* There are some references to cuss words in here. I only used them as references, not as me actually using them. There are a few mentions of self harm, but nothing detailed.*
This is the story of a girl, who found Jesus in a cruel world..
Okay, if you don’t get that, then either you haven’t been blessed with that song orrr you were born after 2009..and too young to be surfing the internet. It’s a reference to a song called ‘ Story of a girl,’ by Nine days. Listen to the first 10 seconds and you’ll get that first sentence. I may have changed the second part of it, but you’d still get the reference.
So this is my Testimony.
I grew up in a Church of Christ in Hermitage, Tennessee. It was also the same building that I attended preschool at. My memaw and papaw were in charge of the kids classes so I was pretty well known there. I went to church regularly up until about third or fourth grade, then we went off and on due to our busy schedule and there was a lot going on with the church at the time. So we just didn’t feel like it was the right church for us. I knew who Jesus was, I knew what a sin was, and I knew not to curse, be polite, respect your parents, the whole shebang of the 10 commandments. However, even though I knew who Jesus was, I didn’t know him. I was caught in the routine of church, do this don’t do that, but never really thought of what it really meant to believe in God. Fast forward to middle school. They tell you middle school is going to be awkward, but they didn’t tell you how cruel people got when they hit puberty. I got to experience that first hand. I thought middle school was going to be so amazing, I had wondered about this time in my life since fourth grade. I was so excited that I was becoming somewhat of a big kid now, I was ready for my first boyfriend, I was so thrilled to get a fresh start.
One day in 6th grade, I decided I was going to talk to a boy sitting by himself at lunch. Granted, he was a year ahead of me, but I didn’t care. Who would want to sit all by themselves at lunch? Not me. So I did something about it. I talked to him, and it seemed like we were becoming decent friends. However, the next day when I tried to sit with him at lunch, he wasn’t by himself. He was surrounded by a group of students. I thought, ” Wow, that’s great, he’s making friends! Maybe people are following my lead and giving him a shot.” That was not the case, at all. He kept ignoring me for a solid week, and I just figured okay he’s too cool for me now, whatever. A week after he suddenly became popular, I started hearing things about me.
It started off as little whispers calling me a ‘slut,’ or a ‘ whore.’ I kind of shrugged it off the first few times, because when I heard it, it was in the hallways so I figured somebody is being immature, they can’t be talking about me, they’re talking about somebody else.
Nope. They were talking about me.
People would stop sitting next to me, or if I sat by them they’d move. I was on my way to Gym when one of my friends ran up to me and asked if I heard what was going on. They proceeded to tell me that I was the subject matter of the whole school. They told me that the boy I tried to befriend, told everybody that I slept with him. Not only did he say I slept with him, but that I was probably sleeping with other guys in school. So, other guys began making up stories that I had slept with them too. This went on from 6-7th grade. As you can imagine, a 6th grader would take that pretty hard. I mean, anybody would take that pretty hard, but especially a 6th grader. This was not the first time I had been exposed to things like this, as I was insanely mature for my age already. Most people thought I was 16 at 12. I tried to kind of dismiss what I would hear everyday, the things people would tell me, the notes I would get, but it all became too much for me to handle. I started hating going to school, when I once was always so excited for it everyday. I had a small group of friends who knew the rumors weren’t true, but they were the 3 people out of the thousands that went to my school. This all happened about a month after starting my 6th grade year. I started to fall into the traps of depression, but I didn’t realize it. Where was God in all of that? By my side. Who did I neglect to go to? The one person by my side no matter what people said about me.
I went through the summer, and it was okay, I was getting a little better but still felt it every now and then especially since I was on social media. I started 7th grade hoping that it would be a fresh start, everybody told me that I was old news, nobody cared about that stuff anymore. I was going to get the fresh start I didn’t get that year.
The first few weeks of school went by and it was fairly low key, I didn’t really hear anything about the rumors. I was basically invisible. At least, that’s what I thought until it started picking up momentum. That same boy started more rumors about what I did during my summer, how I was practically a stalker and crazy about him. Not only did I have that to deal with, but September of my 7th grade year, I started getting notes in my locker. Not just in my locker, but in my backpack, handed to me by random people, in my books. Sometimes they would appear in the bathroom for everybody to see. They were notes from somebody basically threatening my life. I took these notes to my principal, but I knew by the third note I had brought to her that she didn’t believe me. She said she ” looked ” on the tapes and never found anything. Even our school officer got involved. Nobody really believed me and I spent my 7th grade year scared to go to the bathroom at school by myself. The only person that believed me was my Social Studies teacher, Mr. Hoffman. He was an Australian guy, which tells you a lot. That Australian people are better than Americans.
