Lord I ask that you prepare these hearts that are about to read my life’s story that you have brought me from. I pray that you clear their minds & all the distractions that are in there present moment. I ask Lord that you let them understand it the way you want them to understand it, & because of you Jesus I am free, free to share this testimony that has killed the old me and has re-birthed this new me. All because of your Love. Bless and touch every soul that comes across this page. In Jesus name, Amen.
The furthest back I remember my life was at the age of 3. I was at this house, it was dark & no one was there taking care of us. I had my 2 younger brothers, Gary who was 2, & Jonathan who was 1. We were standing together looking out the window. Back then we didn’t know what being left home alone was, but we knew we were waiting for someone. Many people grow up with both parents to care for them, we didn’t have either. Her name is Michelle, most would call this person Mom, not us. Our whole life we never had a Mom. She walked out of our lives when we were 3,2 & 1. My father Gary had me when He was 17, he had my brother Gary Jr. at 18, & Jonathan at 19. All with this lady Michelle, I now know why we were there & my dad wasn’t. They were separated & we were at her place, I guess that was our weekend to visit her. Till this day she still isn’t in the picture. My father was there physically, but never emotionally. I remember him always out drinking every single night, he was never home. He was with this lady, who I’m going to call S, because her name is really hard to pronounce. But he was with her for as long as I could remember. I was about 3 or so when they got together. Although we never really had a mother, the best lady of all. My grandma Irene has always taken care of us. Without her I really don’t know what I’d do, she has taken us in & we have always lived with her. When my dad was with S for a while my grandma allowed her to stay at our house as well. So we could all be together. S was in our life since we were very young & I remember calling her mom, even though she wasn’t.
By the age of 13 my dad had 2 other kids’ with S. My brothers Justin & Jeremy. My dad would take us every time he went to a friend’s house. He drank the night away as my brothers Gary, Jonathan & I stuck together & S cared for Justin & Jeremy. I remember nights when S wasn’t there & we were just there with my dad. I remember staying the night at some of his friend’s houses & waking up to find tons of beer cans everywhere & people knocked out on couches. I was hungry one morning & went to the kitchen as everyone was asleep & saw a huge line of white stuff. I didn’t know what it was but I knew I was hungry. There was no food in the fridge & dishes were nasty. I touched it & licked it & my tongue became numb. (It was cocaine) I heard someone say “Hey!” “Get away from there!” (Just a drunk friend of my dad’s.) Those types of nights were an everyday thing for us. Not the hungry part, but being out at my dad’s friends while they drank all night. He did this very often.
One of my dad’s friends had some younger daughters, who weren’t his but his girlfriends. I ended up staying there on weekends at times to hang with the girls. I was a little older than them. One weekend I stayed but school was the next day. I was in 7th grade, & they were in 6th grade. Where I use to live there were separate schools for both grades. Their mother left to work really early, & my dad’s friend insisted on taking us to school. I wasn’t ready so he said he’ll come back to take me after he took the girls. I was 13 & was like sure ok. Little did I know this would soon be a day that would change me. He came back & I remember laying on the bed waiting, he came in & laid next to me. I never had been in this position with a man in my bed so I didn’t really think anything; I just felt it wasn’t right. He got on top of me & told me how pretty I was, then he starting kissing me. The next thing I know he was raping me. I was crying & asking him to stop. He said it would be ok. I remember lying there like a dead person & feeling so ugly inside, crying while he did this. What felt like hours soon ended. He told me not to tell anyone. Till this day I never did. Only God knew, now you do. I ended up running out the house & I couldn’t go home because everyone thought I was at school. This man lived in the same neighborhood as us at the time. So I knew my way around. I ran to this abandoned house, a street down from where I lived. I had my back pack on & sat down and curled into a ball and just cried, cried, cried. The sad thing is that was not my dad’s only friend who has sexually abused me. One other one as he “baby sat” us when I was even younger, would touch me in my private area. I never told my dad this because I know for a fact He would kill them. I say that literally.
