Excerpt for You Are Worthy Too: The Proof is in the Pudding by , available in its entirety at Smashwords





You Are Worthy Too

The Proof is in the Pudding:

The complete first 3 volumes of my true life story

By Wendy Glidden

Copyright 2014 Wendy Glidden

Table of Contents

Dear Reader

My 4th Dear Reader letter

5

Volume I

You are Worthy Too: In the Beginning

6

Dear Reader

My 1st Dear Reader letter ever written

7

Chapter 1

In the Beginning

9

Chapter 2

I Will Never! Me & My Oh So Righteous Self

11

Chapter 3

How I Learned About God

14

Chapter 4

The Boy & My Plan to Outwit God

19

Chapter 5

Face to Face with an Angel

22

Chapter 6

If You Love Someone You Must be Willing to Let Them Go

26

Chapter 7

Grounded for Losing My Virginity

31

Chapter 8

Too Angry to Process the Assault with Love

39

Chapter 9

Taking Control of My Destiny

43

Chapter 10

In Defense of My Step Mother

52

Chapter 11

My Scarlet Letter

56

Chapter 12

A Shotgun Wedding

65

Volume II

Marriage, Motherhood and My Moral Meltdown

78

Dear Reader

My 2nd Dear Reader letter

79

Vol II: Chapter 1

How I Became a High School Drop Out

81

Vol II: Chapter 2

In the Nick of Time

88

Vol II: Chapter 3

How I Ended up Pregnant with My Second Child

95

Vol II: Chapter 4

It’s a Boy!

101

Vol II: Chapter 5

Staring Down the Barrel of a Shotgun

106

Vol II: Chapter 6

How I became a Single Mother

110

Vol II: Chapter 7

I’m Learning to be the Light

116

Vol II: Chapter 8

The Only Baby I Ever Planned

121

Vol II: Chapter 9

Saying Goodbye to Amanda Rose

124

Vol II: Chapter 10

The Aftermath

128

Vol II: Chapter 11

Back Flash: Why I Believe Bruce Left Me

133

Vol II: Chapter 12

Revenge is Not Sweet

138

Volume III

Angels, Answers, Signs and Wonders

142

Dear Reader

My 3rd Dear Reader letter

143

Vol III: Chapter 1

Transported

149

Vol III: Chapter 2

Knowledge Bestowed Upon Me in College

156

Vol III: Chapter 3

How Delightful Delilah Came to Be

164

Vol III: Chapter 4

On My Knees

173

Vol III: Chapter 5

Saved by an Army of Angels

180

Vol III: Chapter 6

Awoken by an Answer to a Prayer

189

Vol III: Chapter 7

Show Me a Sign

193

Vol III: Chapter 8

Give it to God and Let it Go

199

Vol III: Chapter 9

How I Found Moody Radio

204

Vol III: Chapter 10

How I Found Our Home

212

Vol III: Chapter 11

Amazing Grace

218

Vol III: Chapter 12

The Moment I Knew I was Saved

224

Bonus # 1

The Power of Prayer

233

Bonus # 2

The Essence of Faith

246

Connect w/Author


251

Acknowledgements


252



Dear Reader,

First I want to take this opportunity to thank you for purchasing my book! This is the complete collection of all the true life stories that I previously published in 2014.

This book takes you from the beginning of my story, through my first 22 years of life and ends with 12 true life stories that have taken place over the course of my last 20 years! I have also included two bonus chapters from upcoming titles!

I am thrilled to be able to offer this collection at a reduced cost by putting all three volumes into one book! It is always my prayer to be a light in the darkness. To be a sister in Christ that seeks to help others find their way back onto the narrow path. While many think of the narrow path as ‘no fun’, I am here to assure you that is not the case! Life begins once you discover the truth!

It is my hope that in reading all the true life events that God called me forth to share that you find your faith strengthened. I would love nothing more than to hear from you! Of course I would also love for you to share my story with anyone you think may benefit!

With each purchase, I find myself one step closer to witnessing the fulfillment of my childhood dreams. Please help me spread the message that God gave me in 2012:

“You Are Worthy Too!”

Wendy Glidden

You Are Worthy Too

In The Beginning

By Wendy Glidden

Copyright 2014 Wendy Glidden

Dear Reader,

First I want to take this opportunity to thank you for purchasing my book! This is the beginning of my story. The first full sixteen years of them are in this volume!

All my life I dreamt of being a writer. I wanted my books to fill people with hope. As I grew up, I continued to write off and on but I had long given up on ever publishing anything to encourage others or brighten their days.

As I approached my 40s, I began questioning life and relationships. Then a life event of my own caused me to fall to my knees. I had finally come to the end of my own strength and determination. It was in giving everything to God, He gave me the desires of my heart.

I truly hope you enjoy this first book full of true chapters from my life.

When God convicted me, He showed me how He had been there all along. You get some insights as you are shown things through the rearview mirror!