No, but really. When the notes got so bad, and my things were starting to be taken by this mysterious stalker, he would walk me to my car after school. He would walk behind me in the halls, not too close so that if the anonymous person were to slip a note in my bag, that Mr. Hoffman could see. He did this everyday for a few weeks until he was told to stop and that it was ‘ unnecessary.’ Even then, he would watch me when I left his class at the end of the day until I would round the corner into the cafeteria.
That year I had gotten so depressed, I was thinking about self harm. I just couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t good enough, or why everybody in my school hated me so much all because of a rumor, so much that I started believing that it was true. My parents found out, and so my mom began homeschooling my siblings and I for various reasons other than that.
At first I was so upset, I didn’t want to be home schooled, I wanted to go to school with the only two close friends I had, even if that meant hearing the nasty comments everyday. My 8th grade year we started homeschooling, I started attending a new church regularly, against what I had wanted, because at the time I was in a relationship with somebody and didn’t want to go to another church other than his. Soon we broke up about mid way through my 8th grade year, but that was entirely my fault. It was an unhealthy relationship. I was starting to learn about who God was, and what he wanted for me, how much he cared for me, and I knew that the relationship I was in, was not one that God had planned for me.
I still suffered some major depression all the way up until about the middle of my 10th grade year. I was still self harming up until the end of my 9th grade year, I had fallen into another trap of losing weight the wrong way and way too fast. I just wasn’t happy at all, and felt like a waste of space.
Then, my 9th grade year, we got a new youth pastor at my church. His name was Chris, and he plays a big role in how I gave my life to God. Chris just had a way of teaching that really made me feel and think. He didn’t preach the same boring sermons that every pastor teaches seasonally. He wasn’t afraid to talk about what people were dealing with, he wasn’t afraid to get down to the dirt, and that’s exactly what I needed. I was at an event called Worship in the Woods when I first felt my encounter with God, and made the commitment to walk by his side. They played a song called, ” How he loves us.” During that song, I felt the most energizing shiver in my body and I just knew that was God telling me that it’s not too late, and telling me he was there. That whole song, even that whole night of worship leading up to that song, I kept asking, ” God if you’re really there can you tell me? Can you open my heart to you?” I was so tired of all the pain I was suffering on the inside, the pain that nobody knew about. Guys, I should honestly be an actress because when I tell people now what I dealt with, they’re like ” what?! I would’ve never guessed!”
After that song played, the speaker told everybody to take their seats and prayed. He gave us the opportunity to walk up to the stage in front of the hundreds of people there to kneel, and pray about giving your life to God if that was what you were feeling. Oh, boy was I feeling it. I grabbed my friend Brianna’s hand and she went up there with me. We kneeled there and prayed for so long. By the end of that same song that they played again, I think everybody at that event was holding onto a shoulder and praying over those who had stepped up.
A few days after that, I decided I wanted to get baptized. Now, being the nontraditional person that I am, I wanted it to be different. Sure, yeah my baptism is going to be unique, but I wanted to make it even more special by having it at my Sweet 16 party. So, before my sweet 16, I invited my close friends and family members and I got baptized just a few rooms away from where I held my party at. I had my party a few days before my actual birthday. My birthday is June 29th, but I got baptized the 27th. My papaw baptized me that day.
If you know me, you know that I hate pools or any form of high rise waters. So this was a struggle for me because my brain would tell me ” it’s okay you’re not going to drown,” but my body won’t listen. My anxiety will get so intense, I can’t even make my body listen to what I want to do. I literally still struggle with that fear, although I have done things to try and conquer it. In doing that, I put Satan at 0 and me and God at 2. Why? Because I not only got saved, but started facing my fear and didn’t let it keep me from being reborn.
So, now almost two years later I am devoting my life to God and he’s my BFF.
Crazy how he changes you, even when you’ve dealt with that kind of stuff.
Thanks for reading about my testimony, and if you’d like to share yours, feel free to email me! If you’d like I can feature it!
If you are feeling like I was in middle school, just know God’s the only one who is going to ALWAYS be by your side, no matter how nasty the rumors get. He’s your #1 fan.
1 Peter 3:21
21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,