My name is Beverly Joseph. I'm 35 years old and originally from Atlantic
City, New Jersey - living in Nashville, TN today. I am divorced after 16
years and the mother of a 13-year-old son.
As a child, my home life was dysfunctional, scary, abusive and violent. I
was sexually, physically, verbally and emotionally abused from the ages of 5
to 13. Being the minority in the neighborhood, I had to learn to protect our
family pride and myself. I attended a parochial school where I was put down
and judged harshly by the authorities, my peers and their parents due to
living in the projects and my father's alcoholism. I never felt a part of
anything or had a sense of belonging. We all come from a past that is not
always one to be proud of and many times things happen to us in our childhood
that affects our destiny, self-image and reasoning.
This depraved world, filled with brutalizing debris of sin, poor choices,
broken-hearts filled with empty dreams and countless evil practices so
blatant has a devastating impact on all of humanity, beginning in a child's
mind. I learned how to survive my childhood, which only later followed into
my adult life by hanging on to a delusion that consumed my mind of how I
hoped my life could be. This surviving mode kept me victimized and
handicapped to a self-destruction mission. The lack of a healthy touch,
correction and love malnourished the reality of a "normal life" and created a
unique design of emptiness caught in the depths of frozen tears.
Fears of every kind set in causing me to make poor choices in hope of
covering up the agonizing pain taking place within my soul. This left me to
face consequences and responsibilities far beyond my reach. At age eleven, I
began using drugs (marijuana); it was the beginning of a twenty-year
addiction. At age sixteen, I married a man different from everything I knew
a man to be, yet never feeling deserving of his compassion or worthy of his
love. Anything good could never penetrate my being.
Before I knew it, all my "nevers" became a reality. I never thought he would
hurt me; I lost my sense of self-worth, self-confidence, integrity, family
and home. I was trying to get my needs met in people, places and things of
this world, only to come up short, disappointed and frustrated. I was
labeled a "garbage-head junkie", doing whatever it took to support my $300 to
$1000 a day heroin/cocaine habit; needles became my best friend.
Hoping for a change, I made institutions, psyche offices, medications and
rehab attempts part of my life. Eventually, due to the many consequences
caused by my addiction and soul sickness, I was facing thirteen years in
prison. Exhaustion beat up my every hope of change and left my determination
and will to survive weakened.
My life was entangled with sin and the vicious cycle of hopelessness had me
convinced there was no way out. I tried everything in my strength to bring
about this change that was so greatly needed but to no avail. Guilt and
shame overwhelmed my thoughts and lead me to my final suicide attempt. I was
in a coma with my last rights read. My family was told that IF I came out of
the coma, there was a good chance I would be brain dead and living on
machines for the rest of my life. They thought my bodily functions would be
shot due to the intensive dialysis treatment they performed to help rid my
body of poisons. There was also a strong possibility that I would lose my
right foot and left arm.
Today, four years later, and an intimate personal relationship with the Lord
Jesus Christ, (not religion), by the Grace of God, I am no longer a prisoner
of my past, with living "just for today" and loving Life. What the world
intended for harm, our Loving Father uses to Glorify His Name. I go wherever
He sends me to share the Good News of how my life turned from rags to riches.
For who the Son sets free, is free indeed.
Life is a journey under constant construction that offers us a free will. We
must make daily choices that will encourage us to keep on pressing on, to
fight the good fight. Believe me when I say, those who have been forgiven
much, loves much; and that is why my heart is filled with unspeakable
gratitude and compassion to share courage, strength and hope using my past
personal and professional experience and training to bring healing to hurting
and broken souls. I have not gold or silver, but what I have I give.
Beverly Ann Joseph