Finally I can speak about it… It’s time to Rise UP!!!

I can finally talk about something that is close to my heart, that has affected so many people. I am finally going to open up about a very sensitive subject. I will talk about my story then go from there. Buckle up buttercups.

Like so many young women in my age group, and maybe its still a thing, but I wanted to wait to have sex until marriage. At the age of thirteen that was stolen from me by a young man I was going to end up going to school with. I can tell you all the things that I lost that day, my virtue was taken from me, my friends turned there back on me, I was quickly isolated, and I lost my boyfriend at the time. I was made fun of a lot and I was isolated and forced to find different group of friends. That event that happened in my life doesn’t hurt me anymore, because I have been healed and restored from that time. God was able to turn that bad situation into a good one.

So lets fast forward to present day. I now have kids of my own, and the danger of predators is on a whole new level. The world that all kids live in is a fast moving one. There is social media that has brought on a whole different disconnect and connect to people. From my experience there are a lot of kids that are not really into the connection of face to face interaction with other people. Especially new people. It is easier to connect to someone in what they think is a safer place over social media or other media as long as its not face to face in the moment. Talking on the phone is also taboo to them unless its their friends. My teens think that I am “Old School,” and that all of those things are old people ways. No one talks on the phone anymore, no one does weird old people stuff like that anymore. Nevertheless, I have tried to get my kids to be smarter about this day and age of things. Like don’t send “Nudes,” ever because those will never go away. Don’t be forced to do things are not wanting or ready to do. Make safe choices when you are away from home, and don’t ever feel that you can’t reach out when things go bad. That’s just to name a few. Now keep in mind that I am a young mom, and the age difference between me and my oldest is 17 years. That isnt really anything. I am aware that kids will do whatever they want in the moment it happens. We all want to believe that our children are going to use the tools that we have given them and make good choices in the moment. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

So I am one of those parents that goes through my kids phones and rooms and whatnot. One day some time ago I went through my daughters phone, upon going through her phone I discovered a very disturbing text on her phone. It was through Snapchat, I didnt want to confront her while we were celebrating a holiday with family. I wanted to wait until we got home to ask some very hard questions. Unfortunately, she opened the message right after I did and other family members saw that message as well. Which started a very hard discussion openly. I sent her away after giving her a hug and letting her know that we will be talking about this when we got home. From that moment on there was a changing in our lives.

A grown man asked my daughter to send nudes to let him know that she was safe, and a picture photo of a grown couple working out with a caption saying ” this could be us but I would get a boner.” Now ask yourself what would you do? Where would you start? What would you ask your child? How would you feel? I will tell you exactly what I did, and what I felt, what I asked, and what my journey has been since then.

This has been a journey I have been on for quite some time now. When I saw these, I was in shock. Composed on the outside but shocked. Like was I really seeing what I was in that moment. YES I was!! This was happening to my child. This is happening this is really happening. What am I going to do and say to her? There was a plethora of feelings and way more questions than answers at that moment. But the one thing that was constant that I have to do something. So after a very hard discussion with my daughter and reading all the messages for nearly two years, of grooming, my mind was firm on what I was going to do. I comforted my daughter as much I can. I asked her if she was ever going to say anything to anyone about this and she told me NO. I’m sure so many of you are asking yourself, ” Kristal you just said that you are a parent that goes through your Childrens things, and this has been happening for nearly two years.” Yes that is true 100% but my daughter wasn’t living with me at the time. She was living with her side of the family. To whom were very close to her abuser. The very same people who blamed her, called her a liar, and eventually kicked her out of the house, and she came to live with me. But that is getting ahead of the story.

