Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers-
Today is “Freedom Friday”, and I am going to share with you my best friend Erica’s story. Erica is the “E” I am always referring to and we have been friends for almost 8 years. We have had our ups and downs but we have conquered the world together. I was so elated when she decided that she wanted to share her story with you. I got the opportunity to video chat with her last night and she began to share with me her life’s story- she has given me permission to share that story with you. I hope you enjoy her story and realize that there are people out there in the world who has dealt with the things that you are dealing with. You are not alone. Well here we go, Enjoy!
Erica was born with a name that simply meant disaster.
It was like her life was orchestrated prophetically by the meaning of her name. Her life was a disaster from the very start. Some individuals are graced with stable parents who teach them how to love and how to live in the world around them, but Erica seemed to draw the short stick of life and instead was born into the world’s most dysfunctional family.
A family filled with drug and alcohol use. She was the black sheep of the family, the one who was destined to be pregnant early, a druggie, or dead. For her, the option of being alive by the age of 21 was not available and she began to accept her fate- her disastrous fate. Erica has always felt the need to protect herself. She was her own parent. When her parents were on drugs, life became synonymous to hell – grim and torturous but when her parents were sober, they were amazing. It was like a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde complex– life was always changing but as a child, she recognized the patterns of the lifestyle she was born into, she knew when the tides were changing.
With the “absence” of a paternal presence, she sought for validation in people and destructive things, Her father was present but he wasn’t. His body was there with her but his mind and soul was in another place, this led to a season of resentment- Erica began to resent that her parents weren’t there for her the way she sought for them to be. Erica had to take care of herself. She wanted an out, a way out of the life that was given to her and she even contemplated ending life to get that way out. As she grew into her teenage years, she became more lost in the jungle of identity and she was a child still seeking for someone to validate her. After while, she stopped coming home.
Erica began to date a young man and she fell in love with him, seeking that validation that she needed. She desperately wanted to believe that she was loved, beautiful, desired but even in this relationship there were trust issues. She didn’t trust men because of her relationship with her dad and because of the men she saw enter in and leave her mom’s life. She didn’t trust anyone, especially men. She stayed with her boyfriend, moving from household to household- lacking true stability. Her life was unstable. She went to school for one more year and then she dropped out of high school to work a full time job and be with her boyfriend. She states that “dropping out of high school was the worst decision of my life.” She even said “If only someone encouraged me and told me that I could have done it, if only someone believed in me.” Erica needed someone to believe in her- just someone.
Erica’s boyfriend at the time was an entrepreneur of the illegal kind– a drug dealer. This introduced Erica to a whole new world of the fast life. She lived life always looking over her shoulder, running from the law. Even though she was not in the crime game, because of him she was on the run having to protect himself. According to her the relationship died the second year in but because she wanted a family unit so bad, she stayed with someone who was not good for her.
She was twenty-one now still seeking that validation, still seeking that perfect family, still seeking something other than the definition of her name. Erica wanted something more and she craved to be loved- she wanted her life to be something other than a disaster.
Erica remember learning about God as a child but because of her living conditions, God would come in and out of her life. She even had a friend as a young child that would take her to church and she loved it – it was her time away from where she was. God didn’t become more real to Erica until she was twenty-two years old. It was during this time that she heard God speaking to her, telling her of His love for her. She wanted to be validated to be loved, and He did just that. She gave her heart to Jesus and her life changed- it changed for the better. Erica got her GED and she is in the process of going back to school for social work or daycare administration. It is her dream to have her own daycare business . Erica also want to help children get out of bad homes and into homes where they are loved, so that they can have opportunities that they never thought were possible. She works in ministry at Open Door Ministries ( I tell ya’ll my church is amazing!), where she is known as Prophetess Erica. God has changed her name from “disaster” to “breakthrough”. God is her Father, her Lover, He validates her and she has found that she is complete in Him. God has saved her life.
The girl that didn’t think she was going to live past 21 is 27 now- I just celebrated her birthday with her.
I have watched her grow into an amazing woman. She has broken through everything that has tried to keep her down and she has conquered the world around her, one day at a time.
Erica shared her story with you to let you know that no matter where you come from, family background, past circumstances, etc. – God loves you and He wants to use you for His kingdom. She wanted me to invite you to come to know the person that changed her life, Jesus, and to allow Him into your heart so that He too can change your name. Your life may have been filled with pain but He can bring healing. Your life may have been filled with sadness but He can fill your life with joy. He can change your life the same way He changed Erica’s life. God has no respect of persons, you don’t have to be perfect for Him to love you.
He loves the rich and the poor; those with homes and the homeless; those with college degrees and the drop outs. He loves the drug addict and those who have never picked up an illegal substance to their lips. He loves us all the same and He wants to change all of our lives and bring us closer to Him, He loves you right where you are!
Until next time,