I don’t know why my brain decides to give me ideas right when I’m about to sleep. Lol. I’m in bed thinking of the wonderful time we just had at a pool party with people from our church. By we, I mean my kids and I. I just can’t keep all this happiness to myself and had to share with you all what’s been going on and where it comes from.
So, I was born and baptized in a Catholic Church. I also went to Sunday school for my confirmation and communion preparation. After that, I don’t remember going to church often. As a teenager, I got lost in a world of confusion. I felt alone and neglected and all I could do is refer to my friends and learn how to cope with my own feelings. It’s like the blind leading the blind, right?
Through those rough years, I thought God was not around. I lost faith and I drowned my sorrows with any substance I could get. At age 12, I started smoking pot and drinking. By the time I knew it, I was taking sleeping pills and sniffing cocaine. It wasn’t long that I became pregnant with my baby girl. I was only 14 years old. By that time my mother and I had left my dad and were living with a cousin of mine. Sharing a room with their mother is not the most suitable situation for a teenage girl. My mother didn’t have a job, nor a car, or even a place to live. So it was a hard time for both of us. But there I was, pregnant!
I never imagined that a few weeks after my baby was born, my mother would be diagnosed with leukemia. I still remember that day as if it were yesterday. She was on a phone call and I saw her start crying. It was unreal to hear that she had 6 months to live. Like how? She had been perfectly fine and we were so happy with my baby girl.
After that, everything came crashing down. I kept living my life like everything was going to be the same. Like it wasn’t true and she would be fine after some treatment. I eventually went back to drinking and partying. My aunt had come to live with us, we had gotten an apartment now that my mom was disabled, so she would take care of my baby and my mother.
My mother got really sick pretty fast. Once she fell in bed she stopped walking. Every time I saw her she was weaker and all I wanted was to leave like if not seeing her would make things go back to normal. I was a horrible daughter.
During these times I met my husband. He was my comfort. All I wanted was to be with him. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into! But that’s another story. My momma went in and out of the hospital and also nursing homes. Those times I was left by myself and my alcoholic father. We were both a mess. We comforted each other with drugs. My aunt would take my daughter with her because I wasn’t fit to take care of her. Now that I think of it, I was also a horrible mother.
I got pregnant with my second child at 16. I also lost my mother that year. I was only 7 months pregnant when I got the call. I was still in denial. It broke me entirely to see my mother hooked to those tubes, knowing that they were the only thing keeping her alive. She suffered for one year and five months and now it was over. I never got to tell her how much I loved her, I don’t think she heard me when I said goodbye.
The days after were still as if it were a dream. I felt like I was outside of my body. I couldn’t cry. I buried my mother and didn’t shed a tear. Everyone was crying but me.
I was alone in the world with a baby and another on the way. Homeless. Broke. Alone. I moved in with my boyfriend in Mexico. That was another great adventure! We eventually got married, came to the United States, and had another kid. That didn’t go well. I found out he was using heroin while I was still pregnant with my third baby. I had no idea what that was! The rest was a nightmare, but he was all I had and I loved him so much.
In 2006, he just disappeared off the face of the earth. I had left him and he went back to Mexico. They never found his body. I was devastated. Once again I was alone, but now with three little ones. How was I to believe that God could let this happen to me? Where was he? Why did he hate me so much?
The next few years were harder than ever. This had to be the hardest thing I had gone through. I was broken. I was lost. I didn’t want to continue life without him. Seeing my kids was torture because they reminded me of him.
It wasn’t until I had my fourth baby, that I woke up. I hit rock bottom. I was at my worst and I was dragging my babies with me. A lot of things had to happen for me to realize that they were all I needed and they needed me.
I started to get my life together. Trying my hardest, but kept failing. And each time it felt like I was doing everything wrong. College was not working for me, I was on welfare because I couldn’t keep a job, I didn’t have anyone to help with my kids.
My baby was born into all this chaos, but he made it all better. He brought us joy and brought me back to life. Things were still hard and I still made so many mistakes, but I decided I was going to change.
I did change and slowly I started searching for God again. He had to be around, I had been in dangerous situations so many times, but he never left my side. I am still here because he has a greater purpose for me. I didn’t know how to find him. But I still kept praying. All this time he was right beside me. Now I know that. I was still having hard times but I kept changing and never stopped praying.
The day that the missionaries came knocking at my door was the day God knew I was ready to receive him in my heart. He had been preparing me to accept him. They changed my life completely. Becoming a member of The Church of Jesus Christ has been the biggest blessing of all. Now I understand so many things. I don’t feel lost. All the sadness was replaced with His unconditional love.
I have met the most wonderful human beings in this church and I am so grateful. My heart is so happy to see my kids happy with their new friends from church. Now my tears are from pure happiness and gratitude. To see my children dance and smile is the greatest gift of all.
I have a very strong testimony that Jesus Christ is alive, that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, that the gospel was restored, that God is my Heavenly Father, and that I am a member of the true church of Jesus Christ! Amen.
Ps. I respect everyone’s choice of religion, this is only my testimony and life story to share with you all.
“Come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye also may be partakers of the fruit of the tree of life” (Alma 5:62)