My dad, S, my brothers & I ended up moving from that place that same year, & I didn’t want to leave my grandma I wanted to stay. Not only that but my friends at school were all I had, I didn’t want to move to another one. Especially where we were headed was a very bad area in San Antonio. I was use to living in a descent area that my grandma always provided. We ended getting our own place without grandma. I ended up going to a different school on the ugly side of San Antonio. Ever since the first day I never fitted in. Its students were mainly Mexican, & although I’m Hispanic I am very light. So I stood out like a sore thumb. The first day there no girls liked me. The guys did, but not the girls, I never understood why. I never did anything to them. One day as I was changing in the locker a group of girls came up to me & said “Who do you think you are?” I had no idea what they were talking about. They were upset because one of their boyfriends liked me, & I didn’t even know the guy. One came up to my face & bumped into me really hard, saying “Watch your back.” I was always alone, sat alone, & didn’t want to talk to anyone really because I was always being watched, & the ones who I did talk to just stabbed me in the back. Every day I was at school I just wanted the day to end. I ended up getting involved in sports & found I was really athletic & good at it. I was very competitive & it was the only thing I looked forward to. I ended up making A Team which is like really good in 7th & 8th grade. I would go to the recreation center every day & just play basketball, it was my escape. It came natural & I just loved feeling free with no worries. Those girls envied me more because of it. One day after practice as I was walking out the gym about to walk home, those girls came up to me, but this time wanted to fight. I didn’t want to but had no choice. There were 3 but 2 of those 3 hated me. They pushed me down one kicked & the other started punching me. One of the girls ran away but the other just kept punching. I got up & was so angry at this point. I was tired of getting picked on for no reason. I ended up punching her, knocking her down, pulled out her earrings & was kicking her on the ground so hard. She couldn’t fight back at this point. I finally stopped & ran home. No one was there, dad was out drinking, my brothers were out who knows where, & S was nowhere to be found. I went to my room & cried. I hated my life & the place I was at. I just wanted to get away. I didn’t understand why. The thoughts of suicide ran through my mind many times, but that day they were stronger. I tried holding my breath until I couldn’t breathe, I felt dizzy but never passed out. No one was around & I felt so alone. I yelled into my pillows taking out my frustration. I got up stuffed my backpack, grabbed some change, & put the pillows under my sheets to make it seem like I was there. I ran to the nearest bus stop not knowing how to use it & asked to take me to where I lived. I ended up arriving at my old neighborhood I don’t know why I just wanted to be home where I grew up & had fun as a kid with no worries. I ended up going to that abandoned house again & I just cried. I was there for 2 days. The cops ended up finding me & brought me back to my dad’s.
Home life never changed & S ended up cheating on my dad but he never knew. I was young but not dumb & I knew something was up. I ended up finding some photos of her & this guy. One day before practice she took me to the corner store & I saw it was that same guy in the picture. Every time we went there she asked if I wanted something, I always said “No.” With some attitude because I knew what she was doing. Who takes 30 minutes to get a slushy? She slapped me in the face telling me to stop acting like a b****. She never laid a hand on me but ever since I knew about her cheating she did. One day I was so tired of her doing this to my dad that I told her I would tell. She got mad & said I better not say a thing. I said nope, “I am!” “If you don’t want to be with my dad then just leave & stop cheating!” She got so mad & told me to never talk back to her. I said, “You’re not my mom!” She grabbed me & took one of my belts that had stars, pulled down my pants & underwear & began whooping me. So hard that the stars were imprinted on my skin. It stung so badly, & tears streamed down my face. But I had so much anger that I didn’t cry. I turned around & yelled, “Why are you hitting me!” I went straight up to her face with tears streaming down & said “If you want to hit me, then hit me. I’m right here!” She had the evilest look in her eyes & slapped my face so hard. I looked at her & said, “Do it again!” She didn’t. I pushed her out of the way & my dad came into the house. Mad because not even he has laid a hand on us. I told him about it, & pointed where the pictures where. Chaos broke loose. She tried hitting my dad with pans & was just going crazy because she got caught. They went to the room & my dad was trying to contain her. I could hear them yelling and fighting and I hated that so much. I told my brothers to go away I didn’t want them hearing it. I heard some loud noises coming from the room, & I had heard enough. I walked in and my dad was sitting on the bed shirt off crying. She was in her bra, with one of her breast hanging out. She was telling me “Amber He’s hitting me.” I stood there & looked into my dad’s eyes, I could see all the hurt he had inside. I went up pushed her off & said “Leave my dad alone!” “It’s you!” She ended up calling the cops on my dad & I called my grandma to come get us. That was the last time I saw her. We ended up moving back with my grandma.
