Demi's Story

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Before Christ, my life was hard and I felt like there was no way out of the hurt, pain, and abuse that was going on in my home. My dad was the abuser. He drank a lot of the time and alcohol was a very strong addiction in my family. My grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins all drank at some point in their lives. The weekends held a different meaning in my childhood. I remember seeing all the destruction taking place amongst my family as a child. It would take me hours to fall asleep at night because my dad would come home drunk and I had to wait until he either passed out, left, or spent the night in jail.

There was no one to turn to and I didn’t feel safe. Coming from an abusive home, I felt like I was worthless and just another body to fill this earth. A lot of the times I would wonder if my life had meaning at all. Growing up in an abusive home messes with you as a child trying to find where you belong in life. It’s even harder when you have younger siblings and they too are going through it at a younger age. I constantly felt like a failure and didn’t know where I wanted to be in life because I didn’t see the point in having a hopeful future. My dad would get drunk and he would say, “You’re nothing...you’re worthless. Why did we have you?” Words like that damage you as a little kid. This was a cycle going from elementary school, to middle school and onto high school. I was able to ignore it at home, but it was all I thought about when I went to school.

My grandma loved me. I know all the times that she said “I love you” she meant it. I had never felt that growing up as a child. My teenage years came and I found excuses not to visit her anymore because she never visited me. She died when I was 16 and my life crumbled before me. For the first time in my life I felt like there was nowhere to turn and no one to help me. It felt like the only person who had really loved me and cared, deserted me. I didn’t know where to turn and I was left lost and alone.

I remember sitting on the front row at her funeral and thinking of where my life was headed. I didn't know who would love me like my grandma had. Questions like, "Who will love me? Am I important? Will anyone miss me if I died?" played through my head as I sat there trying to comfort my aching heart.

As I was sitting silently, people who knew my grandma were talking about her life, and the way that she lived. I was reminded of the love she showed me as a child and I could agree with the things people said about her life. She had a happiness I didn’t know and loved life despite all the bad. I wanted that. I sat there crying, unable to see any source of light in my dark world. I didn't know where to go or where to turn. I wanted true happiness, and not the fake smiles I would give people around me. I wanted to be free from the heaviness and the depression that was taking over my life.

They told me that she believed in this guy named Jesus. I sat there and wanted to know who this Jesus was, because He took the only person that ever loved me. He left a deep wound in my heart by taking my grandma away from me when I needed her most. It was then that I called out to Jesus saying, “Jesus, I don’t know who You are, but I’m willing to find out.”

Since that time, Jesus has been showing me who I am in Him. My dad said I was nothing, but Jesus says that I am someone, my life has value, and that I am important. For the first time in my life, I mean something to someone without having to work for it all the time. Jesus loves me despite all the times I have failed and given up. The alcohol and abuse are still going on in my family, but I have Someone to turn to this time. He is my help in times of trouble. I no longer feel like there is heaviness in my life, and I am able to forgive my dad for the abuse he put me through. I no longer have to worry about the safety of my siblings and my mom. Jesus has brought peace into my life, and it is unlike anything I could ever imagine.

He gives me purpose in my life and the ability to see the good in all things. Every bad thing that happened to me as a child, Jesus has used it to help free other people who are going through the same things. I am not ashamed and embarrassed of my past and most importantly, I don't have to live in fear. Jesus took all that away.

Jesus took the ugly, broken pieces of my life and turned it into a beautiful story of hope and healing. I was created for a relationship with the very person who created me. I am in places doing things I’d never imagined for myself, only through Jesus was it possible. I have a hope and a future through Jesus Christ.