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  • Writer's pictureSara Soenen

My Testimony Part II

My Testimony Part II

If you’re reading this and you haven’t read part I, Here’s a link to part I of my testimony. Before you read this remember today’s blog is Part II of III. While it might seem to end dark we know this is a story of redemption and without a fall from grace there is no redemption.

After I moved home, an old friend of mine reached out to me and was the first person I really felt like understood me. Matt and I had met a week after my father had died, almost 10 years before. We were always great friends and spent a lot of time together. We spent holidays together with our families, and his parents were my safe place. If my mom was working late, or in school I’d go over to Matt’s house. His parents and my mom were on Young Life Committee together and we all went to church together. He had flown home for Easter and confronted me and said, Sara I’m not flying home for your funeral so what are we going to do to get you better? It felt good for someone to care enough to say those harsh words to me, and it felt even better coming from a man, and a man that I trusted. Matt became my outlet for everything, we talked all the time and grew extremely close. I trusted Matt with my life and I knew he cared for me and wanted me to get well. Unfortunately for me the summer of my 25th birthday Matt was killed in motorcycle accident and my world was rocked. My pastor, who is a like a second dad, came to pick me up at work after my mom told me the news. I was mess, and I could see the fear in everyone’s eyes. This will break her. I’m not sure she can handle it, and I felt the same way. I had just lost my best friend. To me, loosing men that had a huge impact on my life seemed to be a pattern. I knew my dad for 12 years and I knew Matt for 12 years. I knew that Matt would want me to thrive and fight back, but I didn’t expect to do it all alone and I had no idea how.

Not too long after this happened, I knew I needed a change. My best friend called me and said I have a house in Austin, I need a roommate and I’d love if you’d move in with me. After being at home for so long I needed to get out. I knew my mom’s intentions were good for me, getting me on meds, and seeking therapy, but home in some ways was really hard. All the memories, it felt claustrophobic. It felt like I was walking around with a scarlet letter, or two, one for S (daughter of someone who committed suicide), and a D for depression. I just wanted out, somewhere fresh where no one knew my past and I could start over as well.

I moved to Austin which was great for a while, but I couldn’t find a job, which now I know was linked to my depression. I had a lot of fun, got really skinny, something was missing and really nothing was changing inside. For me, being social was always a distraction and always a way to not face the reality of what was going on. So many believed I wasn’t depressed because they would see me out and having fun, it didn’t make sense.

My mom helped me find a job in Dallas and I began working for Lancome at NorthPark Mall. My good friend Shelby from Austin was moving to Dallas so I moved with her. Clearly, I was just running from my problems and moving seemed to be a common theme. After a month or two and things weren’t getting better I decided to get my own place. This only amplified my loneliness and isolation, probably not the best decision, but understandable. Working did help distract things but at night the reality of my loneliness would set in. I just wanted to numb. I was completely lost, my depression was getting worse, I was alone, I had no idea what I wanted out of life, and no idea where I was headed. I honestly had no desire to live. I prayed that the Lord would just take me in my sleep.

In the middle of all of this my mom met a man. Needless to say that threw me for a loop. No matter how old you are, no matter what the circumstances, either of your parents getting remarried is just hard. Yes, I realize it had been fifteen years, but clearly things were still fresh for me. My mom’s marriage just happened so fast. She met Dennis in August, and I remember her calling me in October from their trip to California, saying they were going to get engaged. WHAT? Are you kidding me? I don’t want a step-dad, I don’t want to like this guy. What is going on? Only a week or two after that, one of my co-workers, took his life. I was one of the last people he called that night. I decided to go to his funeral. I could see all these people around me struggling and grieving. I had been here before so I thought if anything I could go to encourage my friends. I had no idea where the funeral was, but decided to go with some friends. He was a nice guy who was well liked, and he had always made me laugh. Unfortunately, it was one of the worst funerals I’ve ever been to. There was no hope for those left behind, no affirmation of where he was. Was he in heaven or hell? After the funeral we drove to the graveside. As we approached the cemetery something seemed all too familiar. It was the exact same cemetery where Matt was buried. All I could think was this was too much, the funeral, Matt was gone, my mom getting married, I’m completely alone and completely confused.

One month before my mom’s wedding while my parents were in California for a company Christmas party, I drove down to Austin for my friend’s wedding. I was a stress case, my mom was now in engaged, and getting married in one month, all these things that had happened at work, I hated my job and I was just miserable. Well unfortunately that night, I drank too much and decided to get in my car and drive.

God spared my life that night and everyone else’s who was out on the road, but because of those bad choices I wound up in jail. Everything about jail was humbling, humiliating and life changing. I’m thankful for that night. After that night I never questioned that God wanted me to live. He spared my life and allowed me to not hurt anyone else in the process. It was truly a miracle. In my mind, it was the turning point for me. There was no turning back, no depression, no nothing. It was time to move forward, and never look back and so I did.

I came back to Dallas and to my job, of course they found a way to fire me. Shocking! Good riddance! I hated that job. The irony was that my car was stolen on the day that I got fired. Seriously, could I just catch a break. Yes, I understand many of the problems were due to my own poor decision making, but still. I got up to go to work and my car was nowhere to be found and neither we’re my keys. I had forgotten that after I double bolted my door, I left my keys on the outside. Quite an easy way to have your car stolen.

The last year or so of my life, just seemed like a blur. So after getting fired, my car getting stolen, losing a coworker to suicide, and still grieving the loss of Matt and clearly in the throws of depression. It was time for my mom to get married. Well since I had no car, I was fired, I was scared to live in my apartment (the good news is they caught the guy and I got out of my lease because the security guard let the perp into the complex; the bad news is they couldn’t charge the guy with grand theft auto because he had my keys) and I really had no other options, and my mom getting married in a matter of weeks, guess what happened next? I had to move in with my mom and in a matter of weeks live with her and her new husband!!!!!! It turned out to the best decision I’ve ever made.


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