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No Longer Controlled by Hurt

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Caleb Wood - 700 Club Producer

“I knew something was wrong,” said Yvonnya. “(But) I didn't want my mom to think it was something that I was doing, that I did to bring this on to myself. So I just kept it bottled up.”

Yvonnya was only 11 years old when she was molested by a family friend. Though she had a loving, single mother, Yvonnya felt no one, not even her mom, would believe her…

“I kind of put a wall up. I was angry,” she admitted. “I was wondering why me? Why this had to happen to me. I was hurt. I was really, really hurt.”

Yvonnya became an isolated, distrustful young girl. Then at 14 she found someone she thought she could give her trust, and her heart to.

“I got pregnant at 14. And I just fell for him. The lies that he told.” Yvonnya continued, “that he loved me and we would be together forever. And I felt wanted. Come to find out, he had another girlfriend. She was pregnant too. And after that, that totally shut it down for me loving men.”

Now a teenaged, unwed mother, Yvonnya decided to live life on her own terms. She dropped out of high school, finding her belonging and thrills trafficking drugs in Portsmouth, Virginia.

“I was called Gangsta B. cause I used to tote guns,” she said proudly. “I was just like the guys on the street. I didn't care. I would keep my 9 mm. I did it all.”

She also used men to get what she wanted – money, protection and drugs.

“If I slept with someone, it was not for love, it was what I could get and keep going,” she said plainly. “It was no different than how they hurt me, how they used me. I didn't care who I hurt, because I was hurt myself. The wall went up even further.”

That hurt pushed her further into drug addiction and isolation. By the early 90s, she was living in the projects trying to raise four children from different fathers.

“I knew my children deserved better. I would look at them sometimes when they were sleeping and be like, ‘I got to get it together. They don't deserve this. They really don't deserve this,’” Yvonnya said through tears.

Eventually Yvonnya left her children in her mother’s care. Meanwhile, she would spend the next 10 plus years selling and using drugs, her only break coming from stints in jail or prison.

She didn’t know how much longer she could go on.

“At the end of the day, and I looked in the mirror, I hated me. I hated me,” Yvonnya said. “I hated the way I looked. I hated everything about me. And every time I got like that, I would put a needle in my arm.”

It wasn’t until early 2010 with the death of her uncle, that the now 37-year-old Yvonnya really stopped to consider the life she was living.

“I'm looking at him. And I'm like, ‘Dang, I'm right here before death,’” she said shakily. “‘Yvonnya, get your life together or they'll be coming to see you. They'll be planning your funeral." And I'm like, ‘I don't want to die, though. I'm young. I still have a lot of life to live.’ I said, ‘I need some help.’”

The next week, ‘help’ would come in the form of a woman from Yvonnya’s past. She had been a junkie like herself – but now she was different.

“I didn't see a junkie. I didn't see her dark skin anymore. I didn't see the bags under her eyes. She had been somewhere,” Yvonnya said curiously. “And she (the woman) began to tell me that she asked Jesus Christ to come into her heart and to change her and to help her to get off the drugs. And I'm like, ‘He did all that for you?’ She told me, ‘He can do it for you.’

Her friend invited her to Victory Gospel Chapel in Portsmouth, Virginia.

After over 20 years of pain and addiction, she walked through the doors into kind, loving arms, and a new beginning.

“And they prayed for me. They led me through the repentance prayer. (And) I accepted Jesus Christ, and my life began to change.” Yvonnya continued, “It was scary because that wall had been up for so many years. But all I knew to do was to trust Him, trust Jesus. He told me ‘He wouldn't hurt me. He's going to be with me every step of the way.’ Now, I'm letting everything down- trusting.”

And with that trust came the love of a Father, and healing.

“It was just a sigh of relief,” Yvonnya remembers, “like some things had been taken off from me. I felt peace. I felt a peace that I had been searching for, for about 20 years of my life.”

Yvonnya would stay at the Chapel’s in-house program, overcome her addictions, and start life anew. Today she partners with them to bring that same hope to others. She’s happily married, and reconnected with her family, and thanks God daily for her testimony.

“It's (life’s) about leading people to Jesus and letting them know don't let that pain dictate to you who you are,” she said with a smile. “The Holy Spirit strengthens me and He'll do the same for you.”

For more information on Yvonnya, the ministry she’s a part of, or to check out her book, see the links below!

Ministry Website - victorygcwoodbridge.org

Facebook - www.facebook.com/www.victorygcwoodbridge.org

Contact for book inquiries: dontbediscourage@gmail.com

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