This is LaShondra’s Story, shared below, and written in her own words. This a tale of a broken child, desperate for hope and a way out, and a Saviour that loved her enough to rescue her. If you are someone that feels like hurting yourself or ending your own life is an option, please keep reading. There is hope, and your life does matter. You are not alone. – Christina
Shared from the Original Source: Whispered in the Dark
My Story by Lashondra Riddle
Hi! My name is LaShondra and I’m a daughter of the King.
Most days, I’m still trying to figure out what that means exactly. But I’m learning, mainly through trial and error and the bottomless supply of God’s grace! You see, I’ve never really had to learn how to navigate a father-daughter relationship before. My biological father left when I was two years old and I’ve seen him once in the last 15 years. And honestly, that still hurts to say, but the Lord is working and He is healing and in the mean time, I get to fall in love with a God who loves me without condition and learn to trust a Father whose very name is El-HaNe’eman – The Faithful One.
When it comes to my faith in the Lord, I’m pretty sure I came out of the womb believing in Jesus. I grew up in the church and I honestly can’t remember a time when I didn’t believe. I would just lay in bed, stare up at the ceiling, and talk to this God that I couldn’t see but knew for sure that He was there. I remember telling Him how I wanted to live just as long as that one man in the bible who lived 900 years. This was when I was in the 3rd grade and I was home from school because I had somehow managed to contract poison oak for the third year in a row and my face and eyes were nearly swollen shut.
Those were the sweet moments I shared with Jesus very early on in life and now, when looking back, I know that I needed that kind of pure childlike faith to take me through the next twelve years. I had a pretty rough childhood. At the age of six, I was sexually abused by someone I should have been able to trust and then at eight, exposed to pornography, which turned into a fourteen year struggle. I spent my childhood surrounded by violence, alcoholism, drug abuse, and criminal activity. I lived in constant fear and I grew up believing that I wasn’t loved or lovable in any way.
As time went on, these things began to take its toll and I began finding unhealthy ways to cope. It started with eating. And then sleeping. Whatever I could find to escape or numb the pain that I was in. But it was only a temporary fix and by the time I was 12, I was struggling with depression and thinking about committing suicide. I just wanted a way out. I thought about it constantly, but I never actually attempted suicide. Instead, I began cutting when I was 13 and my comfort eating turned into full-on binge eating by the time I reached reached high school.
It was during my 9th grade year when I was 14 that people began to notice the cuts on my arm. Soon, I found myself in the counselor’s office and within a matter of hours, suspended for 9 days for “possession of weapon (razor blades),” escorted by a police officer to the hospital for a psych evaluation, and then placed on the teen ward and put on suicide watch. I was released after three days and began seeing a therapist, who diagnosed me with Dysthymia and Major Depression and promptly wrote out a prescription for Prozac.
None of it work though. Every week, I went for my therapy sessions and every night, my mother stood in my room and made sure I took my anti-depressant medication, but nothing changed. I was still depressed. I was still suicidal. I was still binge eating. I was still sleeping 14 hours out of the day. And I was still cutting. And during this entire time, my faith in God never wavered. Except now, no longer were our conversations fueled by childlike innocence. Instead, I swung back and forth between angry rants and desperate, sobbing pleas for deliverance and restoration.
This went on for another two years before the Lord answered my prayers in one radical, life altering weekend. During the summer before my junior year of high school, when I was 16 a woman I knew from a mentoring program invited me to go to church with her. I went the very next Sunday and that was when things began to turn around. That Sunday, the service was dedicated to the men who had just come back from a three day men’s encounter. One by one, they told of the things that the Lord had delivered and set them free from over the course of that weekend. As I sat there listening to their testimonies, I knew I had to go; that this was God’s answer to my prayers.
So, in July 2005, I went on my first women’s encounter and that is where the Lord met me, broken and desperate. And over the course of that weekend, I encountered Him in such powerful ways as He began to do a major work in my heart and in my life. And by the end He radically set me free from depression, cutting, and suicidal thoughts. I never picked up another razor blade again and was filled with this new sense of freedom and joy I’d never known before.
That was 9 years ago. Since then, it has been an incredible journey of walking with the Lord: learning, growing, stumbling, falling down, and getting back up again. He has had to do a lot of work in the area of my emotions and healing the wounds of my heart, but true to His character, He has been patient and He has been faithful, bearing with me as I learn to walk as His daughter and trust Him to lead me as my loving Father.
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He will fight for you.