*I will tell you that her story is rather long, but it is SO worth the time!! So please take the time to read it! :) *
Hello, my name is Lindsey Brechin and I am a Christian. I grew up in Shelby County, with a Baptist Mother and a Methodist Father. I was taught his word at a young age, the Southern Gospels songs by my mother's parents and I was encouraged by my family to keep on the right track. At a young age, my mother went to working night shift at Shelby Baptist Hospital and my father was driving a eighteen wheeler cross country. I had no way to church and only went maybe a few times a year, but I knew who the Lord was just by hearing it in my past. I returned to my church full in fifth grade, going almost every Sunday with my Aunt Sam and her son Clint and having a wonderful time. I remember one time their was just myself and our sunday school teacher. We had so much fun that day, learning about the Lord and playing a game.
When I entered Middle School, I began going to Wednesday Night Church with my cousin, sometimes getting right out of school and heading right to the church. I would do my homework in the lounge area, watching TV with my cousin and sometimes taking a nap until 6PM, when it was time to go upstairs. Andy Shelton came to our church my seventh grade year and became our youth director. He is a awesome preacher and I learned a lot in those years.
However, everyone has a rock bottom and mine came November of my 8th Grade Year. I remember the day pretty well and I honestly did not understand right off bat. I was outside with my Uncle Kenny, shooting the bow, learning and having fun. My mother's truck pulled into the driveway... She was home way TOO early and I looked at her and asked if she would come outside and watch me shoot before it got to late. She said maybe and I just waited. After going inside my mother and father set myself and my brother down and told us what had happened. My mother had taken some of my father's medicine and they had done a drug test at work... She was on Leave, without pay and we were already struggling to make it. I, at the time, had faith, but I still did not take everything to God. I watched as my mother got worse, taking more pills because of depression and sometimes... Sleeping all day. She told use years later that she had once taken ten sleeping pills and father had woken her up... If he had not, she would of never woken up.
The Alabama Nursing Board finally told her to come to Montgomery and told her that her nursing license was pulled... Until she went to rehab. She saw no hope, was drinking and crying. She took medicine and nearly fell asleep for good, until I came in to ask her a question. I had seen her shape and looked at her for the first time with open eyes. My aunt spoke to my mother later that day and told her that she wanted me to go on a Chrysalis Flight, a three day Youth retreat at a camp where I would see the Love of Jesus Christ and his father, our Lord God. I wanted to go, knew it would give me a chance to see what I was missing. I was fourteen, even though they wanted fifteen or older, they allowed me because I was mature in the eyes of my aunt and I would be fifteen in December and it was July.
I went on this Flight, met girls that I fell in love with and they became my sisters. For three days, people cried and I set there, my heart still hard, even though I took things in. I never allow myself to cry, always thought of it as weak. Sunday, I went into the conference room and received some letters that I did not know I had. Everyone had twelve letters and as I opened the first, I saw half the card on the front was blue, checkered colors on the bottom half, a white bear holding a small flower in the middle and the words on the front read... "This is more then just a card..." I opened it and the second part of the card was "It's a hug with a fold in the middle." Another note was below that, hand written... "Thanks for what you have done for me. - Mary Kay." I broke down in tears, the first shed the whole weekend. The spiritual Director, Rev. Molly Clark saw this and came to me. "Honey, is everything okay? I see a lot of tears." I told her things were fine, just not expecting this from my cousin.
You see, I had always been close to my cousin Mary Kay, but after my mother got bad, she seemed to distance herself and I thought she did not even like me. I had always been called, Little Mary Kay, Mary Kay Jr., or just Mary Kay, because I looked just like her and ascted the same. She had helped raised me, but now, it seems we are just passing each other by.
Anyway, back to my testimony, I cried for the whole time I read my letters, seeing them from everyone I knew. I told the Clergy of everything that was going on in my life and I quit crying finally. However, when we went into the main building, I set on the front row, thinking that it was just going to be another devotion, however, they opened the dividing wall and I saw many people before me, standing and holding the hand sign for "I Love You" I held by my tears, choking on my own tears until I tried to sing with everyone. My table leader was sitting next to me and as I broke down and began to cry, she wrapped me in a hug and said, "I Love You Lindsey and so do they." I had seen God's love for the first time in a very long time. My sister, Danielle Warren, a girl I had never met until that weekend and also a cousin by marriage... Kind of... Her great Uncle married my great Aunt, so yea... Anyway, I looked at her, she took my hand and gave me support. I had so many sisters and as we departed I cried.
After my return home I started getting ready for school to begin and mother began getting ready for Rehab. I was also doing Band and as the first day of school started, her first day of rehab started. I felt stress come down on me, I could not handle anything, could not concentrate and quit band. My Aunt Sam was worried and had me speak to the school counselor, who became a HUGE person in my life. The day I quit band and told my father, I remember getting cursed at because I had not talk to mom or him about it, I remember being called a quiter and failure. I remember the rain pouring down outside and going out to the back pasture and wrapping my arms around a chestnut mare that I called Golden, but her name was Harmony. I prayed to God, soaked in the rain, muddy from sitting on the ground. My faith was high now, that low point was gone, but I had three weeks without my mother and I did not know what to do... I was scared. I stayed with my Uncle Kenny and Aunt Ellen while my brother went to my Aunt Sams.
I went on Sundays and saw my mother, we went to a small park to talk and I asked her to go on a Woman Emmaus Walk, which is the Adult version of the Chrysalis Flight. She accepted and when she got out of rehab she thought more about it. In Novemember, she went on her walk, one year after being put on leave. She had been told by the hospital months before that if she went to rehab she would be allowed back, but when she came back, they denied her and told her they did not want her. She did not loss hope, she went to work at a Weight Loss clinic, saw that she liked it more and became Office Manager. She went on her Walk and became very close to God. I remember my Brother in Christ sitting with me, trying not to cry because I was crying when my mother looked at me.
