I grew up with an amazing, loving, and wonderful fun mother, who loved God with all her heart. My father was absent, an alcoholic and drug addict, who hid it from my mom for years before she finally discovered it and left him. My mom was overly nice, and sometimes let us have too much freedom.
My mother remarried two times and neither of my step-dads was I close to. During her third marriage, my mother became depressed and had a “bipolar” episode when I was 11. She drove me and my younger brother and 2 sisters to the border of Mexico, saying we were going to go to heaven and Jesus was taking us away. We stalled in the middle of the freeway and some man banged on the window yelling for us to get out. My mom took us into a gas station restroom and had us sit on the floor to hold hands and close our eyes, saying Jesus was going to take us soon.
I finally got up and went outside, super confused and scared. About 1 year later we were put in foster care, except my youngest sister Julia went to live with her biological father. We were separated a lot of the time and moved about 10 times or more in five years. My mother tried very hard to get us back and finally she did.
By that time I had a lot of confusion and distortion of my view on life because of all the trauma that had happened to me as a child. I began smoking pot and had my first real boyfriend who was 19. I broke up with him after constant fighting and started dating other guys. I never liked being alone so I fell for guys to easily, especially guys with a sense of humor.
By age 19 I got into speed and moved in with a boyfriend who also did drugs. We did meth every day for a year and then he was arrested for possession. So I moved to Hollywood and started stripping in order to live and pay for my drug habit. I knew it was wrong because I knew Jesus but my life had been so lonely for so many years that I just didn’t care about myself. My heart had been broken since I was a baby.
I stripped, took advantage of guys for their money, didn’t have any feelings for them or anyone. I was numb inside. The strip club was disgusting and I had to be drunk to even step foot in that place. The men who owned it paced around the room like vultures making sure their customers were taken care of. I felt degraded, but I was so drunk and high that I didn’t care. The other girls there were like zombies always fixing their hair and makeup (like me) but not caring about their hearts and souls. I met a guy who convinced me to get out and we dated for a while. He had money, but I didn’t want a serious relationship. I didn’t even understand how to have one.
Finally my dad convinced me to come and stay with him, my brother and sister were out there, so I agreed even though he had abandoned me and had done things to hurt me in the past. I had love and forgiveness in my heart. I just wanted to be loved and to be happy.
I started reading my Bible and one day I had a "drug induced psychotic episode" after coming off the drugs. I became so delusional that I thought my dad was Satan and trying to kill me. I ran down the street into someone’s house saying he was coming to shoot me. My brother and sister chased after me and found me and the next day I was taken to a mental hospital. All I can say about that experience is that it was a life changing experience and a date with destiny from God for my life. I knew and felt He was in there with me, in my dark cloud. He said he would dwell in the dark cloud and he did!! I got out excited for the Grace I was given and had went through my test of fire. Now I walk with God and am healing more every day.
Reading God’s Word gives me so much understanding about all I have been through. And I know He has a high call on my life or he wouldn’t have allowed me to go through so much. My heart is to help others learn about God, our Father, who loves the fatherless. I just hope one day I am righteous and blameless in His sight. That is my truest desire.
I thank Shelley for all she does. She has brought me so much encouragement and love, and more of a thirst for God when I am feeling dry. I also want to thank all of you who financially support Pink Cross and for your prayers. You have made a difference in my life.
Keep going Shelley, you are on to so many things, and moving things in the heavenlies with your prayers, and your actions for Him and His Kingdom. I love you!! xoxo Melissa