IMG_0171 For 10 years, I was being sexually abused by my stepfather. He had been in my life since I was 3 years old & from what I can remember, the abuse started at the tender age of 9. Honestly at that time, I had no clue that there was something wrong with what was being done to me, until one day at school while I was in the 4th grade, a speaker came to my school and spoke about the forbidden parts that should not be touched. I remember the words "If its being touched inappropriately, tell someone." So I told my best friends about it. They were twins, their mother was a secretary at our school and my mother was a teacher as well. So you can only imagine how that turned out. He was removed from the house and I was put into another school. My stepfather was a manipulator. If the sky was blue, he'd convince you that it was orange. He even convinced my mom that what I reported wasn't true. She kept staying "Kia, he said he didn't do it, maybe it was a dream." At the time, one of my brothers was only a couple of months old and she would tell me about how she was stressed out and depressed because my stepfather wasn't there. So I made a decision to make my mother happy by telling a counselor that I was seeing that it was a dream and it didn't happen. After that day, I no longer had a childhood. He moved back in and the abuse had gotten further than sexual; it was mental and emotional. He called me every degrading name there was and completely disrespected me and I never told anyone what was going on. I lived my life in fear. I had low self-esteem and wanted to commit suicide. In October 2008 at the age of 19, I told my mother what was going on and it was pointless. I’m not sure if it was because she was scared of him or if it was because she didn’t believe me, so I told my grandmother and she trusted me. I ended up moving in with her. My stepfather denied everything and made me out to be a liar. I was a mess from it. You'd think because I was out the house and far away from my stepfather that everything would be good, but it wasn’t. I found comfort in partying and always being drunk. It wasn't until after being in a horrible relationship, a miscarriage, being depressed, feeling worthless, not having a job and not being in school, that I realized I needed to get plugged into a church. In 2011, I was introduced to Trinity Church and got saved and in December of 2012, I finally forgave my stepfather. My mother is still with him and forgiving her was a process. In October 2014, I decided to be obedient and follow the calling God has for me, to help teenagers who have been sexually, mentally, emotionally and physically abused. In January 2015, I started ministry school. For a couple of months my stepfather had been in and out of the hospital and the doctors had no clue what was wrong with him. I heard God tell me to go visit and pray for him. Everything in me did not want to do it but on April 9th, I was obedient to what God was telling me to do. I went to the hospital and as he laid in the hospital bed, 5’11, 150 pounds and not able to move because he was completely paralyzed, I held his hand and my mother’s hand and prayed for them both. That day, I completely forgave the both of them. I realized that everything that I've been through has prepared me for my calling. It’s made me so strong and I’ve grown so much. I’m hoping after reading my story that any woman that has been a victim of abuse will stop being a victim and start being a survivor.