There is much the Lord is leading me to share. I hope you stick around as I continue to share my life story as well as other titles. Look for all the details on the You Are Worthy Too Website! The link to take you there is on my Connect with Me page at the end of the book.

Had someone asked me a year ago if I thought my life was worthy of publishing I would have laughed and quickly said, “No”.

God thought otherwise. He called me out to share my story over a year ago. While full of fear, I stepped out in Faith.

I pray my story leaves you inspired, encouraged and full of faith. I am humbled by your purchase. Be blessed and be a blessing!

Love, Wendy Glidden

Chapter One

In the beginning

My name is Wendy Glidden. I have been pregnant 12 times in my life! Nine of those babies, I have personally raised myself. One of them I gave up for adoption. The one prior to her and the one after her, I chose not to have at all. That decision, along with a few more, allowed me to believe that I was not worthy of God's love.

My life has been eventful to say the least and God has called me to become what He told me I would be as a child; A mom of many.

A mom, I have come to learn is simply someone who nurtures. Not necessarily someone who gives birth to a human being.

While it is true I have given birth to many children, we must remember God is humorous and in giving me all of these children, well, He has taught me to be humorous myself!

I really am unsure of how to start this book and how to proceed with the ministry He has put in my heart and I am relying on the Holy Spirit to lead me.

I have always believed in honesty, yet I have lived hiding my biggest sins in the closet. I make you this promise my friend; by doing that I allowed the evil one to keep me from my work.

It was just this year that I captured the negative thoughts that the evil one has been whispering to me daily. Among them were phrases such as:

I am not worthy

I am not qualified to lead

Who would listen to me?

I am a joke

I am a murderer

Now I have been growing for the last few years spiritually by leaps and bounds. Even with God calling me so loudly to do His work, in my head this is what I was subconsciously hearing. That is NOT what God has to say about His children!

I am a child of God. I was told so 30 years ago by an angel. Even with that, I allowed the evil one to get in my way and even worse for me, to remain there!

It is my hope that with me allowing the Holy Spirit to work through me that I can help countless others avoid the trials and tribulations I have gone through myself, or at least help them out of the pit of hell quicker than I made my own great escape!

I had to make this leap of faith today and begin sharing my story when I had no idea what I would say! This is my opening page. Sharing my story with any who decide to read it.

Remember our God is stronger, our God is Mighty. Through Him All things are possible.

May you have a blessed day,

Wendy, Mom of Many!

Chapter Two

I Will Never! Me and My ‘Oh So Righteous Self’

Be careful when you exclaim you will never do something! More than I care to admit, I have found myself doing the exact thing I was so righteously convinced I would never do! After all, I was out to please God and be a great servant for Him. I had big plans. I was a good girl! The list of things I would never do was never ending. Allow me to highlight some of the bigger ones right off the top of my head:

  1. Go against God’s will for my life

  2. Get angry at God

  3. Yell at God

  4. Spite God

  5. Have an abortion

  6. Give a baby up for adoption

  7. Smoke

  8. Drink

  9. Do drugs

  10. Be one of ‘those’ girls

  11. Stay in an abusive relationship

  12. Find myself on the brink of becoming part of the porn industry

Impressive list don't you think? Oh, you know I have to address each and every one of these because in all honesty, I have done all of them. We all know there are many more lurking out there in the background. I'm sure the evil one will try to taunt me with any that remain!

I'm amazed as I see the ink on the paper. Am I really going to share all of this? I know the answer. Yes. I am. For you see it is all of my sins that I have committed that make it that much more amazing that God has called me to share my story. I pray for guidance and protection as I proceed. It is my focus to show you that all of us ARE WORTHY of God's grace.

I want you to realize I did all these things after receiving the knowledge I received when I was young. While many in the world have never built a relationship with the Lord, I can’t make that claim. That truth is just one of many reasons I believed I was no longer worthy of God’s love.

Can you for one minute imagine being told you would be a mother to many when your own mother was the saddest darkest most negative person you knew on a daily basis? I wanted nothing to do with her life's path.

I was just a preteen when I was told by God that my first child would be a girl. It was also revealed to me that I would be young when I had her.

I cried for I don't know how long after this was all told to me. I also wrote in my diary what was spoken to me and I began an outline of what kind of parent I would be right then and there. How I wish I had that journal to this day. I long to know what all I wrote down about that experience, but my journal perished in a fire in the 15th year of my life.

Regardless, sin number one was accomplished the year I met my first love. With his help, I was going to outsmart God! I laugh about it now, but trust me when I say; this was a pivotal moment in my life.

It is my belief this was the beginning of my entering the age of consent and my sifting was just about to start!

I must end this chapter here and save it before I lose my nerve.

Be blessed and be a blessing to others!

Wendy, mom of many

Chapter Three

How I Learned About God!

The evil one has had much influence in my life. Many, as they have read the opening story in the Holy Bible have convicted Eve of all that is wrong in the world. Heck the truth is many men in the world lay all the blame of everything at her feet. Perhaps that is why many of them, those that have yet to find themselves in Christ, think their role in life is to be what I like to call “The Punisher”.

