Josie, 21, Minnesota, USA
As a child, I was sexually abused by a number of different men. This abuse, alongside my biological father’s absence, led to me to seek out male affection the only way I knew how: sex. Of course, this was emotionally and spiritually destructive — and with time, I began to self harm and self sabotage. I also developed severe depression and anxiety, which left me feeling trapped, broken, and hopeless.
One day, I lost control of my thoughts. My mind was filled with thoughts of suicide, gore, panic, and fear. My family never went to church or talked about Jesus, but in my desperation, I started praying. I told God things I’d never told anyone and in return, the Spirit began to move. As God took over, I started praying things that were outside of my own thoughts — the Spirit was praying through me! In that moment, the Lord touched me and I felt heat and peace unlike anything I’d ever experienced. For the first time, I felt alive!
During this encounter, God awakened my desire to know Him. I suddenly found myself wanting to pray more and read the Bible. As I went deeper with Him, I began to see just how much He loved me. I realized that His presence had always been there and would always be there, contrary to the lies of the enemy. Not only did the Lord open my eyes to His truth, but He also sent a community of Jesus-loving people to help me walk with Him.
I never thought I’d experience fatherly love, but I’ve found that in Christ. Because of Christ’s death and resurrection, I now know my heavenly Father…my true Father, who loves me so much that He sent the Son to die for me! Despite my past! Don’t believe the lie that your past or present sins are too much for God. If you put your trust in Him, He will meet you where you are. He CAN and WILL wash you clean and free you from sin’s grip. And no matter your pain, He is with you; “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). He’s a good, good Father!