We all have our stories; those stories make us who we are. Our stories set us free.
Life happens, and life changes us.
I’ve been asked so many times where I find my happiness and peace. I don’t believe in religion, but my happiness and peace comes from Jesus.
I was raised in a Baptist church, and my Daddy was a Deacon and Sunday School teacher. He and my Momma sang in the choir. I was taught about Jesus ever since I can remember. I’ve been through some horrific events in my life, from being abused as a young girl by an extended male family member - and more recently, members of my family turning against me and losing my Momma, Daddy, and my granddaughter Katelyn all three within two years - and as I look back, even though I couldn't always see or feel him, Jesus was always there “like a blessing buried in the broken pieces" and my husband of 41 years, Bob, has also been the most amazing support. Without my faith and my relationship, I wouldn't be here today.
The abuse I endured was horrendous, and for so long, I thought it was my fault. It was NOT. I’m not ashamed. I’m a survivor; an overcomer.
I struggled with anxiety and depression for many years, and have been at the very dark place of attempting suicide twice. Thankfully, Bob saved me both times. Both times he said, “Not today Brenda, not today.” He’s the absolute love of my life, and has never left my side. He’s always believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. He also got me the help I so desperately needed. I simply cannot imagine my life without him.
At a very young age, I became pregnant, and was taken to have an abortion. I was so young and very scared. Unfortunately, there were complications and because of them, I was told by two doctors I wouldn’t be able to ever carry children. Bob and I prayed so hard and a miracle happened: we had Tiffany, our miracle baby girl.
Over the years, I’ve shared my story several times and every time I share, it has helped many deal with their story. I will continue to share. My heart is full.
While we cannot always control what happens to us, we can always control how we respond.
It is our choice.
I learned to choose happy.
Forgive, but don’t ever forget.
Be the light for all. Let your light shine.
Be kind. Be a blessing.
Make others happy, and you will in turn be happy.
I’m so proud of where and who I am today.
I love, love myself, and promise to do so always.
There are many proud moments in my life as well: being married to Bob for 41 years, losing 148 pounds and keeping it off without the assistance of medication or surgery, obtaining my Associate of Arts in Business Management Degree, and starting a brand new career in IT last year at the age of 62.
I love, choose and remember myself and my new Self Love Pinky Ring is now my daily reminder to do so.
- Brenda Willis from Texas
To connect with Victoria reach out to her on Instagram @friscojeepgirl_sunset