I think a woman’s biggest obstacle in life is that sometimes we think way too much and, ironically at the same time, we willingly trust too quickly.

The evil one is shrewd. If he has tricked you, then you must forgive Eve for being connived in the beginning. I can’t even fathom what life was like in the very beginning. I believe that Satan was a trusted friend to Eve. Logically, they were only warned to stay away from the Tree of Knowledge. I have never read about a warning to Eve or Adam about the serpent. Have you?

What I am saying is simply this, “Forgive yourself for all your mistakes, even if in your heart you KNEW better before committing them. And once you nail all that junk to the cross, understand God already forgave you for that and everything else you are going to do ‘wrong’ until the day you die!”

We walk in the flesh my friends. It is why we are warned in Ephesians to wear our spiritual armor daily for we are in the midst of a Spiritual Battle every day! The Bible is our go to advice for all the troubles this fallen world has to throw at us. It is God’s Word. Read it daily for protection.

The evil one has already amped up the fear machine and pointed it in my direction. I will pray for protection and strength daily as I reveal who I was.

I know in my heart that God has protected me from absolute destruction my entire life. I know with His strength; I will be able to walk through the fire.

He loves me as He also Loves You. Jesus, His only begotten son carried the cross for all of us. Remember what God said about Jesus when John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the Jordan River? From Mathew, Chapter 3, verse 17:

and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” (Matthew 3:17, NASB)

I hope you come to understand that when you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, Christ is in you. Therefore, when God looks at you, He says the same thing. He is pleased with you!

With that reminder stated as much for myself as all who take the time to read my story, I take a deep breath of Faith and leap off the ledge:

My first memory of others praying over me dates back to the 3rd or 4th year of my life. It is how I developed my deep distaste for 7up.

Soda was something I never got. I needed to take medicine that I hated and my reward was an entire can of 7up.To this day 7up tastes like that awful medicine to me. My pills were crushed because I could barely swallow. My tonsils were so huge they were closing the passage of air to my lungs.

The gist was my life was in danger. People were praying for me. I am sure it was my Aunt Janet’s prayers that were the most impressive. She never failed to awe me with her strength.

Obviously, my life was saved, for here I am 40 years later sharing my incredible journey with you!

My first memory of praying to God on my own behalf would be somewhere around the 7th or 8th year of my life. I was spending the summer with my father and step mother.

Have you ever heard that saying, “Do as I say, not as I do.”? Yea, I kind of thought you might have. As many parents did back then, our parents smoked. My brother who is only 10 months and 10 days younger than me had grabbed some smokes and a lighter and invited me to join him for some fun.

At the time my father lived in a stilt cabin located in a park with all the amenities. We went down to the swings and he lit the first one and gave it to me. We hung out laughing and being kids and of course smoking those cigarettes. We didn’t inhale the smoke, but we knew we were cool! Our stepmother was observing us out of the window. We headed home not knowing we had been caught.

When we came inside, we quickly knew we had been busted. Chris made us go to our bedroom and we knew the punishment was about to begin. She informed us if we wanted to smoke we were going to smoke like adults. We learned how to inhale that summer day. She wasn’t having any of this silliness with puffing she explained! One after another she lit them for us so we could get that first deep inhale correctly. I think it was on the 3rd full cigarette that I began throwing up.

Tommy and I were both promising we’d never smoke again. She pushed it a little further, but finally left us in our room to wait for our father to come home so she could inform him of our improper behavior. You see, we weren’t only caught smoking. We were also in trouble for theft!

To this day, I don’t know if my father actually beat my brother’s butt or not. I just know I was terrified by the sound coming out of the front room. I swear to you; that stilt cabin was shaking! I was trembling with fear! I was also on the brink of tears.

My step mother had me in the kitchen with her. Tommy, being the one who confessed to taking the cigarettes, was the first to go before our father. To this day I am amazed at the advice she gave me. You see, as I write this book, my step mother does not believe in God or His only begotten son. I think I am the only one allowed to praise God without repercussion around her simply because she cannot deny this story!

With that being said she looked at me and said, “Your only chance of not being spanked is to pray to God to save you.”

I don’t know if I’ve said a more passionate heartfelt prayer than my very first one, but I promise you it is the passionate ones that have been answered in the most obvious ways. My biggest signs from God have followed my most heartfelt prayers. That is not to say I have always gotten what I have prayed for! What I have received are answers and signs meant to provide me with relief or guidance.

When I went before my father, he looked at me for a moment. I was so terrified I began begging to be forgiven and I was a mess! My father simply said, “Wendy, I don’t know why I’m not going to spank you but I’m not. Something is telling me it is not needed.”

I knew what that something was! God had saved me! I was blown away even as a child by this God. My father was not someone to tangle with back then or even today for that matter! Back then he was the strongest, smartest, savviest man I knew. Certainly not one to be easily swayed once his mind was made up. When he told me I was off the hook, I just knew God must be truly something to have been able to overcome my father!

