By Heidi Khalil, July 10,2022 CLICK HERE for skin care product

When the gang came for him, they started beating the “stuffing” out of him. He was savagely beaten in her presence. She kept trying to run from him as these guys laid into him, but he wouldn’t let go of her. A gang member finally pulled her out of the place. As they were getting ready to take her, her boyfriend made a mad dash from them. The guy pulled out a gun and was about to shoot him in the back. She screamed, “NO!” It was alarming enough that the guy didn’t end up shooting him. For some reason they left quickly, leaving her behind. She said, “They could have taken me, and done Lord knows what to me, but God was watching out for me.”

After that near death situation, they left Albuquerque, and moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This was where her boyfriend was from, and this is when he started smoking crack cocaine, and became addicted to it. One day he beat Jessica up so badly that the blood vessels in her face were broken.

By this time, they had decided to move back to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where her boyfriend was soon arrested shortly after for robbing a bank. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Bertie took Jessica into her home with open arms. She had been gone for one year, and had seen more ugliness, at the ripe age of 13, than most people see in a life time. She was so happy to be with Bertie, and very grateful. Bertie took her outside of her surroundings to see more than herself. She showed her that she had value. But all of a sudden, the reality of her larger than life experience started hitting her, when she found out that she was pregnant. She was in shock. She knew that there was no question, she wanted to keep her child. Love was on the horizon, and it arose from a place deep inside of her.

When she gave birth to a healthy baby boy, Bertie became the best “grandma”, and “mother”, that Jessica could imagine. Bertie began training Jessica in so many areas. She was a rock. She was always there, always loving and extremely kind. Jessica began attending school and church again, and things seemed to be going well.

Oftentimes, when people try to clean up their lives, there are setbacks where the person will go backward for a time. The same was true for fifteen year old Jessica, and she became pregnant with her second child at that age, and attempted to take her life. She was placed in a mental hospital for minors. Bertie took care of her son while she was trying to pull herself together. This woman had an unwavering faith in Jessica, and held down the fort for her. She did not want her son to be taken away from her.

When Jessica returned from the hospital, she felt renewed, and started believing Bertie…. that she had value, and was more than her current situation and traumatic history. Jessica began to stand on her own two feet and got an apartment, and began to attend a high school for unwed mothers.

Things continued to look up for her. She found a life-long outlet. It was singing and songwriting. She wrote songs to express her deepest, most heart-felt thoughts, as her singing voice got better and better.

While in high school, Jessica enrolled in the “Job Core”. This is where she was taught marketable skills for the work force, so she could support her two boys. Bertie stayed close by her side through all of this season of growth.

When Jessica became pregnant a third time, from a new boyfriend, Bertie had a conversation with her that changed her life forever! She said, “Jessica, I cannot do this anymore. I cannot keep watching you make these self-destructive decisions.” Her heart sank. The only person who had ever believed in her, with a healthy and unconditional love was fed up with her behavior. She could hear it in her voice, and she felt the weight of disappointing this wonderful, kind “mother”. Then true to her word, Bertie put distance between them.

Jessica started to feel extreme loneliness like she had never known. She was praying continually, and scriptures that she had memorized and heard as a child started to flood her mind and heart. She started feeling the presence of God.

One day as she was praying, and pouring out her heart before God, she physically felt the arms of her father in heaven enfold around her and hold her, taking away the loneliness…bringing comfort and so much love! He had revealed himself in a very personal way. All of a sudden, she got it. She started saying it out loud. “He’s real! He’s real!” She was reminded of the scripture that says: “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)

The song, “As The Deer”, started to have a whole new meaning, as her heart started to pant after a real, living, risen Savior. Her heart was being transformed, and she could feel the presence of the one who was living inside of her.

As she began in this new walk with the Lord, big changes began to happen in her life. Her music became something that was at the forefront of her life, as she was praising God through it. Her 3 precious boys were healthy and growing well, and Bertie had come back into her life. She was actively involved in church, and got an internship at a radio station, shadowing a D.J.

(to be continued….)

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