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I Almost Didn't Survive Adulthood.

Depression. I remember times that I felt that I couldn't go on. I had suicidal thoughts starting at 12 years old. I couldn't take the bullying and the loneliness at school anymore. I had no friends. I was told I was ugly every day and belittled by my peers. I couldn't even lift my head. I would walk around heavy with sadness.

My dad was in the Air Force, and I moved over 21 times by the time I reached high school. Building friendships was always difficult for me. I always had to be the "new girl"

Of course being Latina, I was pretty much fully developed in the 6th grade. To hide myself, I wore baggy sweatshirts and sports bras everyday to school. Gym class was horrible. I would have to wait in line for a bathroom stall so that I wouldn't be seen. Of course I got my height from my Swedish side. My grandmother was over 6 feet in her prime. My mother is 5,9. I got the Mediterranean hair from my other grandmother. And of course I had to be the only one in the family that actually needed braces. Geez. All the cards were stacked against me.

I was a walking poster child for being made fun-of. Tallest girl in my class. My hair had to constantly be cut short because of kids throwing gum in it on the bus every morning. But for those with curly hair know, cutting curly hair short doesn't really help it in any way. In fact, sometimes cutting it into a "cute bob" actually makes it look worst! My glasses and braces made me the ideal candidate for the "geekiest middle schooler" award. Really the only reason that I couldn't have won was I was never smart enough. I never got put in the "gift programs" at school. I never tested into the advanced classes. I was forever the geek in looks, but not in brains.

I tried and tried really hard though. I have always had to work really hard for EVERYTHING. While most people aced their SAT's I was the idiot retaking it three times to get a 1050. No college wanted me. I tried going for music education and four schools said I wasn't good enough or that their "programs were full."

By the end of senior year, I had no idea what college to even go to. I had heard that Liberty University took anyone. So I applied. Even with my 3.7 GPA and my 1050 SAT, I got in. I wasn't really excited honestly. I was only one from my entire high school that was going there. One kid said he was going, but then he found out that it was a Christian School and left. I was all alone yet again.

But I knew that I wasn't really alone.

My first day in the dorm, all moved in, I looked around my room. I had arrived two weeks earlier then my roommates because of marching band camp, so I had time to think.

I started reminiscing about my life up to this point. I started to remember that fateful day in the sixth grade when I decided something that changed my life forever.

I remember sitting on the floor of a retreat center in West Virginia. The worship band was playing in the background. I told God that he wasn't there and he had never been there for me. I screamed "If you are real, then show me!" I heard no sound. Only the sound of my own heartbeat. At first I was saddened. But then I remembered something. "Who keeps my heart beating?" Was the only thought that entered my mind.

It was only then, listening to the sound of my own heartbeat that I realized that there had to be someone keeping it beating.

College progressed and I met someone in the marching band. I had no idea that he would be the father to my three children. I just knew he was not my "type." Choker necklace, red bleach spiked hair and a surfer-dude attitude. Oh how little did I know then.

Our first date was me dressed in a athletic outfit with a sports bra and us going to a thrift store. We talked about old toys that we used to play with as kids. I enjoyed our times. He never wanted me to wear makeup or not be myself. I appreciated how comfortable he made me feel. But most importantly, I was grateful how he loved God and lived it with his life.

Now, every morning, when my kids snuggle with me in my bed, I remember that moment, 20 years ago. I remember that I could have listened to the enemy and his lies. I think how much I would have missed if I would have continued down that path.

I am so glad that even in the stillness, that the sound of our own heartbeat will awaken us to our destiny.

You might be hurt or wounded now, but just wait. It might take some time to see how God could use your past to help someone's present.

Christal

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