Lara is a busy mom, homeschooler, best-selling author, professional blogger, and supreme multi-tasker! She is honest and forthright in her writing, and shares her heart, struggles, joys, pains, and the many lessons she has learned on her journey-in a relatable way that pulls no punches.
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She is also the founder of several blogs, including the very popular: MomsofFaith.com
Besides all that, she is a chauffeur, friend, maid, chef, business owner, lover, confidant, mentor, teacher, seeker, nurse, boo-boo kisser, cat lover, coffee drinker, Starbucks follower, Mexican food addict, jean loving, sometimes loud mouth, opinionated, outspoken, web designer, iphone carrier, a teensy bit anal retentive, chocoholic, Survivor fan, Bible believing, animal lover, reptile and crawly things hating, speed walking, honest, working her way back to skinny jeans, and... One heck of a strong woman! (Among other things)
My Testimony: the short version...
To share my whole testimony would be like writing a book--which I actually plan to do. However, I thought it would be an encouragement to you for me to share a little of what made me--me!
Since I was born my life has been in turmoil. I suffered years of molestation that started in toddler-hood and went on through my pre-teens. The crimes of sexual abuse committed against me were by multiple strangers, and some of it by two people who were not strangers, and should have been safe. Some of the sexual abuse I endured was so sensitive that I blocked out up until my 20's.
I also grew up with an alcoholic father and a mother who was unable to be a proper mother and moved us around way too often. I was homeless many times as a child and lived in the car, missions and anywhere my mother could finagle. My entire childhood was spent not really knowing where my next bed would be, and never really building lasting friendships. There was a lot of pain and abuse. I was also tormented at school. I just never had an escape.
Puberty was even more fun. I lost my virginity to rape, was still in poverty, lived with several strange people, lived in a children's home for a bit, then met my husband.
We had a turbulent relationship from the beginning. There were parties, drugs, and lots of alcohol. I soon became addicted to drugs. Then came an unplanned pregnancy when I was 18. Of course, I kept the baby... I immediately stopped all drugs, alcohol, and even caffeine!
Had the baby...now my wonderful, beautiful, funny, strong, and fabulous teenage daughter.
We did not marry right away. When she was about 14 months, I started to watch Christian TV. You see, I went to church on and off as a kid and asked Jesus into my heart when I was 8. I always knew Jesus loved me...but I never really knew more than that. So, I wanted more than TV now...Rob and I started to go to church. We got married after 5 years together.
Things went good for a bit...then we began to have problems and eventually stopped going to church and separated. During our separation we agreed that we would remain faithful and try to work things out--from a distance. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned.
My husband had a relationship with another woman and was doing hard core drugs with her on a daily basis.
I was hanging out with a bad crowd and doing drugs frequently as well...all along wanting to have a happy life.
Somehow, after many twists and turns, we got back together after a year and a half apart.
We continued to do drugs. The woman he was involved with continued to call him for two years on and off....which did NOT do anything good for our marriage. We did drugs together now...again. We had a LOT to deal with. We wanted to break free. However, we had such a friendly dealer...he would front us our drugs each week and we would get further and further behind. We racked up credit card bills and wasted all our money on drugs.
After MUCH struggle, we eventually broke free...and things were good for a while...We started going to church and had our happy little church faces on. I was never really me...
Then, I suffered a miscarriage. I was devastated. A terrible sadness overcame me and I had to stifle it because as many would say; "at least you did not know...'it'..." Hmmm... No one really understands how a miscarriage feels unless they have been through it. No, I did not meet the child; however, he was a living being inside of me and loved for almost 4 months.
A couple years after my loss, in 2004, I was blessed with a beautiful daughter. She is a joy and much needed addition to our family.
As of today (early 2013), I can tell you that the road is still bumpy and filled with many twists and turns. I have many days that I want to cry the day away or walk out of my marriage and never look back. However, every time I let myself go there, the Lord reminds me of all the reasons I should not. He keeps me grounded through His Word and holds me tightly in His arms. I know that the legacy I leave my children will be a good one. I know that they will learn that marriage is hard work and not always filled with joy. They will learn that giving up is not an option and that all...yes ALL things work to the good for those who are called according to HIS purpose. (Romans 8:28)
"O God, listen to my cry! Hear my prayer! From the ends of the earth, I cry to You for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for You are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me. Let me live forever in Your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of Your wings!" - Psalm 61:1-4