Can you imagine for just a moment how cool an event like that would be for a child? From that day forth, God was my Best Friend. I talked to Him like a best friend would talk to their best friend. Some days, I talked to Him for hours! I promised to help any and all He sent my way. I was going to help Him save the world!

You would think with a beginning like that I would NEVER have decided that I could outwit God. However, that is not how my story goes!

I ask you, which of you has not thought you could outwit your parents? Trust me you are not alone when it comes to that thought! I just took that thought a step further. I thought I could outsmart the creator of all!

Today I laugh about that. God and I are chummy again. I know He smiles upon me. I am back to talking to Him daily. Life is so abundant my friends when you grasp the truth. It takes some of us longer than others to get it! Forgive yourself! I am sitting here with a smile on my face. The words have stopped flowing for now. Have a BLESSED day my friends. Our Father loves all of us, even those who have yet to see the truth or hear it!

Wendy, Mom of Many

Chapter Four

The Boy and My Plan to Outwit God!

It was the summer of my 12th year when I decided that maybe God did NOT have the best plan when it came to me and my life. I really had no desire to be a mother. Just that year my own mother had said some hurtful things to me and while she had apologized to me for one of the incidents, it was my fear that I would do the same thing to my children that made me think God did not know what He was doing when it came to His plan for me.

My mom had me when she was 17 years old. She conceived me when she was only 16! She did the best by my brother and me as she could.

So, I was beginning to question why I had to be a mother to many. I did not want children at all in this moment of my life. I now had a baby sister who was 2. While I thought babies were cute, they were a lot of work! I did not know if I had it in me to be a good mom. I decided if I couldn’t be a good mom, I didn’t want to be a mom at all!

My daily talks with God had become more of questioning, bargaining sessions. It has not escaped me that when you stop seeking God’s will in your life, you have a harder time hearing what He has to say. It is like you turn your ears off in a way just because you don’t like what he has to say. I decided I needed clear answers and I felt like there was no better place at the time to get those answers than in a church. Funny isn't it.

There were quite a few churches around where I lived. One day, while my brother and I were biking our way to the Riviera Club, I saw one that had a sign out front advertising a youth group. I told my brother the pool could wait. I wanted to check out this youth group.

We rode up into the parking lot and came face to face with a group of three boys on their bikes. The leader of the group of course was the only one brave enough to actually speak. The others just giggled at what he said.

“You can’t go inside.” He informed me, “This group is not for you.” His crew chuckled.

Well, I thought, obviously he did not know who he was messing with! I looked at him and asked, “Who are you to tell me I cannot go into God’s house?” I was not frightened.

Just then the youth leader came outside. I chuckle to this day, for I think she was surprised to see five of us there outside the door sitting on our bikes. She informed us that we could come inside. I parked my bike, looked over my shoulder and stuck my tongue out at the “boy” who obviously did not have that much power after all!

Before the study was over, I knew his name and he knew mine. I must admit I was enamored with his green eyes, dark brown incredibly curly hair and the gap in his front teeth. When we were dismissed, we all went back out to our bikes.

I don’t think Danny Joe’s friends were too happy at all when he asked if my brother and I would like to hang out with him and his friends. I, on the other hand, felt my heart pull.

I was becoming quite smitten on this boy and it was more than obvious that he was feeling something for me.

We walked and talked all day long. My brother and I had to be home at a certain time and I was not into getting into trouble, so, home we had to go.

My brother liked Danny Joe so agreeing to come back the next day was no issue.

That night, while I was floating on a cloud, I also had my looming future ahead of me.

It is my belief that this was the exact moment I hit the age of consent, for this is when I became a genius! I reasoned, with the help of Satan I am sure, there was only one Mary. With that in mind, as long as I refrained from sex, I would not have a baby at a young age.

Resolved in my decision, my plan was formed. Believing that I could keep my plan safely guarded from God, I decided I would have to let Danny Joe know everything. I needed him to agree to my proposal or I could never see him again.

I have to stop now. Reliving all of this is not going to be fun or easy but it is most necessary. I will continue late tonight after my children are asleep. I hope that you realize I am human. Through the chapters of my life, as I share those with you, try to stay away from judging me. It is in my own judging of others and their choices that I have landed in some of the hottest water!

Wendy, Mom of Many

Chapter Five

Face to Face with an Angel

I had to pray on how to proceed with this next chapter. I was not sure how I was to tell this next part for many will not believe. I questioned long and hard, "Am I to share this with the world? People will think I'm crazy, or worse grandiose." It was in realizing the fear I felt that I knew I must share it with the world.

As I have mentioned, my mother and I were not the closest two individuals in the world during this season of my life. I didn't understand why she taunted, insulted and picked on me so much. I just know that I felt she did not love me back then.

Danny Joe and I had become best friends during the course of the year. Prior to this time in my life Tabitha, who started out as my enemy in the 3rd grade, had been my greatest confidant. By age 13 Danny Joe was, beyond a shadow of doubt, my best friend. He knew everything about me including my message from God.

