Purpose in Pain
LaKiesha Allen is a woman of many talents. Her obedience has resulted in her pain being utilized to help people and bring glory to God. Several years ago she had an intense conversation with God during a dark moment. She cried out and asked Him why she hadn’t ever been loved well or supported by the people in her life. She had been through so many painful experiences and she needed him to help her make sense of it.
LaKiesha’s life has been riddled with trauma since before her heart started beating. LaKiesha was conceived during the rape of a thirteen year old girl. She was born into a tumultuous family full of abused and neglected children that were exposed to many forms of abuse. She was eventually removed from her birth mother’s home due to severe emotional and physical abuse but that didn’t stop evil from tormenting her and causing her to wrestle with abandonment and rejection issues.
As a girl, LaKiesha was introduced to God by her Grandmother, Mandie. LaKiesha affectionately affectionately calls her “Mama.” Some of Mama’s decisions and the situations she seemingly let happen were hard to understand but LaKiesha appreciates her grandmother’s love and faith. LaKiesha went to church with her grandmother as a young girl. It was hard for her to understand God’s goodness. She was furious at God for letting so much evil traumatize her. She knew she believed in God because she wouldn’t waste time being angry at someone that wasn’t real. “God, you’re not who my grandmother says you are if you can let a little girl endure this much Hell. There is no point to my life and I don’t want to be here.”
At age twelve, this train of thought dropped LaKiesha off at the brink of death by suicide. She was left alone for days with her younger siblings while her mom and her mom’s husband were out of town. She felt like she could no longer endure the pain and confusion so she swallowed enough pills to end her life. A spiritual force sent by God caused her to regurgitate the pills. This act of saving grace came with a message. “My daughter, you have a life to live.” She cried out to him yet another time and asked him why he kept her alive and begged him to help her make sense of the chaos in her life.
This was the first time she heard God’s voice and experienced him as the God of Hagar that hears and sees us. (Genesis 6:7–14) God reassured LaKiesha that he heard her. She began to open her heart to desire more from Him. People in her life continued to disappoint her but God never did. In difficult moments, he soothed her with loving kindness and encouraged her not to give up. “You have a purpose, I just need you to trust me. It’s not going to be easy but it will be worth it.”
LaKiesha didn’t have anything to lose, so she trusted God with her heart. Shortly after that failed suicide attempt, LaKiesha learned of her incestuous conception. That truth brought an end to what she had been doing at night to cope with her traumatic life, “Sleep-Scaping” (Her book, “Abbeth-Marie — Sleep-Scaping To Safety” was birthed from her years of “sleep-scaping” at night).
Shortly after the truth of her conception came to light, she was forced to endure a beating so bad, that going back to the house she lived in was no longer an option. By the end of the school day, she had entered the foster care system in Mississippi. Her first foster home was a nightmare that didn’t end well. She woke up expecting to go to school but instead she was dropped off with her belongings in a trash bag at the DHS office. She sat alone on the porch with tears streaming from her eyes. It was before 8 am. The office hadn’t even opened yet. The tears blurred the site of her whole life in a trash bag. She asked God again why he kept her here since it was so easy for everyone to put her out like trash. God reassured her once more that everything would be alright if she trusted Him.
God was serious when he said that living for Him wouldn’t always be easy. LaKiesha’s biological mother contacted her while she was living in her second foster home. She was seeking her daughter’s forgiveness. LaKiesha knew that God wanted her to forgive her mother but she resisted. How could He expect her to forgive a woman who had forced so much abuse on her? While LaKiesha continued to resent her mother, God had a different plan.
In a vision God led LaKiesha to a house that stood in yesteryear. God walked LaKiesha down the decrepit stairs into the basement. LaKiesha could hear the muffled cries and sounds of a young girl being raped by a man that should have done his best to demonstrate what it means to have God as a loving father. While God shielded LaKiesha’s eyes from the visual terror of witnessing her thirteen year old mother’s rape, the sounds impacted her and continue to torment her. She begged God to get her out of that house because she couldn’t take being there anymore. God told her that every time she refused to forgive her mother, it was that thirteen year old little girl she was refusing to forgive. Once LaKiesha realized that the target of her unforgiveness and bitterness was an abused child, LaKiesha decided to forgive her mother for everything. LaKiesha’s mother still says hurtful things but she stands firm on the side of God and continues to forgive.
While she was in foster care her innate oratorical abilities were noticed and she was asked to join a special team of youth consultants, The Speak Up Now (S.U.N.) Team. At age 15, LaKiesha traveled around Mississippi with this team and they shared their stories with foster care professionals, politicians, lawyers, pastors and anyone else that could make a difference in the lives of foster children. The Speak Up Now team’s work got the TPR(Termination Of Parental Rights Bill) passed in Mississippi. Many older foster kids had missed out on the opportunity to be adopted because the court never took away the rights of their neglectful parents. LaKiesha shared her story and as a result of her activism, her voice contributed to changes that ensure that children in Mississippi’s foster care system have an opportunity to be adopted into a loving family. These experiences gave her confidence that God could use her to make a difference. Even while she was living a difficult life, she learned that she wanted her life to be about service to God and others no matter what her circumstances are. Surviving her childhood and thriving through her experiences in foster care inspired a rare brand of resiliency in LaKiesha.
Years later it’s easy for LaKiesha to believe that her pain has a purpose. She’s poured herself into serving others for many years. As with all things, she has even found purpose during the Pandemic. In March of 2020, God told LaKiesha that He was using the Pandemic to reset the world. More specifically for her, He has given her the time and opportunity to focus on getting her businesses and her nonprofit off the ground. In the last several months this entrepreneur has added notary agent and notary signing agent services to her repertoire and legitimized her tax preparation business. Her business provides opportunities to connect with people and minister to them during the highs and lows of life. LaKiesha experiences joy in spite of pain because she’s learned to dance during life’s storms. She’s obedient to God and puts her treasure in his storehouse. She hopes to stop working her regular job and focus more on her businesses, soon. This will also give her the opportunity to work on her non-profit organization, “Grace In A Case.” This organization works to provide appropriate luggage to children in foster care so they can stop experiencing the shame that comes from carrying their belongings in a trash bag.
Click here to check out LaKiesha’s website. She can be reached by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Her business, LaKiesha Charmaine, LLC, is located at 913 West Holmes in Lansing, Michigan.
~written by Erica Munchbach