth of peace.
For several years, I was faithful, reading the bible, praying, going to church. Went for a time to an assemblies of God church, absolutely loved it there, loving people. Filled with the Holy Spirit, joyfully sang my heart out for God.
Then I got married, and it all went to crap again. Abuse, bullying, slammed into counters, spit on, screamed at, the usual. Moved to Georgia, away from my family, and it got worse, Five years of it. I struggled so hard to stay true to God in spite of it, sang in a gospel quartet even, but finally I could take no more.
Left, took my son with me, but he found me, beat me, took my son and left. The courts were totally rigged, good old boy network, the judge and his lawyer and his preacher dad met a couple of weeks before the court date and set it all up, something we only found out a few years ago. Lost my son, and I just shrivelled up. Where was God? How could this happen? How could He love me and let this happen, let me be beaten and terrorized and lose my child in such an unjust cruel way?
Spent the next few years struggling to survive, lost it all, wound up in a mission, got a crappy job and crappy apartment full of bugs, begged rides for a couple of years to go get my son for visitation, finally got a crappy car. Turned my back on church for many years, but not really God, I just tried to find another way, because all the churches told me I was going to hello for being divorced.
Looked into so many different religions, even tried Wicca for a couple of years, but nothing 'fit', it all smacked of being man made and false. Got married again, had another son, who had attention deficit disorder. Wound up divorced again, and gave up on marriage.
Almost tried it one more time, was engaged, got pregnant, then he decided to get into drugs. That did it for me. Believe it or not, I had Christians telling me I should get an abortion! No way! Glad I didn't, because I had the daughter I'd always secretly wished for.
Trying to sum it up, leaving out a lot, don't want to bore anyone, lol. So jumping ahead to the summer of 2005, my middle brother who was a truck driver came home, and went right into the hospital intensive care, diagnosed with lung cancer. We spent the next six months taking care of him as he went downhill. It was horrific watching him go through that, and it tore me up inside.
I was so angry at God, at how unfair it was that my brother was finally getting his life together and was now going to lose it. Terrified that all his years of rebellion and doing drugs were going to send him to hell, even though he did rededicate his life to Christ during that time. By some teachings, who knew if he really was saved, or if it was too late?
February 3, 2006, 4:40 p.m., sitting cross legged in the bed beside my brother, as he gasped and struggled and took his last breath. Maybe I'll go into more details on that some other day,so much happened, but for now, I'll just say a part of me died with him, a part of me is still to this day sitting in that bed holding his hand, rocking, telling him over and over and over and over again I love you I love you I love you! He died, in some ways so did I.
I would gladly go through a million gang beatings and rape and anything else to have my brother back. None of the abuse and heartache I ever endured compared to that one moment in my life, losing him. There are no words for the sheer agony, the devastation, of losing my brother. I'm the oldest, I should go first, not him.
Through these past few years, God has slowly brought me back from the abyss. He led me here a few years ago. I've read but never commented, just soaked in what He taught me here, let it seep in to my heart, my soul, my mind. Now with a much more mature understanding of His love, I am opening up to others, to learn, to share, to grow.
Thanks for reading if you didn't fall asleep! And I'll close this by asking for prayers for my mother. She had lung cancer surgery five weeks ago, had to have another surgery two weeks ago to remove her gall bladder, and is still having serious problems. She has a pacemaker and is in her seventies, so this is very hard on her.