We would go on walks through the woods. We talked about parenting and what we liked and disliked about our own parents. We went down by White River a lot and hung out there. He made me laugh. We honestly enjoyed one other.

When I had first met Danny Joe, I was a whole lot of tomboy without a lot of "girly" qualities. My mother had made so much fun of girls and all they liked that I sought out none of that. It made life simpler. My stepmother encouraged my girl side.

I guess between the two of them I was quite something! (Yes, as you can see even humbleness is a characteristic of mine ~ ha ha)

By age 13, I had played on a softball team and a basketball team for 5 years. Thanks to my stepmother I had taken baton lessons for a summer and had won 5th in the state at a baton competition. I felt way out of my comfort zone in my outfit but secretly it was the prettiest I had ever felt!

So on this particular day, I was going to be meeting Danny Joe after my mother left for work. I had decided I would wear some makeup that day. I had no idea what I was doing, but I was attempting to apply some mascara to my eyelashes when suddenly, my mother was behind me. We locked eyes in the mirror and she said, "I don't know why you’re doing that. It's not like you'll ever be pretty."

Now up to that point, my mom had said some cruel things to me and I don't know why that knocked the air out of me, but it did. She walked away and I remember thinking to myself, ‘No matter what, it's a parent's job to always tell their children they are beautiful.’

I was so distraught in my heart I can’t even put the turmoil I was feeling in my heart into words.

I raised my eyes back up to the mirror and there she was; a beautiful woman I did not recognize, looking at me.

My first thought was not really even a thought. I was blown away by her beauty. I gazed upon her. She said to me, "Wendy, YOU ARE a CHILD of GOD. You ARE BEAUTIFUL!" and she was gone.

I was confused, amazed and suddenly confident in my beauty. I went to my room and waited for my mother to leave for work. I felt so radiant. I just know I was close to glowing!

Once my mom was gone, I watched the clock waiting long enough to make sure she was not coming back. After about twenty minutes, I headed to Danny Joe's house.

Along the way I wondered who the beautiful lady was. I wondered, ‘Was she me coming back to tell me how pretty I was going to be?’

I certainly was nothing glamorous right now, but I told myself, ‘If that was me in the future, a grown up version of me, I am going to be flat out BEAUTIFUL!’

I pondered this, ‘If that was me, a grown up version of me, when did I get all that lovely curly hair?’

Oh how hard I am laughing at myself as I write this. Recently I have wondered if I’d of known back then that the girl in the mirror was an angel, how my life would have played out. I only realized that I had come face to face with an angel right before I conceived my second to last child, but I digress, I am getting ahead of myself!

When I arrived at Danny's house, his dad opened the door. I asked if Danny Joe was there and indeed he was! He came smiling into the room and I walked over to him smiling. He grabbed my hand and turned to his dad and asked if we could go for a walk.

Danny's dad looked at me and him and said to Danny that he didn't know what it was about me but he knew Danny Joe better hold on tight to me. Danny Joe squeezed my hand and his dad told him that I was a keeper. My heart soared. In one day I was called both beautiful and a keeper! That was when I thought for sure it was going to be me and Danny Joe for life.

** How I came to know that the woman I saw in the mirror that day was not me at some point in the future happened right before I conceived Delilah. A friend of mine who I worked with was researching history during our lunch break at work. She called me over to her computer to see this picture of a female version of Arch Angel Gabriel that an artist had painted centuries ago. I almost fell out of my chair. That artist had captured her! My messenger was an angel!

How do you tell someone that? The answer is you don't. At least I didn't. Not right away. I can tell you this, I was astonished. I began to question everything. It brought pangs of massive guilt as well as a million questions.

You see, the last conversation I had one on one with God was right as everything was beginning to get really ugly for me. I had told Him I wanted to help all the struggling moms in the world find hope. I had come to the conclusion that they all needed hope.

I reminded God that I really did not want this whole "mom of many" life. I questioned Him asking why He couldn’t just turn me into a famous author. I shared with Him were I to become famous, I would have all I needed to help everyone! I reasoned with him reminding him that my teachers all thought I was pretty good at writing! Even my school mates had predicted that I would be a famous poet. I wrote all the time!

I thought it was a great plan myself. That, my friend, was mere weeks before everything in my world turned upside down. As I close out this chapter, I ask for your prayers. I pray for strength and focus to accomplish the task that I have been given. I request that any believer pray for me. Pray for strength and protection. Praying for others carries more weight than praying for yourself!

Be blessed and be a blessing, Wendy, Mom of Many

Chapter Six

If You Love Someone You Must Be Willing to Let Them Go!

I joke around with keeping things simple in my forties for fear I may lose my mind as I get older!

Memories get dusty when we don't look at them for decades. This was the case for me when it came to Danny Joe. It was on my 41st Birthday that God convicted me. He used Danny Joe as the vehicle to drive me back in time.

