When I was in a kid I was not very popular. I had been sexually abused by the man who shared a house with me and my mom from the age of 5 until I was 9,10 or 11 I do not honestly remember. I did not speak English until I was 6 or so. And I was ugly. Real ugly. All of which made me very socially awkward to say the least.
Most people did not realize what I had been through in my life and why I was a social outcast. I still remember how it felt to want to fit in. The memory that strikes me the most is how all the kids in Elementary school would get on this white bus. I really don’t know but I guess it’s through the girls in my grade telling me, that I realized they were going to Catechism. I was the only “mesican” girl NOT getting on that bus. When I asked my mom why I couldn’t go on that bus she said that it was because I didn’t belong there. (What I wouldn’t give now to have been on that bus. But God obviously had other plans for me) So, I took it upon myself to just start going to the First Baptist Church in town. My mom let me go there in the summer and that is where I found my home.
I learned about Jesus there. I learned who he was, how much he loved me and that he was real. I needed that. I was lost. I was a lost child in a small town. I had no idea who I was or who I could be. Nobody but a handful of people even liked me. I had no dad, and for my town I guess that was weird, who knows. I was a kid. I do know that in the 3rd grade I told all of my classmates that Kenny Rogers was my dad. Oh how I wanted to belong. And when I learned about Jesus I felt like FINALLY I belonged somewhere.
Problem was that I went a little crazy with my newfound faith in God. (To say the least) I started telling everyone around me how they were going to hell and preaching….. Um yeah. I was a 12 year old fundamentalist. All of the few friends I had really did not like my new found zeal for God and one by one they slowly started to let me know how weird I was being.
This is about the time that I met Stacey and fell in love with him. Stacey was a pervert as a 14 year old boy. There is really no way to tell my story without mentioning that, especially when I know that girls who knew him back then are reading this. He talked me into doing a lot of things that as a young Christian I knew were wrong. (I will write about that later)
But Stacey was popular. All the kids wanted to be his friend. I remember thinking that he was such a kiss ass. From the second he stepped into our school every head turned. It was like a movie. Stacey Adams. Tell me that name alone doesn’t get your attention!
When he and I were together all I could think of was 1.) He was HOT 2.) So many girls in school wanted to be with him, but he was with me 3.)He was HOT!
We laughed so hard every time we were together. We would talk about the stupidest things and just laugh. I loved him. He was my friend and when he kissed me it was like heaven. And I could feel the hate from everyone when I was with him. I knew all the things that were being said about me. I knew it. It hurt me, but as long as I had him, it was ok. So I allowed him to do things to me that I knew were wrong, and every time I asked why they were wrong from anybody in my church, I got no answer. In fact I got re-baptized once.
Then came the day that he broke up with me; what a horrible day that was. That’s when I stopped believing in God’s Grace. That is when I choose that all that Christian stuff was not for me. And that is when I became the town slut.
I began to make a mess of myself. The abuse as a child, the bullying, and the loss of my love all came together and that is when I lost my way. That is when I became the Latisha that would be me for the next 17 years of my life. I decided that God had given up on me and I was a lost cause. I did not belong. I didn’t belong anywhere. I never did and I never would as far as I was concerned. While everyone was busy talking about me and saying things about me; I was busy hating myself. I wanted to disappear from this world. I wanted God to take me away, to help me leave this world. It is only by the Grace of God that I did not kill myself, but I thought about it plenty of times.
I hated myself more than anyone could ever have hated me. I hated what I was doing, I hated who I was letting have sex with me, and I hate that God had allowed all to happen. What kind of Loving God does that?!
I looked for people to love me, and I failed every time. Nobody loved me. Nobody. I was the unlovable girl. That is who I was. I allowed all kinds of boys and men to do things to me that were so wrong, and I knew it. I was looking for love and I let any man who gave me a second glance have me. Time and time again.
Then it all changed. It changed the day that I gave birth to a little boy named Francisco Antonio Gallegos. That boy changed my life. God is so good to me. He gave me that boy, who laughed with me, cried with me, who loved me when I was unlovable. That boy gave me hope and God knew it. He knew it because HIS son gave HIM hope.
God taught me how to love with my son. My son makes me feel beautiful. My son makes me see who I am, even when I am the worst me ever. My son loves me. I am his mother and he is my son. Nobody told me that when I was 16. They told me how hard it would be, they told me how much I would struggle. But nobody told me that the gift of his love would show me how to be the best me I could be.
I am still a dork. I am still capable of having people not like me. I am still capable of sinning, of being wrong, of being rude, of being hateful and I am still capable of so many other wrongs. But what I have realized is that I am beautiful and far from the usual, because of what I have been through.
God stepped into my life by giving me my son. The first time He stepped into my life was by giving me His son, the second time was by giving me MY son.
That boy changed my life. I am so grateful for his life. I am so thankful that God gave me him. I carried him for 9 months in my womb and God help me, I never knew what a blessing that was.
I have never belonged anywhere in my life. I have always been an outcast. I have always had people talk about me, to tell me how awkward I am. Until the day that God said enough is enough. He stepped in, and he took me. He loved me, and he showed me how much He has been in my life. He stepped in the day I was Baptized as a Catholic when I was 6 weeks old, He stepped in the first time I accepted him into my heart in that First Baptist Church, He stepped in the first time I met Stacey Wayne Adams, He stepped in when he created the life of my first son in my womb. He steps in time after time.
I am God’s child. He loves me. He makes my dreams come true before I even realize it. And He, in his goodness is waiting to do the same for you.
On 2nd day of Christmas, God showed me where I belong. If you feel like you do not belong anywhere, give God a chance. He will never let you down. Even on my weakest days I get a little bit stronger.