"'Come now, let us reason together,' says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.  (Is. 1:18)

From Abuse to Love (England)

By Margaret Jerzyk

Eleos Christian Church is located two minutes away from where a suicide bomber attempted to blow up the number 26 bus, in the East End of London. Amidst the fear, confusion, and terror that Londoners are experiencing these days, God is bringing new life and hope. Margaret Jerzyk, a member of our church, shares how Jesus changed her life.

“My life started normal, like any child’s life. When I was twelve years old, my father died. They refused me to go to the funeral. Even at that early age, I was very close to my dad. I loved him very much. My life was always changing. I was the black sheep of the family. Whatever went wrong, I would get the blame. Growing up, I felt I had no life. My mum always found faults and never had any time for me. I would get into trouble with the police for running away from home and school. I would hang around with groups of boys and girls. We would steal cars and joyride in them.

At 13, I was taken to an approved school run by nuns in Brighton. I resented this very much. I would scream at the nuns and throw things at them. They were very cruel to me; they would beat me and lock me up in a room with just a bed and blanket. They would lock me up for days. When they would let me out, I would run away. The police would catch me and take me back. Once, the nuns stripped me of my clothes and just left me standing in my panties while they all stared and mocked me, saying I was the devil’s child; that I was very evil and bad. I took all this in. I didn’t care, for I felt I had no one to help me. I started to believe I was a child of the devil. I hated everything and everyone. I was so alone in the world. By the time I was 14 years old, I was sent to a different school, again ran by nuns. I soon found another way to escape. They would catch me and bring me back. The nuns would bruise me badly. I was always left alone, and told to pray.

At 16 years old, they allowed me to go home. I went home hoping things would be different but they were not. My mum had remarried and my step-dad’s brother took an interest to me straight away. He started to pester me all the time, asking if I would go out with him. I kept saying no. He did not like that, so he started telling my mum lies about me and we would row about this. My uncle would keep pestering me. I didn’t know if I as coming or going, I hated my life so much now, I wanted to get married just to get away from all this.

By the time I was 12 years old, I was so out of control. Eventually, they brought me to court and placed me in detention centres. I would run away from them; sometimes going home to see my mum, hoping that she would say that she loved me and knew how I felt or even put her arms around me. However, she never did. She would ring the police and tell them I was home and I would I would fight with them.

I went to a party with my friend and when it was time to go I couldn’t find my friend anywhere so I started to make my way home. Two boys from the party offered to take me home, and then they raped me. I managed to get away from them and went home.

A few months later, I found out, I was pregnant. I did not know which way to turn. I was so afraid my mum would beat me up, so I told my sister about this. She told my mum who was very angry; my mum called me all sorts of horrible names, like ‘slut’ and of that sort. She was more concerned over being embarrassed because her daughter was pregnant and not married than my mental and emotional state and welfare. She said she would raise my baby up herself even though I said no. She completely took over my life.

I met a man who my mum knew. He was 34 and I was not yet even 18. He took me out a few times. We began seeing each other more and he proposed to me. He gave me affection and it felt good. He wasn’t like the other men; he was opening doors and being polite. He bought me chocolates. This was all new to me; it was never like this before, all this kindness shown to me. After we married, we moved into a place of our own. For a while, I thought I was going to be fine, but soon my brother would come around and do things to me when my husband was at work. He would watch me in the bath by climbing up on the rail outside and eventually raped me. I told him I was going to tell my mum. He laughed and said she would not believe me, although he never came around again. We moved further away from them all.

When I turned 18 years old, I became pregnant by my husband. It was at that time he began drinking a lot and started to be violent with me. He would keep hitting me even after my son was born. He would drink away his wages, then lie and say somebody had stolen his money. I had to steal food and clothes for my children. We would fight and he would grab me, even while I was seeing to my baby, and rape me. I just wanted to finish my life. At this point, I began using my fists and I wouldn’t let anyone near me. I would cry every night as I thought about my life. My whole life seems to be nothing but being abused and beaten sexually, and having children. Even my brother would still come around as though nothing was wrong.

I had now built up a wall and vowed never to trust anyone anymore. I moved away, divorced my husband and carried on with my life looking after my children. My husband would still come around now and then to see the children. He would always be drunk and start shouting at either them, or me, or both, which really upset them; he would also hit them. Finally, I snapped and beat him so hard I put him in hospital for 7 weeks. In addition, my brother would still come around, but now I told him if he ever came back I would have him arrested. He stopped coming, but my life was a wreck. I had no life and no will to live. I wanted to finish my life off. I was going to take a large overdose. My life was empty and I just could not go on. There was no purpose in my life.

I went to my doctor who was very concerned about me; he gave me tablets to help me and would see me every day. He asked me if I would like to see a man of the church. I just laughed. Soon after, Pastor Kurt rang and wanted to see me. When he did I was very rude to him, but he did not give up on me. In the past people tried to talk to me and I would just raise my fists and lash out at them. Nevertheless, with Kurt, that didn’t bother him and he wouldn’t take any notice of that. I continued seeing him every week. He got me to go to Alpha course he was teaching. I went just to see, as I wasn’t planning to go back. I was very touched by the way Pastor Kurt and the other people talked about God. I did go back every week. It was so peaceful and I liked it very much.

Sometime later, I was hospitalised for severe asthma. I felt my life was over. I didn’t mind, but I thought about my children so I knew I had to get well for them. Suddenly as I lay there, I heard someone call me by my name. I opened my eyes thinking it was a nurse but no own was there. I felt very peaceful. I asked God to help me with my breathing and the bad pains I was getting when I breathed. The next day I heard my name again and I could hear this music – it sounded terrible. I saw a graveyard and someone standing there. I felt afraid. There was a wall. As I went to the wall it opened up and I saw this beautiful bright light and garden. I heard this wonderful music that made me feel very relaxed. I remembered the music from the Friendship Club at the church.

I started to feel as though I was floating. I was feeling much better, and the pains weren’t so bad. I prayed to Jesus to thank him so much and to ask Him to stay with me and heal me. I felt He was there with me saying not to worry; He is looking after me. I just wanted Him to put His arms around me, to say everything will be all right. I asked him to forgive me of all my sins and to come into my heart. Jesus has changed my life so much. I am not the same person anymore. I know that Jesus has heard my cries and He has blessed me. My life now belongs to Jesus. I was baptised in January 2004 and I am a member of Eleos Christian Church.”

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