I was raised Christian, Methodist to be exact. Although I never went to Sunday school, I became very active in my church during my teens. I taught Sunday school, I helped teach Sunday school, I was a leader at Vacation Bible School, and went to church almost every Sunday.
2014 came around and my life changed forever. That's when my father left. I felt betrayed, broken, angry, sad, and abandoned. Dad, if you're reading this, I thank you because this all made me stronger.
Growing up was difficult for me. My father was never there for me nor my brother. He was so focused on work that it felt like he didn't care about us. He rarely showed up to my track meets, to any school functions, and he never showed up for my 8th grade moving up day. There would be arguments, yelling, and emotional abuse. He was an alcoholic, a smoker, but the thing is that he would pathologically lie about it. It was so stressful when he would come home because we had no idea when he would blow up and yell at one of us. I could go on. Then he just left.
2016 was when I finally pulled the trigger and changed my last name on every single piece of legal documentation you can think of. I didn't want to associated or people to even realize that he was my father. I was angry, but I felt strongly about my decision. To this day it still was the best decision I ever made.
This became one of the most hardest challenges in my life. But when this happened, shortly after I was hurt by my church. So I had to now find God on my own.
I never went to a therapist, but rather met a lot of amazing spiritual & Christian people, especially in the online world. It was my personal beliefs that I chose to not see a therapist. So I started to immerse myself into New Age spirituality and deeper into Christianity. During this time, I had a lot of healing work to do. My anxiety was through the roof and I barely slept for 6 months. Luckily, my boyfriend was (and still is) incredibly supportive and loving during that hard time.
During my healing, I recognized that there are other people out there who are going through what I went through or something similar. I've been helping others and spreading my light always to those around me. That's when God placed on my heart that I needed to do something and to continue walking my journey. That's when 2016 comes around and I created my second coaching program Country Class Mentor, to help women in their spirituality and in their faith to heal as I walk with them. As I continued to heal and forgive my father, 2017 I had completely forgiven him. I would write letters, but never send them. Then October 2017 came.
I had found out my father was in the hospital 2 hours away from where I currently live. I knew that I needed to tell him I forgave him because that was the only way I could find him. I was scared and I didn't tell anyone I was going to see him, besides my boyfriend. We went for the drive and I had no idea what was going to happen when he saw me. I didn't know if he'd be so upset with me and tell me to leave, or happy and tell me he was sorry. I walked into his hospital room, he was in ICU and was in pretty rough shape. It was the most beautiful gift I could have ever given nor received. We cried and I told him I forgave him and it was ok. He told me he was sorry and he loves me and so happy I came to see him. Then things took another turn for the worst. He was transferred an additional 5 hours away from where I live and was sedated for a while because he got so incredibly sick. No one thought he would make it through.
That's when I had to lean on my faith, to lean on God. I felt broken. I felt like every part of my life was falling apart. You see, I had accepted the fact that if we had a relationship again or not. But what the most difficult thing was to know that there was about a 90% chance he wouldn't survive this. I was devastated. I felt like my heart was shattering and I can't tell you how many times I cried and cried, like ugly cry. All of this brought me to God.
I almost started crying a few nights ago as I kept writing over and over in my journal "I surrender completely to you, God." I kept being reminded very clearly that I am a Daughter of God and to continue to surrender my plans to Him. Surrender is key because it allows us to open ourselves completely to God and to His Plan.
So now, I help women heal, to get closer to God, to build their faith, to trust Him. Yes, I still have New Age beliefs, but this is what all helped me to find God, to understand fully that I am in fact a Daughter of God and a Woman of God.
Share with me your story to be featured here by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org! Be sure to come join me in The Steadfast Sisterhood for a more exclusive community (enrollment open) to get healthy and begin your wellness journey in The Purposeful Woman program (2 spaces open)!