This is a story of a woman’s salvation. Even having strayed from God, and in the midst of her darkness and despair, she was never alone. God was her ever-present protector, guiding her back into his gracious arms.
Net, a strong, independent woman on the outside, was physically and emotionally battered on the inside. She grew up in a lower income area of Dallas, Texas, where a brighter future and a better education were frequently a distant possibility. She remembers playing on the front porch as a child, catching butterflies, before hearing screams and looking through the screen door to see her mother being beaten. This was the first of many abusive father figures that she watched beat her mother.
Net was hurt that no one else seemed to care, nor wanted to believe the truth that she had been sexually abused.
As a young girl, Net and her family moved from the city to a smaller town called Terrell. As the years passed, it seemed that the broken pieces of her life were beginning to mend. She found support from a local pastor, whose encouragement pushed her to pursue a career in primary education. Since she had no emotional support at home, the pastor and his wife decided to take her in as their own daughter.
They began to teach her the ways of Jesus Christ and how to maintain a clean and sinless lifestyle. She attended every Bible study and Sunday service, and later joined the church choir, discovering a singing gift she didn’t know she had. It seemed that life had reached some semblance of normalcy, but what would happen next, shook the foundation of the family she thought she had.
Net was alone one evening when the pastor, who had also become her godfather and role model, sexually abused her. She had been betrayed by the very person who had sworn to protect her. After the assault, she began to wonder who she could really trust. She decided to reveal the sins of her pastor to his congregation. After doing so, the pastor and his wife, who had once considered her their daughter, asked her to leave their church and never return. Net was hurt that no one else seemed to care, nor wanted to believe the truth that she had been sexually abused.
After receiving yet another emotional scar, Net abandoned her dreams, along with her faith in Christ. She felt helpless and hopeless. She had sustained her deepest wounds from within the church walls, wounds she still seeks closure from.
Net’s spirit was broken in such a way that nothing seemed to fill the void, until a man named Bobby entered her life. He believed in taking care of her, providing emotional and physical support. Bobby and Net soon married, bought a home, and began building a life together. Within a couple years, they were expecting their first child.
During the middle of her pregnancy, something went terribly wrong. She went into early labor, which led to a miscarriage. They were devastated, but still determined to have a child and family. She became pregnant again but tragically suffered another miscarriage. Net felt that God had left her side. After the second miscarriage, she lost hope and decided to stop trying to get pregnant. The loss of another child would have torn her apart.
Bobby and Net began taking measures to prevent pregnancy, but to their surprise, Net was once again pregnant a year later. They had mixed feelings; on the one hand, they were happy to finally be having a child, but on the other, they were extremely concerned for the baby’s well-being. At one of Net’s monthly appointments, the doctor noted that her pregnancy seemed to be advancing as expected, and Net felt instant relief after so much worry and doubt.
With the help of Jesus Christ, Net overcame the abuse, abandonment, and life threatening illness that marked her life.
Although her first five months of pregnancy went by normally, Net’s worst nightmare came true in her sixth month. She went into early labor and was rushed to the hospital. Her family, including her mother Mary, hurried to be at her side. Although Mary had never really been a part of Net’s life, she had recently become a Christian and had assisted Net through prayer and emotional support.
After several hours, doctors explained Net’s situation to her family. She had developed toxemia, a condition brought on by bacterial toxins that were causing stress on her and her unborn child. Net was too ill to continue fighting much longer, and her family was given the heartbreaking choice to save her or her child. With much difficulty, they decided to save the child.
But, God had another plan for Net’s life. Despite the odds, both survived the delivery, and Net’s son was born at two pounds, one ounce. One more hurdle needed to be cleared. Net’s son had been born three months premature, and doctors explained that if he recovered, he would likely be blind and possibly be mentally challenged. He had also been born with an underdeveloped lung and had to remain on a respirator, under doctors’ care, for more than the first year of his life.
Net prayed for hours, asking God to spare his life and to create for him a plan and a purpose. Net’s son eventually won the battle, later finding the road to Christ himself. With the help of Jesus Christ, Net overcame the abuse, abandonment, and life threatening illness that marked her life. Her son, who was expected to be blind and mentally challenged, has become a passionate writer and is able to see and functions normally in society.
I am that little boy who lived, and I am evidence that God can reach beyond death and create for you a purpose, allowing others to be inspired or drawn to Him. Through it all, God is the author and finisher of our faith and because of Him, my mom and I are here today.