My name is Alexis and this is my story of overcoming abuse through God's grace. I am from the San Francisco Bay Area, but I now live in Columbia, South Carolina with my six year old daughter, Makenzie. It has taken me so very long to write my story because many of my experiences have been tucked away in piles of journals, believing that one day, Makenzie would need to read it. I didn't realize, then, that future me would also need to draw strength from them. Here is my story...

Christmas Day 2014 I hit rock bottom. While it was the lowest place I have ever been, I strangely found some sort of a peace there. I was 3000 miles away from my family, a single mother, barely any relationship with my father, not speaking to my mom, and a college dropout. A few months prior, I moved into an apartment with my boyfriend who was physically, verbally, and emotionally abusive. I broke my wrist soon after and had to have surgery. I had no income for 2 months and my finances went from bad to worse. My boyfriend then got his ex-girlfriend pregnant, and I finally had enough. Christmas Day we went to my church’s Holy Convocation, and I clearly heard God tell me my next steps. So that night I broke up with my boyfriend, which resulted in him holding me hostage in my bedroom; physically abusing me and berating me. The Richland County Sheriff had to come and get me out. I felt so small and broken. My daughter was in the next room during the whole ordeal and that was the pain that hurt the worst.  I hated that she was being stuck with me as her mother and I hated that I wasn’t better for her. 

The hardest part about abuse is how it sticks with you in a way that you can’t quite shake. At least not without renewal from the Lord. It’s embarrassing. At work I was on top of my game and everyone who knew me would insist that I was “strong” ,”smart”, and “destined for greatness.” Behind closed doors, my self esteem was in the negative, and I was in a deep depression. I went from being a star student and cheerleader to a “baby mama” being thrown into walls by someone who had zero respect for me. It was around this time I truly started asking God to help me be the one to break generational curses. I couldn’t stand the thought of Makenzie enduring this type of pain. I desired SO much more for her. I now know the dry season of 2014 was when the real work began. I know that’s where I began to build my endurance. God was birthing a work in me.

My parents divorced when I was very young, as my father was physically, verbally, and emotionally abusive towards my mother.  My mom remarried when I was three. Growing up my mother and I had a lot of contention. I can’t remember us ever getting along, and I always felt as though she simply didn’t like me. I know that may sound far-fetched, but our family has a long history of broken mother-daughter relationships, and broken relationships in general. My father remarried when I was seven or eight and didn’t invite my sister nor I to the wedding. I spoke to my father 3 to 4 times a year, typically on my birthday and major holidays.  He provided financially, but his presence was never felt.  He never stopped by or picked us up just to spend time. He never took us on trips or vacations, although he traveled the world. As we grew and developed into young women he never taught us about boys and men and what they would want. He never encouraged us to keep ourselves or practice chastity. He never tried to protect us from world or the many things that came against us. I believe in my heart, that this played a large role in why my *first* relationship with a jealous and possessive man made me feel more loved than I had in my whole life. I believe it also played a role in why I equated love to sex for so many years. This created a perfect environment for the repeated cycle of promiscuity and abuse.

In my nearly 28 years all I have seen and experienced was promiscuity, single-parenthood, abuse, addiction, and divorce. My parents are each twice married and twice divorced. I have never seen a 50-year marriage. I have never seen a good, healthy love.  I’m now trying to create in real life what I’ve only seen on TV.  I want my daughter and future children to see me. I don’t want to be another stereotype or statistic. 

Isaiah 43:19 says “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

God is doing a NEW us. Christ has shown me my value in Him & that has illuminated something powerful within me! I read my journals and I am in awe of all the things I endured.  I know that there are so many others like me. So many women and young girls who have carried shame, low self-esteem, and mistakes around for years. So many who are concerned about how their beginning will affect their end. So many who feel like they are too far gone and cannot be used by God. So many who feel like because of their past choices, they are not worthy of being wives or mothers...or anything for that matter.

"Behold, He is doing a new thing!"  I get excited every time I say it. The Word is living...He *IS* doing a new thing. It’s never too late for God. He says “I will restore the years that the locust has eaten”.(Joel 2:25)

I have gone on to graduate from college, get my finances in order, and provide a home for my daughter. My parents and I have a great relationship, and I know that God will continue to use me to break chains and generational cycles for His glory. I am still a work in progress, but I know that He will redeem the time I lost and wasted. I know He can heal and mend the things we think are too far gone.  I know He will do it for me, and He will most certainly do the same for you, should you choose to keep the faith. I know all things...ALL things work together for my good because:

1. I love the Lord.

2. I am called according to His purpose.

I rest well in that & you should too.