Fast forward to 2008. I was the first in my family to graduate from high school & attend college & play college basketball. I was very popular in high school and college I got along with everyone, but still something was missing. By this time my dad has had another kid, yes another one. My sister Destiny Jewel. Makes 6 all together. In 2009 I get a bf that is just amazing. One day he asks me if I want to go to church. I was hesitant & said, “No, it’s ok” He begged, “Please come, I know you’ll enjoy it.” I asked well what religion are you, since there are tons of them out there right? I didn’t really know I had never been, but heard about a lot. He said, “Christian.” Umm what type of “Christian?” He said Apostolic/ Pentecostal. I had no idea what it was. I said, “Sure.” He was so happy to take me. He grew up in church, I didn’t so I was a little scared to go. I felt like I had to be perfect to go to church, I knew I had a lot of shame, anger, loneliness, cold heart, & I covered it up really well with joking & making others laugh to forget my past. That night I went home & googled this Pentecostal/Apostolic. I saw the videos & I was like, “ Oh no what have I got myself into.” ‘These people are crazy!” I saw people running around, yelling, screaming, crying, speaking jibberish. I was so scared I couldn’t sleep. The next morning we went & man oh man. During worship as everyone sang & lifted their hands. I sat down, & did nothing. I’m the type of person that if I don’t know what I’m doing I’m not going to fake it. The pastor stood up & said that even the devil can be amongst your own people, even the ones next to you. (I now know he was referring to wolves in sheep’s clothing) But as soon as he said that I immediately stood up! Saying to myself I’m not the devil. I felt that way because I wasn’t worshiping. Service went on & I felt a really strong presence unlike anything I have ever felt. But with all the walls up I had built over my life I wasn’t about to cry, I let my pride get in the way. I continued to go & every time I did I felt this presence tugging me, every single time, it was so strong. I felt as if I had a rope tied on my waste & someone was pulling me towards them. Service after service. Then on April 4, 2010. Easter Sunday. Pastor was talking about being baptized in Jesus name. I knew a little about Jesus I had been doing a bible study. But still didn’t really know much. That day on Easter Sunday I couldn’t fight off this presence. So I stepped out & said I wanted to be baptized in Jesus name. As I stood in the water, & as people were praying for me. No one knew much of my life. I never told anyone. All they saw was a girl, with a smile, that came to church every Sunday, but the brokenness inside was the real me. I stood there not really knowing how to pray & just asked God to forgive me of all my sins & create in me & new heart. I was tired of living this life of pretending to be happy when I was broken & so was my family. As I went into the water & came up, I felt an unexplainable feeling. All of the weight I had been carrying, all of the shame, hurt, cold heart, everything was gone & in that moment I felt peace for the first time. I began to cry. I hadn’t cried in so long. I couldn’t stop crying. It was a happy cry though, not pain. I began praising God, but with all the analyzing I do I didn’t receive the Holy Ghost that day. Which was ok, I still needed to study more about it & God knew I wasn’t ready for it. A month went by & 3 people told me I need to stop analyzing God. That He loves me beyond what I can imagine, it was hard for me to believe still although I felt His Love every service & especially when I got baptized. May 23, 2010. It was Pentecost Sunday. Pastor talked about the outpouring of the Holy Ghost & that whoever really wanted it, God wouldn’t withhold it. I began thanking God for His Love & revealing himself to me. I asked that He forgive me of my sins, & the the images of my past. I asked that He help me stay focused on Him & not let my analyzing stop me from receiving what He has for me. As I began to speak to God & repeatedly say Hallelujah, the highest praise. I felt that presence again, but unbearable this time. I lifted my hands & began to cry out to Him. I didn’t care who was around, it was just Him & I. As my hands were lifted, & eyes closed all I saw was a bright light. I began uttering something, that I couldn’t control & by the time I knew it I was speaking in this tongues. To me it didn’t sound like it, I was so in tune with this light. As it faded away I could hear everyone say, ‘That’s it Amber it’s the Holy Ghost, you have received it.” I couldn’t stop speaking in tongues, I soon started hearing myself & it was the Holy Ghost. I felt so much peace, & Love from my Heavenly Father. That I didn’t want to leave His presence, I felt home. I was so drunk in the Holy Ghost & I never wanted to leave that place.
A few months later I had a dream. My best friend Julie & I were in a car. In this dream we were driving away from an apartment complex and as we were pulling out a car smashes into us. Killing both of us. I didn’t think anything of it. 2 days later on a Saturday, Julie wanted to see if I could get off work so I could help her move from her sisters apartment. I tried but couldn’t since Saturdays are busy at restaurants, and I would have felt bad. My bf was working out of town when he called me I kept ignoring the call, just thinking he wanted to talk but I was working. He kept on calling so I went to the restroom to answer it. He told me I needed to leave work because Julie just died. I got upset & said, “Why would you say such a thing, that’s not funny.” I hung up and continued working, he calls again, and again. I go to the restroom & pick it up. He says, “Amber you need to go now, I’m not lying.” I was so in denial, I just couldn’t grasp it. We were texting earlier, she slept over the night before. No this is just a dream. As I went to take a customer’s order, tears began streaming down my face. It hit me. I started inputting the order on the computer & my manager noticed I was crying. He asked what was wrong and I told him. He told me to go now to the scene. I drove to the scene but they just got done cleaning it up. I went to my bf’s parent’s house which was down the street from the scene. They told me Julie was leaving her sisters apartment to move into their house, (she was close to them too) and as she was pulling out the apartment complex a truck smashed into her and killed her instantly. The crazy thing was that her car got smashed all the way to the center console and stopped there. So even if I was in it I would have survived. But I wasn’t meant to be in it. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing; it was just like my dream. I hadn’t told them about it, I didn’t tell anyone because I thought it was just a dream. I was so angry at God that night. I couldn’t cry again I was just thinking why her, she was the closest thing to me that has ever passed. The next day was Sunday. God’s presence hit me so hard & I gave all the pain I had to Him. I miss you Julie so much, but you were my angel sent down from God. Because of you I appreciate every moment I’m living because you never know when your number is called.