She saved their conversation over Snapchat for that time, the only thing that isn’t saved are the videos that come through. In another words, the Snapchat video are meant to not be seen again once they have been played, there are times when you can see the video again, but its only once more. And That’s it folks. Now, to disclose another tidbit about this man. This man had been a part of her life for a long long long time. He was the best friends of her family on that side. He was also in law enforcement. I will say right here and now, That I support police and all law enforcement. One “bad apple,” doesn’t overshadow the great works that law enforcement does everyday. You don’t have to like my opinion and I respect that. So what he had done was use her bad living situation as his way in. He used his authority status to build a deeper relationship with her. Hence grooming her, he had her isolated in a relationship via social media. He would visit her and her family on that side, and even help them out by helping buy food and pay for their rent. He would counsel her when her home life on that side got physical or mentally overwhelming or abusive. As their “relationship” grew he would say things like ” Just ask your parents how good of a man I am, I will always be there for you.” Or He would say ” Just remember that I love you, and you do have a cute butt, have a great day” So things like that, it went on and on, he would send memes that were relatable to the things or characters that my daughter liked. Overall, he was waiting for her to give him permission to “Be” with her. I asked hard questions like, Is this consensual? How does this make you feel? Her response was this, Its doesn’t make me feel good, I feel awkward when he sends things like that Mom thats why I started saving the messages because it feels wrong, and I cant tell anyone at my house because they are close friends with him, they will take his side. And he is a cop mom. That’s why I changed the subject or not talk for a bit to him.” Talk about heartbreak. She was completely alone. Then she disclosed that he also befriended her friends. I later found out that he also befriended another family member of mine. They were the same age as my daughter at the time.

She trusted this man at first. She would consider him an Uncle to her. That is how she identified him. He had no familiar ties with her what so ever. But lets face it, that is what Sexual predators do. They become a part of their lives intimately, groom them, create a trust between them, isolate them in some fashion.

So here I am with this information, now what to do with it. Here’s what I knew then.

  • He is a police officer
  • He is grooming my daughter
  • He is sending inappropriate messages to my daughter
  • He lives in my area
  • He is extremely close to her family on that side
  • She is isolated and will not have support on that side of the family
  • He has no intentions of stopping
  • She needs help, needs a voice to help her, I need to be that voice.
  • I need a plan of action

The next steps had to very careful and delicate. I had to reach out to someone I trusted and I needed courage. I reached out to someone that I trust with my life. They reached out to someone they trusted, and I said nothing to no one else. I met with a Detective the next day, and told the whole story of all that I knew at that point. I then called the department where this man worked and talked to his boss’s boss. I went as high as I could to tell them what was happening. That day I had a State Policeman who specializes in this realm and his boss sitting in my kitchen. There was a point where, I saw the disbelief on his bosses face and what looked to be confusion. I was asked what my intentions were for speaking about this. My answer was this. If he isn’t doing anything wrong then the investigation would show that, but if he is then I am bringing awareness to the situation and bringing it out of the dark and into light. People like him are sick, but I am not doing this for him, I am doing this for my daughter, and her friend. If he is doing this to her he is doing it to others. This is much bigger than just my daughter. If he is doing something this is for the victims of his past, present and future. No matter what, it needed to bring awareness.

Someone needed to be the voice. I learned that some of the laws for such an event like this are very gray. There are a lot of loopholes. He would eventually would “resign,” from his job, which set off another set of events for my daughter and her departure from that side of the family to live with me. He was not to talk to her, and yet he still did and in a group message with her parents on that side of that family. The last thing he told my daughter was this. ” If you want to talk to me, you will have to say ‘In regards to the family,’ and when you turn 18 we will resume our relationship.” She didn’t respond. My blood boiled.

Nothing was done at that point in regards to the texts because there is a huge gray area pertaining to such things via media like that. Soon thereafter, someone else came forward about him and regarding physical touch. Molestation. My daughter came forward as well. He touched her too. Keep in mind that a lot of victims do not come forward or it takes a lot of time for them to come forward. There is a lot of work that has to happen in order for anyone to feel safe to open up about it.

So, he would soon be arrested very publicly. There was even a live fb feed of his arrest. I did all that I needed to do to ensure that my daughter wouldn’t see it, but her step mother called to let her know that he was just arrested. Now she falls a part even more. I will get to that in a moment. In the moment of watching this story, our story on the 6 o’ clock news was a tough pill to swallow. No one tells you what it feels and looks like on the other end of things. No one can tell you what to expect. No one. It was the talk of the town, and I cant tell you how many people I came across that just wanted to talk to me about this case and couldn’t say anything or even let on that I was involved. I had to put on a very convincing mask and learn to have none committal answers. Very few people knew what actually happened or was happening. There still is some misinformation that surrounds what actually happened.