I was forced to dive deep and made to recall things I had stuffed away and pretended were non-existent. I apologize for the hazy recall. I have come to believe since there is still a little haze around the fine details that those are not the most important ones, and I finally moved beyond them to the main gist of my story.

Something happened before the 8th grade. I don't know if it was that Danny Joe was going to go live with his mom because his dad and he were not getting along or what. It's just the last time I saw him until the next time I saw him again, this is what I said to myself as I walked home, "When you love someone you must be willing to let them go." Today, I know those words came from God.

It was okay I assured myself as I walked back home. This next school year I was going to be so busy, I wouldn't have time to just hang with Danny Joe after school anyway. I was going to be on the basketball team again. Besides, I really wanted to win The Best Christian Award that they had held out like a golden carrot to all of us in the 7th grade. So, not being distracted by my friendship that had soared to great heights would be a good thing.

Danny Joe had taught me how to kiss over the summer. I had never felt so loved by someone then I felt when I was in his arms.

So, here I was in the 8th grade at a private catholic school going for The Best Christian Award. The irony makes me laugh today. Why didn't they call it The Best Catholic Award?

I studied hard. I impressed my teachers. Our team was having an incredible basketball season. I even received a handshake from the coach of another team! He told me he had never seen a girl play ball like me! I was elected to be on the committee that was going to write who we were all going to become when we grew up. Hands down everyone knew I was going to be a famous writer. I talked in rhyme most of the time. You could say I was a female version of Dr. Seuss only I did not make up silly words to rhyme, I told complete stories in rhyme.

You can always tell when I am in tune with the Holy Spirit. If I'm not writing and rhyming something is wrong! At this time in my life I was completely focused!

It was late winter of that school year when a couple of boys on bikes were racing around our school. Like school kids, we all rushed to the windows to see what the racket was all about. One of the boys was yelling, "I've come back for you! Do you see? I've come back for you!"

I knew that voice! It was Danny Joe! How I kept my feet on the floor when my heart was soaring so high is beyond me. I shot off a quick prayer for his safety as they announced over the loud speaker that all students needed to get back into their seats. They were sending someone out in an attempt to grab the trouble makers!

I was elated and worried all at the same time. Getting over to Ravenswood to see Danny Joe was not going to happen that day. I had basketball practice after school and it would be dark before I got home.

I prayed that he would understand when I didn't show up after school. It wasn't like he had my phone number to call. I was not allowed to give it out. My mom was only allowed 25 calls a month due to her phone plan. I was allowed none!

I assured myself he would know in his heart that I wanted to be with him. How could he not know how much I loved him?

I did not get over to his side of Keystone Avenue until the weekend. When I went by his house no one was home. I hung around the neighborhood just walking where we used to walk with each other and that is when I met Debbie.

We only hung out with each other for a few short weeks before school let out. When the opportunity struck over the next few weeks, I crossed under Keystone Avenue and hung out with her. I was always secretly hoping I'd run into Danny Joe. It never happened that summer.

The school year was finally at a close. My brother had been shipped off to live with my father in the last couple of months of the school year due to being kicked out of school. I was so excited. A whole summer with Danny Joe and no brother following me everywhere I went.

At my graduation I won so many awards it was crazy. Amazing what you can accomplish when you are focused on the Lord and walking in the spirit! I also won the one award I was going for; The Best Christian Award was mine! Who knew it also came with a $35? Bonus!!

When I went over to meet Debbie that day, Danny Joe was still nowhere to be found. The weekend was coming and I just knew he'd be at his dad's.

With Debbie's help, we formed a plan for us to be able to stay the weekend together without either of us being accountable to our parents! I knew it was wrong, purposely deceiving my mother. Regardless, lie I did. I asked my mom if I could spend the night at Debbie's house and she asked her mom if she could spend the night with me. Not the greatest plan in the world, but it worked.

I took my $35 with me. Debbie and I convinced an adult to purchase us two little bottles of Canadian Mist and a six pack of beer. I had never drunk before then but Debbie assured me it was the best!

We hung out with friends and played some kind of ball game in the street. I'm a little fuzzy on how the whole drinking thing got started. The beer was nasty. Debbie assured me I wouldn't even notice the taste once I'd had a little Jack. I took a sip. "OH! Nastier!" I exclaimed.

I don't know whose idea it was for us to race each other by drinking our bottle in one attempt but we did. We were so drunk that night. I don't know how I lived through it. By 5:00 A.M. we were ready to crash.

There was no way could we go to my house. Debbie said her mom would never notice when we came in so, we went there. I was worried that when her mom got up, she would smell the alcohol on our breath. I knew that the smell of alcohol came from your stomach and not your mouth. After sharing this valuable information with Debbie, we decided to eat an entire box of Oreo cookies as well as swallow a little mouthwash and toothpaste. I

promise you, it was not easy on the stomach! We checked out each other’s breath and we were sure we'd never be discovered. We went to lie down.