However, I was about to get into a relationship that I would never forgive myself for. On December 18th, 2006, 7 days after my 15th Birthday I went with my aunt out to a Painting Studio. I was not feeling good that day, but this was her present to me and we had to stop by Goodie on 280 to swap jeans. As I waited in one line, it was closed and I had to go to another line. I met a young man, my cashier. He spoke with me, and I found out he was a senior at Chelsea. I was a freshman at Shelby County... I left knowing I would never see him again and as I waited for my Aunt, she handed me a piece of paper, holding a 7 digit number. I was caught by surprise and for two days debated about calling. On December 20th, while at church, I gave the guy a call, hoping to have him join me at church. He was at work, but that night he called and we talked til 1am about nothing, just twenty questions. The sunday before Christmas, he invited me to his church to hear him sing and then on the 30th, he came over and asked permission from my mother to date me and then on the 31st, official asked me out at 12AM on January 1st.
His story was about his past, that his father had been on Flight 93 and his mother had killed herself and he had found her body. I believed his words, even the words that he had a uncle who was trying to keep all his inheritance, which was not much in the first place. I did not doubt him, I did not listen to the voice of God telling me to look to him and not to a boy I put my faith in. He was older, I knew he knew what he was doing, I was young, stupid, and in need of a hand to the back of the head... God made that happen.
As school ended, he left his adoption family's home and began living out of his car. Mother saw this and invited him to live in our home for a few weeks to give him time to find a apartment. I did not feel comfortable with it and broke off our relationship, giving back the promise ring he had given me. I told him that we might get back together, but it would be after he left. I went on vacation and got harrassed during the first two days by him calling and leaving rude messages. I remember telling him to leave me alone and then finally, quit talking to him until I got home. It was only three days later that we were swimming and my cousin Clint came over and he came out to us and asked Clint if he wanted a girl friend, said he knew someone. My brother was being a normal bug and he was cursed by my ex. My other cousin, Kim, did not like this. She had been a Shelby County Correction Officers years before and she stood and told him that if he cused my brother out again, they would have problems. She was very calm, just stating she did not want us cursed. He jumped at her, told her to leave him alone and got in her face. Kim went to my home and told my mother to get him out. I was not there at all. He left and the words left his mouth. "If she comes near my car, I will shoot her." My heart stopped and I looked at him.
My cousins friend, Twyla took me around in the back yard and made me listen. "Lindsey, he told use many things... He said y'all were back together, that yall had had sex before... Is this true?" None of it was true and I was furious about the lies. I felt myself being attacked by the devil, by this boy... He apolgized days later, however, his attacks were not done. I found out that he had been planning on rapping me, that a old friend had heard from him and he called me to warn me. I also found that his parents were alive, that his father was trying everything to help his son and that his mother was a drug addict. He knew I knew this, so he made different plans, he began telling people that I was a 'slut', excuse my language, that I had slept with him and many. I felt so attacked, my faith was going back quickly. I prayed to God that something would happen, that this would end... And it did.
The boy was sent to Jail because of Sodomy and then again later on for something I am unsure of. God was punishing the boy and I never heard from him again. I prayed that he would find the Lord again, to help him... I can only pray that he does this and changes his ways.
During the rest of my tenth grade year, I went out with another older guy named Brad, a family friend who was 19 years old. We lasted for only a short while and I knew it would not last, for he was not Christian. I went out with another young man named Josh who just ended up being a good friend and then April 2008 came.
In 2007, my friend, Ben Nafe had told me about someone who needed a friend. I thought he was speaking about a person who needed help, however, I was wrong. He sent me a message on Myspace and a friends request and we spoke for only a short while before we lost contact. In April 2008, I sent him a message... 'Hey, it's been a while.' He had never seen me in person and I have never seen him either in person. 'Yes, it has been a while and I heard you were single?' I laughed 'Let me guess... Ben told you.' I waited 'No, your statue.' I laughed again, remembering I had placed that as my statue. 'Yea, I am... Why?' I was couious. 'Well, we could change that?' I was surprised. 'I don't date people I have not met.' Rejection on him.
I will not try and find all the e-mails, but as it goes on, we made plans to met on June 2, 2008 and on that day... It happened. He drove up in a gray truck, small in my opinion and he stepped out. James David Richardson... As soon as I saw him, I smiled, falling for him the instant we met. He had come to met me and my family and spend the whole day with me. At 4 that afternoon, he asked if I would date him and I smiled and agreed. Two months on computer messages and phone conversations had brought us together. We dated through the summer and then through my 11th Grade Year.
The Chrysalis Community that I am with had the first flight since 2006 in 2009 and I worked the flight and saw God work in many ways. James and I had a rough spot here, mostly from the fact we could not talk and such. We made it through our year mark and to this day... We are still dating.
Now, I am in a new Bible Study on Wednesday in Shelby, Alabama. I left my church youth group to join this in depth bible study, I have joined the National Guard and I leave for Basic Training on July 13, 2010, I graduate on May 27th 2010, and then I will be back from Training in December. The Lord has gotten me through many rough times and for this I knew my faith is strong. I know I still have a far way to go, but I know that I am in Love with a wonderful and loving Man and I see him everyday in the faces of others, in the nature around me, and in the Love that I see from friends and family. I know the Lord has many plans for me and I hope that my testimony helps everyone and anyone.
May the Lord bless you in the days ahead and in your Life, for I know he has blessed me. Fly in Christ!
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