Ernie - College Student - FL
Being raised by my mother, I constantly lived in fear! Mom had many male friends and it seemed they were all trashy and mean. My brother was born two years after me. Of course, his father and mine were not the same man. There was a father figure in the home, but not a good one. There was abuse, drugs, and alcohol involved all the time.
By the time I was five, things had really gotten bad. One of the hardest things for me, at that age, was that my brother's father valued my brother more than me. When he was angry, most of his rage was directed at me. Many nights I just wanted to leave, but had nowhere to run.
Not long after this, he left and there was another man in our lives. My mom married again, but this one was no better. He turned out to be a trashy guy just like the rest of her men. She divorced him met another guy, married him and was soon divorced. Then she just had more and more boyfriends until it became a cycle of meeting a boyfriend, bringing him home, and doing drugs.
All my childhood was really tough because there was just no security in my life. I was filled with fear, anxiety, and terror. It was so hard because you were always afraid as you wondered who was going to walk in that door next and what mean temper they would exhibit toward you.
Finally, when I was almost twelve years old, my mom was arrested and my brothers and I had no one to lead or protect us. My uncle came and got us and took care of us while she was in jail. For two and a half years, we lived with him. My uncle was a believer, so we started being taken to church regularly.
After about 18 months of going to church, I had a great desire to go to camp. It was while attending Summer camp with the youth from my uncle's church, that I trusted Christ as my personal Savior. I was thirteen years old then. We were having a special gathering outside upon some rocks. I had been wondering what life was all about and what God had for me. The Camp leader gave the plan of salvation and God convicted and led me to trust in Jesus Christ to be my personal Savior.
My salvation brought new focus to my life and I was no longer worried as I had been before. The constant fear that I had known was replaced with the assurance of knowing that God was going to protect me through whatever came my way.
Shortly after my salvation, I was returned to my Mom. My desire to attend church grew and even though my family, Mom and her friends, didn't want to go, I would walk the two miles to the church or get a ride with friends. Sometimes I rode my bike. The home situation was bad again with drugs and anger, but now I had the Lord. I was focused on Him. I became very active in my youth group and, even in my public high school with all the temptations, I was able to lean on the Lord. There were many times when the offers came for me to do drugs or drink. But I never fell to those temptations. I always remembered seeing how it had hurt my Mom and family and I would not get involved. Now, as I look back on my life, I realize how God provided for me and how His love and care of me was just awesome.
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