Sunday, October 31, 2010

"Once I let Him into my heart in this way, things changed and have not been the same." Amanda

Amanda's last name has intentionally been omitted. Please respect the omission.   

Josh,                10/30/2010                     

My apologies if I was keeping you from sleep last night. ... The fact is, I've been trying to work up the courage to confess something to you. ... I just really wanted to share something with you, but was scared. I wanted to tell you the truth.

I don't know why I 'm doing this, but I know that I have to, and I can't push it out of my mind. Literally, the only person I've confessed this to, aside from you right now, is God. I keep trying to put it off and just try to talk to you in other ways, but this is just eating at me. I won't have access to a computer for another week, just my mobile web, and it will torture me to go another week without saying this. So here it goes....

Somehow, two weeks ago, I friend requested you. I was looking for family members. The only thing I can figure is that I have a cousin named Josh that lives in Cahokia, but somehow I got to you. You sent something back asking me if I had saw you on t.v. (to find out why I had requested you) and I had no idea what you were talking about. So I googled you, and the rest is history. I've still never seen you on t.v., but I read your blog. 

This is the hard part for me to admit. At the time, I was in serious trouble. I was seriously killing myself. Not like suicide, but a much slower way. Daily, I was ingesting 15 to 20 Vicoden, at least 6 Ambien, and about 12 beers per day. I was like a zombie. I was numb. I didn't feel happy, sad or mad. I didn't care and honestly that was my exact goal. I would have never purposely killed myself, but I didn't really care if I lived.

Then, like I said, I read your blog. I've never felt worse in my life. It was weird. I mean, I felt guilty, but also overwhelmed by your inspiration. So, you would think that I would have wanted to take more pills and booze, but I felt the exact opposite. 

I could not believe all of the years I wasted out here. I was free to do anything and I had done nothing. I was so jaded and sick, and I had done it to myself. I believed in God, but never worshiped Him. I just felt sorry for myself. I just made excuses. The second I read your blog, I knew in my heart that I could never give myself one more excuse to continue on this path that would seem justifiable anymore.

Since I was about 5 years old, I don't really remember being happy. Really, I was angry and scared. My dad began to verbally abuse my family when we moved to Arkansas. He was not happy and he resented us for it. He would call us terrible names, throw things at us, and sometimes shake us. I was afraid of him, but I loved him. It was so confusing to me. He treated my mom the same. This is what I saw growing up. I think what bothered me most is that my mom would make excuses, and tell us we just needed to be better. But it never mattered. There was always something else for him to be mad at.

Needless to say, I grew up thinking that I was not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough. I was popular in school, a cheerleader, but inside I was broken. I hid it from everyone. To this day, you are the only one I have told. I would let people take advantage of me, and I thought it was ok, because if I wasn't good enough for my own father, then why should other guys feel any different (?). To me, a controlling man or an abusive man was just the way it worked. I have never had a healthy relationship with any man in my life. I'm usually afraid of or suspicious of men.

Through the course of one particularly abusive relationship, I got a tooth ache. Guess what? That was the beginning of the addiction. I had never taken a drug in my life. Weirdly enough, when I took the pain medicine, it made me feel numb to my other pain, the pain in my heart. I didn't feel better. I just didn't feel anything at all. I remember it was 9/9/2001. I actually remember the day that I flushed ten years down the drain. From that exact day until 2 weeks ago, I have been a drug abuser. 

I have been a functioning drug abuser, but none the less still an abuser. I have been lying to myself, family and friends for almost 10 years now. It's crazy. This started with avoiding the pain of a relationship that ended in 2004, but, by that time, I was so lost and out of control that I really don't even remember what I was thinking. At the point of finding your blog, I was really hitting rock bottom.

So this is the really, really hard part to admit. I have told no one about this, not even my mom. There is a very complicated story behind this part, and it's very painful for me. My dad also sexually abused me, and, I do believe, several other family members. They're older than me, but they confided in me and they don't want anyone to know. I didn't even admit to them that it had also happened to me. This started happening before we moved from Illinois to Arkansas. 

I hope this is not inappropriate, but I have to say it. I have felt ugly, dirty, unworthy, wrong my entire life. I have never made love to a man. I don't mean I haven't you know, but it was never love. It was miserable, and I did not even want to, but I would just put my mind somewhere else. I'm 33 and I have never been in love with a man. Anytime I came close, I would find that once again I had picked another looser or abuser. Looking back now, I can see that it's all I thought I deserved. 