Well now this is all happening, I called the school and got some resources in place for my daughter including a therapist. Keeping her involved in the community and building a life here. But lets face it. Once her school peers found out at her new school that was it. You have no idea what its like to watch your daughter, or child fall a part because she feels so much shame and guilt. She blamed herself. She was told by peers that she enjoyed being touched by older men and to just accept it. Kids can very cruel to someone at times. Hearing her cry over the phone because her peers said certain things. Or some of her family blaming her, that she should of kept her mouth shut or lie to make it all stop because this is all her fault. Now mind you, she didn’t say anything, she was going to live with this darkness the rest of her life. I said something initially, I made the choice to involve police, I made the choice to speak. Not her. She asked me point blank” Mom what did I do to deserve this? Do I dress in a way that makes me a target? Why did he do this to me?” I would build her back up. But it wouldn’t last because her self worth, self esteem, her hopes, her dreams, her life was torn down to nothing. To a point where she has selfed harmed, and even attempted suicide more times in the last 9 months, because there is a constant reminders all around her, there are triggers all around her. She will do good for a little bit then it comes crashing again. No one ever wants to talk about how things like this affect someone. I am not afraid to talk about it, this is a life sentence for those who are victimized. LIFE SENTENCE!!! This is something she will have to work through the rest of her life. Rest of herrrr life!! A sexual predator doesn’t care about how it hurts their victims, they are seeking their sick pleasures. They don’t have empathy for what they’ve done. NONE!! The impact this does to a victim is overwhelming. The hard work for the victim and their families is overwhelming. So why am I talking about it now?

His sentencing was yesterday, and he was facing 25 years in prison for what he did. He was sentenced to 5 years in prison, and 16 years of probation. Let that sink in a little bit. How does that make you feel? How does that sit with you? How does that sit on your heart? How would that sit with you if it were your child or children?

And with good time up to 85% means that he will spend less than that in prison. He will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. How does that make you feel about the protection of our children? A person who is in possession with a drug gets more time than someone who sexually assaulted your child. My fight for this didn’t end yesterday. The chapter of that event closed yesterday, but my fight has not stopped. Its just the beginning for me and as for my daughter, the fight is everyday. Everyday she will fight for her life. Everyday she will fight to have a happy, healthy life where she will know that she is loved, worth it, and enough. She will fight everyday to know she Who deserves great blessings and beautiful life and love. My heart broke yesterday but yesterday standing in front of the judge saying what I needed to say, and I almost felt that I stood alone in that moment. I know there were others who felt the same way I did, and would have said more than I did. I know I wasn’t alone in fighting for justice for not only my daughter but any others. I was empowered to say those things because I needed to be a voice. I will still be a voice and I will continue to make awareness to everyone I can. Its time we rise up.

If you are a parent reading this, I encourage you right now, to learn all that you can about social media and what your child is doing. This includes not only social media but gaming. I encourage you to ask those hard questions. I encourage you to get involved. I encourage you to speak out and up. If you are someone who has been victimized, I am so sorry, I know what you are going though, I will empower you to reach out and say something, your story matters. You don’t know how your story will reach others to help them and empower them to stand tall and keep fighting the good fight of healing and restoration. You are worth it and worthy of great things. I encourage everyone to read and research all that you can about this. Its real and it really happens. More than anything you’re not alone. You need to have support and you deserve it. We can turn victims into overcomers and survivors. We can make a difference. Feel free to reach out to me.

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Chapter 11 Divine Wardrobe Change Pt. 1

Have you ever watched a movie and there is that climatic part where the main character has everything around falling a part then bam something good starts happening and their life is great again? I never used to like those parts of movies. I would actually get so pissed that I would rant about it. Movie ruined for everyone haha. I did this because I wondered if that moment would ever happen to me. I have seen it done in a real world setting with real people but never me.  I was jealous of these people.

I wondered what it would feel like to have that moment of total nothingness to happen. Something so tragic would happen and my life would change dramatically. I had gone through so much in my years… When was my number going to get called? I was holding that ticket for a long time… the waiting was a killer.. almost anyway. I still won’t talk about all the moments that lead to my number being called finally. Not that I am not encouraged to talk about them, because I am. I am afraid of going through another set of judgments that I am not sure I am ready for.

