The following essay, was for a testimony I was to give to the attendees of the “Celebrate Recovery” of my church. To be honest, I wrote that the last minute, because of the nerves I had built on writing this. The anxiety knowing what I said and how I said about my testimony would and perhaps could change a person’s life. It was nervewrecking for me (even though I brainstormed a couple times) to know I could have impact on someone’s life. But the time it was about two day’s before I presented my testimony I spent all night to put it together. Barely even rehearsed it, but it was already in my heart and memories of the recovery process I went through. But at the end, it seemed everyone liked it because the audience was applauding and one of leader’s of the program said some people were nodding or exclaimed how I overcame my obsticles. One person also joked about how I could have come from Harvard, because of how smooth I talked and how well written was. I can’t believe people liked it! Anyway without futher adieu, he is my written testimony I presented at my local “Celebrate Recovery” location:
I am a believer who had struggled with anger issues. I know it’s hard to believe that I have anger issues, but I do. I have struggled with anger issues for a long time…all pent up…angry at the world and angry at myself. And that was the insanity. But mostly I was doing it as a way to protect myself. My anger stemmed with loneliness, insecurities, lack, and uncertainty. It didn’t help either I grew up in a domestic violent household either. The shame of living through that (and feeling misunderstood or discounted) kept me from confidently making friends or getting into a relationship. I felt if I let go of my anger it would weaken me, make me vulnerable…and being vulnerable meant exposing myself to the hurts and feelings I’ve tired so hard to bury and forget. But like everything else, nothing lasts forever. Plus, all that pent up anger from childhood caused me to have anxiety and depression disorders.
To be honest, I didn’t want to go back into Celebrate Recovery, because at the previous church I attended the people at THAT celebrate recovery weren’t very interactive. And incase things didn’t turn out well and THIS celebrate recovery, I didn’t wanna leave my business out in the open. I mean sure, I wouldn’t see the attendees again, but I don’t feel comfortable leaving my hurts with strangers. Unfortunately, a couple years ago I didn’t have a choice. In late 2015, I was sexually assaulted and that had a toll on me. And then THAT eventually led to a falling out with my folks, which led me to living a friend, but even there I was falling apart, because I was still reeling from everything that happened in just a few months. I had to put school on pause for awhile too. Pretty much I was a mess and angry. It was then their family member suggested Celebrate Recovery. Even though I was facing some pretty rough circumstances, it gave me enough to focus on myself and the only relationship I had that was fully available: my relationship with Jesus Christ. Being in the program really helped me to vulnerable and a safe spot for me to heal. Plus seeing other people sharing their vulnerabilities helped to understand it was okay to be vulnerable….that there was strength in being vulnerable and strength in facing them as well. It was also encouraging to see other women wanting to grow from their pain and help each other out. The more I came, the more I was able to have a handle on my anger. The step that spoke to me, was the first which was “We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors, that lives had become unmanageable.” I needed to accept that, because I had to stop feeling the need to control things and keep to myself. It’s like the good book says in Genesis 2:18 and Matthew 18:20, in, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” and “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
Because I pursued my relationship with God and myself vulnerable to Him, I was able to be vulnerable to myself and better it and I was able to better my relationships. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s manageable, I’m manageable. I am freer and lighter, and I have a bit more confidence in myself and how I relate with others. Yeah, the pains of the past are still within me, but they don’t dominate me as much anymore. Since, my attendance in 2016, I’ve also been able to make friends here, which was something I did not expect. I was just focusing on bettering my spiritual side and managing my hurts. And what’s great is that we all help and support one another. This recovery journey has taught me that God is in control of everything, even my anger. I spent so much time feeling like because it was my anger, it should be my responsibility. But as I look back on my life: the relationships I’ve made, the circumstances I have faced, it shown me that God has dominion over EVERYTHING…good and bad but as long as I have him in my life I’ll be okay. I don’t have to take on everything my own, not even the pain I have. He will send me all the resources and support to see that I’ll be okay through it all.
So, my advice to the newbies is this, you don’t have to take everything on your own (your addictions, your hurts) you’re in good company here as well as God’s company. So, don’t worry about what you do and don’t have emotionally or financially, nor how long you expect for change to happen in yourself. Just focus on spending the next hour here and focus on rebuilding your life with God and in his time, you will get you’ve been seeking.
The actress gave an emotional speech about how her faith pulled her out of her darkest moment.
