Have you ever felt all alone in this world? Have you ever felt insignificant? Have you ever felt that no one cares about you? That’s exactly how I felt about my entire life. Growing up in a home filled with domestic violence and alcoholism made me feel that way. I had no control over my life and no way to stop the brutality going on in my home every night. My stepdad who was an alcoholic abuser stole my childhood and I can never get it back. My mother focused all her attention on him, desperately trying to keep him comfortable as not to ignite his fury. She worshiped him like a god, stroking his ego and trying anything to keep him happy. Meanwhile, I was there alone, hiding in the shadows, wishing someone would protect me, care for me, love me – but no one did. No one that is, but the Lord Almighty. He was the One constant in my life – a father I desperately needed – a father that never left my side amongst all the turmoil. He was always right there with me, leading and guiding me along the way. No matter how bad things got, I always knew He was there and that there was a purpose for my journey.
I often wondered why I was chosen to live this life of dysfunction, abuse, poverty, and struggle. As the years passed, I began to mature and ask instead, why not me? I’m no one special, why shouldn’t it be me? The more I struggled, the more I began to realize that struggle is what makes us strong; the struggle provides us insights we wouldn’t gain without the battle. Character is built in us when we go through hardships. I began to see the seemingly endless trials as a friend instead of an enemy. I realized God wasn’t punishing me; he was using the strife to make me better.
Although I still have obstacles in my life that I can’t seem to overcome, I’ve come to realize that it’s not the right time. God’s timing is perfect and I can’t expect to learn all the lessons at once and make straight A’s on all the subjects I’m tested on at this moment. The many years of watching a madman beat my mother and the constant control and manipulation he subjected us to has taken a toll. I can’t expect to heal in an instant from the wounds I’ve accumulated over the 21-year period of exposure to mental, sexual, and physical abuse. But I am well on my way to finding the key that will unlock the remaining barriers that continue to hold me back from achieving my full potential.
Writing “Unleashing Raine” was a part of my healing process. I kept the painful secret of my childhood inside for 39 years, utterly ashamed of who I was and desperately afraid someone would find out my story and reject me. One day something just clicked and I was tired of living a lie. I had felt God urging me to write the book for a few years, and on Valentine’s Day, 2015, I put pen to paper and started writing. The more I wrote, the better I felt. All the secrets I kept poured out onto paper and something was released inside of me. Freedom! I felt like a new person! It was like I had chains around my soul that had suddenly been broken. At that moment, I understood why God urged me to write my story. It felt like a load had been lifted off my shoulders, a heaviness I’d sensed for years was slowly starting to lift with each sentence I wrote. I continued writing every weekend for a year and a half and “Unleashing Raine” was born. As I wrote, I couldn’t help but think there must be others that felt exactly the way I felt. What I would have given to talk to someone else suffering the same fate – knowing I wasn’t alone in the world – it would have meant everything.
I could finally see how God was taking my misfortune and made it into something good. I realized that not only could I heal myself by writing my story, but I could help others as well. God is so good. Just knowing you’re not alone in what you’re going through is enough to comfort another.
I pray “Unleashing Raine” speaks to others and let them know that they’re not alone and that things will get better if you do not give up. Just because you have a bad start in life doesn’t mean you are destined for a bad finish. Life is a journey and it’s what you choose to do with the adversity that determines your outcome. You can let it defeat you and feel sorry for yourself, or you can use it to ignite a fire to drive you towards fulfilling your dreams. I choose to use it as a catalyst to catapult me to the next level. I’m excited for the future and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me. My hopes and prayers are that someone else suffering similar injustices will read “Unleashing Raine” and gain that same freedom and know that God has a good plan for your life. There positively is a wonderful life for us all, filled with peace and happiness, if we’re willing to fight for it and not give up.
By Sierra Raine
Genre: Christian Living, Biography & Memoirs, Self-help,
Paperback: 268 pages