Gabriel P.

Gabriel P.

from MO
Story #274
Well, my name is Gabby, and my life started on November 27th in 1994. I was brought into the world with devout Jehovah's Witness parents, and they wanted only the best for me. The first 5 or 6 years of my life were fairly uneventful. Learning to ride my bike, read, use the potty. An average life for a kid in America. The thing I remember most from childhood is love. When I was 3 I became a big sister, and again at age 6, and my house was just full to the brim with love. My mom was my best friend, and my daddy was my prince.

When I was just turning 6 years old, and my mom was about to give birth we went on a family trip to the Florida keys and I remember thinking I could spend the rest of my life there :) By the end of the trip my parents were in such a heated argument that my dad told my mom to leave him, and of course I defended my mommy, telling him if he ever were to leave her I was going with and he would never see me again. I was so so angry. We went home together and their marriage settled down to how it was before their fight- what I thought was the epitome of love.

A year passes and we depart for another trip. I was 7 this time, and it was just me and mom going. Her friend had died and we were traveling to Michigan for the funeral. My dad desperately didn't want me to go, but how could I miss out on a mommy and me trip?! So we went. I don't remember much of the details on our little adventure until about a week in. My mom handed me a small amount of cash, and sent me next door to a carnival (which was totally out of character to send me somewhere alone) but I was ecstatic!

Some time into my excursion, the carnival was becoming a bore and I made a trip back to the apartment. I walked the place looking for my mom to share my purchases with her, and ended at the bedroom door. I opened the door and much to my surprise, discovered my mom and her female friend having sex.

She abruptly and physically shoved me out with some choice words, and locked the door behind me. Not only was I shocked, but also very confused. I returned to tell my pa, and he already known of my mom cheating. It had been happening for years apparently.

That was essentially the beginning of the end for my childhood. From that point on my parents would divorce, they would both become addicted to meth or cocaine, my father would end up in prison for murder, and my mother would become extremely abusive, both verbally, emotionally, and physically. There were many suicide threats. Some that began with her hand over mine on a knife to her throat.

Because of the drugs, my mom had an early onset of adult schizophrenia and acute paranoia. She would be gone for nights on end, only returning to get some sleep in between highs.

One night she left and had been gone for a few days, and I was expecting her return any time, only she didn't come that night. More nights passed, and turned into a week, which turned into two. My dad was not in prison at this point yet, just living life away from us- and I called to tell him I didn't know where mom was. He took us in and we stayed with him as those two weeks turned into a month, and that month turned into 18 months. 18 months with no phone calls, no letters, no face to face. I'm pretty sure we all decided she had died, and I for one was not missing her. One day she did come back, and took us with her. I was hurt and confused and didn't understand why my dad had let us go so simply and easily. And had I known he would be gone so so quickly, I wouldn't have let him go so easily.

Life turned back to how it was, and my mom got worse. Her drug dealers drove me and my siblings to school each day, as she wasn't around all the time. When she was she was high, and hurtful. I think what hurt me the most was seeing who she wasn't. But who the drugs and illness had made her. I only have one memory of my mom beating me when she was not high, and it made me realize how blessed I was to only receive beatings from her under the influence of drugs.

One morning in the year I turned 10(?) I tried waking her up for court, and she violently refused. I left that day and went to my grandmothers. Because of the events that occurred that day, my mom was charged on 3 felonies for child abuse and 2 for neglect. We were placed in my grandparents home and had visitation with my mom under supervision only.

When I was 10 years old I started having auditory hallucinations- hearing voices, and cutting myself. Middle school and highschool for me were filled with depression and self harm. Disgust. Suicide attempts, and failures. Hatred. All masked under love and hugs for everybody. And then-- Jesus.

My story with Jesus started with a gun to my head in my grandparents closet in the summer I was going to turn 16. I had recently checked this gun to make sure it was loaded on many occasions- except not this one. And on this day, as I pulled the trigger, my phone rang, and No bullet fired.

That phone called landed me at a pool party where I was invited to a small group. And at that small group the next night they were reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan, where I was taught that Jesus Christ has this CRAZY love for us, and the only way for a Christian to respond is with crazy love in return....

And In that year that I didn't die- I was adopted with my siblings by a family I had met through that bible study. A family who was not planning in this lifetime to grow their family of already 9 children… A family who only came to love me because they were responding to Gods Crazy amazing love.

Even with all of that realization. All of that love. I've still not been able to see myself moving on. I've still Been trying to 'accept my struggles'. The last 4 years have been some of the hardest times of my life. Now that I had Jesus, the devil didn't want me to find a way to share that love with others! His lies and demons Filled me with fear and depression. These years have been filled with more self harm, psychiatric hospitals, post traumatic stress, flashbacks, panic attacks, and hardships than I ever thought I would live through.

And just in the beginning of 2016 have I been able to, for the first time in my life, look ahead of me and truly see my future. With no fear, and no desire to die. You see because no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't see ahead of my human self. I still wasn't truly trusting in God.

And while I wasn't trusting- I had a beautiful friend who did trust. Who trusted so much, that one weary dreadful night of my life, she said a prayer so powerful and full of truth. Full of belief. That in that moment I fell asleep. And I woke the next morning with a desire to live. Not hearing any voices. No flashbacks. Just love. Raw, transparent love in my heart- for mySELF. For life. Something I had never experienced. Something I maybe didn't fully believe I could experience.

Just in the beginning of this year Have I truly learned about prayer. And worship. And giving myself to Jesus. I've learned first hand of The absolute power he gives us through his blood and in his name.

I've learned in this 21st year of my life, what true true victory is. Not the victory we can win, but the victory that HAS BEEN WON!! The victory we fight from!
My past does not own me. The Devils fear- it does not own me. Because I nor he is big enough to screw up Gods plans. You see, I win! No - Matter - What!!

I win because God tells me that I am MORE than a conqueror, and that because of Christs spilt blood- I am a ruler! The road ahead may be filled with trial- but I am free in Christ. And I will be fighting from the victory already won!! :)

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