One of them is just so unbelievable to me that I still hold on to it thinking I am protecting that person, but I am not protecting that person in the right way, and I am not trusting in Father to handle it for me. I will continue to work on that. But here is what I can tell you and willing to tell you at this moment.

When my number was finally called there were defining moments that I see now that were my path. I prayed harder than ever. Let’s tackle the first one. That was my Granddaddy’s passing. I know that I have talked about him before and this moment. It was so hard for me that he was gone. When I found out about his passing was so fast. One call was my dad telling me they are moving him to hospice then moments later was he is gone. I was absolutely crushed. This was during a community event that my husband and I were at with all the kids. It was around Halloween so everyone was in their costumes and having a good time. I didn’t want to ruin their fun but at the same time I didn’t know how to handle putting away my pain and leaving on the mask.

Everyone was very understanding. I had called my brother later that night and we made our plans to head out the next morning. I still went to work and got all of those affairs taken care of and left. I made many prayers before picking up my brother. I was really hoping that a fight wouldn’t happen over their things. Now that Granddad only had us left in the family. Just my brothers, myself, my dad, my uncle and cousin. That was it as far as the last of the family line goes. We were it. Like I said I really was hoping there wasn’t going to be drama.

My brother and I enjoyed the drive out. I spent the whole time burning my right arm out of the window. The more we headed East the worse the heat came in October. But we laughed, and had good conversations on the way there. I was kicked out of the driving eventually. I hadn’t really slept apparently that made my brother nervous. It was kind of funny to see an almost seven-foot man squished up to drive in the explore. Haha.

Granddad in previous visits and conversations wanted one thing. He wanted his family together one last time in that house. He got his wish. We were all there one last time. When we got there. My dad and my step mom already got the rooms situation under control. They took their room, Uncle would have his room, I would have my grandparents room, and my brothers would have the living room, and cousin was sleeping at a hotel. I was little hesitate to take my grandparents room at first, but I accepted. With a little cleaning and quick change of the sheets I was getting settled.

There we all sat together. Just the four of us. Although my brother and I stopped on our way in to get some light beers. It was totally possible that we may want one later. We all hung out and just talked. Talked about the plans that were ahead of us. It seems so surreal. No one except my step mom sat in granddad chair. I sat in the recliner most of the time just enjoying just being there with some of my favorite people. We order some pizza and watched the Dallas/ Redskins game. Dallas lost. I was not that happy considering my brother is a Packers fan. It didn’t matter who was playing against the Cowboys as long as they lost. Which we did.He sure did rub it in my face. I wasn’t shocked at our loss but still when you’ve been a fan all your life, there is some sort of loyalty. Ok let’s be honest a lot of NFL Fans or any fan of any sport we are loyal until death. I was still very peeved but I was having a blast listening to the banter of my family.

I was happy that Granddad was getting his wish. I just wished he was there to be a part of it. Granddad was always my soft spot in my heart. No one had known what granddad had told me. They also didn’t know that all what we had encounter that last three years would lead us to where we were at that very moment. Including my brothers and myself talking to our father. That was a huge feat in itself. There was a lot of hope and resentment there. Confusing at it was that is what we all felt for our father. When I first talked to my father after almost 13 years of not talking at all, there we sat just a year before having the coming to Jesus talk with each other. I let my dad know everything on how I was feeling and he did the same. We were able to really get that junk out in the open and clear those skeletons from that closet. They were stinking up the joint anyway. Point being we both missed each other and it was long over due. I was able to talk to my brothers about the encounter and they were able to make those choices themselves about our dad.

So to be sitting in that house with my Nolen family was pretty awesome. However there was some major tension between my dad and uncle. I could feel it. We all could feel the many things that weren’t being said. Oh how it would come out. To me it was kinda funny how things happened.

It was after the showing of Granddad. After the several times I had to explain who I was to other family and friends of Granddad’s I just wanted my time with my Grandfather. I just wanted to be in the moment with him. I didn’t want to let him go… plain and simple. After people started to leave I finally got my moment with Grandfather. My dad and step mom were gracious enough to tell people that I needed some time alone. I just talked to him as if he were there… Like all the way there. How much I love him, to see all the people that love and care for him, and to give Granny a huge hug and kisses from me. How I missed him so much. How I didn’t get to be there for him or talk to him before he passed. Mainly I just cried and wanted to be with him. Not dead but with him. I am going to miss him but I also knew that he couldn’t wait to see Granny. He loved Granny and missed her more than what we could ever understand.

