Even a Girl Like Me

JCP-9884I am amazed daily by the truth that God can and will use a girl like me…scarred and wretched. But on the mend.

I grew up a P.K. You know…Preacher’s Kid.
I was pretty darn “holy” and “good” until around age 13. With boys, hormones and the fact that I was filling out my bra, well, things changed.

I began to dream of living somewhere other than my small town. No one ever left that town! They grew up and worked for their dad. They all played the same part and I wanted to break away. I didn’t know exactly what that looked like, but it wasn’t to stay there and be a naive trophy wife! (No offense to arm candy. It just wasn’t for me)

JCP-1344So I set out on this quest to really “live”. You could not have prepared me for what I would encounter on this journey. I would not have believed you if you had told me the compromises I would make and lack of self-respect I would wear.

Yeah, I know you want all the gory details, but you’re going to have to settle for the abbreviated version and a decade jump forward.

After surviving a beating from the world. You know, that place where I wanted to “live” so much?! I had limited choices as to where to go next. So I finally surrendered.

I know, I know, surrender sounds like giving up. For me, it was not until I surrendered that I found true freedom.

I had grown up hearing about God. Heck, I’d been hearing about Him since the womb! The big Being in the sky, passed the clouds, waiting for us at church on Sunday? “Who is this God and why did I need to pursue a relationship with Him?!”

Little did I know, He was silently pursuing me.

At age 25, after getting knocked up, beat up, locked up (not JCP-11necessarily in that order), abusing my body and mind through choices that I never thought I would make, getting divorced and growing sick of hearing myself ask, “Why am I even here?!”, I had to find a God that I could relate too.

You know, One who didn’t care if I was used and broken. One who would say, “In Me, you find rest…safety…eternal security.I needed to be redeemed.

Did He even exist?

I am still seeking, but He shows me everyday, in tangible ways that He does in fact exist. He more than exist. He is working and moving in ways that completely blow my mind.

God willing, on October 19th, I will celebrate 9 years of sobriety. Not just from alcohol, but from many other substances and ism’s that I used to numb the pain.

When the substances, food, shopping, whatever, stopped working and the love of my life sat me down and encouraged me (through a pretty harsh reality check) to admit to myself that I was a hot mess and he was not going to join the “pity city” that I was trying to create, things began to change (slowly).Love

So, here I am, just turned 35, which I considered geezer age just a few years ago. And the most miraculous things have happened. The craziest of which, being that instead of waiting for a door to open, God has knocked down a wall.JCP-1901He is using my story of shame, in ways that I never thought possible.
I am doing workshops, radio interviews and talking to women from all backgrounds of life. I was the girl who hated other women! Now, I support them in their struggle. WHAT?! Only God.

Only a God who has been in the trenches with me… the bars and back alleys (don’t read into that) and bathroom floor at 4 a.m. and then turned me into a mother of 3, wife to a stud and a productive member of society. Only that kind of God could use a girl like me to bring others back to Him.

People want real…they want scarred…they want hope…even from a girl like me.
JCP-9996

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9 thoughts on “Even a Girl Like Me

  1. Pingback: The Shame Game | Even A Girl Like Me

  2. Pingback: Gratitude doesn’t sleep | Even A Girl Like Me

      • BTW, you have an awesome, funny and genuine Dad!!
        We’ve met several times and chatted at the Grace United Methodist Church in Gainesville (our men’s group visits there every time John speaks at a men’s breakfast).
        This past Saturday while we were talking, I mentioned my new blog/ministry to him and he told me about your blog and gave me a business card to send him link info to it (he said he’s not quite a computer expert yet 🙂
        I tried to do that, but the email bounced back when I tried to send it to joyriley357@earthlink.net.
        Could you let him know it is A Changing Grace at achanginggrace.wordpress.com for me? If you happen to visit, I’d really like to know your thoughts too.
        Thanks Joy, I look forward to enjoying more of your posts!

      • Thank you Mike!
        That is an old email address. You can send email correspondence to joy@johnsriley.com. I will definitely give him the blog and I look forward to checking it out. Blessings to you on this journey!
        Joy

  3. I ditto Tamara's comment. Real hope comes in seeing healing scars! Just think about it… After Jesus was crucified, the disciples went back to the Upper Room to hide and lick their wounds. But when Jesus walked up in there and showed them HIS wounds, THEIR wounds were healed!Thanks for sharing your story. It's a powerful one!

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