It's Up To You - Part 1

What I remember most about being a kid is being alone. Being hurt, kicked, punched, burned, slapped, being sad, being scared, being alone. My mother was a single parent, lonely and lost and desperate for love.


When I was 5 years old my mom began a long-term relationship with a man. He was kind and would play Barbie’s with me and watch Sesame Street. She would leave me with him while she went to work. He’d hug me and tickle me and let me sit on his lap and he would always tell me how beautiful I was and how much he loved me. I remember thinking ‘this is what it’s like to have a daddy’. He was the first man to tell me he loved me. He was the man who would teach me what love is. This education in “love” would change the course of my entire life.


It started with a hand that lingered too long. Lips that touched my skin in places that no one should touch a 5 year old. And escalated from there. With each touch he took it further and further. As the months and years went on, he had stripped me of every emotion. I was not human. It was evil and violent. And so I learned…that love hurts.


Whenever I would cry or protest, he would threaten to hurt my mother. One night he made good on his threat. He had tried to force me to have sex with him for the first time. I said no and started to cry. When my mom got home, I watched him walk over to my mother, and he beat my mother in the face over and over until she could not stand up and she slumped to the floor. He smiled at me while standing over her beaten body and mouthed these words, “You did this. This is your fault.” Something in me just broke. I stopped being. I knew that he would hurt us. From then on, I did whatever he told me to do. And I never cried in front of him again.


His greatest pleasure was to torture me. He had a ferocious sexual appetite. There was nothing that this man didn’t do to me or force me to do. One of the most horrifying moments for me was the day that he allowed men to pay him cash so they could watch him sexually torture me. And when that didn’t satisfy them, they took turns, one after the other – hurting me – raping me. One man must have felt bad. He looked into my eyes and then took off his t-shirt and covered my face and then continued to rape me.


You can read more about me being sold for sex here For Sale: A Girl Named Sonya – Part 1


The deepest hurt of my life came the day my mom asked me out of the blue if he had hurt me. I simply said, “yes.” I never saw him again. But she blamed me for “seducing” this man. She said that I was a “dirty” girl and that I had “made” him do these things to me. She would beat me and torture me for ruining her chances at happiness. I remember her choking me and screaming that she wished I was dead. She tried to kill me many times. She kept me in my room for weeks at a time. I was not allowed to come out of my room or I would get beat. When she would leave for work, she would take pieces of the phone with her so that I couldn’t call for help. I had very little access to food. I was very thin and had to use a coffee can as a toilet. She had a pistol in the top drawer in her room and she would use it frequently to beat me or make me put it to my mouth and pull the trigger. I never knew if there was going to be a bullet in it so I just always lived with the idea that I was going to die.


She wanted me to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was unloved. So when she would tell me, “No one will EVER love you, Sonya. Nobody wants you.” I knew it was true. No one loved me. And no one EVER would.


My last night at home I was a few weeks away from turning 12 and she had been in to beat me before she went to bed. I remember laying in my little twin bed and I said these words, “God if you are real, will you help me?” The next day she went to work and forgot to take a piece of the phone with her and I snuck out of my room and called the police. The detective I needed to speak with wasn’t there so I left a message. Can you believe that?


So I went back to my room and waited. For what I didn’t know. All of a sudden, I heard a commotion at the front door and then the door to my bedroom burst open and there stood the biggest man I’d ever seen. He looked like Hulk Hogan. He didn’t ask if I was alright. He didn’t have to say a word. All he did was extend his hand…and I took it.


So when we say “It’s up to You!” – what does that have to do with my story? It has everything to do with my story AND your story. We ALL have reasons WHY we do what we DO. It’s what motivates us to do anything. Depending on what happened to you in your life…your experiences, you have CRUD. See, I had A LOT of CRUD.

What is CRUD anyway?


CRUD isn’t sin. Crud is the stuff that you FEEL – the emotions that are caused by being hurt by another human being.


Why is it important to deal with the CRUD?

CRUD that isn’t dealt with, can become SIN acted out in our lives. Sin is anything that keeps us from living in a full relationship with Jesus Christ.


You can try to pretend it’s not there. You can try to ignore it. You can lie to yourself but if you don’t clean out the wound, it won’t heal.

Sometimes the crud gets there at the hands of someone else. But sometimes the crud gets there because of us. So if you won’t deal with it, it’s the CRUD that comes out when we’re squeezed by all the chaos, demands and pressures of this world.


There are a 3 things that satan uses to trip us up on dealing with our crud.

The 1st is the “BLAME” GAME – We all have many excuses about why we do what we do, don’t we? Look where I come from? You don’t know what I’ve been through! When we’ve been hurt or disappointed, it’s easy to blame others. Even God.


But I’ve learned that when I sin, I have made a choice to do so. Who are you blaming today? Our circumstances don’t make us sin. We can’t control what others do but we sure can control how we respond.


If there is crud in your life that you haven’t dealt with, you are NOT free. We need to quit blaming our mothers and fathers, our siblings, our church, our pastor. Admit it, confess it-then GET ON WITH IT!


Satan wants to paralyze us with GUILT.

Guilt for things we’ve done. Guilt for things we should’ve done but didn’t do. The problem with carrying around the guilt is that it holds you back and prevents you from moving forward.


It’s like being on a gerbil wheel. The little rat gets on the wheel and runs and runs but he never gets anywhere. And as we carry that guilt, all we see is we are unworthy, we are worthless, me me me me me. Instead of our focus being on Jesus and His power and forgiveness, the focus becomes US.


Are you on the gerbil wheel? Could it be that you’ve been carrying around guilt and you are so trapped under that weight that you can’t even breathe? God is faithful to forgive. Admit it. Confess it and get rid of it.


INABILITY TO FORGIVE – This is a hard one. This can mess you up.

Oh, we know that we’re supposed to forgive but it’s so much easier to hold on to the anger because then we’re ‘one up’ on that person who hurt us. We hold this thing over their heads so that we are always higher then them.


When we stuff the pain and refuse to deal with the hurt of what happened we become bitter, poisoned and stuck. WE STAY THE VICTIM!! I know what it feels like to be hurt and betrayed by people that should have known better but didn’t do better by me. I know how raw the hurt is.


I’ve learned that forgiveness means that you must relive what they’ve done to you and release them from the debt that you think they owe you.

You MUST deal with your crud. Because if you don’t deal with your crud, you will continue to respond out of that hurt and pain, and you will make CHOICES based on that PAIN instead of FREEDOM and TRUTH. You will try to fill those places with THINGS instead of allowing Jesus to CLEAN IT OUT.


You deal with it and keep dealing with it for as long as it takes until the pain doesn’t cause you to respond in a way that stops you from living the life that Jesus has planned for you.


It’s UP TO YOU! Are you going to trust Jesus?

Jesus is the ULTIMATE CRUD DEALER! He wants ALL darkness to come into the light!


Click on the link below for PART 2.

It’s Up To You – Part 2

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