For the majority of my life, fitting in with the other kids or feeling accepted were two things that did not seem would ever be within my grasp. The possibility of actually feeling loved was a fairytale that in my world, only existed in books and movies. I heard the words “I love you” spoken often, but those words held no meaning in my life or at least in my heart.
Growing up as an army brat, my family was constantly moving. I learned very quickly that making friends would always result in disappointment for me. Saying “Hello” basically had the same meaning as saying “Goodbye”; however, I learned the pain of actually saying “Goodbye” quickly. As a result, I became resolved in staying to myself. This internal isolation was the start of my feelings of abandonment and shame and was a toxic place for a little girl to find herself.
At the age of eight, I was molested by a fellow military associate of my father. I was brave enough to tell my parents what happened. My honesty was still not enough to take away the overwhelming feeling of guilt that consumed me when my parents separated shortly after. I blamed myself. If I would have only kept quiet, I would still have my daddy. This experience further fueled the growing fire inside me of shame and abandonment.
As a teenager, my life only got worse. I blamed my mother for everything and made sure she knew it. I escaped the realities of my life’s experiences through using drugs, alcohol, and sex. At one point in my life, I had allowed drugs to take control of my life so drastically, I found myself facing a long-term jail sentence for forgery and fraud.
To this day, I know that only God could have been holding my mother’s hand through all of this. My mother saved me– in more ways than one. She hired an attorney who worked out a deal for me to pay off the money I had stolen. So, I quit high school and got a full-time job to pay off my debt.
At the time, I felt like she was forcing me, but I now realize she gave me a gift. She sent me to a drug rehabilitation program for teenagers. I started attending AA/NA meetings daily. Once the drug haze began to lift, and I felt like a human again, I started to be able actually to see God’s purpose for my life. The program was the gateway for me to see me that I did have a choice. I didn’t have to live the life I was living. I had a choice. Unfortunately, it took me a few more years to completely surrender.
The ultimate turning point in my life was giving birth to my son. At that very moment, I felt the feeling of unconditional love for the first time. Young, alone and without a clue, I learned how to have faith and finally felt like my life had a true purpose for once. My son without knowing it was the best teacher God gave me. My son has grown into a wonderful man. A man that has a clear perspective and is cultivating his purpose in life. The Lord knew what he was doing when he blessed me with my son. I thank him every day for this gift.
Becoming a mother and experiencing real love finally helped open my eyes. It allowed me to believe that maybe, just maybe, God did love me.
I am God’s child. He created me– my soul. He sent his son to die for me, and he knew my days before he ever breathed a single breath of life into me. He gave me the perfect kidney to in turn give to David Ensley, which saved his life. He has always been the orchestrator of my life. I just had to muster up the courage to dare to believe in him.
My past experiences are in the past but have made me the person I am today. Some people say they wouldn’t change their past, and I don’t think I would if given the chance, but what I would never change or live without is my God. I will continue to listen to His voice as He leads me to do crazy things like, write a book, stand up and tell my story, and to create a website or a forum to tell my life stories and experiences.
God is good! I trust Him completely and I can’t wait to see what He surprises me with next.
Second only to my salvation, the biggest blessing God has bestowed on my life will always be my family. On September 26, 2009, I married my best friend – Charles Cunningham but friends and family call him Chuck. The definition of the word “husband” does not begin to define the role this man plays in my life and the life of our family.
Chuck and I dated in high school. For reasons neither one of us can recall (although I vaguely remember a blonde girl I saw him with shortly after we broke up), we decided to go our separate ways.
“Love is patient, love is kind, love is not jealous, it does not boast, it does not become conceited, it does not behave dishonorably, it is not selfish, it does not become angry, it does not keep a record of wrong doings… bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”– I Corinthians 13:4-6
Chuck and I both indeed moved on, starting our lives journey without looking back. We both married. We both had children and also, both divorced and ultimately found ourselves single parents raising two teenage boys.
One day, I came across Chuck’s profile on Facebook. Upon seeing his picture, my heart felt like it fell into the pit of my stomach. With only God’s help, I reached out to Chuck on his page. As luck would have it, he responded. As a result of this complete act of blind faith, Chuck and I reconnected. Seeing him for the first time after twenty years had passed was a feeling I still have trouble putting into words. It felt like we had not spent a single moment apart.
In the process of us reconnecting, Chuck and I realized that during our time apart, we had worked in the same building, lived within 100 yards of each other, our boys attended the same middle school and even rode the same school bus every day!
“Life is all about timing… the unreachable becomes reachable, the unavailable become available, the unattainable become attainable. Have the patience, wait it out it’s all about timing.” – Stacey Charter
Believe me, marriage is not a fairy tale by any stretch of the imagination. For me, marriage is about honoring a commitment that I made before God. A commitment to honor, respect and love and imperfect man. God blessed me with a partner who chooses every day to honor, respect and love this imperfect woman. No, our life is not perfect but is built upon a stable foundation that cannot be shaken, this foundation is Jesus Christ.
I’m blessed with an amazing family. Yes, we are blended, sometimes we are selfish, disrespectful, and impatient with each other. But we lean on God. Sometimes there may be only one of us leaning and at other times we are all leaning together, but God is always there to catch us.
The Scoggins-Ensley Family
Sean Scoggins wrote- Leaving It In Your Hands. It’s about his wife, Jennifer’s experience watching her brother, David Ensley, battle kidney disease. Jennifer created a Facebook page in the hopes of finding a miracle donor for David. This is a video testimony and audio recording of their story.