We were separate cars and the four of us went to eat. Even though I was the only one hungry. They obliged me anyway but that is when Dad was explaining that my Uncle was telling tall tales at the showing. My brother and I just looked at each other. We were finding out all kinds of nasty things that Uncle was doing. It was actually disappointing to hear. My Uncle couldn’t even wait until my Granddad was in the ground before trying to take all that he could because he felt entitled to. Now I don’t base my opinions based on what others say, I have to see things for myself. Anyway we get to the house after a quick stop at the liquor store just because it said Koch’s. Haha I love our sense of humor. Our other brother was with Uncle and our cousin. So he missed out on some good grub and laughter but at the same side of that token we missed the beginning of a funny ha ha that was sure to be my Grandparents doing… Or Father’s haha. We were all locked out of the house. There my brother and I started drinking making jokes. There was way too many chief’s in the kitchen.

My uncle is pissed. Talking about what each window costs, My brother saying there is always a way in. My oldest brother tags a long with my other brother talking a big game about how no house in Texas can withstand two ABQ boys. My Uncle still wanting to control the situation and now saying crappy things to my dad. My step mom getting involved to calm the situation which then lead to uncle saying awful things to her. Which is a huge no no… I am standing there on my way to my second beer. Dad and Uncle are arguing full-blown now. Step mom and me are just watching the train wreck happen. I was still giggling because it is not always fun to be right but when I am seeing this was just too funny.

I was laughing watching the truth and lies collide in words. Everyone trying to get a word in edgewise. My brothers finally get us in. I stayed outside because the arguing ended up inside. I was proud that my dad was sticking up for himself, and I felt bad for my uncle. Not bad in the sense that he was getting bombarded but because at this point they were trying to explain to him that these moments were about family, Not about guns, money, assists, the house, the furniture, the jewelry but FAMILY. He was willing to throw all of us away for his half of everything. At this point he is walking to and from the house throwing his stuff into his car. I wasn’t going to get sucked into it all…. I didn’t acknowledge the small jabs of insults that were directed at me or the others. I and the others just ignored what was happening as much as we could. At the same time we didn’t need anyone going to the hospital for high blood pressure. We just needed to get through a couple more days. We can do this.

We all took turns to trying to appeal to his softer side but the resented was strong with that one. He even got mad at me for forgiving my dad.  There was just too much resentment for me to take on and I left it in the arms of God or someone blindly. There was just too much. I finally just wanted to enjoy my family and all its glory. Drinking and snacking, laughing and making jokes. We even were able to go through some of their things. It was pretty awesome to see my Grandfathers letters to Granny while we was in WWII. Pretty cool huh.  And it turns out that it is a Nolen thing for us to pose for pictures with our butts sticking out. They are pretty nice butts … hahaha. Sounded weird but I was blessed with a nice ass. #BBB Big Bubble Butt haha..

Well we were able to calm the storm and Uncle was calm to start enjoying his self again. There we all were. The last of the Nolen’s. Dad, Uncle and us kids. Still the only girl. Haha

We had a great service for Granddad. It was beautiful. He lays next to my Granny in Texas. He had a military send off and it was just wonderful. We stayed until they put him in the ground. The others left but we stayed.I made inappropriate comments to our limo driver because all sad situations like that I cope with humor. I didn’t feel bad one single bit. The following day was harder. I had to go and get back to my job. I wanted to stay and help them go through the house. I knew exactly what I wanted and that is what I ended up with. I wanted two blankets that were made, and one of their bibles. I got Granny’s bible. and some odd and ends of books that I wanted.

They my dad, brothers went out another time to do stuff with the house. I opted not to go because my uncle and dad were once again fighting and they both stuck me in the middle. I had nothing to do with what happens with the house or the will and how I got involved in that whole mess is still beyond me. I haven’t talked to my Uncle since that all happened. It didn’t help that he was telling everyone in my tiny town that I was mentally ill and I attempted suicide. When he had no idea what was really going on. I have forgiven him but I choose not to have that sort of drama in my life and I stay out of that sort of thing. I rather have my father than things. My uncle wasn’t very nice. Nevertheless he is still family and I will love him regardless.

