i don’t even know if this goes together or makes sense, it’s probably all over the place, but this is my testimony of 21 years of life. this is what God has done and continues to do in me and through me. and i pray that this could be an encouragement to any of you. God bless!
i was born a baby (kicking and screaming anyone?) July 11, 1990 and i was the second child for my parents. honestly, i only remember bits and pieces of my childhood. i’m not a good memory person, short or long term. but anyway, i had a great childhood. i had amazing parents and family, i had awesome birthday parties haha, i just had a good life. i started playing soccer at the age of 5 and a bunch of other sports. i was living the kid’s life. i was a MAJOR tomboy, i was always playing with the boys on my street and at school i was playing smear the queer (a tackle football game) with the boys. and i was definitely a daddy’s girl.
my family was not very religious. i was born into a catholic family and was baptized as a baby but the only times we went to church were for big holidays. i don’t know why, well God had a reason for it, but my parents put me and my sister in a private christian school and was there for about 7 years. i had so much confidence as a kid! i had straight A’s almost every year, i played and started on the sports teams that i played on with girls that were older than me, i was really popular. the little kids loved me and the older kids were my friends. i loved life, i loved who i was, i was athletic and popular. who doesn’t want that right?
backtrack a little, when i was 7 my life completely changed. of the few memories i remember very well one is my parents divorce and the day my dad sat me and my sister down to tell us they were separating. me and my sister thought he was kidding and started laughing and to be honest i don’t even think i knew what was really going on still. as a 7 year old you can’t really comprehend that kind of thing. my sister got it, she was 11 or 12 at the time, and she started crying. so i cried too. even though it didn’t register completely i knew it was bad. my dad was leaving and not gonna live with me anymore. that’s a big deal especially when i’m a daddy’s girl. so i did the typical divorce arrangements, go visit my dad on wednesdays and every other weekend and be with my mom majority of the time. it was hard, at that time there weren’t many kids whose parents were divorced or separated so i felt weird and different. no one relates to me, they all have happy families. but i dealt with it, i held it all in and moved on and put on a happy face.
the one thing that saved me was sports, mainly soccer. it kept me really busy. i was practicing 2 times a week and having games almost every weekend. by the time i was 10 i was playing on a club soccer team. so i was even busier. soccer was my getaway. it was fun and it brought me joy and i was good at it. and for me and my dad, it was our thing. he got me into it and coached me some years so we bonded in this way. he pushed me to be better, to practice harder, and workout more. he wanted me to be great. i wanted to please him and do what i could to make him happy through this. for 4/5 years this was my life.
as i have stated already, i have a sister. she’s about 3 and half years older than me. after the divorce of my parents she went downhill. i was still a child at the time and she was getting in to her teenage years so it hits you a little harder when you’re that age. well all through her junior high years she was in trouble constantly. she was rebellious, partying, dating guys and running away. i would be up late nights with my parents driving around to find her. she went to juvenile hall i don’t know how many times. it was hard to watch this but at the same time she was my example of how not to be. so through that i became the golden child. i was a good kid, good grades, good at sports so i had it made compared to her. but that left me at a place where i had to be perfect. my family had high expectations for me from then on.
around those times of my sisters rebelling and my parents constant fighting and bickering about money and kids i was overwhelmed. my parents would say stuff to me i didn’t wanna hear about the other. they put me and my sister in the middle of so many things, making us choose sides or agree with the other. they’d even tell us to pass along messages to the other. it sucked and i hated it. no matter how much soccer was in my life i was still empty and sad and alone. i couldn’t get away from it all.
