My name is Connie I am a 66-year-old mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, and this is my testimony.
When I was four years old, my mother was killed, and my brother, sister, and I were sent to an orphanage. My brother and I were in the same orphanage, but my sister was in an orphanage for older girls; when my sister was old enough, she married, and she and her husband adopted my brother and me from the orphanage. My sister's husband molested me until I was about 12 years old and I ran away from home to my friend's house; her parents treated me like I was one of their own.
One day my sister came looking for me. I didn't want her to find me, so I hid it in the bathroom. My friend's parents locked the door from the outside, and that scared me. It made me feel like they were controlling me and spying on me because they were having their children to watch everything I did. One time the oldest daughter told me to go next door with her to her boyfriend's apartment. She was mad because he wasn't there and started drinking shots of liquor. She gave me a shot, but I threw it inside of a plant that was near me. When she got drunk and passed out, I ran out the door.
There was a car that almost hit me. The driver asked if I was a runaway and what my name was. I told him my name and then found he was out looking for Runaways. He asked why I was afraid to go home and because he seemed to care I told him the Ugly Truth that my brother-in-law was molesting me. They placed me in the juvenile hall until finding a foster home for me.
I felt funny in the foster home, but I knew a girl there which made me feel a little better. Once when I knew my foster brother wasn't going to be home and the other girls would be gone, and I would have the house to myself, I took a cigarette out of my foster mother's purse and went downstairs and was smoking it. I heard a noise upstairs was surprised because no one was supposed to be home. So, I went upstairs and hid around the corner.
My foster mother was with her two-year-old Foster child that she was going to adopt. She put him in a high chair and was feeding him. She said if you don't eat, I'm going to shove this down your throat. She showed the spoon in his mouth, and his mouth started to bleed. I forgot I was standing there and told her to stop it. She glared at me and said what are you doing home did you go to school? I said yes and that I was going to tell my social worker on her.
She yanked the key off of the chain around my neck and threw it out the door, and I went to my room. Afterward, she was mean to me, so I ran away. So, I called my friend and asked if she would run away with me and she said yes. I said how are we going to go, and she said she would find me a ride and pick me up. I was nervous but said okay.
She picked me up and said we could go to a park where her cousins always go, and they would find us a place to stay, and I said okay. We had to sleep in the restrooms, and that was scary because at night you could hear footsteps but thank God no one bothered us; we slept on the restroom floors that were cement and ate out of the dumpsters.
Three days later her cousins came and said I'll be right back, and she went to talk to them. Then she waved for me to come to her. We got into the car, but I had the feeling I should watch where we were going.
We went to a house, and the cousins said help yourselves to a bath and eat what you want, so we did, but I noticed they were drinking and sniffing glue and getting drunk and it scared me. I told my friend I was leaving, and she said she would go with me, so we went back to the park.
A couple of days later my friend's “girl cousin” came up to me, and was drunk; she pushed me so hard that it tore my blouse. A girl from a house next door came and handed me a shirt, and asked me where the girl was, but we didn't know. She left, I guess to beat her up or something, I don't know, but when she came back, she told my friend and me to go with her.
We went, and she sat in the back seat of the car and gave us each a sandwich and a tiny bit of wine in a glass. She asked if we were Runaways and when we said yes, she said that her mom would get mad if we stayed with her, but if we needed help to come and get her. We were both grateful and went back to the park.
Just before dark, we saw the cousins again, and I was afraid of the girl cousin. She said don't be scared I'm sorry for pushing you yesterday; I was drunk. She asked us to sit with them and have a beer. When we told her we didn't drink she said, that's okay, we have pop and gave us both a big bottle of RC Cola.
When they started drinking and sniffing glue again, I got scared. As I was getting up to leave someone hit me over the head. I woke up in a house with the girl cousin rinsing blood out of my hair. When she realized I was awake, she threw me on the bed and put her hand over my mouth and held me down. The four cousins were waiting to rape me, and one did, but I got the strength to push her off of me. I screamed as loud as I could, and they all ran, and I ran a different direction.
