NATIVE AMERICAN FAITH DIDN'T SATISFY
"All the nations you have made will come and worship before you Lord, they will bring glory to your name." ~Psalm 86:9
I’m an American Indian; I was not raised in a Christian home. My father, he thought he was doing the right thing by not letting us follow any specific religion. He wanted to let us grow up and choose whatever we wanted to follow. While I was growing up he was extremely strict and controlling. So at the age of eighteen, I got a job and moved out. I wanted to do things my way I wanted to make my own decisions right or wrong, I wanted to make them.
I just wanted to do things my way, and live life on my own
At the age of nineteen, I got married. I married the boy across the street. We got married at a chapel and l didn’t invite God to the wedding. He spent many times in affairs and was an alcoholic. I did a lot of praying back then but I didn’t know who I was praying to. I knew there was something bigger than me. I considered myself spiritual. At that time I had a job at the post office so I spent a lot of time drinking and getting high. At age 21 I divorced this man. By age 24 I was pregnant and unmarried, I couldn’t stop partying. I couldn’t stop partying even when I was pregnant. I miscarried twins at six months. At age 27 I was pregnant again and unmarried. I loved children and I had this mindset that I could do almost anything that a man could do. The only real thing I needed a man for was to have a baby. So I wanted this child and didn’t care if I had a husband. I was very strong-willed. So when I look back now I got exactly what I had spoken. So here I was in another relationship with an alcoholic. Drinking was more important than a relationship or family to him. Again I was back praying to something greater than me. I wanted a child so I told God that if he let me have this child I would stop getting high. At that time I was smoking probably twenty joints a day. God took that desire away from me and I carried my child for eight months. One night I went out with the father to the bar I took one drink, an orange juice and vodka. The next day I went into labor and delivered my son one month early. I thank God my child was fine even being born a month early. I let God down though, I didn’t keep my word. I didn’t know at the time I entered into a covenant agreement with God. He kept his part I didn’t keep mine. I raised my son by myself. Being an American Indian I began to seek out their religion and their beliefs. Since I was a teenager I had something inside me that wanted to find out who I was, why I’m here and was this all there was to life. There was an emptiness I was trying to fill. I used drugs, alcohol, and sex to try to fill it. I looked for love in bars to fill it, I couldn’t find it. So I continued my journey and decided to find out who I was an American Indian. I got heavily involved in Pow-Wow’s. I raised my son immersed in the culture and spiritual beliefs of American Indians. But something was still missing I was still looking for that love and acceptance of a family.
Mr. Right or Mr. Wrong?
I met a man from Cuba at a bar and we started dating. He loved kids, dogs and me. So I thought he was a gift from God and I thought we should get married this time and try to do it the right way. By this time I was 40 years old. My older sister had already become a Christian as did my younger sister. They both married Christian men they had children and carried on as a family and I wanted that. There were small signs in this man of jealousy, control, and periodic bursts of rage. But I thought he was a gift from God anyway so we got married. I thought God had given him to me and I thought I didn’t need God anymore. So I didn’t invite God to that marriage either. I thought I could make things work out on my own. So God didn’t bless either of my marriages. For a period of time I felt like I belonged, I felt like a family but it didn’t last long. The night of our wedding my now ex-husband got drunk out of his mind. The next day he told me I was going to have to put up with whatever he did, I told him, “Not in the United States!” So I ignored the small voice that was telling me prior to getting married and was warning me, trying to protect me. God speaks to all of us not just to the Christians he’s speaking to us every day trying to help us and protect us but are we willing to listen. In the back of my mind, I thought if it didn’t work out I’ll just get a divorce, I’ll just move on. So as time went on the bad days started outnumbering the good. My now ex-husband couldn’t go three days without drinking. He would drink a 1/5 of Bacardi in an hour and he would be drunk out of his mind but still functioning. I would have to deal with him for hours in this state. I would spend the next two and a half years being tormented by him while he was blacked out. When he was sober he would be kind. It was like living with a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and he was becoming more violent, even when he wasn’t drinking. He would stalk me, if he didn’t see my car at work he would come into workplace to see if I was there. He would spit on me and tell me what a shameful wife I was. He would accuse me of having affairs. I was doing a lot of praying, a lot of praying. Just praying “God, creator, I don’t know who I’m supposed to be praying to.” I was intensely calling on a God, creator something bigger than me. And I was praying that my husband doesn’t kill somebody when he was blacked out. If he wasn’t home when I went to bed I would sleep with the lights on and the cordless phone under my pillow. I had to see his eyes to know what I was going to have to deal with. So my whole life as I see now I was always teetering on the pit of hell. What I mean is that my whole life I would be out there in the world doing whatever I wanted to. Even though friends and other people I’m partying with would always go further but something always in me stopped and pulled me back. But this time something grabbed hold of me spiritually and just took me down to the pit of hell with him. I had no control over it. I couldn’t get away and I could see myself going down. Deeper and deeper into the pit of hell I could see no way out. I was fighting alcoholism, spousal abuse; I was fighting for my life. I used to be afraid of him but now I was starting to copy his behavior. He would say mean and cruel things to me, so I would say things that were crueler and meaner back to him. I got really good at cutting a person down with words. As time went on my anger my rage had taken over me. I would be nice one second in and the next I would be in a rage and I couldn’t control it until my rage had thought it had gotten revenge. So one day after I had gone into a rage and tried to run my ex-husband over with our truck. I thought, what has happened to me, this isn’t me, I used to be a nice person, now all I think about is death. I thought somebody was going to die but I thought I would probably kill him in defense on one of the nights he’s blacked out and tormenting me. So I often thought about what I’d hear on TV, it was temporary insanity I really understood what that was because I was out of control. I’d pray, “God, creator I don’t know who I am to be praying to I don’t know why I am going through this.” I was always having these conversations with this God this creator asking him, “There must be a reason why I’m here, I don’t know what for and I don’t know why.”
