Dear Mr. Hammond,
During my worship time this morning, I was listening to “I Will Trust” and decided to write you this letter. I wanted to share with you just how much you have helped me over the years. How your music guided me back to my first love (God) in my darkest and most painful moments. I’ve had plenty of them, and no doubt will have more. Let me explain.
As young as 5 years old, I was sexually abused by my aunt’s husband at the time. Before that age, I remember watching my biological father physically abuse my mother. As a teenager, I was physically and verbally abused by my then alcoholic stepfather. My senior year in high school was all about survival in an abusive home. My mother saved my life by signing me up to join the Navy. I thought I escaped the abuse but my dark past followed me wherever I went. I was damaged goods. Actually, a pastor called me that. Later, I would write a book called Damaged Goods. But I digress.
You see, Mr. Hammond, all of my life I’ve been fighting emotional pain as a result of the abuse I endured growing up by men I could not trust. But no matter what happened behind closed doors in my home, my mother made sure me and my sisters went to church every Sunday. So when I moved away, the first thing I did was find a church home. But that is not when I “found” God. I did, however, find you and your music.
My troubles really started when I moved away from home. I had so many failed relationships because deep down, I didn’t trust men. I had a daughter who was 3 months premature. I was homeless. I was on welfare and food stamps. I attempted suicide 3 times. I coped with my pain with sex, pain pills, alcohol, partying… I self-medicated for about 10 years. Through all of this, I was challenged in my faith. I felt that God hated me and my family. I felt like my family was cursed. I wasn’t the only one abused. All of the women were. The women were beaten, children were raped, and it was a cycle. We never talked about it outside of the home, until early 2017 when we released a book called The Frazier Chronicles: Stories Untold: Finding Peace After Pain. My most prized work as a published author. Digressing again (smile).
Back to the story: No matter how challenged I was in my faith, no matter how many times I told everyone around me to not even mention God in my presence, no matter how I refused to pray or read God’s Word or go to church any more… no matter how I refused to accept God.. I never stopped listening to your music.
Here’s the truth that I would never admit to anyone at that time: even though I openly denied God, I inwardly searched for Him. And it was your music, because it was filled with true worship, that led me to my true love: God. I have always loved worship. But in that moment of darkness (I call it my faith challenged period), I relied on your worship. I knew that I was too messed up to believe. I knew that my faith was challenged. But I also knew that there were faith warriors that carried me through that period. You were one of them. The strong will bear the infirmities of the weak.
I had many afflictions that I carried with me. I had many doubts. I had many fears. But when I heard your voice, when I heard God’s Word (that I was actively running from), when I heard pure unadulterated worship, my soul craved it. I couldn’t deny it. I needed worship then and still do today. That is my soul secret to being made whole. Over and over again. The beautiful thing about God is no matter how many times I fall or how many times my pain shows up, it is true worship that works its magical healing on and in me.
One last story: two years ago, I attempted my last suicide. My daughter was in jail for trying to poison me. I had just got home from court (which were always the worst days for me), and when I had to hear those cold words from the judge that my daughter had no desire to be in my life any more. Those words pierced my soul and I wanted to die. So I went home alone. Sat in my garage. Took a handful of anxiety pills plus a handful of sleeping pills (all prescribed by my psychologist). I’m talking over 20 pills!!! No lie. Then I devoured a bottle of red wine. I was crying the whole time. Weak and discouraged. Dark and lonely. Feeling unloved and unwanted. The one that everyone came to to solve their problems, I felt alone and dismayed. I wanted to die and I was determined to do it right this time. At some point I had fallen asleep in my garage, my soul was tired.
My eyes opened the same time as I always woke up the next morning. I was tucked away in my bed, which was 2 flights of stairs from my garage. I had my pajamas on. I have no idea how I got there. The last thing I remembered was passing out in my garage, wanting to die. When my eyes opened, I remember feeling disappointed that I was still alive. Then I heard God say, “If you die now, you won’t see my promise.” I began to weep uncontrollably and made a promise to Him that I would never try to take my life ever again. Then I played your song, “I Will Trust”. Again, your music is the only music that speaks to my soul. You are truly anointed and there are certain songs that you wrote that speaks the words from my soul.
Here’s what I need you to know, Mr. Hammond: THANK YOU. On so many occasions, your music saved my life. Even while I write this letter to you, I am going through a break up from a man I thought was my soul mate. He was unfaithful to me and we broke up. He left me. He promised to love me and never hurt me. But he lied. Now my heart is beyond hurt. And it’s taking me a while to get over it and him. I am being healed and I will be okay. But, again, it is your music that I listen to during this healing journey. I felt compelled to tell you this because I’ve never really told anyone until now. You will always hold a special place in my heart. Thank you for being true to your calling and your gift. If it had not been for your music, I wouldn’t be here today. Thank you.
More than just a fan,
More Goodies 🙂
If you want to read the blog I wrote about “I Will Trust”, click here!
All of my books that I’ve published (incl. Damaged Goods), are here!