This was a difficult time for all of us, but it has been nearly two years and some change since his passing. My dad and uncle are still at odds and that is their business. So the next thing that followed was something that happened to one of my children. This is one subject that is so incredibly hard for me to talk about. I won’t publish it here as to what happened. But the event happened shortly after Granddad passed, it was the blow that broke the camels back. My back.

It broke my heart in such a way that I was traumatized again but this time I had no idea that it actually happened. I just saw the torment that my child was going through and how the event it would eventually eat its way through the entire family. One by one. For me I ran away to work. I drove myself so far into work that I didn’t have time to think of anything else. That tore through what was left of my marriage. I ended up doing and saying things that I am not proud of to my husband as a way to reach out for help. Wow saying it on a public thing like this is a lot of vulnerability. I made some huge mistakes.

I am not mad about it all. To me it is a story that I will tell because I feel that it is important to tell. The night that everything happened there was a supernatural war raging all around me. The signs were there, the voices were there… it was all there. The Holy Spirit was there in full force as was the kingdom of darkness… then there was little ol me stuck in the middle.

For many weeks before all that was told to me by the Holy Spirit was ” Wait.” I was holding on to whatever I had left in me to do regular stuff like shower. Even there I was attacked. The darkness would taunt me,” Let me in… Let me in… Just say it and we’re in.” It was constant especially when I was tired or running on zero sleep, the more stressed I got, the more I became inconsolable, the more I resented my husband. The more I blamed him and his ex-wife for why my kids had moved out. You name it the kingdom of darkness was there just trying to push me over the edge, But I held on to what little sanity I had left. My husband I split the next after Christmas. I knew that I was close to doing something that may be the end of our marriage. The big D. I pleaded with all my heart to him that I was going to do something and I wasn’t sure if I could stop myself. He tried so hard to hold on to me. He kept telling me to guard my heart, but I don’t think he knew that was long gone. Over the course of that year I had been depleted of everything. There was absolutely nothing left… I was an empty shell that was headed straight to the depths of darkness that I thought I deserved. He deserved so much better than me. I was going to die that weekend anyway and the attacks kept coming. I allowed it all to happen. He never really knew how much I loved him up to that point. He was the one that saved me. Twice that day as a matter of fact.

I don’t think he knew that at the time or if he even knows now. To be honest I don’t think I even knew how much I love him. He keeps asking me when I am going to write about him, I keep telling him in due time. There will be a lot to talk about there, because marriage is one of those things that is special to me. But my marriage to him as taken a whole different path than the one we were on. I don’t like blasting my marriage out there but it was something that I prayed about on whether to talk about it or not. I was encouraged to talk about it. because neither one of us is “Perfect.”

Moving past the time I was in treatment, to the months following. I knew that there was something that was urging me to look past the obvious. Look passed the depression and the rest of that fruit. To look into the supernatural of things. Y’all the look on my face when I was guided that way… I was like ” Uhmmm really?!” Yeah really. I just knew there was something much deeper than what was going on. It was time for a change of clothes, because I was about to walk out of my grave-clothes.

 

It’s time to walk out….

Chapter 8 

So I have been reading The Shack by WM Paul Young. You know what?! I haven’t cried so many tears of joy at one time in almost nine months. This read brings me in a place that is treasured and cherished to me. I want to share part of it with you. 

I had mentioned in my last post about the questions of why God allows things to happen. I want to touch on that a little more. Here’s the reason why. Clarification. 

So many of us blame God first. Guilty! I know I have. I can’t speak for everyone in this world but I can speak for me. I mostly had this phase in my teen years. I really thought that he was to blame. God equals good in my eyes so why does the bad happen? 

Well, to those of you who don’t know there is evil in this world. It’s all over the place. And sometimes it resides in us. I know it resided in me and in all my hurts. And the lies that I believed are what made The Wall in my life. Every red brick was a lie that I believed from evil. 

I am going to be blunt because I don’t know any other way to say these next few things. ( that’s a lie because it’s not a few things. Haha) but it comes from a place of love in my heart. I have been dancing around this subject for a few posts now but now is the time. 