I saw a boarding house, and a man sitting on the porch. I asked if I could stay in one of his rooms and told him I didn't have money; he asked if I was a runaway and I said no. He said I could stay and gave me a key and said he was going to leave a broom outside the door and when I got up, I was to sweep the hall. I said okay and thanked him.
I couldn't sleep that night at all. I knew that somehow I had to forget what happened because I still had to survive out there on the street. I got dressed and went back to the park and found my friends parents yelling at her for running away.
They recognized me said, Connie you're coming with us, but when my friend told them what happened with my brother-in-law, they said, well, go with us, and we'll figure something out. I waited in the car, and after about an hour they came out and said that they had a lovely lady that would give me room and board if I would help her with her baby and cleaning her house. I said yes, and I knew how because I used to babysit my niece and nephew.
I was glad to have a place to stay. I slept on the couch, but the lady's husband would try to mess with me sexually. I would yell out her name to wake her up so he would leave me alone. One night they and another couple were going out. Their eight-year-old son was in the kitchen playing solitary. After they left, I change the baby gave her a bottle, and she fell asleep. I was listening to records softly, so as not to wake the baby.
Soon there was a loud knock on the door. It was one of those doors that have a curtain over the window. I looked through the curtain, and couldn't believe that it was the same guys who had tried to rape me. They said we're not through with you yet, then began kicking on the door.
I was afraid, and there was no phone, and I couldn't leave the baby alone. I told the little boy, I'm going to hide in the closet, and I want you to cover me with blankets towels or clothes and with whatever you can find, and he did.
The men kicked the door open then locked the little boy out. They eventually found me In The closet, pulled me out and poured wine down my throat. I grabbed a high heel, and was fighting for my life; they got scared and ran out the door. At that moment the two husbands of the wives were walking in the door.
I ran to them and told them to help me and that those guys had tried to rape me. They walked me to the bed and told me to calm down. They were touching me, and I must have gone into shock because I couldn't talk or move, and everything seemed to be in slow motion. I remember a woman breaking a lamp over the head of one of the men; the lamp broke into small pieces that seemed to float around, at least that's how I saw it.
I woke up in a hospital hearing the doctor say that if they didn't give me a sedative, I would go insane. I was put into Juvenile Hall and then another foster home. It was back and forth between foster homes, running away, and trying to survive on the streets. I ended up going to a girl’s school where I stayed for a year until I turned seventeen.
My sister would come and visit me, but my brother-in-law wasn't allowed to go near me. My brother who was in the Marines came one time and gave me a surprise visit, and I was so happy to see him. I went to Beauty School, and after a year they were going to let me go, but had no place to go; so, they asked if I would mind staying six more months until they could find me a placement.
By the grace of God, my uncle had been looking for a babysitter for my mom's brother's children. He asked them if I could go live with him and my aunt in Albuquerque. I remember in my earlier years when he would take my cousins and me out of the orphanages for a weekend pass. I flew to Albuquerque and was happy for a home to go to, but unfortunately, my aunt became jealous of me.
I became very depressed and was sometimes suicidal, but I really didn't want to die I just wanted the attention. My aunt told the probation officer that I was living with my uncle alone which wasn't allowed, so I had to move into a boarding house with three other women who were gay. I'm not putting down putting them down that they're gay, even though I know it is a sin. But they didn't like me and weren't nice to me because I wasn't like them and would also steal my food out of the refrigerator.
I was dating a guy who asked me to marry him, and I said yes. I didn't love him because I didn't know what love was, I got married merely to escape what I was enduring. It was not happy. I had a miscarriage, and even at the wedding, a girl told me he was planning to shoot me. I believed her because he was terribly jealous. I felt the only choice was to divorce him.
After that, I had boyfriends that were either just fresh out of prison or addicted to drugs, and those were the type of guys I would date. I'm not putting them down. I'm just saying that for some reason I just wanted to go out with bad boys. I met a man that was 20 years older than me, and I had two daughters by him, but he was an alcoholic and would often beat me.