when i was about 11 i got into something that i would end up being a slave to, but never realizing it for years. when i stayed at my dad’s i would hear him up late all the time watching tv. soon i realized what it was that he was watching, it was porn. i could hear things and i didn’t like it. he wasn’t with anyone but i knew what he was doing and it completely grossed me out. i felt awkward a lot and i would get sick knowing that if i couldn’t sleep i would be up and hear things i didn’t want to. i saw my dad in a different way, i still loved him and would be normal around him but i knew more. well, i found where his collection of movies were and out of curiosity i put one on. it was weird and gross, but it intrigued me. i didn’t really know what sex was. more and more as i would be at my dad’s i would wait to be alone and put these movies on. soon i wasn’t just watching i was falling into sexual sin. i began to find pleasure in it. it took me to a place where i wasn’t thinking about anything but focusing on the movie and making myself feel good, or so i thought. but i never knew what i was doing was sin. i wasn’t religious, i didn’t know what sin was. i knew what i was doing was dirty and should be hidden but it never seemed bad in my eyes. i went from thinking this porn stuff was disgusting to enjoying it. it was never an every day thing but it was frequent. soon i was moving to online things. i started searching for free movies and sites where i could find stuff. i started going on chat sites and cybering with people. if i was watching a movie with a sex scene it would create lusts and desires in me to go watch porn. i would have to satisfy the cravings of my flesh. i was a slave to pornography and masturbation.
to everyone else i was still normal. no one knew my hidden life. i was still the good kid with good morals. but life was still hard and getting harder. my mom was dating someone for a few years. they had a child, my wonderful little sister. but my dad hated it, hated it! he would talk so much crap on my mom. if there was an event going on my dad would make sure that i didn’t let this guy come to graduations, family things, or soccer or basketball games. i would hide from my dad times that i would hang out with my moms bf or if her bf had driven me somewhere. i was fearful of what he would say or do to me. i felt like he would completely disown me for thinking that i loved this guy more or something. my dad had issues, idk why or what they were but he did and i just wanted to make him happy.
there hasn’t been much talk about boys because i wasn’t really all about that. but that changed in middle school. i left my christian school after 6th grade and went to a public school. i wanted change. but that change was kina hard. it’s not easy being the new girl but luckily i had happened to know a girl i had played soccer with and another girl that went to my old school with me a few years. so i hung out with them. soon i was making friends and i changed groups so many times. i felt cool. i was the new girl that people liked and so did some of the guys. fresh meat haha. i liked it so i dated a few guys in 7th grade. i had a set group of friends by the middle of the year and i was feeling good. i was the best girl athlete and all the attention was on me again. 8th grade was just as good. i had the same boyfriend from the end of 7th grade going into 8th so i was set on that. life was great.
going into high school i was ready. the soccer and basketball coaches already knew about me, i had friends that were already in high school, and my sister was already there too. i had no fear. well my boyfriend broke up with me going into freshman year and i was sad but not like crying sad. he was my frist boyfriend and said i love you but it meant nothing. it was middle school, those relationships aren’t real. anyway, starting off high school i was playing jv volleyball, varsity soccer and i was friends will a bunch of seniors. i had friends in all class years. i was partying with them and going out all the time, hooking up with guys, just living the life. my freshman year of soccer i was starting varsity goalkeeper and i was really confident. but school was not as good. i was slacking and getting lazy in that area but i didn’t care, i just wanted to get by and hopefully grab a soccer scholarship. well soccer was burning me out. i had quit my club team and my dad was frustrated with that but i kept playing high school to keep him happy. but soccer was good, i was getting known, my name was in the paper and i was feeling on top of the world. during season my sister ran away, and she was a part of the team. but she was rebelling again. all through her high school life she was in and out of juvenile hall and on probation. but my freshman year, her senior year, during a tournament on a weekend she got in a bad car accident. she flew out of the window and pretty much broke her back and neck. thank God she made it out ok but she was in serious pain. she wore one of those halos for a while and was in need of constant care. after a while she was ok and back in school.
the end of freshman year was full of a lot. soccer ended, i got awards and recognition in the paper. but i was burnt out and done. so i quit and my dad was pissed. i wanted to play basketball instead. and i couldn’t play both because they both fall in the same season. so i was dealing with my dad and then my mom was deciding on whether she wanted to move or not. and i didn’t want to move! to add to that, another memory where i remember the details, my sister failed her drug test. i found out at school when they called me to the office to pick up her stuff. she tested positive for crystal meth. i was devastated. i cried at school. from there she went to juvenile hall and then rehab. and that was not easy to take in.
