St. Petersburg, FL
I received this cross from a sister in Christ who was in my “Companions In Christ” group at Pass-A-Grille community church. At the end of the group, I received my cards from group members about how I inspired them through my strong faith in God through the many trials I have been through in my life. I was abused growing up by just about everyone in my family. I have always been treated differently than my siblings. The family members who have been good to me, or good for the most part, could see this. No one knows how I survived like I did without becoming messed up. I know though. It was by God and His grace. He saw me through each and every day that I lived in that abusive home. After moving out after my 19th birthday, I had to quickly learn how to depend solely on God, and make it on my own. It was after I was outed by my mom and Calvary Chapel for being gay that I had to truly learn to get on my own. I didn’t have many friends or family left. Only few people in my life have remained, while everyone else turned on me. It all happened so fast. 2013 was the most painful year because of it. But God saw my partner and I through that year. We lean on each other and depend on God. We take each day, just one at a time, as we should, by God. My love, faith, and commitment to God remains. I will not be moved, though my life seems to tumble around me. It was another season that I thought I wouldn’t make it through, but I did, and I am stronger than ever before. I use my testimony for God. I encourage others as the Lord leads me to, and He gives me the right words to say at the right time. I also came through an illness called Gastroparesis, that almost costed my life. I was so sick, and now that forced coming out season happened. It is behind me and I am pressing on with my partner of ALMOST one year. I now hold this cross as a reminder of the journey. I am also reminded that this life is a journey, and I will continue to have these terrible seasons (we all have them); but I know my God will continue to see me through. He sees each of us through. It can only make us stronger. God never leaves us or gives up on us. He is always there. He loves all of us unconditionally. He is our provider, our strength, our counselor, parent, and dearest friend. I have this cross until God leads me to someone who needs words of encouragement in the journey; who I can give this cross to. Then I will pass this cross on and wait to read the next testimony. Just as I will the “the way” cross.