Single mother is set free from abuse, drinking, and drugs.

Submitted by Elizabeth Davila

Many times I find myself looking at others and wondering, “What’s their story? Where have they been, what have they experienced, where have they failed, and where have they excelled?” Everyone has a story that has shaped and molded the person we see in front of us on a daily basis. Here’s my story…

Growing up in a Puerto Rican household with a Christian mother and a father who wanted nothing to do with God was a constant tug-of-war between “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord” and “Oye bro! Pass me a cerveza and some cologne!” Every Sunday and Wednesday, my sister and I were in church, only to go back home to arguing and fighting; bowls broken from being thrown and my mother’s heart-wrenching cries. The all too familiar cantankerous look on my father’s face would alert us to the fact that the alcohol had once again taken over and we were in for a long night. The drinking, the hitting, the yelling and fighting left me scarred inside. As a young girl, I would often plead with my mother to “JUST LEAVE HIM!” It baffled me to my core that she just held on. She displayed a loyalty that at the time I could not fathom how or why…

As the years went by I continued in church, but discovered a road that was more pleasing to me. Being a military brat, traveling was a way of life for us, so switching schools and meeting new people was the norm. As a sophomore in a new high school I made some friends that would accompany me on the beginning of my downward spiral. We began smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol. School would get in the way of our plans, so skipping school in order to party became a weekly habit. On one particular morning, my friends and I didn’t have enough money to buy the alcohol or beer we wanted. All we could round-up was five dollars. Downward spiral…So we decided to try something we had never tried before…marijuana. We sat there and smoked and reached a high that in reality would push us lower than we had ever been. Smoking marijuana was henceforth added to our list of weekly activities. It became our new norm.

Although this behavior continued, I graduated high school, but with absolutely no plans for my future. My father’s strict military overbearing ways added to my intolerance of him and with just recently graduating high school, I decided to leave my parent’s home. I went to live with one of my girlfriends at her dad’s house. Downward spiral…Working odd jobs with no responsibilities and free as a bird, partying every night of the week was my new life. Drinking, smoking, and sex defined my days. That bad  boy I met…he was so thrilling. Always the center of attention at the parties, made me laugh, and made me feel good. At the age of 18, I became pregnant with my first child. Weeks later, not knowing what to do, I painstakingly called my parents to inform them of my pregnancy. My father’s response: “You’re pregnant? Well then, I want nothing to do with you. You’re no longer my daughter. Don’t call me for anything because I cannot help you.” So I went to go live with my teenage boyfriend and his family. During my fifth month of pregnancy, I realized something: That girl, who I’ve seen around here a few times, who happens to be pregnant just like me, happens to be three months pregnant… by the same boy…who I live with. The hurt and pain was too much for me to bear so I grudgingly called my parents again. This time my mother seemed to have found her voice and demanded that I come home, no matter how my father felt about it.

After I gave birth to my son, Marquez, I continued to live with my parents for a few months, until I reconnected with an old flame. Downward spiral…He and I decided to move in together because he loved me so much and we were going to be a nice little Puerto Rican family. Everything was fine until the realities of providing for a family settled in. He decided that working a regular 9-5 wasn’t cutting it and that he was going to have to take matters into his own hands in order to survive. So he hit the streets and started selling marijuana. Not only was he selling marijuana, but he was smoking his marijuana. Big mistake! In order to deal with life’s issues he would smoke “to take off the edge” but eventually he was smoking more than he was selling. Just like any business, if your cost is more than your profit, you are bound to fail. So he then decided to try a more profitable product. Downward spiral…He was introduced to the intricacies of how to sell cocaine. With this new product, he met a whole new type of clientele: Business CEO’s, restaurant managers, police officers, strippers. The big bucks flowed in faster than we could count. As he started to attract more and more customers, the party lifestyle became more and more habitual. We started consuming the drug with the customers. I increasingly became enamored with the high in the sky feeling brought on from the cocaine. After the party was over, we would continue on. He was the go-to guy and I had him in my pocket. I can’t say exactly when it changed from recreational use to a yearning that told me I had to have it, but at some point it inevitably did. I was now addicted to cocaine. No longer did I even want to go out and join the parties. I would much rather stay at home and do as much cocaine as I could before he came back. This went on for several years, 4 to be exact. Throughout those years I experienced much of what seemed like a mirror image of my childhood years at home: physical abuse, verbal abuse, the drinking, yelling, fighting, and cheating, with the addition of an addiction to drugs. The devil was trying to kill me.