the start of my life changing for the better was when my friend invited me to a youth group called Young Life. i went not knowing what to expect but it was cool. i liked it but i was still skeptical. so i kept going and then they made an announcement about a camp in the summer and i actually wanted to go. Young Life was fun, it was a place to get away but to something good where there’s fellowship and real, genuine people wanting to be there for you.
summer going in to sophomore year, my mom started looking for houses, and they were no where close to where we were living already. i hated it, i was already doing good in school where i was and i didn’t want to start new somewhere else. so i fought and pouted all the time. i lived with my mom majority of my life but we never had that mother-daughter relationship. i din’t tell her about boys and we never had deep conversations. i loved her and she loved me and we were good but it was always lacking something. so i had to choose between living with my mom in a nice new house in rancho cucamonga and starting fresh or moving in with my dad in a small condo where he lived with my sister and grandma already but i stay at the same school. so i chose my dad’s. but part of me was sad, i had this feeling of abandonment by my mom. she was still in my life and loved me but it was hard. we were never close but i still felt that abandonment. i saw her less because of the distance. she couldn’t make it to as many games and events. 45 min doesn’t seem long but it’s enough distance away. that whole move played such a big role in my life as i got older.
the same summer i was starting basketball up and doing really good. i was on varsity and getting good time in. i was at the peak of my skills. i was in the best condition of my life and i was ready to be great. well probably the best thing and hardest thing happened to me that summer. i tore my ACL in one of my basketball games, but i didn’t know that it was my ACL until a few months after. so i was done for the summer with sports but i still had camp. that summer of chaos turned into the summer where my christian walk began. woodleaf was one the most amazing weeks of my life. i will never forget that time because it has been a stepping stone to where i am now. but comin back from camp is always a reality check and you get back to the problems and parties.
so all the rest of high school was the same. playing sports, getting by in school, and dating. by senior year i had a boyfriend for a few months. i was playing soccer again, and basketball which was not common because they are in the same season but i managed to pull it off. i was still doing good in sports but man did the ACL surgery my sophomore year take away a lot. after that surgery i was not the same. i was still having success but i was never able to get to 100% like i was before. it definitely took confidence out of me. but i was strong, i tried to do this on my own. i kept playing and kept getting recognized and soon i was in the paper with my own story, talking about me playing both soccer and basketball in the same season and doing well in both. not the confidence booster that i needed.
i was still empty. life wasn’t any better. my parents were still divorced and arguing, my sister was still a mess, i was still partying, i was still struggling with pornography and masturbation, i was worrying about college. but what i had to fill me was my youth group. it brought joy, God was bringing me joy. i was still going to camps every summer of high school so i had my fill but i wasn’t surrendered to God. i wasn’t living my life for Him. i was giving in to the world still. but slowly i was understanding and giving more of myself to Him.
after high school i still had no idea what i was doing with life. i had some offers to play soccer but i didn’t know what the heck i wanted. i was still burnt out on it but i was just doing it to do it. it pleased my dad and it gave me a way into college. i ended up going to an art school in san francisco to play soccer, long story, but it was a good deal. i got a partial scholarship and it was the first year they had an athletic program so it was cool to be a part of the first year and i lived right in the heart of downtown san fran. but that first semester did me no good. i partied even harder, i dropped a bunch of classes, i got lazy and fell really far from God. i was only there for soccer, and i started to realize that. i was unhappy. i was trying to run my life and do whatever i thought was best for me but it never was. my friends back home were going to church and fellowshipping and doing good and i felt so alone and fake. i claimed to know Christ but lived completely opposite of it and i noticed. so i left after the first semester and never went back.
