I CONFESS: New life, thank God
I want to spread the word that God is great. I want to let Barbadians know that God loves us all, no matter how bad we may have been.
I can say this because He saved me. He removed me from a life of vice and wickedness, and today I can loudly proclaim I am a better person, dedicated to living a wholesome life and serving the Lord by helping to bring others into His kingdom.
It is a great task, but one I do with pride and a sense of satisfaction and fulfilment.
Why I praise God with such fervour is because I was bad; I used to fornicate, and at the lowest point in my life, I actually prostituted myself.
Now, praise God, I’m washed with the purifying blood of the lamb.
I will never go back there no matter how bad my life situation becomes. I recognise now that my body is a temple and I should never abuse it, especially not for money.
And that’s why I want to share my story, because I want those who are going through the indignities similar to what I suffered growing up, and then became involved in, to realise that there is hope for them though they may now be in what seems like a bottomless pit.
This is what I mean; when I was just 14 my mother’s man troubled me when he came home one evening from work drunk. I told my mother when she came home that night from work. She couldn’t do anything about it because we (the two of us and my two younger brothers) were living in his rented house and didn’t have enough money to rent a place of our own. But she was determined to make him pay for hurting me.
She waited until he got up the next morning, and when he sat down at the table for breakfast threw a teacup of hot water on his shirtless chest and told him never again touch me. It was enough to hurt him but not injure him, and she had armed herself in case he tried to retaliate.
Of course it didn’t end there. A typical man, he had to show who was boss, so when all the cursing and carrying on was all over, he told my mother I had to leave his house as I was no good. To calm the situation I was sent to my aunt’s house near town.
That move led to me literally jumping from out of a frying pan and into a fire.
I say this because at my aunt’s house I had to contend with two older cousins who molested me repeatedly – one, a girl, and the other, a boy. She held me down and allowed him to have his way with me. And when I threatened to tell my aunt, they beat me.
I hated living there so much that after just nine days I ran away, but with nowhere to go I had to return that night for the same treatment.
It was at that point I decided not to fight them anymore; I just gave in. After that I didn’t feel as dirty or used – I actually started enjoying myself. I enjoyed it so much that as the months passed I started having boyfriends of my own from school.
From that stage, and having left school, I graduated to one meaningless physical relationship after another. My feelings for men were such that I was just interested in what I could get from them, as opposed to any emotional attachment.
I came to the point where I began to lose respect for everyone, so much so that I would do crazy things, like taking them home when I knew my cousins wouldn’t be there and doing naughty things in my aunt’s bed.
With such an attitude it was easy for me to go along with my cousin and accept cash for sex from men. I did it because my emotions were numb. For me it was a physical act with no significance whatsoever.
What I hated most about many of those men I went with was that though they had someone at home, they would still come and give me money for sex. That shattered any remaining good thoughts that I may have had about men. All I could think of was how every man that was close to me turned out to be no good.
First was my father – he left my mother and went to live with another woman and never supported us. Then there was my mother’s boyfriend who took my virginity and then chased me out of his house. Next was my cousin, who, basically, raped me repeatedly until I finally gave in to his wishes. After him, the names and faces are a blur. All I know is that they meant nothing.
It was when I was going through this reflective stage that I met an old lady who helped me turn my life around. I had gone out with a man and after we did our business he tried to rob me. I had to jump out of his car where we were parked. I fell and hurt my foot, but to escape I ran in pain to a nearby house, banged on the door and bawled for murder.
After letting me in and cleaning my cut, that lady talked to me about my dead end life. She showed me how I would never be able to make anything of myself from what I was doing, and encouraged me to really examine my life.
For the first time, I did, and hated what I saw. That night I cried long tears and pledged I would give up that way of life. And praise God, I did.
It was not easy because I had to leave from by my aunt’s house from under my cousin’s influence. Then I had to find a job and take foolishness from supervisors and bosses in stores for small change.
It was difficult to handle that given my background, but with my old friend there for me to lean on, and my growing faith, I pulled through.
Today I am a child of Jesus. I’ve managed to pull my life around and every step I make, I put God in front. If the Lord saved me from that life of wickedness, he can rescue you as well.
So I urge all of you reading this who know you’re living in sin to bring your burdens to the Lord, and he will help you.