“For years, Coach had been like a father figure in my life. When I was going through the height of abuse with Paul, he had seen a champion in me.
After training sessions, I had fallen apart and put myself back together more times than I could count. I was struggling to believe God existed, and if He did exist I didn’t think He would want someone like me.
Back then, believers would somehow find their way to our gym at my darkest times, and Coach would ask them to pray for me.”
Back in 2017, my coach was training me to compete on an international level in jiu jitsu. I was training sometimes twice a day, and juggling getting out of the military, graduate school, a baby, and the abuse at home.
I was a complete train wreck inside. Jiu jitsu was my outlet from what was going on at home. If I trained every night, I could avoid my abuser for the most part, unless he broke into my room in the middle of the night to harass me.
There was such a war raging inside me, the only peace I found was in jiu jitsu. It kept the darkness from consuming me. My daughter would play with toys on the mats while I rolled. Fighting gave me the strength I needed to be a better mom to her.
But jiu jitsu is one of those things that exposes all your vulnerabilities. Sometimes in the middle of a fight, I would have to get up and walk to the edge of the mat while I broke down. Maybe my text messages had filled up with verbal abuse that day, or I’d been harassed the night before. All of it would come spilling out once I was on the mats.
I hate to think of how much worse life would have been if I didn’t have that outlet.
I found peace and rest in the middle of a fight because all I had to do was survive. I wasn’t a helpless victim in the prison inside my head, or an abused woman trapped in my home. I had a way to fight against the harassing voices and toxic thinking that kept me hostage.
It was during that time I was awakening to the possibility that there was a God. Coach believed, and would often have us pray at the end of training. While that made me feel like I was part of the family, the thing that really struck me was how random strangers would come into the gym, and pray the exact thing I needed to hear. One mom from the gym was in ministry, and she would send me scriptures out of the blue that would be the exact thing I needed to hear.
I didn’t really tell people what I was going through. I kept it all bottled inside, but strangers somehow knew what to release through prayer. I was in such desperate need for help, and God was sending people to show me the light.
When I started receiving prophetic words from prophets, there could be no doubt in my mind that God was real. If I felt exposed during jiu jitsu, it was nothing compared to how I felt when prophetic leaders were releasing healing and deliverance to me, speaking things about my past they could have never known unless God was speaking through them.
God sees us. He knows what we are going through. He is for us, not against us. And He wants to speak to us! What a good, good God we have that wants such a close relationship with His children!