After this happened I began to do something I always said I never would. It wasn’t because of her but ever since God rescued me life seemed so much harder. The devil was after me & wasn’t stopping until he had me. He would feed my mind lies telling me how God could love me & have all this happen in my life. He would make me feel like I didn’t overcome & it was all in my head. If God does Love you then why is your family what they are? He would say, you got laid off, your best friend died, your brothers are on drugs how is that Love? So many thoughts & things he pointed out. One night I got invited to a party. I never go but this night I did. Everything I had held off all 20 years of my life was about to be done this night. I drank for the first time & it tasted like crap. But it made me feel good, but for a moment. I never said I would smoke pot, & I did. It burned & I coughed my head off, but I was hungry & laughing, but for a moment. I wasn’t big on the beer, but the pot was not too bad. I found myself going back on everything I ever said, I always told myself I didn’t want to drink because my dad always did & I didn’t want to be like that. I didn’t drink as much after that but I got drunk about 6 times before I let the beer go. But the weed I enjoyed. I was smoking pot every night feeling the Spirit say no. But I still did it & went to church. That lasted for about 1 year. One night I cried out to God & apologized. All of this was only a temporary feel good. I always stayed away from it so why have I started doing it now? Especially after I had the Holy Ghost. One service I was so sick & tired of fitting into the crowd & doing what everyone else was doing. I knew it was not me. That service God showed up like always. I cried out to Him promising I won’t go back if He could help me FORGET everything about my past & take my desire away from this weed that I was putting above Him. I heard a whisper, “I love you.” I opened my eyes & looked back but everyone was praying. From that day forward I’ve put my past behind me & I don’t desire weed.
I could have come up with every reason to hate God, but it’s not God who does the damage to us. Because of free will we have the choice of doing what we want in our lives. That means anyone can hurt us because they choose to, not because God made them. I don’t see my life’s story as bad. I see it as God bringing me through it all for this very moment right now. Even though I never knew Him, He has been watching me my whole life. If it wasn’t for those situations in my life that occurred I wouldn’t be who I am today. I have always been the odd ball from my family, & I never understood why. I have always been told I was going to be something great, & back then it was to play basketball professionally, but I know I have a greater purpose now. That’s to spread God’s Love amongst everyone I come across. No not religion but LOVE, because God is Love. Every day is a battle because I have been purchased by You, but You have won the Victory & although there is a war for my soul. You have my heart. I’ve lived without You long enough, I’m not letting go. I thank You Lord for all the storms in my life, & even though my life still isn’t perfect with all the blessings, it sure does seem like it is. I love my family to death. I don’t hate my dad for never being there emotionally for us, nor Michelle for leaving. I’ve forgiven & moved on. All because of God’s Love for me. If He forgave me for my sins, how can I not forgive others, am I greater than Him? No I’m not but He gives me the strength to do so. Forgiveness is not a attribute of the weak, it’s an attribute of the strong. My father grew up with no dad, & all it is, is a curse on my family. But I was called to break that curse, and my family will be saved! God is working through me, & my family sees the light of Christ in me. My dad has come along so far, & God has blessed me with the wisdom to see their pain, & everyone else’s pain. He has blessed me as a prayer warrior, not only for my family but for every lost soul out there. God healed my broken heart & put the shattered pieces of it together. He turned the words I used to tear people down, to now lift them up. He turned my fake happiness, into true joy! He turned my cold heart, to a heart overdosed on Love. He turned my shame into praise! He used my past to mold this new me. I know my God is real & I stand firm on what I believe. I ask you Dear Father that whoever comes across my testimony Lord that you reveal yourself to them in a way that there is no denying your existence. I ask Lord that you let them realize that their life on this earth was made for a purpose. This world is so cold & it turns our hearts cold, but in You there is life! (This is for you reader) If you just believe & let down those walls that you have built up in the inside from all the lies, abuse, disappointments, hurt, mistrust, loneliness, sexual abuse, outcast, bullying, no one who showed Love. I promise you in Him there is no other Love that can compare. Jesus Christ is a Scarce Lovee. A rare Love like no other.