Melody’s Testimony

Melody Beven

Melody Beven

My parents were members of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. I enjoyed hearing Bible stories and listening to the music. They eventually fell away from the church but did not interfere with my participation. I wasn’t able to attend as frequently as before, but continued as best I could. When I was 15, I chose to be baptized and eventually chose to attend a Christian college.

My mother grew up in a home with domestic violence; my father’s dad was an alcoholic. That violence became a part of our family as well. My parents adopted my sister when they were told my Mom could not get pregnant.  Her mother had been a prostitute and this fact became a significant problem in how my mother treated my sister: it led to frequent physical beatings for my sister when my mother was angry. One time, in her anger, my mother hit me in the stomach with her fist but my father was present and stopped the attack. I learned to be good in order to be left alone.

When my mother found out my sister was pregnant at age 16, she yelled for my sister to leave the house. As my sister was packing to leave, I felt compelled by the Holy Spirit to go into the bedroom and found my mother holding a dresser drawer over my sister’s head, ready to drop it on her. I screamed and grabbed it from my mother who then ran into her own bedroom and closed the door. During this confrontation, my father just watched television and did not intervene.  Again, impressed by the Holy Spirit, I urgently pressed my father to go to the bedroom because I feared mother was getting his hand gun.  He finally went to the bedroom where he found her trying to load the gun. I always felt she would have shot herself or my sister.  I wanted out of this environment; I wanted to get away from home any way I could.

I greatly enjoyed college and made many friends; however, I never wanted to date because of lingering fears about not being safe with a man. Despite this perspective, my relationship with the Lord grew. He provided a job for me in the state of Wisconsin which kept me away from my family. I missed them but never wanted to live around them again. I decided to return to California to continue my education and completed my Master Degree at Loma Linda University in Marriage and Family Counseling.

My mother was diagnosed with diabetes and her condition began to deteriorate. She knew how to care for her condition but chose not to. I was not prepared for how quickly her condition deteriorated. She still depended on me as her confidante. I was always an adult to her; that may be why she did not teach me how to be a woman. When she died, I was overwhelmed. I felt alone yet free. I was confused and sad. I became so sad I went into a major depression. My mother’s death made me angry at her as I believed she did not find me a good enough reason to take care of her diabetes and live. During this time I became upset with organized religion and attended 12 step meetings. There, I met an individual who became my sponsor and helped me through the grieving process.  She was a Christian. Later, I discovered she was a Licensed Psychologist and realized that the Lord had used her to help me through this difficult time in my life.

I started at age 14 to use food to deal with my low self esteem and the fear of being hurt. I learned to never “rock the boat” in order to avoid the abuse my sister received from mother, so I became the “goodie two shoes.” My food addiction worked comfortably for me as it is not illegal to eat, and it kept me from my sexuality. As a result, I have been obese for years. Learning to accept myself has been an ongoing struggle my whole life.

Eventually I found Yucca Valley Church of the Nazarene through a friend’s encouragement. She knew I was not keen on church and invited me to attend an Easter musical. I walked into the church and was greeted by everyone. I felt welcome and that I mattered to them. I was accepted in spite of my size and weight. I had been led by the Lord to a church family who would love me.

I have not worked on a weight reduction food plan for years; I gave up and just accepted I was supposed to be heavy. I am now the heaviest I have ever been, but the happiest. Recently, God has led me to try a new food plan. I will succeed as long as I rely on the Lord. This is why I attend Celebrate Recovery and want to help others with addictions. I know with the Lord’s help we can do anything. Remember if God is for us, who can be against us?