I was born into a Christian, Catholic family and was raised by my grandparents until the age of 9. Unfortunately my grandparents spoilt me and with the lack of punishment and discipline, I became very rebellious and naughty. My grandparents just loved me too much to tell me off or punish me so I started rebelling against them and blackmailing them to get what I wanted. I wouldn’t eat my meals and wasted so much food when my grandma wasn’t looking. I skipped saying the Rosary with them to watch my favourite TV shows because I thought that the Rosary was boring and I wanted to enjoy myself. I know that I hurt them a lot.


However, everything changed for me after my parents brought me to England. At first, I felt alone and sad because I was by then much closer to my grandparents than to my parents. Everything was very different and I didn’t feel secure or happy any more in this new country. I remember crying one night because I missed my grandparents so much and I asked God never to take them away. But, gradually, I started to settle and get used to my new situation and I was a bright, happy, cheerful kid.


We moved to a new area when I was 10 years old and I started going to a new school and that is when a huge problem hit me. I can’t tell you what the problem was because it is too hard and personal to say but I suffered a lot from it. I lost my childhood innocence. I didn’t understand what was going on. I ignored it at first but as I grew older and started looking at things from a different perspective, it all seemed very wrong. This went on for 4 or 5 years of my life and as I grew it got worse and worse. I didn’t tell anyone. I couldn’t tell anyone. Someone that I had really trusted had hurt me, in such a way that it was impossible to put right.


I cried a lot at night times; it was the only time that I could just open my heart and cry as my sister would be sleeping. I was scared, frightened and alone. I questioned God: “Why me? What have I done? I’m just a kid. I don’t know what to do”. When I was alone and scared, I could not turn to anyone for comfort, no one saw my tears, not my parents or friends. I just couldn’t say anything to them. During the day, I would hide all my tears with a smile and laughter but only the Lord, the one above, saw how weary my eyes were. How much I was crying and suffocating on the inside. “When I walk through the valleys of death, I shall fear no evil for the Lord is with me.” (Psalm 23:4) The once cheerful and happy kid was gone.


It was at this time that my aunty moved nearby because she had a new job and we were really close with her and my cousins. One day we were all together talking about things, and my sister, without realising it, gave away a slight hint about my problem. My aunty guessed something wasn’t quite right with me, so when we were alone, she asked me what was wrong. At first, I resisted, but then I broke down and told her everything. She tried to help as much as she could and although it took a long time, I eventually resolved my problem.


It was a very difficult time but with the help and love of my aunty, I became stronger and more confident. She taught me that I shouldn’t be afraid because God was with me. I had a strength that I thought I could never have again. It was overwhelming. It was the strength of the Lord, the Holy Spirit. I spoke out and I wasn’t afraid anymore. My enemy’s words couldn’t manipulate me anymore. I spoke with such power, that I amazed myself. I began to believe and trust God more than anything, more than my own life. I believed that he was with me, that he wouldn’t let go of my hands. He wouldn’t forsake me. He was my strength. “I was fiercely attacked and was being defeated, but the Lord helped me. The Lord made me powerful and strong; he has saved me” (Psalm 118:14).


I have experienced really difficult times at a very young age, things no child should ever go through and although I thought that I would never be happy again, the impossible is now possible because of the power of God in my life. My strength is coming from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth, the one who has counted every hair on my head, who has collected every one of my tears in his jar. My strength is in the Lord. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is impossible for him. He is great, he is amazing, and he is the Lord. I believe it because I have felt him; truly felt him, present in my life.


When I look back now, at all those times that I’ve cried, I realise that the Lord was there. He was standing by my side, watching. Every time I broke done and cried, he hugged me tight, wiped away my tears and gave me strength. That is the love of our Lord and He heard and answered my prayers. HE HAS SAVED ME! He died for me. In the past, I lived because of him. Now I live for him.