— Read on madamenoire.com/1060343/letitia-wright-shares-that-god-pulled-her-out-of-depression-in-emotional-bafta-awards-speech/
I’m not going to lie, I’m terrified of this year. Already I’m behind on one of my bills (by two months), then I still have of course rent and other bills….JUST because I was extremely sick for the past two months. But there is no need of being stressed out, because well…that’s what got me sick in the FIRST place.
I am going to call this year, “The Year of the Awesome”. Why? It’s not just because I want to make a proclamation of the possibilities of what this year could bring, but also…to help prevent me falling into complete anxiety and depression. I fear that all my struggles are going to fall into this year: lack of work again, Homelessness, failing my state exam again…I’m SO scared I don’t want 2019 to be 2018 The Sequel or worse.
I have worked too far to come here in this place that I am in that year. So by having “The Year of the Awesome” my proclamation, it will serve as a reminder to myself, that even in spite of whatever hardships or losses I face this year, it’s going to be awesome, because it was nothing short but the mercy and good graces of God that I have overcome whatever financial, mental, emotional, physical and even relational obstacles that were put in my way. *Take deep breath and exhales* So here is to 2019: The Year of the Awesome!
2018 was….whew! A lot! There were more downs than ups. This year I left an environment that did not feel good, I became homeless, I was jobless, and I was sick (really sick for 2 months). All that especially being homeless…that was tough. Living in my car, going from place to place, staying with one friend with another, waiting in line in soup kitchens…. Then eventually I had to drive up to Northern California to live with my family. The BIGGEST blessing is that I finished my special education program. Whoo! Five years in the making, three years to finish! So proud of myself. I had to sacrifice a lot (sleep, leaving my job as a substitute teacher to work in Uber—never again will I work for them—eating well)….but I’m glad I found a career I look forward to doing—after I pass my state licensing exam.
For better or worse…I have been blessed and I have learned a lot. God’s mercy has been a part of my journey protecting me and encouraging me…everytime I was close to quitting my program, God showed me He had my back, by giving me the encouragement and loving support of my teachers and staff at both my student-teaching site and my university. Also through them He kept me fed. When things were getting too much at a place I was staying, He helped me secure a place to stay at my school’s dorm. I also had support. When I was living in my car on the street, God protected me and used my skills to help find places to eat and take a shower. He took me to Northern California safely and helped me be able to live their with my family. Through my mom, He gave me to live at an AirBnB, so I work and afford the place I live at the place I currently live at. My cold was tough, causing me to be on and off work, but I know that God will get me through this year in the place I’m at and help me pass that state exam. God has blessed me with friends, family (despite the head butting), staff and even a fellow blogger to help me through this year. In spite of all the good and all the bad, I have been blessed.
So, what do I project for this coming year? Well…for starters a huge turn around for this year that’s for sure, because there is no way God could have put me through all of that for nothing. These are some of the few verses I had in my mind:
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is see, but what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
Don’t get me wrong there were days I was straight up pissed at God. Like… I would stick up my tongue at him. I was upset at being homeless, hoping that I would get a break this year with something great like passing my exam the 2nd time and getting a classroom at my own. I had been through so much, probably since I was little, so I was expecting He would stop throwing more crap towards my way. I had to give some space between me and God. It wasn’t like I wasn’t going to stop worshiping Him. I just needed some space. You know…just like you would need space from you parent when you were mad at them. When I was on the street, I met some people who had a faith stronger than mine. Some them had been on the streets for months or for years, but no matter their faith was constant in God. That definitely rejuvenated my faith in God. People or even Christians think their success or safety or having a house or a car or having a great job or/career or being a good Christian or going to church everyday or because they “did the right things.” But really…God’s love is not based on ANY of that. Just on an act pure of love and mercy. These people with whatever piece of clothing or shoe wear they found in the homeless center (we were out), happy they received their a hotel voucher even though it was for one day, some of them didn’t have car and they’d just make due with wherever they could get sleep at…I mean it made me ashamed that I had a car, especially since I an A/C to keep me cool from the heat and I go from one homeless center to the other. I mean… the people I met on the street gave that love back to Him regardless of the little they had or where they slept. Our life is used for his purpose and can be used to inspire others, because I can certainly say those people re-purposed my faith in Him. I don’t think I’ll see a faith like what I’ve seen for a long time.
The verse below I think will perfectly show (and close up) how I felt and lived this year in 2018. And once again, Happy New Year!
But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at least your care for me has flourished again;though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.