I grew up with a lot of resentment towards people, but one in particular, and to protect the identity of this person, I’ve decided to keep their name anonymous. So we’ll call this person, “Betty Boo.” I could never figure out what it was that made me hate Betty so much! But her rebellious and violent ways didn’t make it any better. While she was in middle school, she decided to join a gang, causing older men to always be around and putting me in danger being that we were always together. We were so close that we even once shared a room at some point in time. The situation had gotten so bad, that she would threaten me to keep secrets that shouldn’t have been hidden about things that she was getting involved in. By the time I had reached middle school, I had only last three weeks because Betty had claimed to be raped, causing my mother to home school my siblings and I, only to find out that it was a lie. The truth was that she decided to skip school with her boyfriend and needed a lie to cover up the reason for the marks and bruises on her neck. I lost my friends. I remember going all around the city posting missing signs all over because she had ran away from home. Growing up I would tell myself, “I will never be like Betty!” But when I was thirteen I smoked weed for the first time, causing it to be a routine weekend thing for me. I said that I would never do another drug, until I got my hands on Ecstasy. When I was fourteen I got into my first “real relationship.” I guess I called it “real” because in this relationship is when I lost my virginity. I had no respect for myself nor did I even have standards, but I did have a lot of shame. I was ashamed of who I was, I hated myself and I swore that the world hated me. I was a lost girl looking for fulfillment in the wrong places. The only difference between Betty and I life, was that her mistakes were on display for the world to see, while I hid mine and pretended that I was a “goody-two-shoes.” This was my life from about six years of age till I was sixteen.
In my sophomore year of high school I met a friend. We casually talked and we became close. I would offer her drugs but she instead invited me to church. I knew what church was, I knew who God was but I did not want to have a relationship with him because I’ve always felt that I was beyond repair. One day, I decided to say yes to her invitation to a church youth service. She picked me up and got there early because of her role on the worship team. I sat on a chair in the back and watched them practice. I heard the first song they practiced, How Great Is Our God by Chris Tomlin, and tears started rolling down my eyes. I knew that Gods presence was knocking on my heart louder and heavier than before. It was in that moment I felt a voice within me ask, “Where have you been?” I immediately began to pray to God and told him that I didn’t want to live in sin any more, I told him that I was sorry for everything that I had done and invited him into my heart. I thanked him for the cross; I thanked him for thinking about me and I accepted Jesus as my Lord and savior. Whats crazy about that moment was that church hadnt start yet, and already God had done something.
The Bible says in Isaiah 43:25, “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” When I got saved, God’s forgiveness meant literally everything to me, because I mean everything to God. It’s bizarre because I am a human being who has messed up terribly, but yet God loves me unconditionally despite what I have done. With tears in my eyes, I remember all that anger, and all that hate that I had for Betty just started ripping away. Though it was bizarre, I knew in my heart that it didnt matter what she had done, I love her anyway and I always will. I’ve learned that there isn’t anything wrong with feeling hurt, but we have to understand that forgiveness is a must. I need to forgive those who have hurt me, including myself. God forgave a debt that we can never call even by forgiving somebody else. So we must always forgive, not only because God did it but also because God showed us that unconditional love is what matters most, meaning God is what matters most.
Today, Betty is living great! She has two of the most beautiful boys I have ever seen and every time she comes over I’m always so excited! I’m am now a student/intern for Trinity Church, serving hard on the Worship Team, and writing worship songs to Jesus. I am so thankful for God’s grace and mercy on me, it saved me back then and it continues to save me each and every day. I’m living my life in full pursuit of Jesus.