My Father doesn’t create the tragic things that happen in life. He does use it as way to give it purpose of Love. In one way or another Love comes out of it. Let that sink in for a second. 

This was a hard thing for me to swallow when I first heard this. I even gave the look of ” This person is cray cray boo boo.” And even looking around to see if anyone else agrees. It didn’t come. If they did agree they weren’t going to tell me. 

When I was first introduced to Jesus,heaven and hell I was a young child. I remember asking my Grandpa O what would happen if I did anything wrong. Mind you, when I asked this I was holding a old King James Verison of the good book. It had pictures in the book of Revelations. It looked horrific that is why I asked. As we stood in the kitchen as he was gathering the garbage he told me that I would burn in hell for all eternity  Two words…. life changing!! I didn’t want to burn in hell for all eternity!!  I really wanted to learn everything in The Bible so that I wouldn’t ever go to that bad place. 

Then there was my Granny and GrandDaddy their version was a lot less absolute. They spoke of Jesus as Love. I didn’t understand that either. I was confused. 

About this time in my life I started to experience things I really didn’t understand. The supernatural. Far fetched?! No not really. I had my first premonition through a dream as child. It involved my mom and her friend going out to a bar and her friends boyfriend trying to kill them. I told my mom about my dream. I was very specific on the details and like so many other moms she told me kindly that it was a dream. She added that I had nothing to worry about. I trusted her words and thought nothing of it. That was until she woke me up in the middle of the night asking me how did I know. She made me tell her friend the next morning. My mom told me that I was crazy. Haha, I am sure she meant that as a term of endearment. Or shock. I don’t know. Maybe it scared her. 

So I continue to talk about this I will use terms that I have used to describe what I saw or experienced. The dark is what I would describe things. I found it odd that as I grew older these feelings, sightings or seeing people’s thoughts were strong.  I always felt in my heart they were curses. Not gifts as so many others called them. They weren’t gifts. They were exhausting and tolling on me. People asking me to talk to the dead like it was nothing was very taxing. I hated that I could see what was in people’s minds and they didn’t appreciate it either. Getting dates wasn’t easy back then. 

In my twenties I tried so hard to turn them off. All of it. And it ate at me. It was hurting me. Nightmares, the awful things people say and do to others, or being taken advantage of by the dead. So weird right. I often told myself that if I used it for good then I can do good. Not without some sort of consequence of course. I started to discover that a lot of people in my family have these things in one form or another. That includes my mom. Her stories are things out of scary movies. Not like mine are any better but it seems so normal for us. 

My Father was never far behind in these quests. Y’all have to understand I didn’t have friends growing up in my super young years. I had my Father and Jesus. I talked to them like I would any other person in my life. I hungered to know them but I knew I was never alone. I hated when the darkness came. When they were around I knew I was safe.  As a child, I didn’t know it was them but here is how I knew them. 

I was guided on what to say when a man was trying to kidnap me one morning to school. I was directed to go to a neighbors house in hopes that someone would open the door. They were there throughout everything in my life. I just didn’t KNOW them the way I know them now. I just knew to trust that voice and not the other voice from the darkness. 

The dark voice was not ever up to any good. It would disguise itself to be good but wasn’t. But the darkness I knew well. But the light was never far behind. I sought out the light. I needed it. 

The darkness came into life before I was even born. The darkness is what I knew first before my Father. The darkness has been using people’s hurts to take up residency in their lives. They tell you lies and we’re humans; It’s so easy for us to believe the bad than the good. 

The more hurt we are the more we believe the lies. Generally speaking that is. We are all different. I have believed all those lies and at some point even embraced them. Hence my huge brick wall. 

There was a turning point for me in my relationship with my Father. I started asking the hard questions. Why did God make his only son die for us? Why am I raised catholic? Do these prayers and holy water really hold any real power? Is kneeling every five minutes in mass really impacting my life? Is it really showing my faithfulness to God? And why do I have to go through conformation to get married? And why do I have to marry a catholic man? Same went with my dad when we talked about church. He raised me a Baptist. Polar opposites in the way faith is practiced and equally exhausting. I remember telling both of them I wasn’t going to be a part of it. My mom didn’t like my choice and neither did my dad but they understood where I was coming from. 