I don't know how long we were asleep when Debbie's mother came into her room, woke us up, and informed us that the neighbor had busted us. In a gist, Debbie’s mom had called my mom. The game was up. Debbie's mom dropped me off at my house. She apologized to my mom informing her that she was sure it was Debbie who had been the leader. I wasn't that worried until my mother informed me that my father was on his way to come get me. She was sending me to live with him for good. I couldn't believe it. One mistake and I'm gone I thought? My brother pulled stunts like this time and time again before she sent him off!

Things were just about to change dramatically in my world. My sifting was about to truly begin!

I had and have had no idea how and what I was going to write about next. I have had no clue as to how I was to precede after my previous chapter and again here I am at the end of another chapter of my life! I hope I am not boring you with the details. I think it's important for you to know I'm no better than anyone. I too have been stumbling through this thing we call life. It is my job to help you see the Glory of God. If I accomplish that I will have fulfilled my purpose and nothing in the world could be better than that!

Be blessed and be a blessing!

Wendy, Mom of Many!

Chapter Seven

Grounded for Losing My Virginity!

When I ended my last chapter, I closed my computer crying. Over this next year of my life, so many things happened. I was praying to God, asking Him to help me with how to start the next chapter.

You see, I cannot seem to be capable of writing the next chapter of my story until I hear the title for it. So, here I was on my way to a fellowship gathering with ladies that I attend service with each Sunday. Honestly, I was scared to death to go because I didn't really know a lot of them. I was at the entrance of the housing addition and I had pulled over to flip on the inner light in the car so I could read the rest of the directions when God spoke to me.

I still have the evil one messing with me and my confidence every day. I have a suspension he is always searching for a perfect way to pounce. If he even gets a hint of fear, he's on it! Anyway, all of a sudden I heard it, the title to this chapter. I was surprised at first and then I burst into a healthy bout of laughter.

If I haven't mentioned it before, God is humorous. Seeing how Jesus says if we know him we know the father, it only makes sense that God would be humorous for Jesus is!

I needed that laughter. Along with it came the knowledge that I would be okay. So, what the heck, here we go!

I barely had time to grasp the fact that my mother was shipping me off to my father's on the pretense that I was "too much to handle" when I heard my father's car pull in the drive way. This was crazy! I had begged and pleaded to live with my father and had been told NO again and again. Now I was going to be sent there for staying out all night. She hadn't even waited to hear my side of the story. She had an opportunity to make me look bad and I just felt in my heart she was happy things had worked out this way.

She could get rid of me and not look like it was because she was not close to me. Honestly I felt she barely knew who I truly was.

I don't know what my mom said to my dad on the phone, but he was hot. He yelled at me to pack my stuff. No longer was I ‘Wendy, Honor roll student, Best Christian, all around good kid.’ I was in major trouble.

I don't know why I was attacked so viciously, but my father was in my face demanding to know what I had done. I was so terrified by his anger I could not tell him I had been drinking. I told him I'd just hung out with Debbie. Nothing more, nothing less.

I was called a liar. I was marched out of the house with two trash bags full of all I owned and then driven in silence to Westfield. My head was pounding and I just wanted the day to be over. I felt like I was trapped in a nightmare.

I was sent to my room while they decided my fate. Since I had denied doing anything wrong, I wasn't sure exactly what that punishment would be. I fell asleep waiting for them to come get me. When they woke me up I swear I thought my head was going to explode. To this day it remains the worst hangover I have ever had. I couldn't let them know how bad I felt for they might realize I'd been drinking and until my charges were handed down by my new found prison guards, I had no idea just how low they thought of me.

They were 100% positive that I had lost my virginity and for that I was going to be grounded for the summer as well as the first part of the school year! I was astounded. I denied it until I was blue in the face. That didn't matter. They were convinced even more so by my denial that I had slept with some boy.

As my step-mother used to say, ‘if you aren't guilty there is no need for a defense.’ I even had my rear end beat repeatedly for a crime I did not commit.

“Why is this happening?" I questioned God.

It was probably my anger at my circumstance that kept me from hearing an answer. It was the first time I could remember feeling like God was no longer listening to me when I called out to Him.

My fate was sealed. I would work at the family construction company. I would earn minimum wage. I could play softball and basketball as long as I paid for the expenses and I was being signed up for marching band!

The best part about being involved with marching band was it was expensive and I was being held responsible for those costs as well. That one threw me for a loop! I'd played a clarinet in the 6th grade for music class. I didn't even remember a single note let alone the scale! As if all of that were not enough, I also had to budget my book rental and school lunch fees as well as have a fund for unexpected school expenses. The reasoning behind having me pay for everything was so that I would appreciate it that much more.

My step mother, who for some reason was playing soft ball herself, but had not bought herself a mitt yet, was thrilled to discover that my glove fit her hand. Since she wasn't sure she was going to join the team she was subbing for as a regular, she was not interested in buying herself a glove yet. I think it was my 4th night there that we went and watched her play as a family.

