In fact, the only reason I am even here to tell my story is because I was presented with two choices:
- Hold on to my anger and resentment and guilt that was eating away at me, or
- Give it all up, put all my faith in God and focus on solutions instead of problems.
For me, it was literally a choice between life and death. I chose life.
I am here to tell the truth and show by example that you too can walk in your own truth and still be loved by God. And this is not just empty talk about what I believe God’s love to be in theory. This is what I know to be true based on my own first-hand experience.
I didn’t grow up in the church
I grew up as the middle child of a single mom who was an active duty member of the United States Air Force. That meant instead of growing up with my mother like many little girls, I would go years without seeing her at all and there was very little communication when she was deployed.
While she was away, my brothers and I were shipped off to live with our aunt, a functioning alcoholic who lived in the low-income public housing projects in Savannah, Georgia.
Then when my mom finally came back, my siblings and I would be rounded up again and moved to the suburbs of either New Mexico or Utah before going back to the projects again with my mother’s next deployment.
As a little light-skinned black girl. I wasn’t “black enough” for the projects or “white enough” for the suburbs. That coupled with moving every few years meant I had very few friends. My childhood was a blur of constant adaptation and survival.
Teen pregnancy. Adultery. Suicide.
When I started high school, my mom retired from the military and things settled down a little. As a teenager, I already had a vision for the future I wanted:
- I would never have kids.
- I was never going to marry a military man.
- I would never stay in a relationship with someone I could not trust.
But before I graduated high school, I was already married to my husband who was in the Navy and we had already had our first daughter. I loved my little girl with all my heart but didn’t know how to be a mother or a wife and I was full of resentment for having to be both of those things at a time when all I wanted was to go off to college and live the life I planned.
I had tried going to church several times over the next few years. I wanted to be a Christian. I wanted to feel the love and acceptance that I had heard about and read about. But in that world, all I found was guilt and judgment. There was no love there for a person like me.
Fast forward a few years and I had built an OK life. I was gaining recognition at work where I responsible for training doctors, nurses and office staffers and I was still finding time to volunteer at my daughter’s school and be present for her.
On the outside, my life looked great but after already going through marriage counseling once, both my husband and I had committed adultery and with that the final principal of the life I imagined for myself disappeared. I was in a relationship with someone I didn’t trust.
I blamed myself after a miscarriage took my son’s life when I was four months pregnant. Then when I got pregnant with my second daughter, it was so rough that I had to spend one month in the hospital on bed rest before she was born premature.
It was after her birth, when I was a stay-at-home mom during the first year of her life that I started drinking to numb my pain and disappointment over what my life had become.
It was during that period that I first considered that suicide might be the only solution to the problems in my life – problems that were there because of my own choices and actions. The only thing that kept me alive was knowing that my daughters needed their mother.
I didn’t know how to fix this. All I knew was that I was in pain and I was hurting. I wasn’t too proud to ask for help. I was shattered. I couldn’t walk this off.
Finding God’s love
It wasn’t until after that low point, after giving the idea of suicide serious thought, that I realized how much I needed to live. I tried therapy but my therapist wanted to talk more about the problems in my life than the solutions.
Not expecting much, I went to church with my younger brother one day. For the first time, I felt welcomed despite my mess. I felt like I was at home.
It was in that place that I was able to tackle inner demons that were more than a decade in the making. It was there that I learned one of the most important lessons in my life: I was enough.
I didn’t have to be perfect. I didn’t have to be like anyone else and God would still love me. Even more, if I owned my mistakes, I could serve as an example to other people who were tackling their own demons and needed to see an imperfect example so they too could know it was OK to be themselves as they walk in Christ.
Now, as I continue to be strengthened in my walk with God, I speak to other broken people and share my story so I can be that encouragement and that picture of imperfection that God loves anyway. If God can love me enough to keep me alive, to restore my broken marriage and to strengthen me in spite of everything that I’ve done, I know He will be there for you too.
My message is raw and sometimes difficult to share. It’s not for everyone. It’s for The One and the one: The One True and Living God and that one person out there who is ready to step up and step into their God given purpose.
I created this space for other imperfect people so I could tell my story and be loved in spite of my past while I also love you in spite of your past.
Be Blessed, Be Encouraged
Founder & CEO of Kim Davis for the One, LLC