When I got saved 14 years ago, people were scratching their heads. Confused. I remember someone actually asking me “what was wrong with you before?” It made me realize something. That some people couldn’t comprehend someone that wasn’t a murderer, or drug dealer, or child molester, or rapist, or thief, or anything else that we perceive as “the only kind of evil” needing Jesus. Part of my life was spent in the projects and the other part was spent on the east side of Cleveland, in a single parent home. My mom worked her butt off. I remember running from gun shots with sandals on. I remember my sister and I talking to our neighbors through the walls. 😂 I remember our roof falling in during a bad storm. (Those were fun times though, minus the whole running from bullets and our apartment collapsing🤦🏾♀️) When I was ten years old, we finally moved out of the projects into a new home. That same year I accidentally set our basement on fire. That was a super irrelevant detail, but just felt that was intriguing enough to share. All I have to say is Thank God for the fire department! Okay back to the important historical details of my life.
My dad, he has been in prison since I was a baby, I didn’t meet him until around age 10. He’s a pretty awesome guy. During my middle school and high school years, I struggled severely with identity. One day I wanted to be like my sister, another day I wanted to be like my friends. And to top it off, I hated myself. I hated the gap in my teeth. I hated that I was so thin. I hated that I had an ugly scar on my lip from falling off the bike as a kid. I didn’t even like the color of my skin. I remember wanting to bleach my skin, because back then there weren’t all these “love your melanin movements”, colorism was real. The low self esteem was real. And I didn’t realize it then, but I had serious daddy issues. I hid all this so well. When I think about it.. I was broken and crying out for help. I didn’t know who I was or what I needed.
After I graduated high school I remember feeling more broken than I’ve ever felt. “Looking for love in all the wrong places” we’ve all heard that right? Well, now I realize that no one or nothing is meant to fill that need for love in your life. God is love. So when we try to seek what He is, outside of Him, we come up short every. single. time. So nah, I wasn’t killing people, I hadn’t robbed a store, I never beat up an elderly person, but I rejected the only One who died to save me. I resisted that love. I wasn’t hurting anyone. I was hurting Him. I didn’t know Him, so how could I know myself?
So when people wonder what was wrong with me before, I was a broken girl in need of a complete God. I was lost, even though my sins weren’t “obvious” and on the surface, I still wanted to live my life my way. I wanted to be affiliated with God, but not really commit to Him. I hadn’t yet trusted Him with showing me who I was. Who He was. Living morally looks good, but what’s morality without God? He’s the one responsible for our conscience. I was struggling because I was rejecting the One who would complete me. Show me that all of those insecurities were due to a misplacement of value. That brokenness was furthered due to a vain search for love.
So when you see me repping NGB, nah I wasn’t a career criminal, but know that I do have a story. We all do. I was lost. I was broken. I spent a lifetime trying to be someone I was never meant to be. I wasted time attaching my value to my appearance and achievements. I sought love and validation from the wrong avenues. So yeah, I’m Never Going Back to her. To that Bridget. The new Bridget loves Jesus. The new Bridget knows who she is. The new Bridget knows love. The new Bridget can genuinely love in return. The new Bridget understands that her value is way more valuable than what she sees in the mirror. The new Bridget understands that we all need to be saved, regardless of what we’ve done or haven’t done. The new Bridget is Never.Going.Back.