So, back to two weeks ago. I read your blog and then I just sat there for like 3 hours just staring at the wall and thinking about what I was going to do. Then I sat there a little longer and cried. I could not stop crying. I stayed in my house for like three days and spent most of that time on my knees praying. For the first time in my life, I realized that I should be praying for forgiveness and for strength, not for God to just make it easier on me.

I realized that all of this time I had been asking God to take away the pain, He didn't want to take it away. He wanted me to feel it and deal with it. I had not felt anything in so long. He wanted me to feel alive and aware. Once I let Him into my heart in this way, things changed and have not been the same. He didn't take the pain away, but He gave me the strength to deal with it. I have not had one pill or one drink since the moment I read your blog and story. I have tried many times in the past to quit, but never turned to the Lord for strength. I always felt sick and miserable. This time I can't even believe that I had been doing these terrible things for 10 years. I honestly have not once thought about wavering. I have not once felt week or sick, and I know that is because I have His strength behind me. 

I feel Him with me every step of the way and I will never end this journey. I know that God has given me a second chance and I will never let go of it or compromise it in anyway. I know how fortunate I am, because I know where I have been.

Honestly, I am going to say that since the minute I read your blog, I have not been able to get you out of my mind. Every night, every day, and just about every hour I thank the Lord that somehow he brought you into my life. I know that you would probably say that it was Him, and not so much you, but it was Him through you. I now know how I accidentally friend requested you, because I know that it wasn't an accident at all. It was a miracle.

One more thing I have to admit is that I have been sending you messages or comments regularly, wanting to tell you what I am telling you now. I was too afraid at first because I wasn't sure if I could trust you. I have felt, from the first second, that I owed you this thank you, but was afraid of putting it out here like this. I don't know why, but you are the only person in my life that I have ever trusted, and I don't even know you. The weird thing is that somehow I feel like I have known you my whole life. 

I see all of the wonderful comments sent to you from people. They are so beautiful and inspirational. I could never begin to put things into words the way some do. I actually have been trying to make a good impression, because I wanted to be your friend, and somehow I think I have come off, looking and sounding, like an idiot. I realized tonight that I must be truthful in every aspect of my life, in order to be true to God. I felt that I was still lying, because I wasn't being honest with you. You - the one person who God chose to make such an impression upon my life, to save my life. I could not go one more second without expressing this. 

Seeing you in the video when you went to the beach for the first time was incredible. My Nana lives in Biloxi, MS. and I spent many summers with her trying to escape my home. I have been to the beach so many times, but I can promise you that not once did I have an experience like that. I admit I watched that video of you like 10 times and just cried. I watched every move you made and the expressions on your face. You were truly at peace. You appreciated every second. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. The way that you just laid there and soaked it all in and then just exploded with joy. I thank God that you had that moment.

I guess it's definitely true that the Lord works in mysterious ways, and I am so thankful for it. ... I hope you do not think I'm totally insane, because I don't think I have ever felt better in my life. I owe you so much gratitude. If ever you need anything, at any time, never hesitate to tell me. I will never forget you and how you, along with God, spoke to my heart in a way that it had never heard. There will not be a moment that I will not carry you in my thoughts and in my prayers. I will always hold you in the highest regard.


Thanks for sharing this with me. How did it feel writing this? How does it feel knowing I know? Would you be ok with others knowing about this?  Pray about this. Your testimony could and would help so many others. You could help introduce others to a saving relationship with Jesus, just as others did, on my blog, for you. :) Powerful! God is so good! I'm so happy for you! :)  ~ Josh

Thank you and I would be ok with others knowing. For the first time, since finally confessing all of that, I don't feel tied down by it anymore.

Yes, for the first time in my life, I can honestly say that I truly know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement.  I know things will only get better and better.

~ Amanda


  1. I cannot begin to describe how deeply your story has affected me and no doubt it will do the same for others. You have found a wonderful friend in Jesus Christ, and a special friend in Josh. The love of Jesus surrounds you and protects you and that burden will be no more because you have given it all to God. You are a precious jewel Amanda, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have spoken this to you. If I never ever get a chance to get to know you, this one moment I will never forget, because just like God did with Josh in my life, He has once again answered my prayers in reading your testimony to His goodness, mercy and love. I feel like crying as I go back and read your words, God is indeed our AWESOME GOD! I love you Amanda, and if I never get the chance to speak to you it will be all right, because God gave me this wonderful and special moment to humbly acknowledge that He is on His throne, working in the hearts of His people. I pray God's continued blessings in your life and oh yes, what a friend we have in Jesus. God bless.


