HI! I'm Morgan Johnson, and for as long as I can think back on it, the devil was plotting in my life; to steal from me.
The way he did it was through the negative effects of various sexual encounters throughout my childhood and the sexual abuse I endured from my father in my childhood and adolescent years. Once it was all over, I went through the rest of my life stuffing it down and keeping it to myself by keeping others at a distance, shutting them out due being programmed to think I couldn't trust anyone. No matter, evidence of the trauma seeps out, causing a stain in every area of my life, even though I resolved to not be a victim. There were good times, even great. I've been told I'm a strong person, and no doubt the traumas had made me strong but that strength never lasted long and wasn't enough to keep me going. Whether for a day or a year, and I don't think I ever lasted more than a year on my own strength, inevitably I'd come crashing down, and at the end of 2014 came my hardest crash. After I had gotten out of the Air Force after serving for yrs, honorably discharged, I floated around for a bit but found a decent job. There was a few weeks of "I got this, I can do this on my own", "high", if you will. But in the issues I never worked on came in and I suffered the consequences of my avoidance and self sabotaging habits, causing me to lose my job and apartment. I moved in with my mom due to being unable to balance financial responsibilities. She did all she could to support me. With no where else to go I called up a relative of my son and ended up in Perkasie, PA. That was a hard time. I didn't like to communicate back then. Whether due to fear or pride, I can see now how extremely trying it must have been. But God knew what He was doing. This relative unknowingly knew someone who was connected to a program, the program that would help in getting me back to the Lord and support my much needed repairing.
God's Treasure House is a faith-based, 18 month program, with two transitional living centers (home) for women coming from prison, coming from crisis situations, and their children. That is the very program that would get me where I needed to be. But, first of course, came the fight. I fought, in my typical way, shutting out, non-trusting I was even self sabotaging yet again. I nearly got kicked out, not due to any violence or confrontation, I was just so shut within myself unable to trust that they weren't sure if they could even help me. Throughout that time God was working on me, and I mark one day in particular as a turning point. My financial habits had followed me, of course, so I had not been paying my resident fee. Unexpectedly I got a check from the VA for some back pay. Gina handed it to me and I turned to leave, and I heard, "give it to her, give it to her". Right there I could of walked right out the door and back to where I was in late 2014, but instead I turned around and said, "Can I give this to you?" and I remember it was like something opened up. From there, through obedience and wanting to change, I did, with God's help. By mid 2015, I was doing much better, Gina had told me she wanted to talk to me, I was so scared. They called me into one of the rooms and asked me if I wanted to take the position as housemother at the house I was a resident at, and that she needed to know by yesterday! I said yes but she suggested I pray about it. Little did she know I had! I was praying to God for me to be allowed to help in any way I could. He answered that prayer! They graduated me and I began the work.
It was hard at first, but as I became comfortable I gained confidence. I grew close to the Lord in many ways. I began to drop off of certain habits, others needed working, but I was getting stronger every day. My mom and family that helped, and continues to help me, were happy for me, proud even. Around New Years 2016, ,y mom called bright and early, she said she felt the need to call, she couldn't live with the fact that my father was getting away with what he had done. That's when I started the long process of taking my father to court. It was the scariest thing I've ever had to do. Here I was about to attempt to face the very thing I've been hiding from everyone. What will they think of me! But we did it. An over year long process. I tried to avoid the lawyers and counselors and even thought I didn't have to go to testify. By 2017 I would say I was in a very spiritually high place. I was trusting and leaning on the Lord for everything, comfortable even. Then in July of 2017, it was finally time to go to court and face my skeleton. It was a hard battle. I had to face the lies the defense created, but the hardest was telling in detail everything I could remember. I couldn't tell you how I did it except for the Lord. My overall experience was amazing and He surrounded us with two Christians, my support and representative. I got to see my mom and sisters who I hadn't seen in a while and we made the most of our time together despite. In the end we lost the case. I knew we really hadn't lost and my father really hadn't won. God is just and will judge rightfully. Even so I fell. I had to wrestle the feelings of self doubt and rejection but looking back I see that it just revealed to me the work that God needed to do in me.
I was so confident that I'd "done it, finally got it all together", through Christ of course, I was humbled and found myself in Christian counseling. Something I needed and would help push the work. Slowly but surely we started working through the trauma and negative effects of it. We used timeline therapy minus the hypnosis. I wrote down all I could remember from birth until present, combed through it, put it in order and placed it on a line. We talked through each incident and moved forward, through scripture and prayer. I was finally able to forgive my father, through the harsh reality I needed to face. We are supposed to forgive. Whether it takes a day or a year we must work to get to that point, no matter the offense. In the mean time I started looking for a support group, where I could talk about any details or connect on things I couldn't necessarily with my therapist. In my search I found very little and after a week of looking, one day while online I thought, "I might as well start my own at this rate!" I sat on it for a sec and pushed it aside, dismissing it altogether. The next week in session after discussing the search my therapist flat out says, "Well you could start one." I told them that I had just had that very thought the week before, then I remembered something.
It wasn't just this one time I had thought this. Twice, before that. Both incidents came rushing to my memory. I couldn't tell you the year, time of day or where I was but I remember I was young right in the midst of the abuse, "I thought I'm going to help people like me." Even now I can see, it I was so young, the memory is so faint but I know its there. I quickly dismissed then, not wanting to have to talk about it, tell people about it. I was too young to comprehend facing it. Then one more time, this time is more recent so I remember I was in still in the military. Wanting out. I am grateful for being privileged to serve but when you know you're not supposed to be somewhere you just know. I was looking up service jobs, and massage therapy was my main option. It was my main option because the only other thing that popped up was once again, helping people who had been sexually abused. By then I had perfected hiding, and remember thinking I don't want my life to be defined by that. I didn't see how I could face it.
Fast forward to that moment in therapy. Talk about confirmation! I went home that week pumped and through research about support groups and how to put together a business plan I did just that. By next weeks session I already had it together! That was Oct of 2017. Here we are in 2018 ready to really move in on that little girls thought to help people like her!
I thank God so very much for His hand in it all. I'm sure like many of you, you can see those moments where God literally placed you where you needed to be, orchestrating every second. He is so awesome like that! I wanted to be able to do something for God every since He opened me back up that day at God's Treasure House, and I believe this is it. I thank Him for this journey. I would not be here without Christ. Who loves us so dearly and is concerned about every little detail. And I thank the Holy Spirit who is the helper. I like to think of Him as my brain sometimes because there are things I say, write and do where I'm just like, where did that come from and I know its form Him. I pray to be able to help anyone who was like me. Damaged by the damage in others. Help them see the true freedom in Christ, through forgiveness. Forgiving truly heals.