I’m Living Proof

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God can change lives. Take me for instance. This is the Reader’s digest of my testimony of how low I went and how God resurrected me. I started off bad, living in the slums of Chicago growing up around gangs, prostitution, and drugs. I had a younger brother that I helped raise while my mother was going back to school and working. I was in many fights just to get us back home from school everyday. It was a horrific time for us, but God had a plan for my life.

Over time, I developed an anger inside me from having to rescue my brother, determined to keep him from being kidnapped, raped, and keeping him from being recruited to be a gang member. I was also determined that nobody would push me around – nobody. I kept my anger inside, but it was growing. It would be what would fuel me to eventually turn to heavy metal and demonic music.

Fast forward to my life in high school/college…I kept to myself for the most part. My mother and I had a tumultuous relationship…I was age 17 when I went to live with my grandmother to attend school and it was then I learned the truth about my background, both racial and my birth. I learned that I am part Black, Native American, and Caucasian. She answered many questions for me, cause I didn’t look like anyone on my mother’s side. I had long hair and light skinned. I thought at times that I had been adopted.

But, the hardest part was learning that my birth was the result of an affair my mother had with my father, he was married at the time and of course promised to divorce his wife and marry my mother. You can guess what happened. It didn’t happen and I believe the hurt in her turned to disappointment, depression, and then rage. And it didn’t help that I was born and looked like my father and that he didn’t want me either. The physical and verbal abuse was so bad, which was one the reasons I left home to live with my grandmother.

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Unfortunately, I got mixed up in a domestic violent relationship that led me to drugs and sexual abuse by my boyfriend. He grew up in a domestic violent home passed down from his father and brothers. He thought it was normal to slap me in the face and threaten to kill me. It took me a year to get away from him. Today, I’m so thankful I got away with my life, because so many women didn’t. But, again God had a plan for me. I ended up moving back home with my mother. Nothing had really changed except now I was clinically depressed, suicidal, aborted a baby, and needed to go straight.

After trying suicide many times and failing, I didn’t know what to think…but God had a plan. I would become a born-again Christian not long after coming back home and as soon as that happened, my feelings changed. I suddenly wanted to live. I finally felt like I had a future…something to look forward to. Nothing else I had tried worked: religious cults, heavy metal, drugs, alcohol, sex, partying, relationships, nothing helped…these were temporary fixes. Jesus is forever. He was what my heart needed. He filled that void. And as I began my relationship with Him, I learned a lot about myself. My whole life was based upon looking to be loved and when I was deserted, I tried to find love in other ways. But, it was Jesus whom I was seeking all along.

Eventually, but not right away, my life changed…my mother and I developed a friendship that was beautiful and I will never, never, ever forget. We worked out everything between us. I could tell her I loved her and vice versa. And, God got me off drugs, depression, and delivered me from suicide. I went back to school, worked hard, learned computer skills, eventually switched my career to graphic design, and then became a business owner. No one is too hard for Jesus to help. They just have to want His help. I’m living proof that God can change a heart and a life.

Kim McDougal

Kim is the founder and creator of Growing Up in Grace. By day, she's the Director of Interactive Communications for the Hispanic chamber located in Jax, FL. Kim also owns "Beautiful Food Photography" and sells her handmade greeting cards and vintage art printables on Etsy.

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