Braveheart Beginnings

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MY FAITH

My Faith has been a very important part of who I am today.  If it was not for my faith, I do not know where I would be in this life.  My faith has kept me, my faith has saved me, and my faith continues to help me.  I consider my faith, the only way to live.  I have had a long tough journey that has tested my faith many times.  Troubles may have tested my faith, but my faith has always remained. My faith has been the foundation that I have built my life on.  My faith has conquered all obstacles in my life to this day.

As I look back on my life, I can see how the devil has tried to take me out since I was a baby.  This 5 ft. slender frame body has been through a lot at my young age. I may not look like it and I may look like I have it all together, but honey, let me tell you, this smile on my face comes from God’s grace and mercy.  If it wasn’t for God’s hand on my life, I should’ve been dead in an alley somewhere.
In my toddler years, I remember going to my grandparents’ house to go swimming. I was still swimming with floaties, you know those big orange things you put around your arms to keep you afloat.  Well, I took them off, so that I could go to the restroom. I was walking alongside the pool when I saw this plastic “snake” in the pool, and I reached down to grab it. As I reached in to grab it, I fell in without any floaties on. My older brother was swimming under water when he accidently bumped into me and noticed I was unconscious. He pulled me out, and they started to administer CPR on me.  The doctor said 10 more seconds under water and I would not be alive right now.  For all my spiritual people out there, you know that the “snake” in the Bible relates back to the devil. So, this is why I say the devil has been trying to take me out since I was a baby.
In my elementary years, all the way until my 5th grade year, I was molested by a family member. As a child, you don’t know what to do or what to say, because you are a child. All these emotions run through your mind. This person instilled fear in me. I was scared to tell anyone. I couldn’t tell anyone, because if I did, they would be “mad” at me for “allowing” it. I didn’t allow it, I had no choice, or shall I say, I had no voice.
My parents have always been great providers, I had no wants or needs for anything. My middle school years were really good years for me. I was a good student, had really good grades, had honor classes, was involved with the student body, in fact, I was Vice President for my school. On top of that, I played sports. I played Volleyball, Basketball, Soccer, and was on the Track team. I had the grades, the looks, the popularity, and the ability to do whatever I chose to do.  My middle school years were great years to look back on. I thought I had it all together, getting ready to go to high school.
From one day to the next, my life came crashing down.  The life that I thought I had would be changed forever.  I remember like it was yesterday, I came home and my dad sat my brother and I down.  He told us, that my mother and he were separating and that he was going to move out of the house.  The family, that I loved so much, was now destroyed.  My parents never argued or fought in front of us, so this came as a total surprise to me; I had no idea.  I remember I was balling my eyes out, I threw the pillow that was on our couch on the floor, ran straight to my room and slammed my door.
My mother was at work and she was not there to hold me and comfort me. All I wanted was to get far away as I could from my father.  In our talk he told us to blame him and not my mom. I was so angry at my dad. I needed to get away so I ended up going to a friend’s house to stay over.  When I returned back home, my father was gone. This would be the start to a new life that I entered.
After all of this happening, this good girl went bad.  I went from being the nice sweet girl to being the rebellious girl.  It is true what they say, divorce destroys children.  It destroyed me! My relationship with my father was gone.  I was so hurt from my father; I did not want anything to do with him.  My relationship with my mother was strained because of my older brother.  I felt as if they were playing favorites with him.
Now I’m in high school, I ended up dropping out of my freshman year.  I was out partying, doing drugs, becoming sexually active and just living life the way I “thought” would take away my pain. During this season of my life, I was also raped. Despite all of that, I was responsible when it came to work and school.  I transferred to independent studies so I could work full time and ended up moving out on my own with a roommate at the age of 17.  I was still trying to live the life that I thought was for me.
I remember one day I woke up, missing my dad.  As much as I was so hurt by him, I needed my father in my life. We made up, and so did my mother and him. After two years of being separated and two years being divorced, they got remarried. And, they recently just celebrated 35yrs of marriage.
I was still partying and being the wild child that I had become. During this stage of my life, I was seeking a man’s love from wherever I could get it.  I did not know that I was trying to fill a void of my father not being around.  I graduated high school five months early and decided I was going to move to Las Vegas with a friend.  I got to Vegas and started a whole new life.  I was running from my old life in search of a new one, but the only thing that had changed was the scenery.
Although it was a blessing that my family was back together, I was still the wild child.  I was still partying, drinking, doing drugs, being sexually active and hanging with the wrong crowd.  On the flip side to that I  had a good job, a car, my own place, nothing could stop me.  I was still on a search to fill the pain and the hurt.  One night, I went to a concert that changed my whole life around. It was a Snoop Dogg concert at the Palms Casino. I met a man, who I thought at the time was God’s blessing to me. I entered into a whole new life.
This guy was perfect, he cooked, he cleaned, he treated me like I was the only one in his world. After months of dating and falling in love with this man, I found out he was a pimp.  I was shocked, I had no idea.  It was too late; I had already fallen for the trap.   Months later, I was an escort.  He had brainwashed me to think, I was doing the right thing and all other women were wrong for “giving it up for free.” I fell into lots and lots of money, had the nice cars and the big houses.  I was in too deep.  I was the prodigal daughter at this point.  I was far away from God.
After numerous events like my house being robbed, my cousin being murdered at the age of 21, having a few different pimps, being in an abusive relationship resulting in broken bones; I wanted out.  It was like a light switch in my head.  I woke up one day wanting a new life. I did not want this life anymore, I wanted more of Jesus.  I wanted to be in church every time the doors opened up.  I had woken up from the horrible dream that I was living.  I found Rise Church in Las Vegas that loved on me through my transition and never judged me.  This is where I started to rebuild my faith.
I started to rebuild my faith and could not get enough of Jesus.  I transitioned out of the escorting (game) industry and off to Bible College I went.  I went to Valor Christian College in Columbus, Ohio.  My whole first year was all about finding a relationship with God. It was a year of breaking and molding me into who God created me to be.  I did two years and got my Associates degree in Evangelism.  I moved back to Las Vegas and started working for the church that helped me transition out of escorting.
The Lord had told me to continue on with school, so I did.  I ended up at Ohio Christian University. This is where I got my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and my Master’s degree in Pastoral Care and Counseling. At this time my life seemed to be going great except my dating life.
I had ruined a few good relationships because I was still working on me.  A friend of mine ended up setting me up on a date. She told me that we both love God, we are both ambitious and we would be great together. We started to date and I ended up falling for the guy. I did not know that he was dating someone else at the same time, who he eventually ended up making his girlfriend. My friend sent me a screenshot of their making it “official” post and said congratulations thinking it was me.  But, it was not me!
My heart was crushed and I went into depression. I was feeling every negative emotion that you could think of; not being good enough, rejected, broken. How did I find myself here again? I was feeling so discouraged and unmotivated. One thing I can say is that no matter what has happened to me, I always found my way back to the Lord. It took me a few months to rebuild myself again. Everything that I had been through was forming the foundation for Braveheart.
Little did I know that a moment at a stoplight would change my life forever, it was there that Braveheart was birthed. As I sat there, one word dropped in my spirit .. “Braveheart.”  Following that came,  “a heart that’s been broken, but still has a beat.”  I realized then that my heart was special.  I have been able to overcome so many things that were meant to break me and keep me down, and through it all, I discovered my desire to help, encourage and empower others to realize their hearts are braver than they know.

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