I am listening to John P. Kee and his choir singing a song called “Grateful,” and I am full of gratitude for all that God has done for me. When I sit and contemplate all of the many things that He has delivered me from and continues to free me of, I can only shake my head in wonder and great delight.

I was so miserable for so long, though I had been following Christ since I was two years old. (I gave him my heart when I was four.) Ever since I was child, I had to suffer with many things. I had a horrific childhood fillled with violence and torture and deprivation. I was bullied all throughout my school years, from kindergarten all through high school because of being poor and the way that I looked. (I can still  see the gangs of boys who would wait for me in the hallway and taunt me about being ugly and no one wanting me and many other horrendous things. They would laugh at me whenever I walked passed and I was filled with such humiliation and shame and I learned not to look people in the eye for the disgust and ridicule that I would see in them.)

Loneliness was the most constant companion that I had. That and depression and anxiety. I was unable to have friends due to my childhood and growing abuse of my father, so I spent much time in isolation and despair. The only companion that I had was the Lord. (I would carry a Good News Bible with me to school and put it on my desk. I kept it with me always because I was fascinated by the man called Jesus, who was so kind and filled with such love and compassion. He was truly my one and only Friend and I am so grateful to Him for His friendship.)

I was raped by my father when I was a baby and I was molested by my mother’s boyfriend from the time I was seven until I was sixteen years old. (When I told my mother about the abuse, she kicked me out of the house and kept him in it.) Because I developed early at the age of ten, complete strangers would grab me when I was walking home and touch me all over my body, pinning me against walls. I was so afraid.

I thought about death a lot as I was growing up. Especially throughout my teenage years. I thought of various means of killing myself and dreamed of dying to get me out of the misery of my  life. (When I was fourteen, my mother told me that she wished that I would walk into the ocean because I accidentally dropped an egg timer that had been her mother’s and cracked it. I had planned on walking into the river, but fortunately it was very cold outside and I had gone out without without my coat and ended up going back home to get it and fell asleep. God kept me yet one more time.)

I have suffered through so many traumas and tragedies all throughout my life, and yet I sit here typing with a great, big smile on my face because the Lord Jesus and my Father, God has delivered me from my past and now it is only a story that I tell to encourage and help others. It no longer haunts me the way it had for most of my life. I can truly say that my life is filled with peace, love, and joy. And great satisfaction.

Sure, I am beset by certain circumstances and I am having to wait on God to do some of the things he has promised me and I am limited in what I can do because of my circumstances, but none of those things have anything to do with the love and peace that flood my heart. (Phil. 4:7) “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” The peace of God does what it says, it keeps my heart and my mind and it doesn’t make any earthly sense why I would experience such things given the circumstances my life is experiencing right now. But the Word of God is not only true, it is alive and IT WORKS! I challenge you to try it for yourself.

I am so grateful. So very grateful. And my gratitude grows every single day.

Thank you, Lord.

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