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An abusive childhood, crippling fear, emotional scars, depression,
the loss of our son, and a marriage that once careened headlong towards divorce to name a few,
but God has redeemed them all.
I managed to keep my “perfect” little life together for a couple of years.
Then halfway through college my boyfriend and I broke up.
All of my plans suddenly slipped through my fingers like sand.
I feared the unknown.
I understood that salvation was unmerited, that there was nothing I could do to earn my redemption.
But would I ever be good enough for Him to be proud of me?
If I worked harder, accomplished more, simply was better,
would He love me more?
I had no idea how to cope with the large-scale
neglect and fear that I dealt with on a regular basis.
So I turned to self-medicating through pornography and masturbation,
spiraling into a constant state of shame and guilt.
I was desperate for change.
I never would have said out loud that I didn't struggle with pride,
but I always struggled with the parts of Scripture that said things like,
“He who is forgiven little, loves little.”
I guess I felt like I didn’t sin much, at least not “big” sins,
so maybe I couldn’t love Jesus as much as other people who had struggled more.
Satan tricked me everyday into thinking that I
would never break the same cycle of sin.
I felt as if God was looking down at me,
scolding me, and pointing His finger.
As I got older I began to feel I did more things wrong than I did right. It was like I was spinning out of control.
There were too many wrongs, and not enough rights!
I felt so ashamed and like there was nothing that could erase my sins to regain God’s love.
I was sexually abused, diagnosed with
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, and suffered a miscarriage.
I had marriage problems, financial problems,
and a newborn fresh out of the NICU.
I felt like my life was constant trial.
Growing up, I was immeasurably blessed with early exposure to the Gospel by my parents.
They showed me what all this Jesus stuff looked like as you lived your life.
It seemed like the most natural thing in the world when I accepted Christ as my Savior at an early age.
We were a military family struggling with custody issues,
marriage struggles, and parenting battles, but God showed up every time.
He still shows up because He has prepared us for this journey;
He is my strength and fortress.
My sister’s death made me emotionally vulnerable,
allowing me to empathize with others better.
My health issues also allowed me to grow closer to God.
I’ve suffered, but if I had not walked closely with God in those times,
I would not be the person I am now.
and a dad who walked away,
I struggled to believe that God loved me and has never left me,
even when I push Him away.
I was “illegitimate.”
I had been abandoned and rejected.
Left by the very man who had given me life.
I always felt I was a burden to my mother. Shame overshadowed every part of my life.
My parents' divorce sent me on a downward spiral.
Where was God? Did He care?
How could He let this happen to me and my family?
I decided to look for love in ALL the wrong places.
I was mad at God.
My inner pain was so deep.
“I’m in terrible trouble!” I sobbed to the counselor.
As she explained Christ to me, everything became clear,
suddenly it was like I had returned from the dead.
Though I struggle daily with the affects of sexual abuse,
I don’t consider myself a victim,
but rather an overcomer because Christ is my victory.
I was a failure. I should be punished.
I struggled through middle school and high school with cutting,
depression, and deep self-hatred.
I had gone to church and felt a surface-sort of love from God.
I wanted to do all the good things, but it never was enough.
“Why, God? Why me? Why am I so alone? Why am I so lost? Why am I hurting so incredibly much?”
I started my car thinking,
“Surely God can’t use me alive, so maybe someone will come to know Him through my funeral.”
After months of no sleep, I made a phone call no wife should ever have to make.
I called the woman who my husband was in an affair with.
I was stuck in self-destruction, darkness, deep pain, and hopelessness.
My problem was this: doing one right thing doesn’t take back all the wrongs,
erase all the hurts or heal all the broken pieces inside of you.
Only Jesus can do that.
Slowly, God just became routine.
The beautiful mystery of Christ faded.
My judgment became blurred, and I became infatuated with a boy.
Instead of pursuing Christ, I looked to the boy and his opinions of me.
I asked God in faith for so much, but I got silence from the Lord.
I was so angry at Him, feeling like He’d left me alone, hanging out in the breeze.
I had served people so faithfully, why was no one serving me?! God owed me!
As amazing as our children were, our marriage hardships had only intensified.
If you had asked my husband, his plan was to stay married until the kids turned 18….then he was out.
We were both miserable and fought constantly.
Knowing Him personally through His Son demanded more
than participation in the religious rituals.
I had to understand that the full weight of my sin was placed on Jesus.
Family fallouts, my husband’s deployment (a month after we got married),
and moving far outside my comfort zone to the literal desert as a newlywed.
Life hasn’t gone quite how my husband and I had planned,
but God has never abandoned me!
Matthew’s needs were intense. Exhausted and isolated as a result of the
living with a special needs child forced my reliance upon prayer.
I discovered that when Jesus was all I had,
I found that He was all I needed.
When you learn to trust God through every circumstance
He takes you on an unimaginable adventure!
In the moment, trusting Him is so hard, but when you look back,
I promise it’s worth it and you won’t regret it.
the Lord my God has healed and redeemed me.
He created me to LOVE others!
My parents divorced when I was just 10 years old,
leaving me with a deep ache to be loved and accepted.
I was tied up with my need to control everything.
While I was home for Christmas break,
I was heartbroken and confused!
The aching in my heart to be enough and feel loved
is always poking at my side.
I’ve turned to guys, worldly accomplishments, beauty, and tangible materials,
but no way would I turn to God.
My husband walked out of our marriage, my first granddaughter
died tragically, and stage III cancer ravaged my body
amidst a myriad of other pitfalls.
Yet, I have seen God use my brokenness for His glory.
When I was four years old, my parents divorced.
I didn't know how to vocalize my pain, so I just withered inside.
I dealt with problems by stuffing my feelings,
internalizing everything, and withdrawing.
I felt like everything I knew to be true was really a lie.
Deep down, nothing made sense.
I was hurt and broken.
I attended church every week from birth through age 18.
I was involved in choir, Sunday school, and even became the president of our youth group.
I did everything, BUT believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
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