As a child, I’m not sure how I came to believe in God. I don’t recall my parents ever bringing God or prayer into our home. I do remember that a Sunday School bus came around to pick up children and families in the neighborhood. I was “all in” and dragged my sister along, and several neighborhood girls as well. I could never get my parents onto that bus, but I soon had the church coming to my house. I know that my father trusted one or two fellas that would come to visit.
My parents received Jesus as their Lord and Savior and were baptized. I know they listened to a record by one of the gentleman. But they never prayed with us, or even went to church, which is still true to this day. Not that I think my parents don’t believe, but it is something they do separately and privately, so I am told. Anywhere I would go for several years, I wanted to be in the house of the Lord. Even on vacation I would visit the local church or the revivals they used to have at the campground. But no one in my family would join me. Soon it was only me who would go.
It was when I was in the 7th grade when I changed to fit in with the crowd. I had no identity, so I thought. I became a bully and a class clown and very disrespectful. I thought it was cool.
That was the year I started skipping classes and was introduced to marijuana. By the end of the year I was popping speed pills and drinking alcohol. That continued throughout the summer. I wanted to be one of the cool kids and wanted to be known by everyone.
In 8th grade I made friends with a popular girl who attracted all the boys. Well, I wasn’t nearly as pretty as she was, nor did I have her build. She would tell me how great sex was and about all of her partners. They were all good-looking football players. She would always tell me I should try it, although I had no one interested in doing it with me.
There was an older man (age 21) renting a room in her house who she had been intimate with and insisted I cut school and hang out with them. So I did. He came to the kitchen as I was standing there. His girlfriend was waiting for him in his room. He said he would love to take my virginity from me. So, as my friend, Michelle, watched, he did, bent over me in the kitchen. It seemed as if only thirty seconds went by, and then it was over. I couldn’t understand the big hype. But I found out I could get pregnant in those 30 seconds.
As the months passed by, I contemplated suicide or running away. On a suspicion, my mom took me to the doctor when I was 6½ months pregnant. My innocence and childhood were gone. I remember my dad’s harsh words were that no man was going to love me, they were only going to want one thing from me. I never imagined this would happen to me. I thought I had to be a junky that some man would pick up out of the gutter. My father’s damaging words became just what my expectations were. Slowly but surely I lived up to them.
Unknowingly, I became an addict the first time I used drugs. As the years went by, my use of drugs and alcohol increased. I thought everyone used drugs and alcohol.
Not only was I an addict, but I also had a perverted mind. I thought that sex was the only way to please a man, and later, even women. I was married for six years and had two more children. When I divorced, I really went wild.
I eventually lost all three of my children and continued spiraling downhill. Soon, I was introduced to a new lover: heroin. I was told I had to quit drinking because these two lovers mixed together were lethal. The next morning I did not drink. I gave up drinking from sunup to sundown to stick a needle in my arm.
Instantly, I was in love and addicted. After only a week of using, I experienced dope sickness. I lost my job after 15 years, my home, and sadly my children. I had a nervous breakdown and went into a deep depression. I cried every day for over a year as I continued to use more and more heroin to hide my pain. I would shoot 24 bags a day. In just nine months I went through $13,000, all there was in my 401K.
When that was gone, the female I was involved with and I began a new career. We would rob and steal, and dance, and hustle for our dealers. It was the hardest work I’ve ever had to do to maintain my addition and keep from getting sick. The woman I lived with went to jail, and her parents put me out after a year. I became homeless, bouncing from house to house.
I was in a drug rehabilitation program where a fellow talked about angels. At the time I didn’t believe in angels. Then God sent two angels to tell me about some truth in my darkness, in my Sodom and Gomorrah. I was outside when a fellow pulled up in a car and told me to get in. I did. He was the most beautiful being I had ever seen. He told me amazing things about myself; he spoke life into me. Before getting out of his car, I turned to him and asked whether he was an angel. He only smiled. I got out of his car and turned around to thank him, and he had vanished, nowhere to be seen.
I entered into a long-term rehabilitation program. Everyone greeted me at the door with hugs, saying, “Welcome home.” I knew I was home. Although I wrestled with God often as Jacob did, He would sit me down and quiet my spirit. He would say, “Be Still and know that I am God.” He told me that quite often. After being there for 18 months, I saw the light of truth and surrendered to His will. I had only been deceiving myself, but I knew He saw me, all of me.
Editor’s Note: Today Robin is happily married and works for a nonprofit that serves homeless and food challenged people in her community.
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