  2. via Amanda (2 parts). Part 1


    Sending this to you, because I am still having trouble posting to the blog. If you don't mind, and have the time, I thought you could maybe post it for me. Either way, thank you for all of your help!

    First of all, I would like to say thank you to Celeste for her kind words of encouragement. I am still so new and fresh, in my true understanding of Jesus Christ, that I appreciate any and all comments or feedback.

    Second, I would like to say thank you once again to Josh. Yesterday was a very hard day for me, and honestly I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. The day started off great. I attended a new church and was feeling so motivated. The Pastor, giving the message, was a visiting pastor. This church had recently lost theirs, and are in the process of finding someone to fill the spot. Regardless, everyone was so welcoming and kind.

    Listening to the minister preach the Lord's message made me feel strong and confident. Afterwards, I decided that I wanted to try and speak to my dad. I want so badly to forgive him and heal. I went to my parent's house and asked to speak with both of them. When I tried to talk to him about the past, he refused to speak. Like I said in my prior message, I had not even yet told my mom everything. I felt like it had to be said. I confronted him about the sexual abuse. I told him that I was not asking for an explanation and was not there to fight. I tried to explain that I just wanted him to know that I had accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and that I want and will forgive him for the past.

    Needless to say, it didn't go as I had hoped. He started calling me every name in the book. Then he proceeded to stand up say that I was a liar and that I am going to go to Hell for it. He walked over to me, spit in my face, then picked up a dining room chair and through it at me. The next thing I knew he was mumbling something about how he was not going to put up with this, and stormed to his bed room. That was very scary. Lets just say he is a very strong supporter of the Second Amendment, and keeps several loaded guns in his room. My mom insisted that I leave, because she was afraid that things might escalate.

    So I left. As soon as I could get cell service, I called to make sure that my mom was ok. She's in poor health and is pretty much confined to her home. Thank God she was! Unfortunately, my dad made it well known that I was no longer welcomed there and that he will never speak to me again. Of course I was concerned, because it will be very difficult for me to visit my mom now. I have begged her many times to leave and she won't.

    So I drove home. Went to go into the house. Then I realized, I had locked myself out. After crawling through the kitchen window, I sat down, watched the New Orleans-Pittsburgh game and wallowed in my self pity.

  3. via Amanda. (2 parts). Part 2


    I must tell you when I messaged you last night, feeling so sorry for myself, and you said, "no worries, just move on", it made me so mad. I wanted others to feel sorry for me too. I thought, how can I just move on? I felt defeated and lonely. Then it suddenly hit me, that instead of all of this drama, I should be on my knees praying to God for the strength to overcome these feelings.

    Of course there were more tears, but once I was done, it felt like the negative, sad feelings were washed away. A thought came to my head from the sermon that I had heard that morning. The Pastor said that in this life, you're either going into a storm, are in a storm, or are coming out of a storm. He said the difference is keeping your faith in Jesus Christ's throne, no matter what situation arises. That it is all or nothing with Him, and that even when things aren't going the way you think they should or bad things are happening, He is always their with you, if you have faith. He said pray and ask Him to deliver you from the bad things, but if it doesn't happen, you should still have the faith that it will be ok somehow because He is always with you.

    So it got me to thinking. I've done what I can to make amends with my dad. Even though what happened yesterday was painful, as long a I have faith, I know that I will come through on the other side having a stronger relationship with Christ. Josh, you are right, He is my real daddy! I know that even though it might not be possible to be part of my mom and dad's family anymore, I will always be a part of a much bigger family, and no one can or ever will be able to take that away from me. Josh, whether you know it or not, your tough love comment, knocked me back into reality and helped me to continue on the new path I have began with Jesus Christ in my life.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart,

  4. Amanda, Proverbs 3:5-7 instructs you to trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for GOD's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track." Run to GOD! He'll always be there for you. God has put Joshua in your path because He knew that his story would capture your attention. He's begun a good work in you and that work continues until the day of Jesus Christ. Hang in there.


  5. Mr. Keezer, A while back I contacted you a couple of times through Facebook and told you what an impact your story had on me. I also said the Lord would use you and your story for His glory. Amanda's story is proof of that. The Lord uses the downtrodden to confound the wise and reach others. You are again proof of that. Stay strong in the Lord Mr. Keezer, though we have never met, you are regularly in my prayers. Take care and grow in His grace. I look forward to meeting in our next life with Him!