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Warrior of Christ Leads a Broken Heart Home

Natasha always wanted to belong. The child of a bi-racial affair between two married people, Natasha was put up for adoption at seven months old. She recalls, “It was difficult being adopted and trying to channel all the emotions that I felt. My biological mother did not want to take care of me.  I think I was a reminder of her affair and she struggled with that, as well as my race. My white friends would tell me I acted too black and my black friends would tell me I acted too white, so it was really difficult trying to find my identity.”

Natasha’s identity issues and insecurities made her lash out at those around her. She says, “I did have a lot of anger issues and a lot of, you know, emotional problems, I guess you could say that I did take out on my adopted mother, I think, so she got the brunt of it for the most part.”  Natasha still craved approval, so she started having sex when she was just 12 years old. She recalls, “I didn't understand my body.  I didn't understand how to value it and want it meant and who I was.  So I started at a very young age and I was very promiscuous from that point forward. Every guy I would date I automatically had it in my mind that I had to do these things in order to stay with him.”

She drifted from relationship to relationship, looking for fulfillment. She says, “I really felt that I didn't have any purpose.  I wasn't sure of what goals to even set, if I did have any. I just kind of felt lost and alone and I wasn't sure what I was on this earth for.” Then she got pregnant at 15 by her 19-year-old boyfriend. She recalls, “I felt completely numb being pregnant at 15.  I was just numb to it. And, as the pregnancy progressed I did feel like being a mother would become my identity and I would finally find myself in that.”  

But half way through her pregnancy her baby’s father was shot and killed. Natasha was lost again, and slipped into a deep depression. She recalls, Suddenly everything was stripped away, my world was turned upside down and I realized that I wasn't in control of anything.  Because I think I believed the illusion that everything was in my control and that no matter what came at me, everything was going to be okay.”

Her adoptive mother helped Natasha through the depression of losing her baby’s father and the two became close. After her son was born, Natasha tried to make motherhood her purpose. She returned to finish high school and then started community college. But she still felt incomplete. She says, “Even though I felt like I was coming into my identity as a mother, I was still empty inside.  I still felt like I was missing something greater, something bigger.  And I couldn't figure it out. You know, doing what I was supposed to do.  But I would feel like a zombie.  There was no life inside of me.  I didn't have life.  I just went along with what I thought I was supposed to do and I was trying to be the kind of mother I thought I was supposed to be.”

During her second year of college Natasha noticed something different about one of her professors. She recalls, “There was something about him that was intriguing me. And just the way he conducted himself.  It was the little things. And I've never been around anybody like that.” One day, at the end of the semester, she asked him about it. She said, “And his reply was ‘I'm a Warrior of Jesus Christ’. He never mentioned Jesus' name in class.  Never said anything like that, but the presence was so strong that could still feel it and I still knew.”  

They talked for a while and the professor invited her to church. She recalls, “I've never been to church besides for Christmas and Easter; you know, not even every Christmas and Easter. I have always felt drawn to the spiritual world, but I would look to fill that void in things like a Ouija Board or hang out with my friends in the cemetery.  I just had that hunger for something deeper.”

At church Natasha felt God’s love and she knew she found what was missing from her life. She recalls, “There was something, a chord that was struck in me where I knew that this stuff was real and something in me just lit up and went crazy. When I got home from church I prayed. I went to my bedroom, closed the door and prayed on my knees and said, ‘Jesus, please come into my heart.’  And instantly it was like a light bulb came on. That's what it felt like.  I’m finally home and God just became my father and there was this beautiful connection that was so deep it was indescribable. I saw myself as having an identity in him now.  It wasn't just up to me and who I saw in the mirror.  It was about so much more. He looked at me and he saw a beautiful daughter of his that could change the world with his help and as he worked through me.  And I saw myself of great value, you know?  I wasn't just this little bi-racial girl that was swayed to-and-from, adopted and unwanted; I became this powerful woman and He just overtook my heart in everything”

The first thing she did was buy a Bible. She would read it constantly. She recalls, “I just was completely soaking up all the truth I could. I just loved that thing.  And I didn't even understand it, but I knew I was meant to be reading it.” Today she is happily married to a pastor and they are planting a church outside of Pittsburgh. She identifies as a child of God, unconditionally loved and forgiven. She says, “Looking back on my life I see Him everywhere. His fingerprints were everywhere the whole time which really helps me wrap my mind around His love too, that even though I felt alone, even though there's been times where I had suicidal thoughts, all those different things, He was there, every moment of it He was there. To sit here and see the big picture of what He's done since the moment I was adopted up until now, and the people He's brought in and out of my life and everything is just…I don't know. You just really wrap your mind around how good He is and how much you really don't deserve any of it.” 

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