The real story.
Not what everybody thought was going on. Not what everybody saw by my fake smiles, and bright attitude. This is the story of everything that was really happening behind the closed doors of my life.
It started with a door knob. So simple, and insignificant. That door knob changed my life forever. I walked into that room, 16 years old, only to find my entire room thrown upside down, my cell phone broken, and my mother screaming for me to leave, and a broken door knob. She had found my cigarettes. I freaked out about the door knob and it turned into a huge fight. Sound a little stupid? This was the hundredth time it had happened, and finally, the last. I packed my things, bid my farewells, and left.
Besides, I was dating the guy of my dreams. “He would take care of me.”
18 months later, he left me with 11 boxes of my things, and a note on a napkin that said “sorry”. With him, every friend that I thought I had, left as well. For three months, with three jobs, I would wake up, re-pack, and call every number in my contact list for a place to stay the next night. I even remember staying with a random guy I met while I was walking home from work. I remember being high on cough syrup and bars, walking to my parent’s house at 4 in the morning to ask to move back in, changing my mind, and turning back around only to get pulled over by a cop, and going to jail because I had nowhere to stay, only to get bailed out by my 45 year old neighbor, and staying with him for the next week. Eventually, I was living with my manager at one of my jobs. He had a mattress on the floor at his brother’s house, so I slept with him. As things got more and more desperate. I quit going to school, and moved to new directions. It was 8-12 so I could work the rest of the day. I wanted a new start.
I went to a party my friend threw me as a celebration of me trying to get back on my feet. That’s when I met my son’s father. I literally conceived 3 days after I moved in with him. Classy right? All I could think to myself was, “Right when I’m trying to get on my feet, this happens. What am I supposed to do with a baby? I can’t even take care of myself.”
At first he was as supportive as he could get. Emotionally. Not physically. He lost his job RIGHT after I moved in and it seemed hard to find something and keep it. I found Embrace Grace through my school counselor. I told her I was pregnant, and it was one of the first things she told me about. I was excited, and scared. I couldn’t wait to meet others in my situation, but how many would know me? How many would think “God, I just saw her partying a month ago.”
I’ll never forget one of the last sentences Amy said to me when we got off the phone. “Don’t worry about anything. You’ll get everything you need.” When I hung up the phone, I cried for hours. Tears of fear, and excitement, and hope. The classes ended up being amazing. I felt loved, and understood. It was always the highlight of my week.
For the first 5 months of my pregnancy, my son’s dad was amazing. He was so there. Ready for anything. Still unemployed… but ready for anything. I needed that hope, and he was there to give it to me. He even went to church with me, and the classes for single dads but then things got worse over the last few months of my pregnancy. Things got stressful, and the arguing got worse. I remember the fights getting so bad.
He started drinking more, and more. We would argue all the way to church, then act like the perfect couple for those two hours, then argue all the way back and start all over again. As we distanced farther and farther apart, my heart broke even more. But the heartache of our relationship breaking apart, fueled me even more to be a good mom and pushed me into a closer relationship with God. I even started my own business chained to my mother’s. I loved the opportunity, because I would own my business, and all hours would be up to me, so it would work with having a baby to take care off. After my son was born, he would stay home and take care of him, while I worked all day but soon I knew God was leading me to break ties because of different reason. It’s so hard to break routine and patterns and breaking out of the cycles your used to, but when you have faith and just trust God, everything just falls into place.
Finally, the day of the baby shower came.
I felt like I had been waiting for EVER! I was so excited. I had already gotten almost everything I needed from Embrace Grace, and I couldn’t imagine getting more.
We had filled out a sheet with 3 items we could think of that we needed for the baby. (At the time I could think of a thousand, but I knew they would come.)
I expected that when we got to the shower, we would get those three items and maybe a case of diapers. Which I was excited about!
I walked through the doors of the event, and everything was BEAUTIFUL. The decorations, the food, it all looked amazing. As I walked further into the room, I noticed there were long tables FULL of presents… and I remember thinking “Are they assigning three girls to a table?”
I walked over to one and noticed that there was ONE name tag on EACH table. I FREAKED OUT. I started tearing up immediately. When it was time to open the presents, the woman that was in charge of the group that bought my presents came and sat next to me. I didn’t know who she was at first, but as soon as she told me, I wanted to hug her and just cry. It was so emotional.
Every wrapper, and piece of tape, and every picture taken, I got more and more hope that everything would be okay. I will never forget that day. I’ll never forget the moment of peace I felt, knowing that I had a HUGE group of people behind me for support. Whether my fiancé and I worked out or not, everything would be okay.
Embrace Grace changed my life, and left a touch stone on my heart that is unforgettable.
It has been about 10 months now, and many things have happened since that day. Here’s a big one in a nutshell…
When my son was 3 months old, I found out my fiance had been living a completely different life behind my back. My child got hurt in the process and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever been through in my life. It wasn’t about me anymore. It was about my son. I had to break free, no matter how hard it was.
So it is July 5th of 2013. It has been 7 months since the day I became a single mom. I am a mother of a beautiful 10 month old boy. I have experienced my life flipping upside down, a cancer scare, and at times it felt like hope was lost … but something kept me going. That little glimmer that maybe there is more for me in this life. Maybe God really has a plan for my life that is good and BIG. He has a destiny that is just for me and my son.
Now, I am a business owner, a diplomat for the Northeast Tarrant Chamber of Commerce, a board member of a special needs organization, and a single mom. I am HAPPY. I have my ups and downs, but I have finally found a balance in my life. My son is the best thing that has ever happened to me, and I will never forget what Embrace Grace has done for my life.
Embrace Grace was the beginning of a better future for me and my son. It will always have a special place in my heart. I love you all so much for being my rock, when I didn’t have one. I hope that someday, I can use the gifts God has given me to bless others the way that you all have blessed me. Thank you so much for everything. I’m so glad to have support walking out this season of my life.
Love, Sterling and baby Chantzton