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I’ve made so many mistakes in my lifetime I sometimes wonder why God keeps showing me favor. But time and time again, no matter what my transgression is, He keeps loving and keeping me.
My name is Sonya Artis. I currently reside in Grandview Missouri with my youngest daughter. My first book ‘Vanessa’s Choice’ speaks on the pain of life from a reckless young adult woman’s view. My story is a true one, based on my life.
Vanessa’s Choice outlines how the ability to make your own choices is not as easy as some think and for some of us, when you make your first major wrong choice, you easily spiral out of control and keep that action going when you don’t have people in your life that love you and want better for you.
With Vanessa’s Choice you will walk with me through the immaturity of having premarital sex with different partners, and ending up pregnant for the second time, by a different man than my first pregnancy and dealing with abortion, adoption, partying, fighting and all around pain.
My book is my testimony and it is about a part of my life that was haunting me. It depicts a crazy time when I thought I was cool, and doing nothing right.
It’s crazy the things we do in our short lifetime here that we think are ‘cool’ or ‘in’ at the time. It’s not until we either are confronted by ‘right’ or end up in a situation where we have to explain ourselves that we regret those cool times.
I’ve had more of those times than I can count. I thought it was ‘cool’ to start drinking at age 17. After all, I was on my own. I thought it was ‘cool’ to live with a guy that was not my husband at age 18 and have his child just three months before I left him. I thought it was cool to be one of the hottest hip hop dancers of my time….in my area. I thought it was cool to hang out with the drug dealers, and the boosters. I wished I could drink as much as my friends, or even like smoking weed so that I could do that with my ‘friends.’ Yeah, I thought all the things I did was fun.
It wasn’t fun however to wake up in the mornings sick and throwing up in front of my child because I drank too much the night before. It wasn’t fun to wake up next to my boyfriend and not remember the night before. It wasn’t fun to have more fights than I can count and have charges pressed against me. It wasn’t fun to go to jail for shoplifting when I decided for the first time to do what my ‘friends’ were doing, and it definitely was not fun giving up my child for adoption because I was too into the other fun things to know how to handle a grown up situation correctly.
My goal in life now is to share my testimony with others and try to prevent any lady or man- young or old from continuing to make mistake after mistake. God has given us the ability to make our own choices and because of that, we sometimes feel comfortable with doing the wrong thing. The problem is not God forgiving us….once we are saved, He always gives us our forever second chances. But once we firmly know right from wrong, and we still make the choice to choose the wrong route, we really start to feel the hurt of our wrongs not only from the people we are surrounded by that want us to do right and pray for us constantly to do right, but from our own conscience that screams at us from the pits of our stomachs that we knew not to do the wrong we just committed.
To go from being a person that has no real caution in their life, doing pretty much what you want when you want, and having like minded friends, to becoming a true Christian is like going from walking aimlessly in the dark with obstacles all around you to having bright lights shining all around you at all times.
I had to let go of so many things and people when I got saved; but oh, how it was worth it. I went from having friends that wanted to party 24/7 to my church family that just wanted to love me 24/7. I went from thinking all the fun I could have was in the streets to finding out, I could have more fun than I ever imagined being a Christian! I went from wanting to fight to wanting to love and I went from having gossiping trouble making friends to friends that pray for the gossiping trouble makers!
The most important thing for me though was going from having friends that judged me for everything I did, to having a family that only wanted the best for me and truly did not care about what I did in my past!
When Vanessa’s Choice first came out I was deeply embarrassed that my church family would find out I was not the person they all thought I was. Here I am a saved leader of my church writing about how I gave up my child for adoption. Writing about having a sexual relationship with a ‘boyfriend’ that apparently came before my child. How drinking, dancing and fighting were more important than working, going to worship and being a mother. I wrote the book to take some of the kinks out of my own heart, not knowing that my story would bring others to me. Never thinking that others have stories that although vary, are not too different from my own. Hearing how my story has helped others make tough decisions, and how it has prompted other Christians not be ashamed of their past but use their past experiences to help others has been simply AMAZING. I went from being embarrassed about my story to now looking forward to sharing it – if it will help just one more person turn to Jesus or help one more Christian want to share their testimony to help someone else.
As God continues to push me higher and lead me in the way of being a helper to non Christians I am finding out, we all have a past. Some of us are living in our worst moments right now, but it is alright. We ALL have valleys but if you pay attention you will find God always puts references in your valley for you to utilize and they will help you out of that valley and pull you out onto level ground. Once you are saved and you believe that Jesus is the son of God, died for us and our transgressions and rose on the third day you will find that trials and tribulations come and go easier and faster. You won’t stress as much and you will wonder….why did it take me so long to find this love.