He Goes After The One | By Amanda Nettles

Growing up was not easy for me. 

I have gone through a lot, but you would never know just by looking at me. People only see what is on the outside. They see a pretty-eyed, beautiful girl. They would never guess how many years these pretty eyes have cried. They do not know the battles I have survived.

At a young age, I lost my innocence. It was taken by someone who I was supposed to keep me safe.

I remember my mom making me sneak men out my bedroom window before my dad got home at night. When I was six-years-old, my mom made a decision that changed my life forever. It was a school day, and I could not find my school shirt. She punched me in the face, breaking my nose. 

That was the last time I saw her for a while, and I went to live with my dad after that. At first, it was going good. Then everything changed when my father got remarried.

He started doing things and saying things to me that he had never done before. He and his wife beat me anytime they wanted to. They started calling me fat. As a result, I started to make myself throw up. I fell deeper into depression and began cutting myself around age 14.

I was in such a dark place. I did not love myself, and I could not have cared less if I had died. 

Later on in life, I had my son, but I still did not feel happy. I knew my son deserved better than me.

One night changed me forever.

I was living with my friend, and I was so deep in a hole. I did not know who was there to help. I did not know who loved me. I thought I would make everyone happy by dying. 

One night, my friend and I had a disagreement, and I left her house on foot. While walking, I was thinking about killing myself. I reached into my bag and grabbed my three bottles of pills, taking almost all of them. 

Next thing I knew, I woke up in the hospital. 

I was sent for a short time to get medical help. As my Medicaid neared expiration and I was going to be put back on the street, I met Brother Rod Aguillard who introduced me to Jesus.

Talking to Brother Rod gave me hope. I was released from the hospital, and I asked God into my heart that same day. I finally felt safe and loved. I was taught how to forgive those who hurt me. I was taught to love myself because I am a child of God. I was baptized, and I can now speak in the Holy Spirit. 

I am now a better mother to my son. I love myself and others because I have God in me.

My past does not define who I am. I am an overcomer. My test is my testimony, and my mess is my message. 

He leaves the 99 and goes after the one. 

"What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.” Matthew 18:12-14 (NIV)

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