But he had a brother who was a pastor, and that's where the seeds about Jesus and being a Christian were planted in me. Even though I didn't become a Christian, I did say the sinner's prayer. But this husband ended up passing away.
I had still another boyfriend that was so jealous he would ask people what I had worn that day and if I talked on the phone, or had company. I felt like a prisoner, and even though he was good to my daughters, the girls and I left him, and I left him a note telling him why.
The uncle I lived with when I was younger picked me up and took me to New Mexico with him. I rented a nice house, but I was mama during the day and party girl at night. The girls had been talking to the boyfriend I had left on the phone, but I wouldn't speak to him. (I didn't know the night I left that he had read my note and was devastated).
He had cried out to Jesus and was saved; sometimes with people, it's a process, but with him, it was instantly. Then, one day he knocked on my front door. I asked what he wanted, and he said, don't get mad at the girls but they gave me your address, and I just wanted to come and see you, are you going to open the door?
I let him in, and he kept talking about how he got saved and asked if I would marry him and serve God with him? I said no, I have a whole life ahead of me, and I'm not ready yet. I had beer in the fridge, and I think some pot and I didn't want to give up my sinful life. He would listen to Christian songs and tapes, but it got on my nerves, and I finally told him to leave.
But I remember while he was there that he would take my phone into the bathroom and talk to somebody for a long time. I got suspicious, and when my phone bill came, I saw a girl's name and called the number; a girl answered, and I asked why she had been calling. She said, maybe we know the same person. I mentioned my boyfriend's name, and she said, that's my fiancé.
My heart was broken, and I cussed her out; then I called and cussed him out. I was crying so hard that the girls were worried about me, but I told them I was just too sad to talk. The next morning, they went to school, but it felt like every ounce of buried hurt had come to the surface, and I couldn't
I fell to my knees in the dining room and cried out to Jesus. I told him, take my life because I can't handle this pain. At that moment I began to feel love a real love, not a perverted love, not an imaginary or fake love, but real love. I just had to find a Bible and when I started to read the words came alive to me. I was healed, and a heavy burden was lifted.
I hadn't Felt This Good in years. The girls knew I had been crying all night and when they came home were surprised that I was so joyful. I told them I had given my life to God; then I kneeled down and prayed with them. A couple of days later it was Halloween, and I let my girls invite their friends over. I sent the girls to bed and was cleaning up when I felt an urge to marry this man and move back to Denver.
I didn't want Jesus to be disappointed in me, and I wanted to be obedient, so I asked Jesus are you telling me this? Then the phone rang, and it was the boyfriend. I told him excitedly that I had given my life to God. He said, well then, will you marry me and come to Denver so that we can serve God together? I asked, what about your girlfriend she said she was pregnant? He said I don't love her I love you and she's not pregnant she just said that to keep me. I said I'll have to pray about it. He said okay.
I knew it was of God, so I packed up the girls and moved to Denver, but I told the boyfriend not to touch me until we're married. When I arrived in Denver, it was in the afternoon, and it was on Veterans Day. And that's the day we were married. I went to a Spirit-filled church pastored by a famous woman of God that travels all over the world. I was a Spirit-filled tongue talking devil stomping child of God.
That was 35 years ago, and when I backslid, I soon came running back to Him. I thank the good Lord for using me I love him and memorized scripture. I ministered at the rescue mission for 12 years and the jail for ten years and did Bible studies for women who have been abused.
I thank God every day for using me to glorify him, my goal this year is to teach other women how to get into the presence of the Holy Spirit, and go out and reach other women who will come home and reach out to their families. I have forgiven those who have hurt me as I was growing up because I can't minister to anyone unless I receive healing myself.
My sister passed away about 15 years ago from cervical cancer, but I believe she gave her life to the Lord before then. My brother has dementia, and I'm praying for his healing and have moved to the same town to be near him. My two daughters, seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren are all doing well, and I love them all; and I love you, and most of all Jesus.
My name is Connie, and this is my testimony, and there are not enough words to thank God for saving me. Thank you for letting me share, and I pray that this testimony will give you hope in God.
Connie: United States