Growing up for me was not easy. In school, I was picked on, bullied, talked about and had no idea how to deal with it. I didn’t know what to do, where to turn or who to talk with for help. I had some painful emotions building up inside of me. I was angry because I was tired of being bullied every day for no reason and I was hurting because I felt like I had no one in my corner besides my mother. So I began self-mutilating to deal with it. For some reason seeing the sight of blood had a soothing effect on me, it calmed my nerves. But that was only the beginning. I went from self-mutilating to trying to commit suicide by cutting my throat and trying to strangle myself. I was at the point where I was tired of being strong. I was tired of being bullied, I was tired of being talked about on a daily basis. I was just tired. I spent years in and out of psychiatric and state hospitals. That went on for years, but God had other plans for my life.

I was finally able to get myself together enough to leave the hospital and at seventeen I found I was pregnant with my oldest son and soon after my second. I had two wonderful young men whom God blessed me to parent. I believe it was a divine intervention that I got pregnant. I was on birth control both times and yet I’m still blessed with them. I wouldn’t change it up for anything, because I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for my boys. God was trying to tell me that it was time for me to place my problems on the back burner and care for my kids. Not to necessarily forget about them, but to place my focus on being the mother that He called me to be. No it is not easy being a single mother, but it is the greatest blessing I could ever have. They helped me realize I have a purpose for being here. Yes my children and I have encountered some mishaps in our lives, but God has brought us through it all.

In 2013, my trials weren’t over, I ended up having multiple brain surgeries due to the fact that I had three brain aneurisms. They tried to coil the first one because they thought I only had one aneurysm. But they had to cancel that coiling because they found two more aneurisms, and coiling that one could have given me a stroke. I had to wait a couple of weeks before going back to the hospital where they had to cut my head open and go in and clip them. This was keeping me away from my boys. When I returned for a checkup, I was admitted that day due to the fact I had water on my brain, this kept me away from my boys for a little while longer. They went in the first time and thought I was bleeding on my brain because the shunt they were trying to place in my head kept popping out. They closed me up and waited until the next morning where it went right in. Once again God had my back. My family had my back. They were there every step of the way. They helped me with my
boys and getting back on my feet.

After going through all of that I ended up being hospitalized for two weeks due to a bowel obstruction and infection in my stomach. Now things are still hard but I take it one day at a time, but the one thing I can honestly say is that through everything I have been through, God has been by my side. He has brought me a long way and I am so very thankful. Whatever you may be going through, know that God will bring you through it. You just have to trust Him.

Testimony by Tashana Smith