My near death experience came at the hands of my own husband!
On Oct. 26 of 1999 my husband at the time told me he hasn’t drunk in three days, and I told him that was good. I thought he’s trying. And he went off with his friends that day. Then I went to sleep with the lights on and the cordless phone under my pillow. So when he got home he came upstairs I could see he’d been drinking, he was trying to go to bed. But that was it, I said in my mind I’m going to make this the worst night of his life so he will never come home drunk again. So I spent the next two hours tormenting him, I wouldn’t let him sleep. He went downstairs to get away from me, so I went downstairs after him screaming and yelling at him. He went into the basement to get away from me. I got a spray bottle out full of water. I’d reach down into the basement and spray him in the face, just whatever I could do to torment him. I was yelling at him, “You make my life miserable I’m going to make your life miserable!” He stayed in the basement until he thought I’d gone asleep. I was waiting in the living room for him to come out of the basement. So when he came upstairs I was yelling at him again. Then he walked into the kitchen and was doing something, I was standing in the hallway yelling at him. Then he ran by me and poked me, I was still yelling at him, “What are you poking me for!” That’s when I could see the knife in his hand and it was bloody. I immediately dropped to the floor because he was running toward me to be less of a target. He jumped on top of me and stabbed me again in the stomach. I started screaming then he pinned me down he put his left hand in my mouth and his left leg on my right arm so I couldn’t move. All I could move was my left hand. So he rose up the knife and was going for my heart. So as he came down I grabbed the blade. Just as he was touching my chest I was able to pull it off. And then I just started fighting with all I could to pull that knife out of his hand and my hand was on the blade, it wasn’t on the handle. Then he raised the knife up again with my hand still on the blade and he was coming down for my heart again, it just touched my skin and I had enough strength to pull it off my chest. I wouldn’t let go of the blade I was watching my hand as I’m trying to rip that blade out of his hand. I was seeing my thumb get sawed off. I couldn’t get that knife out of his hand. So he raised it up again with my hand still on that blade he was coming down for my heart.
So I said in my mind, “God he’s much stronger than I am, if it’s not this time it will be the next so I decided I’m gonna let go I’m gonna let him kill me right now. So I let go of that blade thinking I’ll let you kill me know. But as he raised that knife up it was as if microseconds were going by. Then I heard this gentle voice say, “You will never have to deal with this again.” I felt something lift off my shoulders while I lay there on the floor. The next thing I saw was my husband at the time sitting eight to ten feet away on the floor with his right hand held up and he opened his hand and dropped the blade. I was lying on the floor thinking I can’t get you out of this mess. He said “Oh my God what have I done. Call the police.” I called the police, 911, he went to jail and I went to the hospital. And for the first time, I had peace. I was calm. The surgeon told me I might wake up with a colostomy bag. Then I asked her can you fix my thumb. She said she could. I know I was in God’s hands I had peace. No matter what the outcome was I knew his hand was on me. So after surgery, they woke me up. I felt both sides, there was no bag. I said thank you God and fell back asleep. When you get stabbed they actually can’t just close up the wounds they actually have to leave them open. Then what they did is cut my stomach open from the top to the bottom for exploratory surgery to see what actually was damaged. He did cut part of my liver but thank God there was nothing more serious. So when I got home I told God “I’m done, that’s it, I’d made a mess of my life. I’m not doing another thing, and if you want me to do something you’re gonna have to tell me or I’m not moving. I’m done.” I told the Lord, “I remember hearing your yoke is easy and your burden is light. I don’t really know what that means but I’m gonna trust you. What do you want me to do?” So he began to tell me, I heard his voice, I knew his voice, I had no question whether it was God, and I was at peace. I could hear what he had to say. I began doing what he told me to do. I had to be responsible for my behavior. I had to tell the truth about what happened and he told me to keep my eyes on Jesus and don’t look back.
God has been so good to me.
That night when I got stabbed nothing happened to me that night until I let go of that knife. I was struggling with all my strength but I couldn’t save my life. But the microsecond I let go and trusted God and he took over and he stepped in. I didn’t call on the creator that the Native American Indian culture follows. I called on God whose son is Jesus Christ who sent his only son to die on the cross of our sins. He was raised from the dead and sits at the right hand of God. Who is alive, Jesus is alive. So my night with the King I called on his name, God the king of kings and he heard me. I called on his name God, and he took this black sheep and made me white as snow. And then I called on his name God, the Father and the Bible in Luke 15 talks about the prodigal returning to the Father. And God the Father said to his servants bring out the best robe and put it on her and put a ring on her hand and sandals on her feet. Bring the fatted calf here to kill it for my daughter was dead and is alive again and she was lost and now is found. Now how was the King able to change these things in my life? First thing I surrendered I let go and let God. Nothing happened, until I let go. Second, not only did I hear Gods voice but I listened to what God was saying behind those words. I have worked with bosses who never let you talk. They can bark orders, but they don’t let you talk. When they finally let you talk it doesn’t mean they're listening. But once they listen, it's communication. It’s the same thing with God we not only hear his voice but we listen to it. We listen to what he’s saying. Then thirdly we obey what God is telling us and with a grateful heart. One day God spoke to me and he told me to take care of his children and I will take care of your children. It wasn’t if you take care of my children I’ll take care of yours. He said to take care of his children and I will take care of yours. So I could go forward, all of us can go forward and do what God has intended for us. He’s going to do the work in your family, your friends your loved ones he will be looking out for them as we go forward.
"All the nations you have made will come and worship before you Lord, they will bring glory to your name." ~Psalm 86:9