We are big fans of Becky. She is a woman who embodies Broken to Beautiful. Becky walked to Jesus with all of the broken pieces of her life and asked Him if He could make anything out of it. And HE DID!! He made something that makes you stand in awe. Not in awe of Becky (though she is pretty amazing) but in awe of a God that redeems the ugliest of stories.
Becky is the founder and director of Saving Grace. She is rescuing girls from the very life she endured and is helping them learn to give the broken pieces of their lives to God. Saving Grace is a non-profit ministry that is in need of your prayers and financial support. We believe in them enough to put our time and our money where our mouth is! If you’d like more information about how you can support Saving Grace please hop over to see what you can do.
Becky will be joining us on Tuesday, January 24th to share more of her story at Bella Vista Assembly of God. If you’re in NWA we’d love to have you join us.
And now, here’s Becky’s story in her own words. I pray that her words help you find hope in a loving God.
Keri & Jennifer
With each blow of the belt on my bare flesh, I gasp from the pain. The sound of the box fan in the window creates an eerie harmony with the screams coming from the one who hates my existence. I cry quietly, since responding to the violence invokes her wrath. I try to be still and accept the beating since any reaction to defend myself fuels her rage. She grabs my long hair and jerks my head back to the point I almost can’t stay conscious….finally the room goes black. The unconscious moments provide a temporary escape, but when I reveal my consciousness the abuse will reconvene. She continues the assault until she is spent and unable to continue. She stops suddenly with a deep sigh, almost as if she’s defeated. She leaves the room and I hear deep breathing from the next bedroom. I get dressed and make my way out to the back yard…still the deep, quiet sobs shake my seven year old frame uncontrollably. In our backyard, I lay down in the grass again, as I often do and look up at the sky, wiping away the tears with the back of my hand only to find blood trickling down my neck from my ear, not realizing my eardrum has been ruptured from the blows. I wipe away the blood, longing for kisses to take away the hurt.
Today, the blows were delivered because I was out playing and she lost track of me, at least that’s what I think it was. Often I had no idea why I was attacked, but today I was beaten because she was afraid I was in danger. The little girl I was didn’t know to ask why someone so concerned about my safety would harm me with such reckless abandon. In the future I would learn to be more careful. I did my best to leave and return home undetected; ideally when she was sleeping.
The fear subsides, sobs fade and my breathing steadies. My tears begin to dry on my little cheeks. “God, did you give me to the wrong mommy? I really like your sky today! I can’t wait to live up there with You and Jesus. God, can I have a mommy and daddy who loves me some day?” I go to sleep this night with the fear mama may decide to choose today to be the day she will take my life. I sleep with a Bible on my chest believing it will protect me like a shield. Days go by and mama stays in bed.
The cabinets and fridge are empty… except for mustard and some dry bread. All too often my days were spent searching for things for my little brother and me to eat, and many days were faced with no options. Mama warned me not to ask the neighbors for food or they will call social services and we will be separated and never see each other again. I couldn’t bear the thought of being separated from my family. My older brother and sisters have left home and now it is up to me to keep the peace at home and help mama with the little one. Betty the milk lady stops by with her weekly donation of milk. The gallon glass jugs are difficult to handle with my small hands, but I quickly learned to manage. The cream on the top fills our tummies and thanks to her kindness we aren’t as hungry and we drink our fill of milk for the next several days. I take solace in knowing with school beginning soon I will get to have breakfast and lunch most days and be able will to save some things to feed my little brother.
School begins and provides an escape… my teachers are all that is kind and good. My favorite teacher is Mrs. Genung. She greets me each morning with a warm hug, even though I had often gone days without a bath. She daily escorts me to a sink and helps me brush my teeth, wash my face and hands, and pulled my long hair back with a ribbon then tops it off with some good smelling lotion. I love her and secretly wish she was my mother.
School eventually becomes a burden… I begin to flunk out of almost every class. Years come and go and the fierceness in Mama’s anger for me grows as my small frame grows into the body of a woman. I am sexually abused by neighborhood men and shame builds its ugly wall. Mama begins to call in the elders from the local Pentecostal church to anoint me with oil and pray over me after her fit of rage, believing I am possessed… it will be years later that I praise God for allowing them to pray for me. The older sisters come home for a time and leave again… only trying to survive this life… older brother stays with absent father. I find a family in a group of adults who aspire to get high, cook crank and live off welfare. I get arrested at the age of eleven for possession.
I run for what seems like forever… I find my sister and she runs too. We are broke and I watch as my sister gives her body to feed us and at times is brutally raped by more than one to keep me from harm’s way, all the while the rapists threatens to kill us when they are done. Our days on the run bring brokenness that can’t be described… adding to the wall of shame. We return home. Mama calls the police and I’m immediately taken into custody.
The drive to the children’s home, a place I would call home for the next seven years is long… yet so beautiful. It takes me back to a place I hadn’t been in a really long time… to my conversations with God in my back yard after one of Mama’s raging storms. It’s June 9th, I’ve got on “Chick” jeans and a white T-shirt. This day is etched in my heart for a lifetime. We go into a small office; I meet my house mother, she seems kind and I’m not afraid. She take me in a truck for a short ride up the road to our house… where I meet the house dad and all of my new brothers and sisters… I’m 12 years old and the youngest girl. We go to a dining hall and eat with other families who I will get to know over the next few years… we have soup and grilled cheese, it’s Wednesday and we go to church. As I sit with my new family I wonder if I’m going to hell, I’m certain I am… I’ve been a horrible child and the church I went to with Mama said I am going to hell if I don’t follow their rules… nobody in this church is following their rules with all the short hair, pants and makeup on the women and girls….
We head back after church and go to the playground where I see a man on a horse and realize that maybe… just maybe God isn’t so mad at me after all… He gave me a mom, dad, brothers and sisters… AND horses! J I go to bed later this night feeling safe, with a sense of hope… I will wet the bed later in the week… and then never again, not ever… after wetting the bed every night for as long as I can remember.
I thrive through the years making good grades in school for the first time and being loved by amazing people who push me to work hard… however things happened to me at the hands of a few who were meant to protect me that would add to my wall of shame. It would be twenty years later that God would slowly and with the sweetest care begin to tear down this wall… one brick at a time.
I graduate from high school and head off to a Christian college, mostly because I have no other place to go. I don’t know what I will do for Christmas and with a few deliberate moves I am pregnant and married by Christmas.
There is much more to this story of a broken girl, with broken dreams, a broken heart and at many times a broken marriage. God blessed me with three beautiful daughters and countless others who would call me mom. Kent and I grow to love each other and eventually fall in love… it’s the most beautiful kind of love… grown in the fertile soil of God’s amazing Grace.
Kent has always called me his wildflower…He says “You bloom where you land”. In Psalm 30:10-12 NIV it says:
You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
LORD my God, I will praise you forever.
This is what that same passage says in The Message:
You did it: you changed wild lament
into whirling dance;
You ripped off my black mourning band
and decked me with wildflowers.
I’m about to burst with song;
I can’t keep quiet about you.
God, my God,
I can’t thank you enough.
This really isn’t “my story”, it’s “God’s story about me”!
I’m His forever grateful girl!