When I was two years old, my Father left our family, leaving my mother to provide for both my brother and myself. My mother raised us in her Muslim faith. My brother and I never felt accepted in the world because we where so young and our father left us — we were the only two white children in the family (my mom is from Georgetown, Guyana, and she has a dark complexion, along with her entire family) and we where the only children in the family that didn’t have a father figure. All of our cousins would go out, and we somehow always got missed. Around Christmas time, we never got to see Santa (well, maybe because our Mom couldn’t make a good Santa noise, who knows), but we always felt left out in everything our family did.
Growing up for me was not very easy — I mean, my brother and I could not stand to be in the same room as each other. We would constantly fight, and beat each other up. I was very rude to my mother and had hatred for my father and the rest of the family. The only one I could ever go to was my father’s dad. I loved him so much. He was always there for me. He treated me as his own child. He took care of me financially, emotionally, and lovingly.
In elementary school I was teased on a daily basis, I never wanted to go to school, and then I would come home and always get in trouble for something that I did, or did not do. Then my high school years soon approached me, and I knew I wouldn’t be facing an easier life. Boy, when I think back, I always thought that younger kids where more crude, but I guess in your teens you have vengeance towards people. I was gaining weight by the week, and I wasn’t caring … I knew people where going to find something to tease me about regardless. When the time came for me to graduate, I was ecstatic. I didn’t think I would ever have to face something like that again. I had been told I would never amount to anything, that I would never succeed. Finally, I was able to prove that I was capable of making something of my life. I went on to college, and it was harder. I was always trying to fit in with the wrong crowd. I made a lot of friends, but not the right kind of friends.
The year after I graduated, our family got a call from my grandfather’s girlfriend, and said that my grandfather was getting very sick and that my father was going to be there and that after 18 years, we would finally get to see him. Without hesitation, we packed the car and headed for a trip to Montreal. We ended up getting lost, and having to call for directions (fortunately, we where just around the corner from his house). As we pulled up, there was this man running out of the house. My brother and I where fighting over who was going to ask him if he was our dad (even though my mother kept saying it was him). As we argued, we also followed him, and then about a block later, my brother ran to him and I stood far away — I didn’t want to be faced with rejection again. Then and there he hugged my brother and screamed out my name. I ran into his arms, like the way I always pictured him making me run to him when I got hurt as a little girl.
That day was “one in a million” and I never would feel the same again! After that, he came down to where I live in Ottawa (Ontario, Canada) a few times and we got a little closer. Almost a year later we got a call from my father and he said my grandfather was getting really sick and wasn’t going to make it. My brother and mom would go to see him, but I couldn’t face it to see him like that. I wasn’t sure how I would handle him not remebering that he had a grand-daughter, or my name. I chose to stay home, and said I would go see him if he got worse.
I felt so selfish … all I could think about was myself! In September of 1998 we got a call from my dad saying that my grandfather had a matter of weeks to live, so I decided I could not hold out anymore and go see him. I was set to leave the Thursday afternoon … We got a call that Wednesday night, around 3:00 in the morning, telling us that my grandfather had just passed on. I was so upset with myself. How could I let my selfishness get to me, and rule my life? How could God take away one of the people I loved most in the world? How was I going to continue to live life without the person who showed me what love really was?
I was so angry with what life was dealing me. Then I met a man whom I thought loved me. He led me into a life of sexual sin, and things I never imagined myself doing. I was treated with no respect … as though I was nothing. I no longer had any self-respect and he always told me that I would never amount to anything. I stayed with him for a total of two years on and off, and was getting worse everyday, to the point that I tried to take my life many times. When it was over, I couldn’t look any man in the face. My self-confidence was ruined. He ripped me of my pride, my dignity, and all the love that was left in me.
I met a friend who always talked about this “Jesus,” and was always pushing me to go to church with her. I kept managing to find an excuse. Well, one night she left me without a reason as to why I could not go! So I walked into the church and, as they worshiped, I lifted my hands and burst into tears. I was so scared. I didn’t understand what was happening to me so I ran out and waited. As I was sitting outside, a lady asked me what I was doing the next day and invited me to a singles party for Valentine’s day. I showed up with my friend and got to meet people. I told them that I had just left a job I had been at for seven years, and the one I quit it for laid me off three days later. I asked them to pray for me for a job, but not believing that my prayer would be answered (after all, who was I kidding? I never did a good thing in my life) I went out for two job interviews the next week and got both jobs. But, sadly, after I got what I wanted, I left the the whole church scene.
After I lost my job again, I fell into a life of sin again, drinking every weekend. It was the same life as I had lived before! One night I was so fed up with life I tried to take my life again and … it didn’t work! I went to church the next night and was standing at the back with a friend crying on her shoulder, and the Pastor stopped the worship team and called me out to look at him. I cannot remember everything that was said to me but he said nothing was worth losing my life over and that God was not going to make me feel rejected like I had felt with everyone else, and that “He loved me”. What a touching moment! Friends say they saw a glimmer in my eye that night, and that night I was sleeping and I could feel his arms wrapped around me ever so tightly! How could someone that I didn’t really know love me?
Months after, I was still finding it sometimes difficult to do things. I was trying to soak myself with Christian friends. And then when I got baptized I never felt the same. In my walk with the Lord I would always stumble but pick myself up. I would always run, but find my way home eventually (that is, my home in my father’s arms).
A few months ago, I was angry at God for something that happened to me. I was raped by someone who pretended to like me. I was into drugs, drinking every weekend, and just not caring, and cursing the Lord for the things I had to go through. The truth is, if I hadn’t gone through that, I would not be where I am today. I know somewhere deep down inside, that sometimes you have to go through rough times to succeed and solely depend on the Lord.
Where am I know? Well my niece is 15 months old and she is the love of my life. When I hold her, all things in my heart feel right. My brother and I still have our “ups” and “downs,” but at least we can stand to be in the same room together. My mother and I have a closer relationship. We have our problems, but we work through them. Her family doesn’t approve of me giving my life to the Lord, but they are learning to accept it. I have made many friends that are believers and my mother adores them. She realizes that if it were not for them, I would never have found my way to Jesus.
As for my father, well, he no longer wishes to be part of my life. However, I can tell you that my daddy holds me when I cry, picks me up when I fall, helps heal my broken heart, is always around me in good times and bad, and loves me for who I am. Without him, I never would have gotten my pride back and my love for myself. He has erased the past, and will always be there for me. That is my father Jesus. God bless you all. May the lord comfort you as he did me.