My Story- How I Got Here

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Although I have shared my story on a recent guest blogger series, sharing my story has been one of the hardest part of this writing journey. So today I am sharing my story with you in hopes that it will encourage you as you walk out your own story and inspire you to share your journey with others.

Being a wanderer at heart, my story is a culmination of statistics, heartbreak, a fight to control, God’s unrelenting love and His sweet and tender grace. I had done a great job in my life trying to forget the not so fuzzy memories in my past. Even still today I fight with the shame that tries to leach onto me when I recall some of the horrific choices I made as a wounded wandering soul. I had gotten really good at hiding behind my smile and strong exterior but eventually all the wounds of my past were still wide open and bleeding profusely. All the band-aids I was putting over them just were not sufficient.

 A product of divorce and a child of a former addict, I saw and heard a lot of things that I would never want my children to. Things that I thought were perfectly normal until I was an adult. Even though I had a great relationship with both my parents, it was not a “normal” family setting. I can still recall hearing yelling in my home that caused me to curl up in my bed and hum myself to sleep. The day my parents split, my life changed forever. I spent most of my early adult years trying to be in control of everything in my life so that I could be “happy”. I had the brilliant idea that I could actually make myself happy. Being in “control” was my way of not making the same mistakes that my parents made, while actually making equally damaging mistakes in the process that left even bigger wounds than I already had. 

In my pea brain, I had it set in stone that I would control my body and everything that I did. No one would tell me what to do or how to do it. I just wanted so much to avoid being in a marriage like my parents. The result was promiscuity, unplanned pregnancy, depression, anger and fear. All of this masked in Sunday Christianity and a smile. There were times I wondered if anyone knew how I really felt or if they would even care. See, I was the one that everyone else came to for advice. I was the one who tried to hold up the blood stained banner in my circle of friends, all while shaming it as I lived a life buried in sin. I was a complete mess wrapped in denial.

 While still in that mess, I married the love of my life and God rescued me from my pit. It was a long walk out of the abyss that I had dug for myself but God was faithful to finish what He began in me. He began to show me what Joy really looks like and who is really in control, so that I could stop trying to do a job that I wasn’t qualified to do. Shortly after wedding, the Lord called me to write. My answer to His call came at a snail crawl but I finally jumped over fear and ran to Him with anticipation. However, the more I ran toward Jesus, the more the enemy chased me with the very fear I had hurdled to be obedient. 

Fear was like that last piece of lint on a black shirt that just won’t come off. I was fighting it tooth and nail as I attempted to be the “perfect” wife and mother. It crippled me and made me not want to do anything let alone step out in faith toward what God called me to do. Thank God for deliverance! God delivered me from that crippling fear and has given me the strength and courage I need to walk out the vision He has for me. In this season God has given me a heart to walk along side His people as they find Joy in Him. The book I am writing is a journey from “happiness” to God’s lasting “JOY”. In The Truth About Happiness” readers will walk a revealing journey of their own to dispel the lies we believe about happiness and find what real joy looks like when we drink from the never ending well of Jesus.

 The truth is that we are all explorers, on a journey to find out who we are and where we are going. My heart is to hold the hand of another as we walk the journey together, looking the Father in the face.

 My Life scripture:

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Have fun trekking!

J.E. Berry
Speaker/Writer

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