Life is Both Sunshine and Rainy Days
Trigger warning: this post does mention thoughts of no longer wanting to live. If you have been having any thoughts of self harm, please contact the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255, or visit their website here. Doing so is completely confidential.
My fourth grade teacher said that ” You become strong by the things you go through.”
It’s funny how that phrase has meant more to me as an adult than it did as a child. I think that many times we don’t understand why we must go through things but we know that sunshine and rain are necessary to make things grow.
When I was a child, I was a plus size chocolate girl with glasses, and I desperately wanted to be a pretty girl.
My mother, who was my cheerleader, always mentioned how beautiful I was. But at school those lovely words faded away and I started to believe that I wasn’t pretty.
I used to say I had a drug problem, in that my mother always drug me to church.
My mom, Stephanie, was a God-fearing woman.
In our house so many different kinds of music were played. From Beethoven to Barry Manilow, my mom loved it all. I can’t stand Barry Manilow but I have grown to appreciate him because of my mom. My mom was known for her beautiful singing that made you believe an angel was singing. I have so many gifts that my mother had.
My mom wanted a better life for herself and me. She did it. She graduated from college and our life forever changed. She taught me it was possible, I really can be anything I want.
Mom always said that God wants me to prosper and be in good health. It didn’t make sense as a child but I understood it later.
I knew about God from when I was a kid, but in high school God took on a new meaning.
My best friend invited me to her church and for the first time I saw kids my age who wanted a relationship with God. It was more than just a traditional church, it was making an impact with the word of God.
Life was good, I was enjoying being a teenager, life was about boys, my mom and clothes (lol).
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My mom graduated from college and that became my inspiration as I matured and graduated from high school. Eventually, leaving my hometown and going away to school, I had everything. I had my education, my life, my mommy.
One thing I can say is now I wish I was more grounded in my relationship with God because the flood of bad news happened and it changed my life forever.
When I was 21, my mom passed away suddenly while I was away at school. My mind was flooded with all the memories and heartache of losing the one person I thought was there for me. It’s funny how all the things my mom taught me were gone, I thought she was all I had.
To top it all, my mom was found the day after Mother’s Day. My birthday was the following month, and I spent that day packing up my mom’s things.
Even after moving out of my mom’s apartment, I was homeless since my friend kicked me out of her place. Then, going back to school was bad, I failed all my classes and was kicked out of school for one semester.
I knew that I hit rock bottom, when I actually laughed at my grades and I didn’t care about my life or others. The things my mom taught me took a step back and I was living for me. I really didn’t want to live anymore. I remember praying for God to take me out of this earth, I couldn’t take the pain I felt.
When you decide to stop caring you can find yourself in some truly interesting situations.
I believe that you can only go so far until God snatches you back. My snatch back was still a ways away.
I kept fading away but I thought I was having fun. I wasn’t in school but I was hanging with friends, meeting men and going on adventures.
As I was having my fun, something happened…a friend of mine invited me to church.
Actually it was the same church I was going to but I left when mom passed.
I started going back to church, and really liked it. I was still doing the same stuff, but the beginning of 2009 brought a change in my life. For the first time in my life, I wanted to live. I wanted to graduate from school and start my life.
When I came back to school, I was on fire. I did well in all my classes and eventually I accomplished my goal and graduated Spring 2010.
Even though I gained what I had wanted in obtaining my degree, I still did things my way and not God’s way.
I moved to other states, but in 2012 I was living in Georgia and I was at church and I heard something that truly hit me. The Elder said ” if you died tonight do you know where you would spend eternity?”
I realized that I didn’t know. If I died I had no clue where I would go. I wasn’t saved or filled with God’s spirit.
I was pricked in my heart, but I texted my pastor that day and was baptized the following day.
That was when my transformation started.
It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years now. But even though I’ve had some rainy days in my saved life, I’m stable in God and I can’t walk away again.
One thing I want to tell you is no matter where you are in life, God loves you. It’s all going to be used for your testimony. I’ve learned so much but I’m finally where God needs me to be.
Know that growth can be painful but you are better going out than where you were going in.
You can make it! Trust God through the process.
It’s amazing how God can take our mess and mess ups and turn it to a beautiful butterfly. Everything isn’t always perfect or easy. He is with us. He give us strength and the grace to go thru. It has been a blessing to see how God has moved in your life. I have seen the growth in you and I am grateful to God, to have you as my sister in Christ. Continue to be a light for Christ
Thank you so much for your kind words sis. God has moved so much in my life and I’m glad he’s still keeping me. Keep shining sis. I love you
Leon and me read it together and cried like baby’s. life is hard but it’s a process that we must go through.
Thanks for the inspiration to keep it moving and believe in yourself.
Awww thanks so much! I know you have a testimony as well.
This is such a beautiful testimony of the power of God. The journey of life, love, loss, and grieving for something more.
Your words inspire and bring hope and I pray will touch the lives of many.
Thanks sis! I really appreciate your encouragement. It blesses me
Renea this was powerful i can tell this from the heart and not something that you just wanted to write
I saw your post on Facebook and didn’t know exactly what to expect. You’ve been through so much in your life and it takes a certain amount of courage to open up and share your story with the world. Thank you and I’m so glad I came across your post
” You become strong by the things you go through.” – I love this!
My third grade teacher told me and I’ve hung onto it ever since