“I grew up in El Monte but moved around a lot as a child. I am the third oldest out of six children. I did not live with my two older siblings growing up, they lived with my grandparents while I lived with my mom. Growing up my mom was a part of a gang, I grew up knowing the party scene and always was at the babysitters. My childhood wasn't as I hoped it be. I was teased, bullied and molested. I always felt like the black sheep of my family. When I was about 7 years old I met my father. The confusion began to grow in me, I felt rejected and unworthy. I had begin to spend time with my father and felt overwhelmed with love like I've never have before from a parent. About ten months later my dad has passed away and depression had hit me hard. I was filled with more confusion and hurt. I felt like God had taken love away from me. During those moments I had finally felt worthy and not ignored. I knew my mother loved me but she would hardly say it growing up and didn’t really hug us as much. I had gotten that all from my dad and grandpa.
After my dad had passed away my mother started going to church and reading us the bible, but would then go out and party with her friends and drop us off at the babysitters. I always had fear when she left us somewhere. Seeing this lifestyle made me not want to be apart of Christianity so I decided I did not believe in God. At the age 12 I rebelled and lived a life full of drugs and partying. I never wanted to live a life like my mother and I promised myself that if I were to end up with someone, he would be my best friend and Husband, but over the years that had changed.
I started really dating in high school and going out with my friends. I had a on and off again relationship in high school that was filled with deception, rejection, shame and mental abuse. I had a miscarriage and an abortion, I felt so shameful and couldn't believe who I had become this far. My grandpa was always there during these hard times. He would talk to me about God and shower me with love. He was my best friend. When I found out he had cancer the first thing I thought was how can you do this to me again God? I would cry and tell my grandpa how can you love this God if He gave you cancer and he would reply saying “God loves me and everything will be okay”.
I had planned to go to make-up designer school and become this amazing make up artist, but instead I had gotten Bell’s Palsy. My right side was paralyzed for about 9 moths. I had always felt so ugly and un-perfect that this made it worse. After I got healed I applied for school and became a make-up artist. Around September my grandpa had become worse and I took time off school to be at home with him and take care of him. Seeing him slipping away was slowly killing me inside and more anger grew for God. One night in October I had just got home from a party and was drunk and on drugs. I looked at my grandpa while he was asleep and whispered goodnight to him. The next morning he was in a comma and died that night with my family and I around him. I was a mess I felt like everything I loved was gone and I was left with nothing and no one. He took care of everyone and everything. After that happened, I began to always go out and drink. I wanted to die and I didn't care about anything anymore. My friend and I got invited to a bible study but I did not want to go because I didn't believe in God but she bribed me with candy.
The first time I asked God to have someone come pray for us, of course someone did and I thought it was cliche. The second time I had God speak to me Himself and I felt a tug on my heart. I had left to go to Seattle and I thought I would start a new life there, but God had other plans and I had to come back home. One night I said, “ Ok God, if You are real, have someone speak about their life and how You changed them”. My friend, Daisy, spoke about how God had saved her from drugs, partying, and being a lesbian. I was in complete awe because I couldn’t believe someone once lived a life like me! The worship team started playing the song How He Loves Us us and I fell to my knees crying, and surrendered my life to Jesus.
I called my friends and said I wouldn’t be partying anymore and I broke off a five year relationship I was in. About 8 months later my mom had gone to prison and I went through a huge trial. I didn't know how to handle what was going on. My sister and I became foster parents to my 3 brothers who were 11, 8 and 1. I would lock myself in the bathroom and cry in confusion of what was going on. I had just lost my grandpa and now my mom. I couldn't make it to church as much because my sister was always working and I became a stay at home mom at age 21.
Times became too hard and I couldn't do it anymore, so left my sister to do it on her own. Eventually she couldn't do it, and my brothers ended up in foster care. My relationship with God became rocky and I started dating this guy who I thought was a Christian. I began to backslide with him and became even more depressed. I would cry every night in my car asking God to not forget about me, but right now I just can't go to church and be with Him. Thank God for my own friends who would cry out for me and pray. One night I couldn't take it anymore and asked God to end the relationship I had with my boyfriend because I knew I wouldn't have a relationship with God the way I wanted to with Him. The next day, my boyfriend broke up with me. I went home fell on my knees and cried thanking God. I now knew that I needed to let go of my job because I know I wouldn't be able to be faithful to Him being there. I was getting drugs at work and parting with my co-workers. One morning my co-worker asked me to clock him in and I heard God’s voice so clearly saying, “If you clock him in you will get fired, but if you don't then you will be miserable.” Without a thought I clocked him in and I got fired. I got extremely drunk that friday and woke up feeling horrible. I went home cried and said I can't do this anymore. The next morning I got up to go to church, sat in my car for ten minutes, drove to church and sat in the parking lot for another 20 mins. I finally got the courage to get out and once I did I was welcomed with open arms.
Harvest time church had showed me so much love and forgiveness. I knew this is were God wanted me, with Him and this loving family. Not even a year later, I was working with The Call to make AzusaNow happen. This was an event held at the Los Angeles coliseum for prayer and fasting that was a Christian ministry. God had been so amazing to me and He was so patient with me during my mess and once I was ready, He had His army ready to go to war.
I have been saved for 7 years and wouldn’t change a thing about my story. Everyday I thank God for never giving up on me and for chasing me down with His unfailing love.”
I want to thank Kristy for her powerful story. Thank you for being so vulnerable while sharing your story, so that you can help others and open the minds of other people. Your story gives hope in the darkness and your light and perseverance shines bright, Kristy.