Hi my name is Betty. and I am 18 years old. I grew up with a religious father. My mom has never been very religious. but she went to church with us. We went to Catholic Church a few times a year, and then when I was 9 my parents got divorced and we stopped going. When I was little I believed in God like I believed in the Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy. I didn't really know Him.
My mom would do things after I went to bed that she didn't want me to see. She smokes and still does but keeps it a secret. She would lock me in my room at night and I would smell the smoke and thought the house was on fire. I would start crying and shouting for someone to unlock the door. The next morning I would ask her why she locked my door and she said she didn't know what I was talking about and promised it wasn't her. I started believing that God was punishing me and locking my door for being a bad kid. When the door was locked again I would pray to Him and say if You unlock the door I will pick up my toys and etc. The door was never open and I didn't understand.
After my parents got divorced my mom became an alcoholic. She probably struggled with family deaths and the divorce and lost herself. I tried so hard to fix her and so hard to fix the marriage and became her
mom throughout middle school and high school. All of it ended in screaming fights every night. None of my family and friends knew and it was always my secret. I stopped believing in God all together.
Around junior year I found out that the reason my parents split up was because my dad was having an affair and has other children from it. I have grown up with half siblings that I know and love but had no idea I had other younger half siblings that I never knew existed. I really didn't know how to process all of this information.
I started going to Young Life around the same time and had leaders pouring into me. I started to hear about who God really is and realized that the only person that I can lean on is God. I had never really had my parents to lean on and I learned that I have no control over what happens in my life or other peoples. I can't fix situations, but God can and all I can do is pray and lean into Him.
I just finished my freshman year of college and this is the first time that I have really started giving up life for Christ. Im working with a ministry in Hatteras Island for the summer and hanging with high school and middle school kids, and discipling them. I still struggle a lot with bad memories and feeling emptiness. Forgiveness is hard and being emotionally numb is something I have struggled with, too, and am currently praying about.