from then on life has been an amazing, difficult, and fulfilling journey. i got back and struggled with living in the world but everyone i knew was going to church and serving in some type of ministry. i felt out of place and i was being stubborn. but thank the Lord for my best friend that kept inviting me and just loving on me. one night i went to the college study and i didn’t want to be there. i was angry and kept asking my best friend when it would be done. but God had a plan for me and he softened my heart. i gave my life back to Christ that night. i was far from done though. i started going to church and serving in a youth group outside of church. but i was still living in sin, i was still struggling with pornography.
the next semester after i got back i went to another university to play soccer again. but not long after i quit because i felt God calling me out of it. this time it was for Him. soccer wasn’t fulfilling no matter how hard i tried to make it work. this time my dad was really upset and he didn’t talk to me for a month but i wasn’t sad. well, i was because he had no right to be upset. he was living through me and i only did these things to please him but i didn’t wanna do that anymore. in time he understood but even to this day he still has his moments where he thinks about it and gets upset. my whole life of athletics was always about me and about what i can get out of it. i looked for fame and recognition but God humbled me in so many ways, through my ACL injury to little things that happened throughout time. i have my moments where i want to go back to playing again but i know that’s not where the Lord wants me. for so long sports were my way out and my escape but God has taught me that He is the one thing i need to run to and find safety and refuge in. nothing i do will ever satisfy me like He will.
summer of ‘09 i got baptized and kept moving forward in my walk. it was such a wonderful experience and was definitely a life changing decision. went through the rest of ‘09 going to church and going to school and working but still i needed that spark. something was missing, my walk was bland. there was no fire. i struggled with placing too much in my best friend. she started dating and i became frustrated. we went through so much, we were so close and then all of a sudden she’s in love and i’m alone. i felt abandoned, just like i was with my mom. even to this day i struggle with attaching myself to my close girls friends but mostly my best friend. there’s this issue i have that God is constantly testing and dealing with me. i haven’t passed yet but i will and by His grace and strength will He get me through. He needs to be my all and the one i attach myself to. i’m falling in love with Him day by day, more and more.
in ‘10 my walk was better, i was done with the world and the things it had to offer. i was moving forward but i still had one thing left hidden in the depths but by june of ‘10 i had completely stopped watching pornography. it just wasn’t what i wanted anymore. i knew that if i wanted to live for God i had to get rid of it so i did. God wasn’t done there. 4 months later he brought this thought back to my mind. the struggle that i faced for so many years He wanted to remind me of it again. not to make me fall or to test me but to truly confess this to Him. i gave it up before but i never confessed and repented of it and He wanted me to do it that night. october 20, 2010. i have it all written down what God spoke to me of that night. it was so freeing. i had spent so many years of being fake and thinking i was this sinless and pure girl. i looked to others who had had sex and thought i was better. i still had my virginity and i thought i was so saint. but in the end i was no better than any other girl. i was in sexual sin just as they were. and God showed me that. i cried, i confessed, i repented and i praised Him. i let go of it all and gave it to Him. and it still didn’t stop there, He wanted me to confess to someone personally. the only person i trusted was my best friend. i was scared, i thought she think of me differently or be weird with me after finding out but i knew i had to do it. so a few days later i talked to her and just let it out. she was so understanding and supportive. she encouraged me and told me she would keep me accountable. that was such a powerful night for the both of us. since that day i really have felt and seen God work in so many ways in my life. i was released from that completely and i was free. i was filled by the Holy Spirit and so full of joy. i was ready to live my life completely surrendered to God. since i’ve confessed my sin i have been able to share with others and i am not ashamed of this. God is using this for a reason and it is part of my testimony to bring glory to Him.
the Lord is constantly pruning and refining all these areas of my life but causing so much growth in my faith and none of this has been from myself. it is only by the grace of God that i am who i am and i am where i am. He has been so faithful. my life is not my own and i am here to bring glory to my Father’s name. i know that He has a plan a purpose for my life so i put my hope in His promises because i know that he will never fail to fulfill them.