Have you ever gotten so tired of telling the same story over and over? No matter how true the story was, or how bad you wanted it to be heard, it just seemed to lose its importance somewhere down the line? I can honestly say that no matter how many times I share my story, it never gets old. It makes me love Jesus more and more every single time.
I grew up as the only child in my household. My mother spoiled me and my father lived hours away. In my eyes, I had only one parent. She was my provider, my protector and I always figured that my dad didn’t call much because he didn’t know what to say to me. I just so happen to be the only sister to five brothers. Anyway, being the only child had its perks. I got everything that I asked for. Every pointless toy, a puppy, every outfit, etc. You name it, I had it. But may I be honest with you? Being the only child in my household was lonely. I would’ve given anything to have someone to fight over toys and clothes with. I would’ve loved to get in trouble for another siblings’ stupid mistakes. I was the epitome of lonely.
Fast forward to my senior year of high school in 2009: I went to my fair share of parties. By senior year, I’d bounced around to four different high schools because of fighting and fed up principals. But I decided that senior year would be my year to get my act together. I graduated with a 4.0, got accepted into at least 6 different universities of my choice, was pretty convinced that the relationship that I was in was going to last forever and I felt like my life was finally on track. I remember praying with my pastor before I left. My mindset was “Eboni, don’t get caught up in the hype as a freshmen.” I was going to try and “live right.” Or so I thought…
My freshmen year of college started off pretty smooth. I’d joined a church on campus, somewhat enjoyed my roommate and managed to stay away from several parties. The plan was to live for God my freshmen year. While my roommate constantly left our dorm to go party with friends, I decided to stay in and read my Bible. I was doing the right thing. I mean, wasn’t I? I sat on the edge of my bed one evening and received a phone call from my mom that would change everything for me…
Mom: “Eboni, what are you doing? We need to talk.”
Me: “I’m just in my room Ma. What’s going on?”
Mom: “Well, you know I’m paying most of your tuition out of pocket.”
Me: “Yes ma’am. I know.”
Mom: “I don’t want to have to tell you this, but you have to come home. I can’t afford for you to stay there.”
Me: “Yeah Ma, I hear you. It’s alright. I gotta go. I’ll call you later.”
Was she serious? Was God serious? He allowed her to get me in this university, but He won’t help her out so I can stay here? “God, I HATE YOU! Living for You is lonely! And You aren’t even providing!” I changed after that conversation…
After weeks of partying, alcohol poisoning (twice) and passing all of my classes, I couldn’t help but think about the financial burden that I was on my mom. I decided that the only way out was suicide. I felt empty. I had absolutely nothing to live for. My mom was working two jobs, I never heard from my dad that year and I was just over it. I ran to my dorm after class, removed my shoes and pulled out some pain pills that I had. “God, please take my life. Please. I don’t want to wake up.” I took six 800mg pain pills. I called my mom, but she didn’t answer. She probably would’ve talked me out of it anyway, so I’m glad she didn’t. This was rock bottom for me…
“Ms. Armstrong! Ms. Armstrong! Do you know where you are? Can you tell me the last thing you remember?”
I finally opened my eyes after hours of being knocked out from the pills. IT DIDN’T WORK! Did God REALLY have the nerve to wake me up? I prayed and asked Him to let me die. Why am I still here? After being on suicide watch in the hospital, that had given me enough time to think of a way to get money. My new lifestyle of partying and drinking brought me “new friends.” I knew plenty of girls that were paying for their tuition on their own. “Eboni, I know you’re a virgin but if you wanna get this money, I know how you can get it.” I decided that selling my body…something that had never been seen or touched by any man…was going to be sold. I was the reason my mom had to work two jobs. I was the reason she was stressed out. I decided that I would put an end to all of that…
I’d already been in touch for a few days with the guy that I was going to “work for.” He assured me that I would be okay…that all the money I made would go to my tuition…and that I would be okay. I said that twice didn’t I? The night that I was supposed to go meet him, I made sure that I was out-of-my-mind-I’m-about-to-lose-my-virginity-in-order-to-pay-for-school drunk. Remy. Vodka. Tequila. Alcohol was my best friend that night. I had on the tightest jeans that I had ever worn in my life. My shirt was so low that I didn’t even need one on. Surprisingly, I was able to walk across campus to tell a friend that I was about to make some good money. I didn’t know that my life would change that night…
My friend: “Eboni, girl! Where are you going dressed like that? And why do you smell like you bathed in alcohol?”
Me: “Look, I just wanted to tell you that I’m about to go make some money. My mom won’t have to stress anymore. I didn’t come here to argue or to get your approval. I’m going to sell my body.”
My friend: “Eboni, can we pray? You like to pray, remember? Just sit down really quick.”
Me: “PRAY? PRAY? You can’t be serious! Pray for what? God didn’t hear me and He’s not going to hear You!”
As I turned to leave her dorm, she started to cry and played “Bow Down” by Bishop Paul Morton. That was my favorite song. I fell to my knees in the middle of her room. I screamed! I screamed so much that people were banging on the door to get in. I screamed because I was hurting. Not only was I hurting, but I was tired. I was tired of hurting. In that moment, I felt something that I’d never felt before. Someone was taking the time to FIGHT for me. I felt like the enemy and God were at war for my soul in that very moment. After almost being raped twice and not having anyone to run to, Jesus came in that room and rescued me. He rescued me from all the hurt and pain that I’d ever felt in my life. In that room, on that floor, I repented of my sins. I cried out for Jesus…and He came.
It’s been almost 5 years now and I’m still IN LOVE WITH JESUS:) He’s kept my mind, my body and my soul. No man has ever “known” me. My husband will be the first and last man to “know” me. I want to leave you with two verses:
“Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces
but he will heal us;
he has injured us
but he will bind up our wounds.
2 After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will restore us,
that we may live in his presence.
3 Let us acknowledge the Lord;
let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises,
he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth.”
And my favorite:
*Luke 13:13* “Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.”