Labor Day 2006…he and I were at a BBQ with friends and family and of course the Puerto Rican rum was flowing in every direction. As I noticed that old familiar cantankerous drunken demeanor begin to form, I tried to remain out of his line of sight, to no avail. He began to yell at me, curse at me, and spit in my face, in front of everyone. As if someone had just flipped the switch on floodlights to dispel the overwhelming darkness, I suddenly realized that there was a way out! I called on the powerful name of Jesus. I found a ride home (his parent’s house where we STILL lived) and began to pray. We had an old car parked in the backyard whose engine was completely dead. The head was cracked and it was completely useless. I said, “Lord I know You are real, and I know You can hear me. I desperately need You to please make this car work so I can get my son and I out of this mess of a life.” With that, I started to throw whatever I could fit into the small car. I had my tv, clothes for about a week, and my son. Whatever didn’t fit I left behind. I sat in the front seat, closed my eyes, and turned the key. Yes, you guessed it, the car started! At 11:00pm I drove all the way from Jonesboro, GA to Lawrenceville, GA and showed up on my sister’s doorstep. I lived with her for 3 weeks all the while praying that I would be able to get an apartment in Jonesboro since I still worked down there and Marquez was in school down there. Ok, let me back up in case you missed that. For 3 weeks I drove that once useless, completely and utterly broken car back and forth about 45 minutes to an hour each way in the mornings and the evenings from one side of the city to the other. God is so amazing! After 3 weeks, I was contacted by a leasing agent of an apartment complex in Jonesboro to which I had placed an application. She excitedly exclaimed, “Ms. Davila you were approved for the apartment! Not only were you approved for the apartment but we have decided to waive a security deposit. But wait, we have also decided to offer you $200 off your first month’s rent!” Oh my gosh! Hallelujah, Praise God, Glory be to God, right?!!! So we move back down to Jonesboro and start living a “peaceful” life. I found a new boyfriend, gave birth to my beautiful daughter, Mariah. Marquez was doing well in school; I was doing well at my job…maybe a little too well. I was making a decent amount of money and I started to get full of myself. “Oh look at me. I’m doing this thing.” (I would say) Not once did I give honor and glory to whom it was deserved. God Almighty! Our Provider, our Healer, our Protector! The funny thing about God is that He loves us so much that He will do whatever it takes to get us where we need to be in regards to our relationship with Him because He wants to save our eternal souls!! So if He has to flip our whole world upside down, He will do it, without hesitation. One day God said to me, “Don’t you remember what I brought you from? Don’t you know it’s Me and only Me that you must depend on?”  So, after about 2 years I lost my job. I only had enough money saved to pay my rent for 3 more months. I put all of my treasured belongings in storage and at that point, I had to go (kicking and screaming) to live with my sister again. After about 2 months I no longer had any money. I couldn’t pay my storage fee, so they sold it. Everything! Everything and anything I had to my name was gone in an instant and all I had again was a bit of clothes and my tv. No furniture, no beds or bedroom sets, no dining room table, no chairs, no washer and dryer, no trophies that my son had earned throughout his life. God was trying to save my life.

Living in Lawrenceville again, I visited Victory World Church for the first time in January 2009. I was broken, at rock bottom, and could look nowhere but up to Jesus himself. I began to become involved in Children’s Ministry, which by the way is such a profound experience. The children are so pure, and innocent, and bold…the very qualities that we, as adults, seem to struggle with at times. I let myself become like one of them each and every Sunday that I am with them and we revel in Jesus’ presence together. I have also become involved with the Fusion Dance Team, and am also in Fusion leadership. Don’t get me wrong I am still human and I am bound to make mistakes, but I know a loving and merciful God who is the One and Only God who waits with open arms for me to repent and ask for forgiveness…and when I do, He forgives quickly and fills me with His love. He wants to do the same for each and every one of us. All we have to do is go to Him, and ask Him to save us…


  1. Will Johnson says:

    Im so proud of you!

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