Jodiann slowly finding her way home
At the age of 16 and after a failed attempt at suicide by overdosing, Jodiann Martin ran away from home where she was under the care of her grandparents.
Having been made to attend and focus on only church and school, she believed she was in bondage, deprived of a life of excitement as lived by her friends.
"I packed my bag after listening to a lady on the radio who wanted someone to be apart of her family. I got the address and telephone number call and waited until my grandparents were nowhere in sight," she said, adding she left a note warning that she'd kill herself if they tried to find her.
Martin explained that while away she decided to visit one of her friends, but on her way back, she forgot which bus would take her home.
"I asked a lady for directions who in turn asked a loader man who seemed to be well known. So because of her confidence in him I trusted he was going to show me the bus. He started asking me where I am from but I wasn't thinking he was dangerous because I always put confidence in people.
He kept walking saying he was taking a shorter way to the bus. Trusting him I kept on going but then when we were approaching the cemetery, I started to turn back. He pulled out a long knife at my side," she said.
Martin told Family & Religion that at that moment she began to pray and the words of her grandparents began echoing in her mind and at that moment she regretted ever running away.
She said though she pleaded for her life, the man raped and left her there on a grave.
After much crying and apologising, her grandparents welcomed her back home but things were never the same for Martin.
"I got bitter towards men. I decided to become lesbian and started finding comfort in such until I became bisexual. I just did anything that was immoral. I just didn't care, I felt worthless so I acted as such.
"I started feeling addicted to sex just letting anyone have their way with me. In 2009 or so, I started getting sick and after doing a MRI they ruled that I am epileptic due to stress. I still kept living unlawfully with no regard for anyone.
"I did whatever I thought I needed to survive. The men came and went. I almost felt like a prostitute. I got tired of that lifestyle, so I met my children's father and decided to settle down until the insecurities started again.It's like I can't trust any man and was still looking to females to fill the void," she said noting that all this time the epileptic seizures kept getting worse, even happening in public.
Following nights of distress and self-evaluation, Martin decided it was time to return home to God.
So last year, she began attending services on a regular basis as she watched her old lifestyle vanish.
The now 30-year-old woman is preparing for what she said is her fourth and final baptism.
According to Martin: "I was always easy to let go but now I am willing to hold on to His unchanging hands. When I look at how God reached down after all my mess and rescued me and that He doesn't hold me to my past, how He covers my shame and saved me, today I can say He has cleansed and purged me and today I am alive because of Him."