When the game was over and we had met back up, I questioned where my glove was? Chris had mistakenly left it in the dugout. Of course when she went back to get it, it was gone. She didn't even act like it was a big deal. I had had that glove since the first grade! When my mom first bought it and gave it to me it was ridiculously big. By the time I was in the 6th grade, it was like an extension of my hand. There wasn't a ball I couldn't catch with that glove. I was physically sick to my stomach over the loss.

When I was asking if Chris knew what the cost was for joining the high school softball team, she informed me that since I needed to budget in the cost of a new glove, it was looking like that would not be a wise investment of time or money. I was astounded. I did not lose my glove, SHE did! There was no arguing that point. No use in even trying. I resolved that I would at least be able to play basketball in the fall.

Over the summer I taught myself how to play the clarinet. Surprisingly, I liked marching band. Some of the greatest high school memories I have involve band camp and band competitions.

I hated having Chris for a boss though. She loved it a bit too much. She would have me filling pot holes in the driveway during storms when even the guys were being sent home. No better time to see where gravel was needed than in the rain she would tell me.

The worst chore she gave me was pulling weeds. I informed her there was an area of poison ivy and I would not be able to work in that area. Who knew she'd have me dress in pants, a long sleeve shirt to protect my arms and gloves on an 80 to 90 degree day! Needless to say I ended up with poison ivy everywhere including in my throat and my eyes. It was so bad; I ended up in the bathroom one night with a razor. I shaved every part of my body and then I doused myself in rubbing alcohol. I think I still needed a shot. For sure I took those little white pills.

I was absolutely miserable. I started out my freshman year of high school knowing a few girls from band and looking like the ultimate pizza face! Acne has nothing on poison ivy!

Regardless, I had made it through the summer and basketball was around the corner. I loved that sport. The coach had us running a lot and I decided it would be in my best interest to build up my stamina so I began running a few miles while dribbling my basketball to take my mind off of running.

This particular Saturday morning, I managed to rip a contact while putting it in my eye. I didn't want to deal with a long lecture from Chris about how irresponsible I was for tearing my contact and how replacing it would affect my budget. I just wanted to get out of the house and have a little time to myself to talk to God.

I was on my way back home, less than 2/10 of a mile from our driveway when I recognized the Compton's vehicle as they drove by. I got back out in the middle of the road and squinted. I could see a station wagon on the west side of the road. I thought to myself, ‘Must be the grandfather of the girl who lived in the house after the woods.’ He was always mushroom hunting.

Because I had one good eye and one bad eye, for the most part, I was looking down just in front of me. I heard a male voice ahead of me call out, "Playing ball?"

I looked up and stopped dead in my tracks with my hand in midair. I think the ball made contact with my hand one more time, but I failed to shove it back down.

I heard it thump again and again as it thumped off the road. A naked man was a couple of yards in front of me and he was pointing a gun directly at me. I was frozen.

The night before on the news, there was a story about a few girls that had been found raped and murdered and left naked in fields. I screamed out to God in my head "This is not how I die! I haven't accomplished anything yet!" I was shocked, confused, and admittedly terrified.

The naked man approached me. He shoved the nozzle of a gun into my stomach and said, "I'll kill you if you move."

With his other hand, he reached out to touch me. I do not know what made me say, "Oh my here comes my father!", but I said it.

He barely glanced over his shoulder and that is when I went to step around him. He caught me and he punched me with that gun right in the stomach. "Little girl I will kill you if you lie to me again." he growled.

By the grace of God, his face changed from hatred to terror and he ran from me, jumped in his car, and sped off.

Suddenly, there was Mrs. Compton asking if I was okay. I couldn't even talk. I think she told me to go home. Honestly I don't know.

I never retrieved that ball. I came crashing into the house through the screen door. Cady, my baby sister, was on Chris' lap and they both looked at me. Chris asked me what the heck was wrong with me. I was a visible mess. I can't fathom what I must have looked like. All I could say was, "Guy, guy, guy, gun, gun, gun, me, me, me".

She asked me if I was making up a lie and I think I screamed. My sister will confirm that to this day, this is the clearest memory from her childhood. She claims she can still smell my sweat. Gross, I know.

The police were called. I was given a soda for its sugar. I was spiking a fever, a high fever due to my shock. When the police arrived the main one that talked to me was a volunteer sheriff. He was also the driving instructor that was in the car with the Carmel High School Students whose lives were cut short on SR 38 due to a collision with a 7up truck. He was the one that informed my parents that I was in shock and insisted they give me a soda pop immediately.

My own mom wasn't even called to my knowledge. If she was, she did not come to see me.

All I wanted to do was get in the shower. Finally, I was allowed to do so. When the hot water ran out, I dried off and went to my room to die.

My father and step mother don't know, but I heard their argument. It was the only time in my life that I know beyond a shadow of doubt, Chris argued for me.

My father, in a gist, said he didn’t understand the big deal. After all, he justified, I wasn't really raped. He continued on, suggesting that it should not be that big of a deal based on their belief that I was not even a virgin. “She probably brought this on herself." My father claimed.


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