For God so loved the world? Ummm, did He forget about me? I’m a proud New Yorker from Brooklyn. My very abusive dad and co-dependent mom gave me to my grandmother at birth. No bonding with mommy. No loving from daddy. I felt abandoned and rejected, but most of all, I felt unloved. Having an abusive father and never bonding with my mom shaped my first love experience. Thank God I landed safely with my granny. I felt safe, secure and free to be me with my Momma Aida.
To secure a live-in sitter for my new baby sister my parents took me back around school age. I remember screaming and crying so hard the day my dad came and took me from Momma Aida’s. Forcing me to leave my grandmother’s place of love and light shifted me to a place of danger and darkness with my parents. The abuse, alcoholism, blame, shame and never feeling wanted and loved was tormenting. I kept wondering where is the love God promised?
Searching to fill my need for love, security and worthiness would lead me into some very dark days and scary situations. At nine, I was molested. Raped at sweet 16. A prostitute at 17. Married to an abuser like my father at 21 and gave birth to my son at 22. I became a single mother at 23. My God! If you’re still reading my story, you can easily see that I was looking and searching for love! I wanted to feel safe, free and loved like I felt at Momma Aida’s. Love was elusive. Seemed like it was running from me. I asked—- Where is the love you said you’d give to me God?
Since I couldn’t seem to get an answer, I decided to take matters into my own hands by building a protective wall around the place in my heart that longed for true love and security. My desperate search for love only tail-spinned me intoning jealous of other women; competing and faking in my friendships and pretending about my financial status. I spent money I didn’t have buying clothes and material things I couldn’t afford. I bought things to stay ahead of the ‘Jones’ so I could pretend I had more money than I actually had. I bought things for people trying to buy their love and loyalty to me. I was pretending and fooling nobody but myself. I wanted to be loved, but I would never give it authentically. I would only go so far and then run away before they hurt me. Before I knew it, my entire identity was wrapped and built up in the wall of a great big lie. Building this wall only delayed my healing. It was blocking me from truly getting to the core of my pain. The root of my issues.
Crumbling and crashing down came the wall I kept up for years. I could only keep this up for so long before finally breaking down. Living a lie caused me to lose very close, trusted and loving friendships. When the light started shining on the truth of who I was being, I was broken, crushed and ashamed. My relationships, and everything that mattered to me the most was affected. When my truth stared me in my face, I realized it was time for me to stop pretending and stand in my truth.
I cried and cried and cried. The tears would not stop. I was crying and grieving my losses and pain for at least 6 months. The light of my tears was trying to breakthrough and wash away all the darkness, pain and shame. My tears and my truth, as difficult as it was to face, was the beginning of my healing. They were cleansing and freeing. I was crying daily for the years I didn’t feel loved. I was grieving and crying for the pain, hurt, unworthiness, and rejection I felt. These tears had a purpose for my release! Tears of love that washed away my pain and shame. Like a dam breaking me free! WOW--- my tears and my truth brought my liberation! I learned EVERYTHING I NEED, INCLUDING LOVE IS ALREADY INSIDE OF ME! “You will know the truth and the truth will make you FREE! He who the Son has set FREE, is free indeed”! I used to quote those lifeline verses with my mouth, but now I stand in this truth with my life. So the truth is, I never needed a wall in the first place because God was with me all time protecting me, loving me and ready to heal me. Wow! I am Love. I am Light. I am Liberation. My story is wonder!
Sandra Mizell Chaney is an author, speaker and founding WonderShoot DC Storyteller who resides in Bowie, Maryland
Photo Credit: Eyemagination Imaging