Volandrea's Childhood of Pain
By Tim Smith
The 700 Club
CBN.com -“I actually never met my mother,” says Volandrea. “She was murdered here in Memphis, Tennessee, so I never got a chance to have a relationship with her.”
Volandrea’s mother was robbed, shot, and left for dead. Volandrea was two years old. Her mother was a prostitute. After the murder, her father abandoned her, so her alcoholic grandmother took care of volandrea and her brother.
“It was lonely. I had to grow up really, really fast. I remember so many nights not having any food to eat. Not having anyone to say ‘I love you’. I remember my grandmother being just drunk all the time, and at three, four, five, six years old, just running off and trying to find something to eat. Going to neighbors’ homes. That’s all I really remember. Nothing good about it.”
When volandrea was six, she moved in with her aunt and uncle. But their home was not a safe place either.
“We were going to school, and had meals every day. But it came to a point where he started to molest me. He told me that if I ever told anyone, that my aunt would not love me anymore. And I felt like she was the only person in the world that cared for me. He used that against me. And he started to molest me from the age of six, to twelve. I felt shameful. I felt like it was something I was doing wrong, the reason why he was doing it to me.
“I felt like I was a burden, so maybe I have to do this, in order for me to live here. But it got to a point where I was getting older, and I knew it wasn’t right. I knew that it had to stop at some point. I wanted to be free. I wasn’t free. It was like I was in prison, and it was time for me to be free. And by me telling, I knew that would be the start of my freedom.”
That’s when Volandrea told a family friend about the abuse. She contacted the appropriate authorities. Another aunt took Volandrea into her home. A different kind of cruelty followed volandrea there.
“I came out of the house with a nightgown on, a nightgown t-shirt. And she just looked at me, and she said, ‘It was your fault. Look what you have on.’ All the way to the age of fourteen, no one said, ‘Volandrea, I love you, just because you are Volandrea and I love you.’ No one hugged me or held me. I never knew what that felt like.
“And I went out, and I was seeking love. And I didn’t make a mistake and I got pregnant. It was an intentional thing at fourteen years old. Because in my mind, I felt like, ‘I want somebody to love me, so whoever says they love me first, ok, here I am.’ And when I did meet my kids’ dad, that wasn’t enough for me. I wanted a child. I felt like if I had a child, I would always have someone to love me.
So at fourteen, Volandrea became a mother. She had a second child, by the same boyfriend, at sixteen. Their relationship was volatile. He controlled her every move. He wouldn’t even let her leave the house.
“I felt like I was in prison. I felt trapped. Didn’t know what to do. Just lost.”
A friend asked Volandrea to go to church. She managed to get out of the house to go.
“It was like it was meant for me to go on this day. Because, the first day I stepped into the church, my kids and I, he [the pastor] was talking about love. And that was the only thing I ever wanted. I didn’t want anything but for them to love me.
“It was like a light just came on, on the inside of me. And I cried the whole service, and when he said, ‘If you want Jesus to come into your life, if you want the love of God in your life, just come forward,’ I ran. I literally ran. And from that day forward my life completely changed.
“If I can have this kind of love, and He loved me first, that’s exactly what I was missing. I didn’t have to seek love. God loved me the whole time. When I learned about who Jesus was, in the Gospels, that just opened up a whole new world for me. I didn’t have to live beneath what God has purposed me to live, so at that point, I started to get strong.”
At seventeen, Volandrea left her boyfriend. She was free. Today, Volandrea is a cosmetologist. She’s owned a salon for seven years. Her children are both in college with great career plans of their own.
“You have to allow God to come in and heal your heart. And that’s one big key in your healing process is forgiveness. I couldn’t allow what they did to me to keep me from my purpose and my destiny.
“You don’t have to hinder yourself from living the life God has purposed you to live, because there is so much more on the other side. It takes a whole lot to have unforgiveness in your heart. But to let it go, there’s freedom. There’s liberation in forgiveness.”
Volandrea has found the love that she’s been searching for all her life.
“He’s my Father. He’s my Daddy. And I have a relationship with Him. He’s giving. He’s loving. He rewards us for obedience. He’s my father.”
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