My name is Gloria. Born in 1952, I was the middle child of seventeen siblings. We grew up with a father and mother. My father died when I was nineteen.
Although my childhood seemed “normal” to me, I just did not know what I was missing. Growing up in such a large family, we were not hugged, kissed, or loved on. After seeing television programs showing loving all-American families, my understanding was that, “only white people get treated like that.” It is often amazing the way people come to think, solely because of the way they are raised; not to mention that, back then, we hardly ever saw black people on television.
I grew up just wanting to be loved. I learned to do good things in order to gain favor from my parents as well as other people in my life. With the way of thinking I had learned, I started believing that I had to make up and substitute somehow for not being pretty, for being poor, and whatever else I thought I lacked, in order to be loved. In my world, love seemed to be something earned or exchanged.
Yes, I needed to feel love, and I was deceived by a young man with his promise that I was loved. At the age of nineteen, I had a baby as a direct result of believing that somebody loved me.
It was upon my Dad’s passing that I started my drug use. I could not stand to be me because I was ashamed to show “me” out in the world.
After thirty-five years of abusing drugs, one form after another, I suffered a stroke at the age of fifty-one. It was then that I was introduced to my mentor’s best friend, Jesus. I was saved and I started attending Reformers Unanimous. I didn’t think I would ever be able to stop using drugs, until I met my Savior, Jesus. He showed me the way, the truth, and the life.
It was re-enforced in my spirit about the One called Jesus. I have been free these past three years, more than I’ve ever been. After so long in the world, it has been a process of sanctification; but believe it or not, I enjoy this process. For, to what else in my life can I compare it? There is nothing. Thank you, Jesus!!