I didn’t feel that doing rituals or pretending was the way to God’s heart. That was my thinking at 15 and 16 years old. I mean, I had already seen the dark side of things all around me and in the news. I wanted to believe that there wasn’t a hell to go to but that I was living in hell on this planet and I had to find God in this world. Talk about confusion right?! I was totally confused. I’m sure reading this you’re confused haha. 

So what did I do? Well, let me tell you. I hung on to what I knew in my heart of God and fought as much as I could against the darkness. 

I had this helpless feeling that the darkness was stronger than me but I held on. My dad gave me all my bibles I have today. But he had given me a bible that was passed down to him from GrandDaddy. It was special to me. He gave it to me after I went to a church lock in and I was saved. I got so close to God in those moments. He was life. And I clung to him in a very codependent way. He was my air when the darkness wanted to suffocate me. And I think my dad knew that. I hungered for God. I hungered to feel loved and wanted. God did that for me. My Father still does. 

I depended on Father for everything. I knew I was going to be okay one way or another. I hoped for more but didn’t know what that would look like. And I was still searching for love. 

In all the hurts that I have ever encountered He was there but I didn’t know it like I do now. 

For instance I didn’t understand why he wasn’t there when that man pulled my panties down to get his pleasure. That was a hurt that was deep. How could God allow someone to do that to a child? I got my answer. I was presented a vision. 

I’m not sure if I do it justice by saying it was a vision, but, as if I were there all over again. I was that small child standing toward the wall reading that book and Jesus was there. He asked me to turn around and to look at that man. To see that he was sick and it was beyond my understanding how sick he was. That there was nothing I could have done to change him. I forgave that man for doing what he did to me and grateful he didn’t do more to hurt me. And just like that Jesus picked him up and asked me to leave the room. I choose to forgive and give Jesus that hurt. 

The very first time I saw Jesus’ face he was behind my mom. She was choking me over the same stupid vent on the floor. I was reliving another hurt. As she’s choking me I don’t feel pain or fear like before. Jesus said ” Kristal look at your mom. She how sad she is. See how scared she is. This isn’t your mom right now. She is in pain. Forgive your mom. She’s going through things that you don’t understand.” I cried  because He was right. I no longer saw rage or anger in my mom. I saw her hurts and her own pain. I saw how sad she was. I saw how the darkness was in her too and in those moments rage it really wasn’t my mom. Not in those eyes. 

I am crying even writing this because He was so tender with my mom. He would pick her up at the very moment she would stop hurting me. And he would take her to her room. He was there the whole time y’all. I knew that for sure now because he was actually showing me. He was the one to be there to stop her. That is what I believe. Jesus helped me see. God knows how much I love my momma. 

To get out of the darkness of my own fears and stress I had to see things with new eyes. He showed me that choosing to forgive the people that have caused me hurts made a huge difference in my own life and recovery. 

I knew at that moment that Father was there the whole time and He wasn’t the one who caused these events in my life but that he was there to help me through it all. Telling me That my story matters. That these things in my life are going to help someone else at his perfect timing that only he knows. He can use the hurts and events for good. Glory be to Him. 

He has shown me love in all these hurts I’ve have. He has shown me when I get out of his way things happen. He has shown me that the love I have for him I will stand alone because people have a hard understanding things they don’t know. I am humbled by the love he has for all of his children. 

He has shown me who I am within him. He helped me save my little child self from a very dark place. He holds that young Kristal’s hand as she grows up to be a woman. She has a lot to learn about who she really is. 

I talk to Father like I would my own parents, my friends or like my children. Without scolding though 😉. When I attempted suicide He was there too. 

I have debated on when to dive into this topic. In fact I avoided it. I knew I wasn’t going to win that argument with Father because He knows what’s best. All my close friends know where I stand when it comes to God. In the most impossible situations I will turn to him first. I won’t rely on my own thoughts on most things. I talk to Father throughout my day. I have annoyed people with my talks of Jesus. 

I know how fantastic this all sounds but it’s the truth. When I am sad I ask for Him to hold me and He does. When I am happy I know he is too. I have a duty to live this life to the fullest because Jesus died so that I could.

 The love that washes over me is unfathomable. I don’t even know how to describe it. For the first time in my life I know Love. But that is for another day.