Marriott Battle

How Far I've Come

So, this is my testimony. I know- that beginning really grabbed you, didn't it? 

I haven't really talked about my testimony much because; not only is it not really a feel good story, but it's also something really recent. Also- life without Jesus right beside you really sucks- why would I talk about that when I could talk about how freaking fabulous it is with Him?

But God put this topic on my heart, so here goes nothing:

I was raised in a Christian home. My Mom ushered us to church every Sunday morning, no matter what we had going on in our lives. Linda always said God still needed to be praised. My father was a different story. He would proclaim his love for Jesus only after he had drunk enough to make it seem real. He would say, "I trust you, Jesus and I give my life to you! But let me have one more bottle of Vodka. Let me think that one thought that isn't about my wife, let me scare my little girl and give her nightmares of her Daddy not being able to control his steps when he gets home." 

A lot of us are like my dad. We give our souls to Jesus but we watch sex in the movies and don't even think about it. We praise him on Sunday because on Saturday night we were making out with someone and doing things in the corner of the party that we would be ashamed for our mammas to see. 

That was me too. I would love whomever I wanted and dance however I wanted and be whomever I wanted because on Sunday the Spirit would fill me and I'd confess and swear to never do it again- until the next party.

I was like my dad.

I began to hate him for what he had done to me. I didn't think of what I was doing to myself. He was the master of the house. He was the spiritual leader. If what I was doing was wrong- it was because of him. I could just claim 'daddy issues' and walk around in life with a bleeding heart because he did it to me. But this wasn't my father's faith. It was mine.

Once I realized the bitter root that had been planted in my soul, I began to hate myself. I hated me for not being enough to make my daddy stop drinking. I hated me for not rescuing my mom from this relationship that was no longer built on God, but on duty. I hated me for not being beautiful and able to escape the mess like my sister.

And that hate spiraled.

Many people, when they have a background like I do, will turn to drugs. Thankfully, because what I saw drugs and alcohol do to my family- I will never be able to touch the stuff. But I began to cut.

And the cutting spiraled.

Soon cutting my skin open was my drug. I had to run into the bathroom at school to get that 'hit' and release my anger. I began wearing my scars as a work of art. "Look what I've done! I know how to handle my anger! It's healthier than drugs or sex!" 

But when you find an outlet that isn't God, it becomes an addiction.

The cutting was no longer just a small slash from a dull nail, but actual attempts to get out of the holes I had dug myself into. I wanted more than anything to be done. I hated myself and my life so much that I thought eternity with Satan would be better than living through the week.

And then one day I looked at myself in the mirror after my shower. 

I never saw myself as beautiful. I was either 'hot' or 'a mess'. Looking in the mirror, standing completely naked and seeing all the times I had chiseled my God's creation to make it 'better', I realized I was definitely a mess. 

I began to make promises. I gave my boyfriend at the time one of my two razors and promised him I wouldn't cut. I threw the other one away. But something was missing. Notice, I haven't really mentioned that God changed me. See, I had the razor. I made the cuts. I quit. So where was God? He wasn't hiding, He's freaking God. 

God was right there, watching me and begging me to come back. 

It wasn't until my mission trip that I realized that I needed to run to him. 

He had become this thing in my life that was always there. I had put him backstage on crew while my blade got the lead role. 

When I ran back to Him that summer, He welcomed me with open arms, but then he made me look at myself again and stitch up my wounds. I began to heal- by the grace and love of God. 

 

Today, if I go more than an hour without praying to my Heavenly Father, I freak out. He's my counselor and my teammate. He has lead me to recovery and love for myself. If I don't cling to him, I have nothing to cling to but me. And I am flawed, and I've already tried to fix my flaws and it didn't work out so well. 

 

Jesus is my recovery. 

 

I've been clean for almost a year. 

 

But being clean doesn't mean God just touched my hand and dulled my razor. Fighting a battle for my soul with Satan is is something I've learned to do everyday of my life.

But I haven't cut. I haven't tried to alter God's creation and work in me. And when I feel that pull to do it again, I get a panic attack or a 'suicide attack' and I run to God and He says, "my child. You are not alone. I am with you and we can conquer this together."

Having God in your corner will forever make you the winning team against the Devil. 

 I still fumble when I dim the lights on God or ask for a spotlight on myself (I'm a theatre major- it's natural). But He is still working in me so that I may become ten hundred times the person I would have been without my fall.

Praise Jesus, from whom all freaking blessings and healing flow. Can I get an amen?

Marriott Battle