EVANGELICAL: Vicki's Testimony
My name is Vicki, born in Pennsylvania in September, 1968. In my short life I had endured quite a bit of abuse; I had been raped by a male acquaintance of my mother's at age 5, then verbally, physically and sexually abused by my older brother from ages 7 to 17, and raped twice by an uncle at age 19.
As a result of the sexual abuse and violence that occurred, it led me into a path of destructive behavior and a life of utter confusion and feelings of inadequacy.
I firmly believe that due to the abuse and sexual violence endured, it resulted in me dealing with many problems and psychiatric issues.
From an early age I struggled with feelings of inadequacy, low selfesteem, anger and hatred toward men. As a child i was in therapy, a bed-wetter, was attracted to girls, had strong desires to be a boy and often dressed as a boy. As I entered my teen years, which were very difficult, I endured a sexual identity crisis, dealt with self-destructive behavior, developed anorexia and bulimia, was an alcoholic, dabbled in drugs, was in and out of therapy and entered the Marines.
By early adulthood I continued therapy, was causing self-inflicted injuries on my body as a way of coping, in and out of Eating Disorder Units and psyciiatric hospitals, dealt with suicidal tendencies, bouted with numerous suicide attempts, was diagnosed with a chemical imbalance, clinical depression and Borderline Personality Disorder (BDP).
By age 25 I had self-injured my body by cutting and burning (1, 5" scar & 1, 4" scar from 3rd degree burns & over 250 scars from cutting). I had been involved in various relationships (dysfunctional, abusive, one night stands), led a homosexual lifestyle, was in a gang, had an abortion, claimed bankruptcy due to high medical bills, was on psychotherapeutic medication (17 pills daily), had battled with mental illness and was in and out of psychiatric hospitals.
As I approached 27, I was dependent on psychotherapeutic medications, totally exasperated and felt as though I was just existing and taking up space. I was at a point in my life that although I doubted anything could be better, I was looking for my life to change.
Although I thought I had tried everything possible to get better, somehow I was still open for help. It seemed that whatever I tried that it was only good for a few hours, a day, sometimes if I got "lucky" it lasted a couple days.
I was not brought up around church or anything godly. Although I doubted a lot of things about God, one Sunday in March of 1995 I was invited to church and I reluctantly went. It was my first time going to a church in over 15 years, and this was no church like I had ever been to. From the moment I stepped through the doors, I sensed something different.
WHEN I WALKED INTO THAT CHURCH IN NEW JERSEY, I REMEMBER SENSING SUCH LOVE AND PEACE. (I honestly thought it would be over once I Ieft). I wasn't quite sure what mybeliefs were, mainly Agnostic, as I spent most of my life blaming God or questioning Him why all this happened to me. I was at a point of my life where I was not ready to be let down again.
All I knew was that when I walked into that church, I felt great and didn't remember feeling so much peace like that before. And I knew it was real. No medication made me feel this alert and alive, I knew it just had to be real.
I wanted so much to be normal but had no clue how to do it, as everything else I tried proved a failure. After going to that church I asked God to make himself real to me. Within days I noticed that I was more peaceful, able to think clearly and the negative desires I had were not so strong. Even though to an outsider that would seem so small of a change, however, for me it was a big thing just to see a change, at that moment I knew that God was real!
A few weeks later, I bought a Bible and it opened right up to the book of Mark, and I began reading in chapter 5. As I read I saw that a guy who had cut himself day and night and appeared to have mental illness; he was healed by Jesus. I became very agitated with God and threw the Bible to the floor. I just didn't understand why I wasn't well; if he had healed this guy so long ago.
I began to yell at God: "!@#* you God, if you are real, then why the hell can't you help me? Why can't you do for me what you did years ago for that guy? I'm tired tired of this !@#*, and tired of living this way. Don't you understand that I'm tired of crying all night long, cutting and drinking because I cannot cope? Life isn't supposed to be this way. I don't want mental illness. Please help me."
I do realize now that swearing to God may not have been the best thing, but at that time I wasn't accustomed to talking with Him and tried my best to be nice. After saying this, I pleaded with God, I truly petitioned him for his help.
I figured my last resort was this God who I wasn't even so sure about. I put all my doubts aside and immediately I began to pray to God, actually I challenged him that I wanted answers and that I would give him 3 weeks to "prove himself" to me. Even though I wasn't sure if I believed in God, I thought it would be a good idea if I least put my efforts into it. I wanted my life to change and was looking for a difference.
I figured that I had done everything possible that I guess I could at least give God a chance. It seemed as if nothing else had worked, but I have never thought of including God because I mainly blamed God, part of me thought that what happened to me was His fault. Additionally, part of me wasn't convinced that he even existed. I wasn't sure what I believed in, not even certain about God.
Ever since I "challenged" God, my life turned around completely and has never been the same! I "officially" accepted Jesus into my life in April, 1995 during a church meeting. What happened over the next 1 1/2 years was absolutely breathtaking!
With the love and mercy of God I learned to cope with the past and look forward to the future; there is hope and there is a better way of life. I learned that I don't have to live my future based on my past. I am not sure why all that happened to me, but I do know that what was meant for bad is now being turned around for good.
I HAVE FORGIVEN ALL THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE HURT AND ABUSED ME. And, I have completely healed, recovered and overcome in every area! I was married to a wonderful Christian man in April, 1999. My life has taken a 360 degree turn and I am amazed at what God does!
It is my hope that every person will come to the realization that they can overcome anything in their life, as nothing is hopeless!
Whatever a person has gone through or may be facing right now, they can get through it just like I did and lead a normal healthy life as God intended for them!
I know God will heal anyone, anytime of anything.
God will heal your mind and body, He will change you; He is just a prayer away.
IN LOVING MEMORY OF Faith Victoria Vincent
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