"Hunger is not only for a piece of bread, but for love. Homelessness is not only not having a home, but for being rejected and unwanted." Mother Theresa
For years I walked around with a profound sense of homesickness, an inner ache, a desperate yearning to go home. I felt it deep inside my gut and for years, I couldn't shake that twisting knotting in the pit of my stomach. Nothing took it away, - not relationships, not material things, not drugs, - nothing. I think now it was a hunger, a ravenous hunger for love and acceptance.
Everything I had been taught, told me I was nothing, worthless, bad. Images constantly rolled over in my head of my father spitting at me when he was in his rages, calling me names - garbage, retarded, worthless, - picking up furniture and throwing it at me, punching and slapping me and telling me it hurt him more than it hurt me; .....my mother beating me with a stick, teasing me, telling me I was stupid, an idiot, I couldn't talk right, walk right, breath right....I often wondered what was wrong with me that they hated me so much.
I wandered the streets, shooting dope, sometimes three and four times a day. I didn't care. My friend who I shot up kept telling me I wasn't shooting to get high, I was shooting to kill myself. He was right. I believed I had no right to exist.
One day I was in a fire. It was my fault. I accidently dropped the lit match I used to heat up the dope. My dog saved me. She grabbed me with her teeth and pulled me onto the balcony. A cop who had been looking out for me, heard what happened and came to see me at the hospital. He bought me clothes and when I was discharged, rented a place for us to move into together. He tried to help me. He told me over and over he loved me but I couldn't feel it. I didn't understand what he was saying. The amount of self-loathing I had was stronger than his love.
While I was with him, I was pulled into the rapist's house. He held me there for six months. He told me he loved me but he wouldn't let me go. And he hurt me. He hurt me really badly. Somehow I survived. I don't know how but I did. I never told anyone what happened or where I had been. I thought I deserved it. I thought it was my fault.
Then God touched me; cut through the pain, broke the chains holding me so tight. He took away the drug addiction but not the deep ache inside. That didn't go away. I couldn't let people get close. They would see what I knew, - they would see how worthless I was.
God never gave up on me. His love was so gentle. Some days I didn't care if He killed me. On those days when I felt wild, out of control, - when I ripped razor blades down my arms, or punched my head to make the memories stop, or held my head over the toilet throwing up over and over and over because I didn't believe I had the right to eat or live, - He was there, beside me, waiting. He never let me go. He waited. He stayed. Some days, I begged Him to kill me, to let me go but He didn't. He waited patiently. He waited until I was ready.
I live with gratitude, - gratitude that God didn't listen to me, that He let me live, that somehow He freed me.
I owe my life to Him. He broke through the emptiness and the pain and helped me to feel His love. I feel it. I feel it all the time. That feeling of homesickness is gone. That sense I'm worthless, garbage, - gone.
I want to help other people find freedom. I want them to know what I found out, that there is hope and there is freedom and God's love can break through anything and redeem it. Most of my friends have no idea what I lived. I don't want them to know but something inside me is compelling me to tell, - I think it's my love for God, my gratitude to Him. I need to tell.
An Overseas Tale...
5 days ago